Who Am I To Tell You About Performance?

meIf you are impressed with work experience, then read on as I’ve spent the last 25 years teaching performance fundamentals, capacity planning, modeling, and performance testing of websites. I spent about 15 of those years also doing performance work on live systems and critical applications for customers around the world. When working with customers I would typically spend 3-5 days there. I would arrive knowing almost nothing about their business and their problems and leave having given them a clear path to follow.

If you are a person who is only impressed with academic qualifications then I have few to offer you. I went to college with no particular plan, other than to have a good time. I had three majors (Wildlife Biology, Botany and Computer Science) but I have no degree as I left college when I ran out of money and got my first job in the computer industry. That was 1980.

I’m a practical guy that listens well, seeks out useful insights, tools and techniques. I’ve read a few computer performance books and found a few good things here and there. Mostly I’ve learned from other performance wizards, programmers, system administrators and a few generally smart people I’ve known. If it worked for them, then I’d figure out how to make it work for me.

I’m also good at explaining things clearly. I’ve had plenty of practice in my standup teaching as well as when working with customers. Clarity is essential when explaining to senior management that they need to spend large amounts of money. An engaging style is essential when teaching multi-day classes, especially just after lunch. I like people and if I couldn’t make my classes useful, interesting, and relevant, then I would have stopped teaching a long time ago.

The seed idea of this book came from Anybody’s Bike Book by Tom Cuthbertson. Back in the 70’s he wrote this wonderful little book about repairing literally any bicycle. Forty years later, it is still in print and still useful. I hope that this does the same thing for computer performance work.

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