Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Blitz

The last couple of weeks I’ve been playing with a load testing tool called Blitz. You can create a free account which provides you the ability to ‘rush’ your web application with 250 concurrent users (or less) for 1 minute. And of course, you can increase both the number of concurrent users as well as the duration of the load tests after you specify a credit card number.

The interface is pretty slick, as it provides you with a kind of command line interface.  

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Here I specified to run a load test, increasing the number of concurrent users from 1 to 12 over a period of one minute. The test is going to run from their datacenter in Ireland. You can choose from a couple of places in the US as well.

This command yields the following results.

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Blitz also integrates with web application performance tools like New Relic which enables you to further analyze the results and see what’s going on in your web application.

This is actually the first time ever that I had so much fun doing load tests Winking smile.

Until next time.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Outliers – The Story of Success

A single marble is in the center, while a group of marbles is at the top.

A couple of weeks ago, I digested the audio version of Outliers – The Story of Success, written by Malcolm Gladwell. In this book, the author tells the story of a couple well-known and also lesser-known individuals that are considered to be successful. But what’s particularly interesting about this book, is the analysis the author makes to uncover the exact reason(s) that make these talented people stand out from the masses.

There seem to be several factors at play. Apparently, being talented isn’t enough on its own (duh). Getting opportunities and taking them, hard work (the famous 10.000 hour rule) and perseverance are just a couple of reasons that pop up regularly throughout the book. But more stunningly are reasons like the month of the year that some of the people discussed are born to even the particular year itself. The author claims that this is the very reason why early geeks like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Paul Allen, Bill Joy, etc. … were so successful.  The very year that these guys were born turned out to be a major part of their success.

Interested? Check out this page on Wikipedia that is devoted to this fascinating book. Make sure to pick up a copy. You won’t regret it!

Until next time. 

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

My Developers Life–The Social Media Diet

In the previous blog posts I discussed the importance of getting enough sleep and physical exercise. For this post I want to provide a quick shout out of the social media diet that I’m currently trying out.

My name is Jan and I don’t have a Facebook or a Netlog account of some kind. I do have a Google+ account that I haven’t visited in like four months. I also have a Twitter account that I’ve used quite often in the past. Currently I’m checking my Twitter account no more than two times a day for only a couple of minutes. Quite often I don’t visit it at all. Why? Because I let it all go.

I did not gain as much free time as I initially anticipated. But what I did gain was my ability to focus on stuff that I kept postponing for some time and more efficiency while doing it. Looking back, my brain feels less flooded and I no longer have that nagging urge that I’m missing out on information that is not really that important in the first place.  

Don’t get me wrong here. I’m not entirely condemning social media either. I do get some value out of it, at the very least some entertainment only when I’m open for it. But I just let myself take some benefit from social media in the most superficial way as I possible can without getting too much involved. That way I’m able to pick up or learn something new without feeling like an informationholic.

I no longer have a Twitter client constantly running in the background. I also disabled all other kinds of notifications popping up like e-mail, … etc. And I must say that it works like a charm.

Close your browser or social media client and get out there! Exercise. Read a book. Learn a new programming language. Play with your kids. Listen to some music. Garden. Anything. No one on his dead bed ever said, “I wish I had wasted more time using social media”. Don’t be afraid to miss out on that one tweet or message, because you’re probably already lost track of what’s really important.

Until next time.