Monday, September 17, 2007

Gentleman, Start Your Engines!!!

My most recent column, inspired by a surprise trip to the Brickyard 400, has just been posted on TechTarget in which I discuss the distinction between "delivery" and "done" when it comes to testing the performance of software systems.
Countless hours of development are now in the past. Testing indicates that everything is ready for the big day. The whole team is on hand, and the world is watching. It's the moment of truth; time to find out if all of the hard work is going to pay off. Anticipation builds until the command is given…
"Gentlemen, start your engines!"
The cars come to life. They take a few pace laps and at last, the green flag drops. In fewer than 90 seconds the cars are back on the front stretch approaching speeds of 200 mph -- the pinnacle of stock car performance.
This summer I worked on a project in Indianapolis. Usually when I travel to remote client sites I fly home on the weekends, but there was one weekend that I chose to stay. I chose to stay for two reasons. First, the flights for that weekend were insanely expensive and second, I have some friends in Indianapolis whom I'm always happy to have an excuse to visit. As luck would have it, the flights were expensive because that was the weekend of the Brickyard 400, and one of the friends I wanted to spend time with had a spare ticket, which I shamelessly accepted when he offered.
During the pomp and circumstance leading up to the start of the race I realized what a fabulous example the race was of one of my most-quoted sound bites related to performance testing: "Don't confuse delivery with done."
See the column for the rest of the story.
Scott Barber
Chief Technologist, PerfTestPlus, Inc.

Co-Author, Performance Testing Guidance for Web Applications
Author, Web Load Testing for Dummies
Contributing Author, Beautiful Testing, and How To Reduce the Cost of Testing

"If you can see it in your mind...
     you will find it in your life."

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