Build Better Software

Build Better Software

How to Improve Digital Product Quality and Organizational Performance

By Kristian Bank Erbou

Buy in Print ($26.99) or download in Ebook ($9.99)

Build Better Software provides a humanistic, technology-agnostic blueprint of building, testing, and deploying a digital delivery to end users for both technical and non-technical decision-makers alike. Discover the benefits of automation for today, tomorrow, and the future.

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In Software Development, Everything is Possible

Software is transforming the world, but there is still work to be done to ensure quality in the delivery experience itself. Based on author Kristian Bank Erbou’s fifteen years of personal experience with Agile software development, CI/CD, and DevOps, Build Better Software provides a technology-agnostic blueprint of building, testing, and deploying a digital delivery to end users.

Both technical and non-technical decision-makers will learn more about how to build flexibility and increased monitoring capabilities into the delivery experience of digital software assets with respect for both points of view.

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“ BuildingBetterSoftware was a great support to our Agile implementation. They handled some of our toughest organizational challenges with impressive wit, always keeping a positive attitude. At the same time, they managed to structure and execute on different complex initiatives with great professionalism. I can recommend BuildingBetterSoftware as an asset for any kind of organization.”

Foreword by Jayne Groll

CEO, DevOps Institute


Kristian Bank Erbou has spent more than a decade focusing on software programming, process optimization, and building a culture of collaboration across organizational silos in complex environments.

Erbou is an independent Agile and DevOps consultant who helps clients achieve fast feedback loops and delivery excellence in software release management scenarios. He specializes in simplification and optimization of software product lifecycle management (SPLC) and building automation competencies in their organizations. He is a columnist for Computerworld and a certified DevOps Institute instructor

Erbou has a clear understanding of managerial motivations and corporate culture based on DevOps initiatives at LEGO, eBay Denmark, and Just-Eat.

He lives in Vejle, Denmark, with his wife, three children, and the laziest cat in Northern Europe.


“Over the years, I’ve met so many individuals in so many organizations who have heard about Agile and DevOps ways of working, and are inspired and enthused, yet nervously cautious about getting started—because they’ve never done it before. This is why Kristian’s book is so important. It’s like he’s sat beside the reader, walking step-by-step through what it takes to launch an automation initiative and see it through to its successful conclusion, having done it a ton of times before. His voice has clarity and explains complex concepts in the language of a calm and friendly colleague who’s lived it. He shares his own personal experiences, good and bad, with insights into his own career; his optimism and faith in the human spirit are palpable. The book is packed with tools Kristian has generously included which provide pragmatic and concrete examples of how to get this work done—and they don’t just include ways to implement technology; there are plenty tips around how to influence stakeholders and behavior too”

Helen Beal
Chief Ambassadeur, DevOps Institute

“I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants a humanistic angle on the processes required for implementing automatic software deployment.”

Allan Kirkeby Andreasen

“Build Better Software offers sound advice on why and how to treat light-weight processes, automation, software, and code quality as first-class citizens and use them as pillars to build compelling software products.”

Torben Falck
Software Craftsman, Angel Investor, Founder of

“While laying out a practical approach to the technical journey, the message is clear: Good technical solutions take into account the effect on people—and if you want to create real change start with building support and relationships.”

Therese Hansen
Scrum Master, Grundfos, Co-Founder of Monzoom
“Kristian does an excellent job of taking the reader on for a journey in the world of CI/CD. With many great examples of what to do and what not to do in a lot of well-described and well-known contexts, the reader is given a good recipe for getting code from a developer workstation to production servers in the pragmatic spirit of DevOps.”
Casper Englund
CTO, MainChef

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Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Foreword
  • Preface
  • Part 1: The Great Why
    • Build a Business Case for the Advantages of Automation
    • Two Exercises to Help You Get Started
    • What’s In It for Me (WIIFM)?
    • Perform an Analysis of Errors and Incidents
    • Summary
  • Part 2: Document Your Existing Release Process
    • Prerequisites
    • Write Down Your Current Process
    • Visualize the Process
    • If Context Is King, Unambiguity Is the Queen
    • Using a Parking Lot to Maintain Focus
    • Add Roles and Responsibilities for Single Activities
    • Entry and Exit Criteria
    • Summary
  • Part 3: How to Build Your Software
    • The Single Most Important Thing in Beginning an Automation Initiative
    • Which Platform Should We Use for Deploying Software?
    • Which Integrations Do We Need?
    • How Much Does It Cost?
    • Where Are Data Located?
    • Making the Final Decision to Select a Platform
    • Terminology for Building a Software Delivery
    • Convert Your Existing Processes to Generic Build and Deployment Activities
    • Create a Version Number
    • Build Your Artifact
    • Execute Automated Tests
    • Publish Artifact
    • Publish Result
    • Summary
  • Part 4: How to Deploy Your Software
    • It’s the Environments, Stupid!
    • Required Steps  in a Deployment Pipeline
    • Retrieve Artifact
    • Prepare Your Environment
    • Deploy State Changes
    • Deploy Configurations
    • Run Automated Tests
    • Publish Result
    • Summary
  • Part 5: How to Handle Secrets
    • Simple Is Safer
  • Part 6: Case Studies
    • How to Handle Dependencies to Henry the Database Admin
    • Proposal 1: Manual Approval of Manual Labor
    • Proposal 2: Automate Manual Labor1
    • Tips for Speeding Up Your Build Pipeline
    • Manage Dependencies Wisely
    • Split Up a Build into Several Independent Builds
    • Tips for Reducing Wait Time in Your Deployment Pipeline
    • Parallelize Work
    • How to Inject Cleartext Secrets into a File During Deployment
  • Epilogue
  • Appendix
    • Further Reading
      • Glossary
  • About the Author
  • End notes

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Book Details

Pages: 184
Images: 44 black-and-white images, throughout
Language: English
Dimensions: 6 in. x 9 in.
Publication Date: October 27, 2020
ISBN: Print 978-1-7356806-0-6, ePUB 978-1-7356806-1-3, Kindle 978-1-7356806-3-7, PDF 978-1-7356806-2-0          

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Buy in Print ($26.99) or download in Ebook ($9.99)