Friday, April 5, 2013

The Phoenix Project

Amazon recently made this book, The Phoenix Project, available for free on the Kindle. I am only on chapter 7 and it has already made me laugh, grimace, and scowl. This is meant to be a sort've guide for making a working, agile, responsive and healthy DevOps/Systems Operations environment, but it's written as a novel, complete with first-person perspective.

You follow the journey of Bill Palmer who has just been handed a C-level position as VP of IT in the wake of the unexpected dismissal of both of his bosses, the former VP and CIO. Bill doesn't want the job; the company has a history of putting IT last, refusing budgets and resource allocation, and typically IT managers don't tend to last long. He gets the strong-arm from his CEO, who personally selected him, so he winds up taking the job. Within the first 3 days he gets hit with a critical payroll systems issue that stems from an unauthorized and untested change to a field in the database that holds payroll information; a looming and unrealistic deadline for rolling out the infrastructure for a new initiative that the CEO and Marketing folks have been selling to investors and clients without having a clue as to the actual operational requirements to pull it off; and a PCI audit that found 952 items that needed remediating...within a week. The guy has his hands full.

So far in reading this I have recognized every type of administrator, manager, and C-level person described thus far in my own experience in the technical job force. It's pretty amazing how spot on this novel is. It's a worthwhile read for anyone who has ever worked in Operations. I say Operations specifically because it is definitely told from the perspective of an Ops person. There's no hiding the bias against the IT security staff, or the Developers, or Marketing. The failures and weak points of Operations are also brought to light, but there has been a fair amount of tying in the other departments. I won't spoil it for you though. :)

This is a shorter post than normal but I wanted to highly recommend this book. Now I have to get back to it.

No comments:

Post a Comment