Building Your Digital Future – Conference Highlights from PERFORM 2015

Intel, Panera Bread, American Express, Verizon … just a small selection of the companies that we will share their stories at our annual Dynatrace Global User Conference – Perform 2015. Looking at the agenda it’s clear we will hear a lot about how these and other companies transformed or are about to transform the way their IT helps supporting their business. It’s about focusing on what really matters, what is really demanded by the consumer and delivering that with better quality and faster than ever before to avoid being out-performed by an ever growing competitive landscape.

It’s clear that we will hear the words DevOps, Continuous Delivery, Automated Scaling, Virtualization and other terms a lot this week. Our goal for this blog is to provide the highlight that we – Performance Practitioners & Advocates at Dynatrace – think matter to more than just the people that actually got a ticket to this conference. I (Andreas Grabner) am personally very much looking forward to the team of who is going to broadcast LIVE from PERFORM this week. What better place to do a podcast on application performance as a conference that is all about that topic 🙂

Tuesday, Oct 13th: Hands-On Training Day

Well. You probably missed out on several good hands-on-training sessions. Not only on how to better leverage the Dynatrace Tool-suite but also a lot of general training sessions on applying performance best practices across the development lifecycle. For Dynatrace customers/partners that couldn’t make it I suggest you keep an eye on APM University (where I am sure some of this content will end up) as well as our Dynatrace Community, our Dynatrace Answers Platform and our Online Performance Clinic YouTube Channel.

Wednesday, Oct 14th

Keynotes: Dynatrace

Our CEO, John VanSiclen, kicks it off in front of 900 attendees from 45 countries. Its going to be 41 external speakers that we will be listening to in the next 3 days. John is kicking it off with comparing our the current Digital Transformation to the Industrial Revolution. Some stats:

  • 77 % of companies things they are missing digital skills
  • 87% companies thinks digital transformation is a competitive opportunity
  • Your Apps are your Brand -> they are how people see your business

This new world requires APM to transform as well. APM transforms to Digital Performance Management. Digital Performance Management is about User Experience and Behavior based on the Customer Experience Index (I guess you can read more about this from the blog from Klaus and watch his Keynote at Velocity).

Impressive story from natura – having 2mio consultants world wide selling their beauty products using Dynatrace to monitor user experience and behavior and pro-actively deal with issues they see going on live on their system.

John also introducing The Digital Experience Center – the NOC Dashboard for Business all based on real end user data. For those that are on-site at the conference check it out live in the hallway – quite impressive alignment of monitors showing important and key business metrics.

Good introduction of the new Unified Dynatrace Platform focusing on the end user based on Dynatrace and Dynatrace technology. Impressive fact: ruxit grew 5 times faster in the first business year than the main APM competitor did in their first year!

My final highlight from John’s presentation: Dynatrace Personal Edition – Free For Life! Register for the 30 days which will automatically convert to a Personal Edition after the period is over!! YES!!

Keynotes: Panera 2.0: Improving the Desire to Friction Ratio

Michael Wojcik, VP of Enterprise Technology Services from Panera: Its about getting rid of the friction points along the way from their consumers getting to the store until they can enjoy the food. In order to improve that user experience they researched on why people are currently leaving the store before buying or having a too long wait time for their food. Over the last years they to made major steps towards a vision of friction less customer experience providing online ordering and rapid-pickup, in store iPad kiosks to optimize order lines in the store and now introduced support for Apple Pay and the Apple Watch!

Lessons learned:

  1. It Takes Focused, Unbound People: Small, High Performance Teams, EVERYONE owned the whole – all in the same room
  2. There’s More Than One Way to Innovate: Efficiency, Sustaining, Market-creating
  3. Don’t Boil The Ocean: MVP (Minimally Viable Product), Iterate, Perfection is enemy/Versioning was a friend
  4. Innovation is a Journey
  5. Expect the Unbelievers: Customers, Investors, Leadership, Associates

How they monitor Customer Experience: 12 Key Business Services: Categories, Products, Product Combo, Messages, Product Schedule, …

Panera 2.0 pays off: 2mm App Downloads. 9% orders come in online, 45.000 online orders per day

Great Quote: “We are in the restaurant industry – never before have we invested that much in technology – AND IT PAYS OFF!”

Keynotes: R “Ray” Wang – Disrupting Digital Business

Raising the energy level here when Ray (@rwang0) enters the stage and starts with an interesting fact: 52% of the Fortune 500 firms since 2000 are gone

I think you need to grab a video from one of his presentations. It is hard to transform his energy level and great stories on how business models transformed over the years into this blog – I wouldnt be able to do him justice 🙂 -> so – go to his website and check out the content their or check out his interviews on YouTube! Don’t miss him! Let him inspire you!

Great quote to remember: “Don’t be caught in the disruption!”

Session: Building a metrics-optimized pipeline

I (@grabnerandi) have done this session with Andrew Phillips from XebiaLabs. We talked about the necessity to capture metrics along your pipeline, in an automated way to make decisions on whether your builds have the right quality before pushing them too fast to the next delivery stage. We showed integration options between XLRelease and Dynatrace AppMon to automate the pipeline but also automate quality control. Andrew wrote a summary blog which I encourage you to read in case you want to learn more: Integrating Metrics Into Your Software Delivery Process

My key takeaways:

  • Your goal must not be to delivery as frequent as “The Unicorns”
  • Don’t blindly automate your pipeline
  • Two fundamental components: Speed + Quality

Keynote: Hard trends driving digital transformation

Daniel Burrus, Technology futurist and author of Flash Foresight – trying to get us excited about our own future. Just as withi R”Ray” Wang in the morning – hard to capture all of his message in a blog. I guess there are his books you can buy to read up on 🙂 -> check his website.

Key Points:

  • Future is all about relationships: and relationships are built on trust
  • Two types of trends: soft & hard

Well – as I said before. Lots of very interesting information on how to watch out for these hard and soft trends. Opening you open for new business ideas, but also allows you to move into the right direction when it comes to your existing business. Get all the details from his presentations or I guess from his books!

Thursday, Oct 15th:

Session: Breathing rarified air: Migrate to the Cloud with Dynatrace

The session was set up as a panel of industry cloud experts from companies such as Avocado Consulting, B2W, BarbriCenturyLink and Stilnest, who discussed chances and challenges when migrating to, as well as testing and running their applications in the cloud.

Here, I am presenting 3 key takeaways from this session for you to keep in mind:

  1. Have a military precise plan
  2. Make sure you can do rollbacks
  3. Shoot for success, not perfection!

Author: Martin Etmajer, Technology Strategist, Twitter: @metmajer

Session: Best Practices for building High-Performance Microservice Web Environments with NGINX

Sarah Novotny, Head of Developer Relations at NGINX, presented fundamental, yet tremendously important aspects to keep in mind when moving from your monolithic to a microservice architecture. Here are my key takeaways:

  1. Understand which pieces in your monolith are the hotspots and then decide which of them you want to carve out as independent services.
  2. Set out a small group of people to peel out a service and define the service’s contract, i.e., the interface through which the service communicates with the environment.
  3. Make your services as small as a business objective and have services owned by dedicated teams.
  4. Apply cloud-native application best practices, such as “The Twelve-Factor App“, and adhere to open standards for your APIs, usually REST.
  5. Test for failure! Literally pull the plug by using the Netflix Simian Army to harden your microservices-based application by improving fault-tolerance and availability.

Author: Martin Etmajer, Technology Strategist, Twitter: @metmajer

Session: The 80/20 Rule: Top Problem Patterns of 2015!

This was my session (@grabnerandi) where I walked through the most common performance, architectural and scalabilty problems I found in the last year when looking at hundreds of “Share Your PurePath” sessions that performance geeks sent me. I’ve done this type of session several times in the past years – always trying to show new patterns. You can find all of my previous presentations on my My key points that I hoped people got from my presentations were:

  • You don’t have to be a performance expert to find the top problem patterns
  • Make F12 your friend if you are doing frontend performance analysis
  • Explore tools such as Dynatrace Free Trial or other tracing & diagnostics tools to find the “low hanging fruit” issues, e.g.: excessive database access, CPU/Sync hotspots, memory leaks …

Author: Andreas, Grabner, Performance Advocate, Twitter: @grabnerandi

Andreas Grabner has 20+ years of experience as a software developer, tester and architect and is an advocate for high-performing cloud scale applications. He is a regular contributor to the DevOps community, a frequent speaker at technology conferences and regularly publishes articles on You can follow him on Twitter: @grabnerandi