I’ve wanted a clearer understanding of DNS and TLS/SSL than the one I’ve pieced together from reading Stack Overflow posts and random blog posts, so I was delighted by Edward Loveall’s book Domain Name Sanity. In about 100 pages, Loveall describes the process of registering a new domain, the many types of DNS records, DNS command line tools, common scenarios a developer might need to solve for, and how to get a TLS certificate and configure it. It was one of the most clear and concise explanations of a technical topic I’ve read.

My favorite chapters were “Tools of the Trade” and “Securing Your Website”. The former provides an overview of dig, nslookup, ping, and a few other tools. Loveall describes when you would want to use each tool and how they might be useful in automation. The chapter on TLS gives a very clear description about public-key infrastructure, how certificates and Certificate Authorities work, and the various levels of validation. I highly recommend the book to any developer looking to get more familiar with DNS and TLS.