The Every Computer Performance Book

James White (LinkedIn) – James has over 10 years of experience in developing and maintaining Java Architectures. As part of prior roles James has experience managing both on and off shore teams. He’s also recently been certified as an Accenture Certified Technical Architect. Prior to Accenture, James worked as a senior developer for Delta Dental where he was the primary developer for the company’s most critical application which processed billions of dollars worth of dental claims annually. James has also worked as part of the performance testing team and has experience in developing test scripts for load and stress testing.


The Every Computer Performance Book breaks down many of the primary aspects of Performance Engineering and breaks them down to their simplest forms.  Concepts such as Little’s Law, Queuing Theory, etc. are broken down for the mathematically averse to grade school math.  For readers who enjoy learning the complexity behind these theories there are plenty of Performance Engineering books that cover that information in depth.  However, this book is designed to give Performance Practitioners a good running start at how to assess the performance of a given application or system.  This book is applicable for the performance engineering novice looking to quickly get up to speed to the veteran practitioner looking for a pearl of wisdom.

The book starts out explaining why you should even read it, and then quickly gets in to the meat of what you need to know, from the right tools for the job to the formulas you need to know.  After you get the basics, the book goes into the best ways (or at least the ways that have worked for him) to monitor performance, develop a capacity plan, perform load testing, modeling, and ultimately present your results to the client/boss.  Wescott explains these concepts in way that factors out specific software tools.  In fact, the most advanced software tool you’ll need for much of this book is an Excel Spreadsheet and an understanding of how to write basic formulas in it.

While the book provides you with a good starting point and some good how-to information, if you are looking for theory or deep explanation of how to apply those theories in just about any situation, this book is not for you.  For that I would suggest other books such as The Art of Computer Systems Performance Analysis by Raj Jain or You Can’t Spell Firefighter Without IT by Keith Smith and Bob Wescott.  These books provide more theory and deeper analysis of the more mathematical aspects of Performance Engineering.  However, if you are looking for a quick read and need to understand and apply the basics quickly, then this book is for you.  At a little over 200 pages you could reads this book in the time of a decent length flight.  If you are fairly new to Performance Engineering, I would suggest even starting with this book and work your way up to some of the more theoretical books

Bob’s practical, no nonsense style of writing works very well for someone whose looking to learn what they need to know to get the job done.   This is evident in “Bob’s Performance Rules”, Bob Wescott’s own pearls of wisdom he has acquired in the 30 plus years of performance engineering practice and teaching he has done. The topics in the book include:

  • Right Tool For the Job
  • Useful Laws & Things I’ve Found to be True
  • Performance Monitoring
  • Capacity Planning
  • Load Testing
  • Modelling
  • Presenting Your Results
  • Bobs Performance Rules

Overall, I enjoyed this book and certainly felt like I learned some things reading it.  While you won’t get much depth on Little’s Law, Utilization Law, etc., you will get a good basis how you can apply these theories to your next project, and “Bob’s Performance Rules” are a must read for any experience level.


James White (LinkedIn) – James has over 10 years of experience in developing and maintaining Java Architectures. As part of prior roles James has experience managing both on and off shore teams. He’s also recently been certified as an Accenture Certified Technical Architect. Prior to Accenture, James worked as a senior developer for Delta Dental where he was the primary developer for the company’s most critical application which processed billions of dollars worth of dental claims annually. James has also worked as part of the performance testing team and has experience in developing test scripts for load and stress testing.

Every Computer Performance Book

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