Useful DevOps Resources
5 min read

Recommendations for IT Infrastructure professionals

DevOps is a buzzword - few will deny that. It’s used left and right, meaning different things to different people. There are plenty of good general introductions from folks that have done that far better than I ever could.

So instead of repeating that, here’s a few thoughts and resources I’ve discovered and used in the past years.

Just some of the terms that are frequently used together with *DevOps*. While each of these focusses on a different aspect, they're undeniably related.
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Just some of the terms that are frequently used together with DevOps. While each of these focusses on a different aspect, they’re undeniably related.

Technology

Some of my favorite learning resources:

Linux

Linux requires a special call-out. Without Linux, no DevOps in its current form or perhaps at all. While the former doesn’t the require the latter per se, truth is that many DevOps techniques and technology are just applications, abstractions or integrations of Linux concepts and primitives. So learn more about Linux, and everything else will become easier and better.

I [tweeted](https://twitter.com/jorisroovers/status/1255076854526095360) this a while back.
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I tweeted this a while back.

Here’s a few excellent resources to learn more about linux:

Note that being comfortable around the command-line is only the entry point to “knowing linux”. Here’s a few topics I recommend researching in-depth:

  • /proc directory
  • system calls (syscalls)
  • namespaces
  • eBPF
  • Process capabilities
  • Process signals
  • glibc
  • Networking: NAPI, Netfilter, XDP, OVS

When it comes to Linux, there’s always more to learn. I can easily get lost for hours on these topics, and it’s some of the most interesting and rewarding learning I do.

Make sure you don’t just read, but take notes (build a digital brain!) and actively experiment. Do it in the open so you can share and showcase it easily.

The soft-side

The [Phoenix Project](https://www.amazon.com/Phoenix-Project-Helping-Business-Anniversary/dp/B00VATFAMI/) is **highly recommended.** Very easy reading in novel format - you'll  enjoy this even outside of your professional context
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The Phoenix Project is highly recommended. Very easy reading in novel format - you’ll enjoy this even outside of your professional context

Too often, people understand the core ideas and practices behind DevOps, but miss nuance and depth because they haven’t spend time reading some of the source material. It’s telling that some of the most experienced practitioners keep referring back to the following books. You won’t regret spending time on these, even if it’s just skimming them.

Keeping up

Keeping up with new developments is critical to stay relevant, especially in our industry. What was state-of-the-art two years ago is now considered The New Normal, and will be referred to as legacy in four years from now.

Here’s a few ways to keep up with latest developments in the DevOps space.

Websites

Twitter

  1. Brendan Greg: eBPF and Linux tracing guru
  2. Charity Mayors and Liz Fong-Jones: thought leaders in the Observability space
  3. Julia Evans: Delightful drawings (“zines”) on all sorts of linux, computer and workplace topics
  4. Kelsey Hightower: Kubernetes and Go expert
  5. Matthias Geniar: Linux and Sysadmin news and thoughts
  6. Tom Christie: Python and API expert

Conferences

I usually only attend 1 or 2 conferences a year but regularly browse conference schedules and pick out topics for researching. I prefer to browse slides or do separate research rather than attending in-person or watching video recordings as it allows me to tailor and optimize learning time.

Here’s a few DevOps-related conferences with interesting schedules:

Newsletter

Comments, questions, feedback? I'm @jorisroovers on twitter.