Who are the Best DevOps Bloggers?

06/15/2017 by: Stephen Mann

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There are good DevOps bloggers and bad DevOps bloggers, and it would be rude to mention a certain Clint Eastwood movie. The good blogs tend to be the ones written by people who have “been there, done that, got the t-shirt.” These bloggers write in detail, with war stories, and with insights that one can only acquire by doing the “hard yards.”

This blog offers up five really useful bloggers who consistently produce dynamite DevOps content. It’s zero fluff, and all thriller, no filler. I hope the awards given to each are taken in the spirit of fun (and admiration) that’s intended, and they are listed in no particular order.

1. The “Tell It Like It Is” Award – Ben Wootton

Ben is the founder of a company that was built specifically for DevOps. He spent his formative life developing banking applications, constantly frustrated by glacier-paced release processes and concrete-hardened ITIL processes.

Since starting Contino, Ben has been collecting experiences and writing war stories via his blog at https://www.contino.io/insights. Plus, you’ll also find more great blogs from the other DevOps practitioners at Contino there.

For example, one of Ben’s recent blog posts is on what he considers to be the frank and honest truth about the role of traditional Systems Integrators (SIs) in DevOps. He cites their “slow and outdated delivery models” and how SIs are really into it for themselves, and don’t help customers to create their own capabilities. Conversely, “doing it yourself” is what thought-leaders such as Jez Humble say is imperative in DevOps, and as evidence by Ben’s experiences and writings.

2. The “I Lit the Torch and I Carry It” Award – Gene Kim

Gene has a long industry history in IT (service) management, the Theory of Constraints, the IT Process Institute, and starting his own security business (Tripwire). He’s literally been everywhere and studied everyone, and he’s one of the founders of the annual State of DevOps Report.

His blogging can be consumed on IT Revolution, and you can guess his mindset from the website name alone. A good example of Gene’s insightful blogging is this piece on Pat Birkeland on Learning DevOps as an Ops Leader. This is classic Gene, using real world stories to give insights and to make a point. In this case, with Pat, he captures the why, how, and what, and concludes in a way that makes the blog post relevant for everyone:

“I’m really excited by these exchanges with Pat, because I think his situation is extremely relevant to almost anyone who aspires to be a lifelong learner. I know this is something I strive to be. I really appreciate Pat letting me interview him, so others facing the same fears and aspirations could learn from his situation.”

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3. The “Source of DevOps Truth” Award – Martin Fowler

Martin is one of the software developer experts at ThoughtWorks, and his blogs on the more technical aspects of DevOps are very insightful. Less on process, more on architecture, the topics he covers are like describing the engine inside the DevOps vehicle.

As an example, this blog post on Continuous Integration is pretty much the industry standard. If you’re doing DevOps, then you’re probably doing Continuous Integration. And if you are, then you must have read Martin’s blog post at some point.

Martin isn’t just an expert in the technical aspects that underpin DevOps, he also writes on the important people aspects of DevOps. In DevOpsCulture, he writes:

“The primary characteristic of DevOps culture is increased collaboration between the roles of development and operations. There are some important cultural shifts, within teams and at an organizational level, that support this collaboration.”

Need I say more?

4. The “DevOps Weekly Aggregator” Award – Gareth Rushgrove

Gareth is well known in the DevOps community. He not only works for Puppet, a popular tool in DevOps circles, he’s also the curator of the must-read DevOps Weekly Newsletter.

While Gareth is a coder, he’s also into Operations and the wider aspects of DevOps, as seen in his weekly newsletter. The newsletter does the hard yards of bringing DevOps-related content such as slide decks, blog posts, and podcasts into one, easy-to-read weekly meal.

DevOps is applied widely and touches many aspects of IT, and this is reflected in the range of topics Gareth brings together. His latest newsletter, edition 335 (yes, that’s six-years-worth of newsletters!), covered the future of networking, how feature branching is evil, coverage of ChefConf and Monitorama conferences, and comparisons of key DevOps tools Salt, Stack, and Ansible.

5. The “Hardcore DevOps Engineering” Award – John Allspaw

John Allspaw is one of the three people (the others being Patrick Debois and Andrew Clay Shaeffer) who invented the term “DevOps”. The story is here if you are interested, and a key document from John is a 2009 presentation on Flickr, 10 Deploys a Day.

John’s blog makes the reader realize that DevOps isn’t just about releasing fast and often, it’s about making systems that are anti-fragile and resilient, and that DevOps is also about people, not just tools and processes.

So that’s one – hopefully well-articulated – view of the five best DevOps bloggers, and blogs, on the Interweb. Who would you add?

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Stephen Mann

Stephen Mann

Stephen Mann is Principal and Content Director at the ITSM-focused industry analyst firm ITSM.tools. Also an independent IT and IT service management marketing content creator, and a frequent blogger, writer, and presenter on the challenges and opportunities for IT service management professionals.

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