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DevOps Cookbook

One of the valid complaints about DevOps is that it’s difficult to describe what it is.  Currently, DevOps is more like a philosophical movement, and not yet a precise collection of practices, descriptive or prescriptive (e.g., CMM-I, ITIL, Agile, etc.).  At this early stage we’re in, DevOps is more like a vibrant community of practitioners who are interesting in replicating the performance outcomes and culture as exemplified in the seminal John Allspaw/Tim Hammond 2009 Velocity presentation about doing “ten deploys a day” at Flickr.

The intent behind the “DevOps Cookbook” project is to catalog what the “high performing DevOps organizations” all have in common, and then provide prescriptive guidance so that other organizations can replicate their results.  Very much like the “Visible Ops Handbook,” which one of the submitters co-authored, we are attempting to describe all the necessary and sufficient steps to create the culture, values, processes, procedures and daily work behind their transformations. 

We describe what is required from each of the major stakeholders, including Development, Test, Product Management, as well as IT Operations.  We will present the common constraints and conditions that apply each of the patterns, as well as the modifications that must be done to existing patterns.  Examples include Dev patterns (e.g., Agile and continuous integration and release processes) and IT Operations patterns (e.g., release, change, incident and problem management, monitoring, escalation, escalation of preventive project work, etc.).

Our hope is that this work will significantly increase the probability of DevOps initiatives succeeding, accelerate its adoption curve, and ideally, lower the activation energy required for DevOps transformations to start and finish.

This research is the continuation of the Patrick DeBois’ pioneering work in the DevOps community, as well as John Willis and Gene Kim’s decades long passion for studying and creating high performing IT organizations.