In my experience as a performance test engineer, I’ve found that the actual creation of the test script to be the easiest part of the job. The difficulty comes when having to analyze and make sense of the reams of performance data that is gathered during a test.
The Every Computer Performance Book – How to Avoid and Sole Performance Problems on the Computers You Work With by Bob Wescott is a godsend to anyone that has ever asked, “What is this performance metric doing in my test results, and should I be concerned?”
A Timeless Book About Performance Testing
One of this book’s best features is that it is product/technology agnostic. No matter which tool you’re using — LoadRunner, SOASTA, Grinder etc., all the principles covered in this book will apply. The author explains it this way: “What I’m about to tell you will work for any collection of computers, running any software, that has ever been built.”
So if you had a time machine and could go back to the time of the very first computers, or far into the future, all the concepts you’ll learn from this book would still be relevant.
Another bonus is that there’s hardly any math in the pages of this book, and the little math that is presented is very simple. Some performance books are filled with hard-to-follow equations; this book is the opposite. It is written in a simple, humorous style that can be understood by anyone who is interested in performance testing.
Here’s an example of one of Bob’s folksy quotes: “The less a company knows about the work their system did in the last five minutes, the more deeply screwed up they are.” From this one can get a feel for the author’s humor and “everyman” writing style, which makes the book a fun read in addition to it being very informative and educational.
The Layout of The Every Computer Performance Book
The Every Computer Performance Book contains nine chapter filling 212 pages and covers what Bob calls “the four tools of performance”:
- Performance Monitoring
- Capacity Planning
- Load Testing
It’s a small book that packs a big punch of performance testing goodness. It gives you not only the technical knowledge needed to be successful with performance testing, but the soft skills, as well.
My Favorite Part of The Every Computer Performance Book
My favorite part of the book is the chapter dedicated to Presenting your Results. It contains great advice on how to present the results of your test and the dos and don’ts of explaining the data with integrity, and in a way that will get buy-in from any audience, regardless of whether it’s full of managers, technical staff or executives.
Why You Need to Get this Performance Testing book
The book is full of common sense, need-to-know, actionable advice that I’ve not found in any other performance testing publication. It’s like Bob has done a Vulcanmind meld on the reader, sharing all the vast real world performance secrets he has learned in his twenty-five-year-long career as a performance engineer. The only thing I’m not crazy about is the book’s title and subtitle. I think it should have been called something like, The Everyman’s Performance Testing Manual.
This book wins my automation awesomeness award, and is a must-buy for anyone dealing with performance testing. And the best part? It’s only $8.99. Live long and prosper — just like the timeless advice presented in this book.