Bullet Train
Bullet Train (source: Sjors Provoost (CC BY 2.0))

This episode of the O’Reilly Podcast features my discussion with Mohit Verma, Performance Engineering Evangelist for a healthcare company in Boston, about performance engineering: what it is, and how to implement it at your organization.

What is a performance engineer?

“Typically, performance engineering is a full stack responsibility. A stack could be a client-server application with multiple tiers... It starts with the hardware level to make a system faster, but, in the software level, you still have to look at performance engineering from your legacy systems to your web stack... A full stack performance engineer is somebody who can understand the whole application architecture and can tune it across the board.”

Misconceptions people have about performance engineers

“People think that a performance engineer is someone who just finds the problem and tells you "this is the problem, this is the issue I found”… People think he/she is a sort of “tester”.

Real performance engineers try and get into the nitty-gritty of the system, find the problems, and then present the solutions to our customers. That's where I think it should be going and that's where I think the enterprise should be aiming at. That's where you get value.”

The challenge of anticipating growth

“You need to understand [growth] and build for the future. Take for example Black Friday: people seem to scale up for that day, but no one can seem to know how bad it will hit. It's always a hit or miss for many companies. Last year, Best Buy was down because they didn't really build their application to anticipate the traffic. You hear that story every Black Friday, especially now in the Internet world. It's just because people cannot really predict the future.”

How do you make the case for investing in performance?

“I think cost saving is a big motivation; also SLA management. You are making systems more efficient and faster, so using up less resources... Plus, you are getting customer satisfaction. Your customers are going to be more likely to come back to your website. There are numerous surveys out there that tell you that people tend to not go back to that site because its slow or crashing.”


For more on performance testing tools and techniques, download the Guide for Performance Testing by Gartner.

This post is a collaboration between O'Reilly and HPE. See our statement of editorial independence.

Article image: Bullet Train (source: Sjors Provoost (CC BY 2.0)).