John’s keynote was a very brief summary of his work towards a thesis in Human Factors Engineering.
We often focus on analysing failures to find out what has gone wrong. John’s point was that we need to focus on success as well in order to find out why something has not gone wrong. No matter how much we automate, humans will always be the lynchpin of success or failure in deployment; if we analyse what comes together to make successful human behaviour then we can improve success rate at the individual level.
John suggests that in order to increase efficiency, especially in times of crisis, we also need to find out what engineers do in the event of failure - what are the rules of thumb that are followed? Once we know that, we can analyse and improve our processes.
This talk was a refreshing change from the technical focus of the conference, instead proposing that as humans are the critical factors in all that we do, so we must focus there first.
The highest rated talk of Velocity. I saw Bruce give this talk at Velocity Santa Clara earlier this year and it has got even better.
Andy runs PerfOps and marksandspencer.com - a large UK retailer that does 20% of its business online. In this talk he described how Velocity Europe 2014 inspired him to refactor performance operations at M&S.
Andy gave a practical run-down of the tools and metrics that M&S use to track performance with a number of examples to illustrate his points.
A key turning point for the business was when SpeedCurve showed a huge increase in third-party calls on the M&S homepage. This led Andy to investigate what had happened using my requestmap and discovered that a third-party service had started calling more third-party domains. This discovery led to a piece of analysis showing that third-parties were responsible for 50% of the load time on the homepage.