Let’s Get Ready to Performance Hack

Goodbye, enterprise. Hello, cloud-native.

Talk about an adjustment. Here I am, sitting in a San Francisco coffee shop, making final preparations for DevOps days—Dynatrace’s very first trade show. Beta testers are waiting to get their hands on our early-access product and my colleagues and I are constantly working to fine-tune details, checking how our ad updates are doing and monitoring the impact of sign-ups. With each milestone comes a new set of challenges. Demand is increasing? Better upgrade our production cluster to accommodate. We need to better track user behavior? Time to integrate a cloud service that’ll get the job done.

It’s a brand-new scene, where many of us are relying on external services to host our applications. Our new endeavor is worlds away from the environment of developing enterprise software I once knew. Gone are the days of twice-a-year releases. “Moving fast and breaking things” as we go is the new normal. At Dynatrace, the cloud isn’t just a platform for running applications; it’s a tool that empowers us to scale our business fast by relying on third-party infrastructure and services.

But efficiency is a funny thing, and we realized pretty quickly that this new environment brought with it some challenges:

  1. Moving fast requires extreme focus, and collaboration can get neglected.
  2. Growing quickly also means failing quickly (and, ideally, recovering equally fast).
  3. Keeping up requires implementing third-party cloud services, which is associated with giving up some control.

Since We’re Problem-Solvers Over Here…

We’ve come up with a way to avoid the efficiency trap (and some disastrous situations) by bridging the gaps between our DevOps culture, agile development and natural growth-hacking tendencies, all while remaining lean. We call it performance hacking.

Performance hacking (noun): Performance hacking transforms laser-focused employees into well-oiled collaboration machines, ultimately catching problems before they spiral into functionality-killers. When teams are performance hacking, they fail and recover faster, optimize continuously and give customers the best possible application experience.

What Happens When You Performance Hack?

  1. Customer experience and business growth take center stage—tasks are prioritized and success is measured with the end user in mind.
  2. Guesswork is replaced by productive employee interactions driven by hard numbers and the overlap of goals and responsibilities.
  3. Breaking things—whether by design or not—helps create a better product fast instead of slowing teams down.

The Humble Minds Behind this Operation

We’re a team of technology professionals who eat, sleep, breathe (and blog) about life in the cloud. We think your brain is too full of killer ideas to invest time on troubleshooting, and we get positively giddy over making sure things run smoothly in the background. Frankly, we’re less awkward behind the scenes, anyway. You just go on and develop the coolest things as fast as you can with minimal disruption.

At Dynatrace, we saw a big problem in the world of performance monitoring. If something went wrong, employees would be stuck scratching their heads, confused about the source of the problem. So we embraced performance hacking to create software we’d want to use; software that takes data and turns it into answers. Now we’re sharing our strategies so you can learn from where we’ve been and where we’re going.

As our slogan says, expect problems and eat them for breakfast.

We’ve made a lot of headway by performance hacking, and we’re learning more every day. We’re excited to blog about our experiences, share advice and deliver nifty behind-the-scenes stuff.

What Can I Expect to See Here?

Lots of things. Let’s break it down:

  1. For cloud-native companies, innovation never stops. So how do you retain customers when continuous deployment is a way of life? We’re eager to share our experiences and takeaways so you can stand up tall when you fall and keep your reputation (and everyone’s sanity) in tact.
  2. You need actionable analysis and answers, not more data — and you need it fast. Get ready for insights that get to the core of what matters to help drive growth and give you more control.
  3. In this new environment, survival depends on communicating and collaborating. We’re eager to share our best tips for benchmarking performance, optimizing workflow, and—just to show you we’re not all talk—the occasional Q&A with employees who are great at “performance hacking”.

We can’t wait to share our insights from this adventure. If you’ve got a topic you want us to cover, a story to share, or just have something to say about performance hacking, we’re all ears. Leave a comment below or send us a tweet.

Let’s get ready to performance hack together.

Alois is Chief Technology Strategist of Dynatrace. He is fanatic about monitoring, DevOps and application performance. He spent most of his professional career in building monitoring tools and speeding up applications. He is a regular conference speaker, blogger, book author and Sushi maniac.