When a colleague handed me The Phoenix Project I was very skeptical. I’m a reader and a writer, and if I can be honest, I’m more snobby about it than I should be. I was skeptical of the book, but I read it.

I read it in one day. I really liked it.

It’s not great literature. The criticisms of the storytelling and writing in the reviews I’ve read are dead on. That’s okay by me though, that’s not the point of the book. Sure, in an ideal world the level of art would be higher and match the lofty ideals of IT presented here, but it didn’t, and I’m okay with that.

The book tells the story of an all-too-typical IT shop. Everyone is under pressure, well intended processes are ignored because they are too cumbersome, and IT can’t deliver critical features to the business. Our hero is thrown into a battlefield promotion, and must save the day. He learns DevOps from the ground up, by thinking it through (with a touch of help from an all-knowing operations zen master-type), without ever using the term.

If you want to learn about DevOps, and why everyone thinks it’s a big deal, read this. If you need to convince someone else that DevOps is a good idea, hand them this book. It’s not the best novel, but it gets its job done. Actually, all things considered, it does its job well.