Book recommendation: Deployment from Scratch by Josef Strzibny
Dominik Rüttiger 2 min read
After listening to a fun episode of SE Radio with Josef Strzibny talking about self hosting applications, I decided to get his book “Deployment from Scratch” and really enjoyed reading it.
Why this book is important
There have never been more options for deploying web applications: From countless offerings from hyperscalers AWS, Azure and GCP, supposed-to-be-easy-options like Netlify, Render, Cloudflare, Deno Deploy and good old Heroku, to self-hosting.
If you’ve been in this business long enough, you know that none of these options come without a price to pay to learn all the provider-specific specialities. There is no offering that will just work in real life.
So, given the choice, the question is where to invest your precious time. Josef Strzibny will recommend that you to start by learning the basics and hosting your web application yourself. You will save money and learn all the things you will have to learn in the long run anyway. Also, many people seem to forget that going with a hyperscaler may not be the best choice for their business.
Why I like this book
The book covers everything from operating systems, shells, networking, ssh, package management, configuration management, file systems, user management, processes, web and application servers, domains and certificates, firewalls, databases, backups, secrets management, application deployment, containers and scaling in 530 pages.
I personally think, that an overview of all of these topics is necessary for every software developer today. Even if you live in a perfect container / Kubernetes world, you will end up frustrated if you do not understand the underlying mechanisms.
Of course, the author can’t go too deep into each topic, but I think he has choosen a perfect balance. It’s perfect for junior software developers, but seniors will also find great value.
It’s not perfect though. I feel that some definitions are not precise enough, and there are some minor errors here and there. But overall, it’s not a big deal and the book is just fun to read.
How to get the book
Josef Strzibny publishes his book through Gumroad on deploymentfromscratch.com.
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