Participating in the NAASE online conference on August 13, 2020

July 22, 2020 Comments Off on Participating in the NAASE online conference on August 13, 2020

I recently posted about the newly-introduced North American Association of Sales Engineers. Meaningful professional education is one of the chief value propositions for this organization, and I’m honored to have been invited to participate in an online conference on August 13 at noon Eastern Daylight Time.

During this call – which should run between 45 and 60 minutes – we’ll be discussing some of the most helpful – and damaging – personality traits that a sales engineer can possess. The aim of the talk will be to help you identify which of these behaviors you might be displaying, and how to continually improve your skillset and thus become more successful in your career.

After we go through these topics, we’ll open it up for discussion – including hearing from the attendees about how COVID-19 has impacted their daily work lives.

I hope you can join us – it should be a very informative event!

Introducing the North American Association of Sales Engineers

July 21, 2020 Comments Off on Introducing the North American Association of Sales Engineers

Longtime readers of this blog know that I’m frequently writing about my experience as an individual sales engineer as well as an executive with that specialization.

Recently I learned about the creation of a brand-new group known as the North American Association of Sales Engineers. I think the idea is brilliant, and I particularly like the founders’ (Ken Lambert and Matt Mahoney) focus on the sales engineering job function regardless of the industry.

If you’re an existing or an aspiring sales engineer, I heartily recommend checking out this organization, including its certification program.

Free event: Seven Common API Load Testing

April 8, 2020 Comments Off on Free event: Seven Common API Load Testing

I’ll be part of a lineup of virtual speakers at the upcoming SmartBear Connect 2020 event. I will be speaking about some of the most common API load testing mistakes that I’ve seen over the past 15 years. Here’s what I’ll be covering:

Just about everyone understands why it’s so important to run functional tests for APIs and microservices. However, a surprisingly large percentage of organizations shortchange the equally important task of placing these resources under realistic loads to determine what kind of performance they can expect in production.

In this informative session, Robert Schneider from WiseClouds will describe seven of the most frequent mistakes when running these vital tests. These include:

1. Not performance testing a full business process
2. Using hard-coded data to drive tests
3. Neglecting to calibrate the virtual users
4. Concentrating load generation from a single location
5. Not factoring in external API calls
6. Trying to simulate GUI security interactions via API
7. Failing to explore multiple load generation scenarios

You can learn more here. I hope to see you at this free virtual event soon!

SmartBear Connect 2020 will be online!

March 21, 2020 Comments Off on SmartBear Connect 2020 will be online!

I had the opportunity to meet a number of blog readers during the most recent SmartBear Connect. Many others who were unable to attend the event in person have reached out to me to request access to the advanced ReadyAPI and SoapUI training I provided that day.

If you’re interested in these topics, you should know that SmartBear has just announced that SmartBear Connect 2020 will be delivered virtually (in no small part thanks to the current COVID-19 lockdown). It’ll be taking place on April 27-28, 2020.

SB_connect_2020

I’ll be making a presentation (details to follow soon) during that event. You can learn more here.

 

Free open passes for upcoming API World in San Jose

September 16, 2019 Comments Off on Free open passes for upcoming API World in San Jose

I’ll be speaking at API World (October 8-10, San Jose Convention Center) and it would be great if you could join me at the event. Click here to register for your free open pass (available for the first 25 visitors so don’t delay), which gives you access to:

  • Main Stage Keynotes
  • OPEN Talks
  • API World Expo

See you there!

 

Speaking about best practices for testing Microservices at API World in October

September 10, 2019 Comments Off on Speaking about best practices for testing Microservices at API World in October

apiworld

If you’re going to be in the Bay Area in October, I invite you to join me at API World in San Jose. I’ll be giving a talk about applying hard-earned best practices from SOA and Web services to the exciting new world of microservices.

Here’s the abstract of what I’ll be presenting:

Microservices represent the next logical step in the evolution of distributed computing, rather than a complete break with the past. When implementing this type of fresh approach, it can be tempting to come up with an entirely new set of procedures for carrying out important tasks. While this is certainly helpful when these responsibilities haven‚ been encountered before, it‚ wise to avoid reinventing the wheel whenever possible.Fortunately, carrying out the vital job of ensuring that your microservices are highly reliable and performant can profit from well-established best practices and patterns for testing mission-critical distributed software assets. These have been utilized for more than 10 years, and have helped make the API era possible. All of these proven techniques can be invaluable to microservices designers, developers, and testers.In this thought-provoking event, we cover a number of practical, easily-applied guidelines that will serve you well as you develop and expand your microservices portfolio. These will include:

  • Using automation to assist in attaining 100% code testing coverage
  • Going beyond traditional unit testing to incorporate anticipated composition and orchestration into your quality assurance process
  • Employing statistically significant quantities of meaningful data to fuel your tests
  • Subjecting your microservices to realistic load volumes and geographically distributed consumers-
  • Organizing and evolving your microservices testing inventory via effective governance.

You can learn more here.

 

Excellent article on website visitor manipulation and psychology

August 2, 2019 Comments Off on Excellent article on website visitor manipulation and psychology

When you’re shopping for a hotel online, did you ever wonder if messages like ‘2 rooms left for these dates – reserve now!‘ or ‘712 people booked this hotel in the last 24 hours‘ are real? In fact, they’re often complete fabrications, but by injecting a sense of urgency into the transaction, they work (which is why they’re there in the first place). Once you know what to look for, you’ll find them all over the Web.

If you’d like to learn more about these fascinating techniques – and how to resist them – check out the superb article by Sidney Fussell in The Atlantic. In the past hour, 296 visitors to this blog have already read it!

persuasion

 

 

Are you using distributed load testing for your APIs?

April 30, 2019 Comments Off on Are you using distributed load testing for your APIs?

I’m seeing more and more organizations using distributed load generation in an attempt to simulate real-world usage patterns for their APIs. I’ll soon be polling my readers to see what they’re doing, so stay tuned if you’d like to participate.

 

 

Free REST API Security guide

March 31, 2019 Comments Off on Free REST API Security guide

If you’ve worked with both major varieties of API (Web services & REST) for any length of time, you’ll know that the approach to security varies widely between them. In the Web services world, there are numerous standards bodies and security guidelines, such as:

These are just a few examples of what’s out there.

Thanks to all of this ancillary work, a common (mis)perception has sprung up that Web services are more secure than REST APIs. While there’s a kernel of truth to this assumption, REST APIs now benefit from their own set of security standards and best practices. To give you a better idea of what these are, check out this helpful eBook on Dzone, written by Guy Levin, CTO of RestCase.

REST API security

Bad Sales Engineer Behavior #7: Unreliability

February 28, 2019 Comments Off on Bad Sales Engineer Behavior #7: Unreliability

At last, we’ve arrived at the final entry on the list of seven Sales Engineer (SE) behaviors that will cripple your career: unreliability. By definition, lots of things can go wrong in sales opportunities. As an SE, one of your key responsibilities is to do your part to bring a degree of predictability to what is frequently a chaotic process. The best way you can go about this is to simply show up and do your job to the best of your abilities. But in the years that I’ve been doing this, I’ve seen quite a few undesirable traits that I’ll lump into the ‘unreliability’ category. Here are just a few examples:

  • Arriving late – or not at all – for sales calls & meetings.  Want to raise your sales rep’s blood pressure? Here’s an easy way – just show up later than anticipated for a sales call. Even better: don’t even bother coming, and certainly don’t call or email to alert them and explain why.
  • Being unprepared for demos. When carrying out a technical demonstration, ‘winging it’ is a sure recipe for failure. After all, there are so many moving parts and potential points of failure, such as buggy technology, version mismatches, ignoring customer requirements, and so on.
  • Not following through with technical responses. It’s a rare technical meeting that doesn’t end up with some research for the SE to go carry out. But in many cases, the SE gets caught up in other activities and never gets around to answering the questions. This is understandable, given that SEs confront lots of other responsibilities. Additionally, “out of sight, out of mind” can be a factor here. Don’t forget, however, that the customer doesn’t share your workload, and may be eagerly awaiting your answers.

If any of these deficiencies hit too close to home, it’s easy to correct them: just focus on improving your follow-through, and people will soon forget your old, unreliable ways. You’ll also probably find work more enjoyable too, since you’ve eliminated a major stressor.

 

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