Release year: 2014

Author: Gene Kim

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Link to my handwritten notes


It’s the second time I read this book (now with notes!). I still believe it is as relevant as the first time I read it. In fact, now that I better understand how it management works, I was able to better appreciate some subtleties. What elevates this book to me is the fact that it’s written as a novel, yet it doesn’t shy of inserting bits of DevOps knowledge here and there. This makes it easy for anyone to get into. It’s an easy recommend for me to anyone working in IT management.

Félix rating:

⭐ Star quotes

  1. (p. 157) One of the problems of prevention is that you rarely know about the disasters you averted.
  2. (p. 196) “I need you to say no! We cannot afford to have this leadership team be order takers. We pay you to think, not just do!”
  3. (p. 197) If you know that a project will fail, I need you to say so. And I need it backed up with data. Saying no just based on your gut is not enough.
  4. (p. 212) ⭐ Improving daily work is even more important than doing daily work.
  5. (p. 213) It almost doesn’t matter what you improve, as long as you’re improving something. Why? Because if you are not improving, entropy guarantees that you are actually getting worse.
  6. (p. 213) Making wait times visible is critical, so you know when your work spends days sitting in someone’s queue, or worse, when work has to go backward, because it doesn’t have all the parts or requires rework.
  7. (p. 332) In ten years, I’m certain every COO worth their salt will have come from IT. Any COO who doesn’t intimately understand the IT systems that run the business is just an empty suit relying on someone else to do their job.
  8. (p. 370) It is now my aspiration in every domain of my life to never fear conflict, never be afraid to tell the truth, and never be afraid to say what I really think.