Stephen Townshend


Super Saiyan Performance Engineering

A look at misleading information popular in the industry, how to spot it, and the importance of the sceptical mindset for the performance engineer.

In 2020 there is more innovation than ever in the realm of performance engineering. Tool vendors are claiming the incredible, inexperienced performance engineers are doling out misleading advice, and there’s confusion and uncertainty in every direction. Without strong guidance from a mentor, it’s nearly impossible for anyone (especially new engineers) to filter out the bad advice from the good.

In this talk I will challenge some common ideas such as code-less performance testing, monitoring which diagnoses issues for you, as well as forcing performance engineering into an agile or continuous delivery model. We will then analyse the importance of the sceptical mindset for performance engineering, and how to spot a bullsh*t claim or idea.

It’s a challenging time for performance engineering. There’s a delicate balance between keeping an open mind to good ideas to grow an innovate, while not being misled by the wave of misinformation out there. Build an approach grounded in solid analysis and evidence. Otherwise you may as well be performance testing with crystals and essential oils.


About Stephen

Stephen is a performance specialist based in Auckland, New Zealand. He has a passion for getting the basics right, which he explores with his YouTube series “Performance Time”.

Stephen went to drama school and trained as a professional actor. When he graduated he wrote and performed a solo theatre show (inspired by the film “Donnie Darko”) which involved suicide, parallel universes, and an inter-dimensional monster called The Monkey. Literally dozens of people saw it. Stephen no longer acts or writes, but speaks at conferences and workshops instead to satisfy his need to perform (no pun intended).

This is Stephen’s fifth Neotys PAC event.