The Performance Beacon

The web performance, analytics, and optimization blog

A Tribute to the Unsung Heroes




The Super Bowl is behind us and the sports talk shows will now focus their attention on the few elite plays and players that made the difference. Our culture is passionate about recognizing the sensational and guilty of ignoring the foundational. To the uneducated, the Super Bowl was a competition between two quarterbacks but the truth is the battle was primarily fought in the trenches between offensive and defensive lines. For the most part, the offensive lines on both sides performed incredibly well on Sunday but they will largely go unnoticed–these are the unsung heroes.

I look at events like the Super Bowl, Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Olympics very differently now. I manage a product that allows customers to test their websites before big events to make sure they can handle the volume of users that will flood their site. Our managed service (CloudTest On Demand) shows us the inner operations of our customers’ sites as they prepare for large traffic events. This insight results in intensely personal relationships and a vested interest in the customers’ success especially when it is clear what is at stake for them.

Our part of the process typically ends the week before the event, but on the day of the event, the clock starts ticking in my head. I start to think about all the customers that trusted us with their sites. If performance testing was simply a matter of pass / fail there wouldn’t be associated anxiety. The truth is the variables our teams deal with are anything but simple. So, I spend the event constantly wondering how variables are affecting the load on a customer’s site.

The unsung heroes in the performance testing world are the performance engineers and architects. The hours that go into making sure a website can handle the levels of traffic expected is incredible. When it works as planned nobody pays attention, but when it doesn’t it’s all over the news.

I would like to acknowledge my unsung heroes: the engineers that built and continually improve CloudTest and the performance engineers and architects that make it dance. You are the class of this industry. Thank you for the countless hours of effort you give to our customers.

Enough of the lime lite, get back to work the Olympics are coming!


Karl Stewart

About the Author

Karl Stewart


Karl is a 25 year product executive with stints at Oracle, Palm, Verizon Wireless, Qualcomm and numerous startups as a product consultant.