What is Performance Exploration

[00:00:02] Mark Tomlinson: Hey, everyone, hi, it's Mark Tomlinson welcoming you to Advanced Performance Exploration, which is very interesting to me as a topic, because I do a lot of intro classes and I teach a lot of people the basics of thinking and conceptual understanding. And there's two things that I hear a lot of people ask to learn more about is, [00:00:21][19.2]

[00:00:21] Mark Tomlinson: One, how do you actually go about when something is slow? We talk about tools like profiling tools and Dynatrace. How do I actually get my hands dirty, digging in and finding problems and fixing problems and things like that? So the actual exploration, the act of exploring a system to figure out what the root cause of the problem is, that's exploration. And of course, exploratory testing or general software testing in an exploratory fashion is a very popular thing. So why can't we apply that to performance? [00:00:56][34.7]

[00:00:57] Mark Tomlinson: I actually did another version of this. It's not as hands-on back at the casts many years ago, but was very conceptual and it was all just torturing you with PowerPoint. So why would I want to do that again? So welcome to Performance Exploration, Advanced Performance Exploration and hopefully you'll enjoy this mix of some whiteboard videos. So I have those set up over here. Plus we'll go through some screenshots and hands-on things about digging around different systems. I have a couple of VMs and I have some stuff from my work that I can show you. [00:01:29][32.4]

[00:01:30] Mark Tomlinson: But generally, the introduction to performance exploration is, you know, any good basics of the question should be what is performance exploration? And to be honest, the answer is it's the act of finding a bottleneck. Right. Finding a performance bottleneck. And by saying finding a performance bottleneck, I actually mean and by saying finding a performance bottleneck, I actually mean the thing that is causing the slowdown, at least in that first stage of your exploration, you may find the first thing that slow is the connection from your mobile device to the Web server. And then once you fix that, you would actually figure out what's wrong with the Web server under load and then you would progressively move forward. Some people call it peeling away the layers of the onion. Some people call it chasing your tail around the system, which is very fun. So in that nature, it's very iterative. So when I say exploring performance, keep in mind that the act that we're going to talk about today is looking, finding, fixing, then looking again and repeating the process until you're sure that you can handle performance from end-to-end. So it's also very iterative, which most exploration, the active exploration is that you know, you take one step and you learn what you learn and then you cultivate the next step in the next step, in the next step as the context changes. [00:02:56][85.6]

[00:02:57] Mark Tomlinson: So for you to be prepared for today's session, one, you need to be curious. Right. And you also need to have be motivated by dissatisfaction, which means the system could never be fast enough or you're a little bit skeptical about well, you know, I know that's a pretty good fix, but I think we can get it to go faster, I think we can scale to handle more load or handle more users. [00:03:20][22.1]

[00:03:21] Mark Tomlinson: So you want to be curious and you want to be a skeptic or slightly dissatisfied with however fast the system is going. The other thing that I really encourage you to do, and I'll do some hands-on and different tools and I'll move pretty quickly in the video is for you to be leveraging resource monitoring tools. And by resources, I mean, in the next section, we'll talk all about what the different kinds of resources that you need to explore. [00:03:44][22.9]

[00:03:44] Mark Tomlinson: So if you're, if you were going to go into the jungle, you need to know how to identify with different tools, what kinds of plants, what kinds of insects, what kinds of animals, and what other kinds of natural resources there are in your exploration. So as you're exploring, we want to talk about resources. You will need access to do this properly to some of the resource monitoring tools. [00:04:06][21.5]

[00:04:07] Mark Tomlinson: The other thing I'll say is that it actually demands that you be both creative and analytical at the same time. So you need to be able to think about the system architecture and we'll talk a lot and will visualize a lot of that. In fact, I'll go to the board right now and kind of go over some of the whys and whens of exploration. [00:04:26][18.8]

[00:04:27] Mark Tomlinson: But think about being creative. So you're using, let's say, one part of your cognitive capabilities and then analytical thinking, which is the other part of your cognitive capabilities, which is sort of the fascinating thing about being a performance person. [00:04:27][0.0]


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