DevOps for the Desperate Cover

DevOps for the Desperate

A Hands-On Survival Guide
by Bradley Smith
June 2022, 176 pp.
Lay-flat binding

Look Inside!

DevOps for the Desperate backcoverDevOps for the Desperate pages 62-63
DevOps for the Desperate pages 78-79DevOps for the Desperate pages 90-91DevOps for the Desperate pages 118-119

If you’re a software engineer, developer, or sys admin who needs to get up to speed with DevOps quickly, this book covers the basics you need to thrive in a modern application stack.

This book’s fast-paced, hands-on examples will provide the foundation you need to start performing common DevOps tasks. You’ll explore how to implement Infrastructure as Code (IaC) and configuration management (CM)—essential practices for designing secure and stable systems. You’ll take a tour of containerization and set up an automated continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipeline that builds, tests, and deploys code. You’ll dig into how to detect a system’s state and alert on it when things go sideways.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Create and provision an Ubuntu VM with Vagrant and Ansible
  • Manage users, groups, and password security
  • Set up public key and two-factor authentication over SSH
  • Automate and test a host-based firewall
  • Use Docker to containerize applications and Kubernetes for orchestration
  • Build a monitoring stack and troubleshoot problems and performance issues

DevOps for the Desperate is a practical, no-nonsense guide to get you up and running quickly in today’s full-stack infrastructure.

Author Bio 

Bradley Smith has been a DevOps and software engineer for more than 20 years at many startups, local governments, and businesses of varying sizes. He’s solved countless technical challenges during his career, and he’s built and trained many DevOps, SRE, and software engineering teams. He graduated from the University of Massachusetts Lowell and now resides in Denver, Colorado.

Table of contents 

Chapter 1: Setting Up a Virtual Machine
Chapter 2: Using Ansible to Manage Passwords, Users, and Groups
Chapter 3: Using Ansible to Configure SSH
Chapter 4: Controlling User Commands with sudo
Chapter 5: Automating and Testing a Host-Based Firewall
Chapter 6: Containerizing an Application with Docker
Chapter 7: Orchestrating with Kubernetes
Chapter 8: Deploying Code
Chapter 9: Observability
Chapter 10: Troubleshooting Hosts

View the Copyright page
View the detailed Table of Contents
View the Index


"DevOps for the Desperate is a short, approachable guided tour of a few core tools in the software operations toolkit. Structured as a set of hands-on tutorials in topics like system administration basics, configuration tools like Ansible and Vagrant, and orchestration tools like Kubernetes, this book covers a lot of ground quickly. The focus is very much on the practical, rather than the philosophy of DevOps. Don't expect to use this as your sole reference on DevOps topics, but this is worthwhile as a gentle starting point for the absolute beginner to software operations."
—Laura Nolan, Slack

"A very useful book. . . . it would give any competent developer a good grasp of how to use the tools commonly found in DevOps. Recommended."
—Kay Ewbank, I-Programmer

"Zero-to-hero in one guide."
—td, Amazon Reviewer


View the latest errata.

You can find the book's latest updates on GitHub.