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The Cloud books you need on your shelf

Cloud is changing. The legacy cloud of the past is not meeting our need for speed. Organisations are moving to Modern Cloud.

What do you need to learn for modern cloud? We have got you covered in our new book, ‘The Value Flywheel Effect’. And in our blog: ‘The Serverless Edge‘.

We’ve also taken the time to compile a list of ten must-read books for the modern cloud. How many of these have you read? How do you rate them? This is a follow on from our Engineering Leadership and Awesome Software Architect book list.

The Cloud Books you need on your book shelf
Photo by Marcela Rogante on

We’ve ordered the list by publishing date, starting with the most recent.

Serverless Architectures on AWS

Second Edition, 22 March 2022

Cloud Book Serverless Architectures on AWS on The Serverless Edge
Serverless Architectures on AWS

by Peter Sbarski, Yan Cui & Ajay Nair

The second edition of Serverless Architectures is an update of the classic from 2017. Modern Cloud has to start with Serverless as the principles will completely change your thinking. Even if you don’t implement Serverless – these patterns are important. BTW, Serverless represents a major stepping stone as software engineering evolves – you are either there, or moving there (and you just don’t realize it yet)!

The DevOps Handbook

How to Create World-Class Agility, Reliability, & Security in Technology Organizations, 25 January 2022

Cloud Book The DevOps Handbook on The Serverless Edge
The DevOps Handbook

by Gene Kim, Jez Humble, Patrick Debois, John Willis, Nicole Forsgren

A seminal work by Gene Kim and crew. So many great lessons in this book about creating a culture that will leverage the modern cloud. DevOps is not just infrastructure, it’s a culture. The handbook talks about the three ways (Flow, Feedback, and Learning/Experimentation) and advises on practices to improve these. Of course, this book applies to all development, but it’s foundational for Modern Cloud.

Working Backwards

Insights, Stories, and Secrets from Inside Amazon, 18 February 2021

Cloud Book Working Backwards on The Serverless Edge
Working Backwards

by Colin Bryar, Bill Carr

Not many people truly understand how Amazon operates. The original intent of Amazon was “Customer Obsession” and they developed the “Working Backwards” approach to think differently. This absolutely applies to the modern cloud – don’t obsess over the thing you are building, obsess about the Customer. This Working Backwards process was secret for a long time but it is great that Amazon has decided to share via Colin and Bill.

Flow Architectures

The Future of Streaming and Event-Driven Integration, 31 January 2021

The Cloud Book Flow Architectures
Flow Architectures

by James Urquhart

Modern Cloud is built on events and streaming data. James has created a fantastic guide to building a flow architecture, one that is driven by events. There is also a healthy dose of Wardley Mapping in this book.

Cloud Strategy

A Decision-based Approach to Successful Cloud Migration, 3 August 2020

The Cloud Book Cloud Strategy on The Serverless Edge
Cloud Strategy

by Gregor Hohpe, Michele Danieli, Jean-Francois Landreau, Tahir Hashmi

Let’s say that you need to buy every book that Gregor writes, but we can’t include them all here – go visit This book is full of really practical advice, I really like the FROSST characteristics of cloud applications (Frugal, Relocatable, Observable, Seamlessly updatable, internally Secured, failure Tolerant) – easier to remember than the 12 factors. 

Reaching Cloud Velocity

A Leader’s Guide to Success in the AWS Cloud, 7 April 2020

The Cloud Book Reaching Cloud Velocity on The Serverless Edge
Reaching Cloud Velocity

by Jonathan Allen, Thomas Blood, Dr. Werner Vogels (Foreword), Adrian Cockcroft (Foreword), Mark Schwartz (Foreword)

This is the definitive book on Modern Cloud – it’s even got a bunch of Wardley Mapping in it. Jonathan and Thomas have taken much of the lessons learned from AWS when working with customers of all shapes and sizes and distilled them into a concise book. This is an excellent reference for leaders and engineers alike.


The Science of Lean Software and DevOps: Building and Scaling High Performing Technology Organizations, April 2018

The Cloud Book Accelerate on The Serverless Edge

by Nicole Forsgren Ph.D., Jez Humble, Gene Kim 

Fantastic piece of work by Nicole Forsgren, even if you haven’t heard of this book, you may have heard about the “DORA metrics” or “Accelerate metrics”. So simple, yet very powerful. Also, as a side note – there are 24 capabilities covered here, so there’s an awful lot more than the four metrics.

Building Evolutionary Architectures

Support Constant Change, 29 September 2017

The Cloud Book Building Evolutionary Architectures on The Serverless Edge
Building Evolutionary Architectures

by Neal Ford, Rebecca Parsons, Patrick Kua

Modern Cloud is constantly evolving, so your architecture should work as well. The concept of an evolutionary architecture is the only way to build – it’s actually what you are using if you are deployed in the Public Cloud, but you may not realize it. This book will teach you the correct principles.

Threat Modeling

Designing for Security, 7 February 2014

The Cloud Book Threat Modeling on The Serverless edge
Threat Modeling

by Adam Shostack

Security is job number one in the public cloud and it’s everyone’s job. Many developers don’t realize how much they don’t know about security. It doesn’t need to be scary and it’s not all cryptography. Threat Modeling is a relatively simple exercise that will help you identify your key threats – the mitigations to those threats can be easy or hard. Hint – let the Cloud Provider do as much security protection as possible, they are excellent at it – don’t roll your own.

Implementing Domain-Driven Design

21 February 2013

The Cloud Book Implementing Domain Driven Design on The Serverless Edge
Implementing Domain-Driven Design

by Vaughn Vernon

Finally, we have an old favorite Domain-Driven Design. The concept has been around for over fifteen years, but it’s a tough one and was very theoretical for a long time. Modern Cloud means bounded context, separation of concerns, and keeping a healthy blast radius (if one part of the system fails, the whole system won’t go down with it). DDD can help break your system up, it’s best if you start the design that way and map it to your business. Seems difficult at first, but will make everything that follows easier.

4 thoughts on “The Cloud books you need on your shelf

  1. I personally would add these:

    – Learning Domain-Driven Design: Aligning Software Architecture and Business Strategy: I think this book is much more up to date with modern systems, at least compared with the version of the Learning Domain-Driven Design: Aligning Software Architecture and Business Strategy I read years ago.

    – Learning Domain-Driven Design: Aligning Software Architecture and Business Strategy: Awesome deep dive in security that fits in any type of workload really, but with a great focus in microservices and works for serverless as well.

    – Building Event-Driven Microservices: Leveraging Organizational Data at Scale: As a companion with Flow Architectures, this book gives a look at patterns and trade-offs.

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