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!

Helpful article on journalist protection is relevant for us all

November 10, 2016 Comments Off on Helpful article on journalist protection is relevant for us all

In the aftermath of this week’s US election, it’s worthwhile to – once again – revisit techniques to protect private information from those that have no business seeing it. Here’s a link to a very useful article from The Atlantic that might give you some ideas about how to safeguard your data. If you’re curious about other security and privacy topics that I’ve written about, here’s a shortcut to them.

Winning sales engineer trait #6: Diplomatic

July 27, 2012 § 1 Comment

“No one ever won an argument with a customer” is a time-tested adage that is doubly true when interacting with a prospective client. In this next installment of 7 Habits of the Most Effective Sales Engineers, I depict why diplomacy is such an essential talent for the sales engineer.

To begin, it’s vital to remember that the solution that’s being pitched during the technical sales cycle will typically require alterations to the way the prospect conducts business. In some cases, the proposed new technology will displace existing solutions – often developed, supported, or sponsored by the prospect’s employees. And let’s face it: new solutions really can cost them their jobs. For example, an insurance company doesn’t need a whole team of programmers to build and maintain an internally developed ERP package when they can acquire and support a best-of-breed product for a fraction of the cost.

For these reasons – and many others – it’s very common for the prospect’s technical staff to feel threatened by new products, and to find innovative ways to monkey wrench a sales cycle. These can range from passive aggressive techniques all the way up to belligerent confrontations. Every SE faces these types of situations but only the most diplomatic SEs can gracefully cope with these intimidating circumstances with dignity and poise.

Here are some simple recommendations about how you can incorporate the fine art of diplomacy in your technical sales cycles:

  1. First and foremost: you should always maintain professionalism, even when being berated by a socially maladjusted engineer during a sales call.
  1. Maintain credibility by having a solid and relevant technical background without feeling the need to throw your PhD in engineering from MIT in your prospect’s face.
  1. Demonstrate extensive product knowledge without denigrating your competition.
  1. Don’t be too sales-y: that’s the sales rep’s job. And it’s the rep’s job to alert the prospect’s management if their technical staff are acting in bad faith to disrupt a legitimate sales cycle.
  1. Communicate clearly and concisely, both verbally and in writing: stick to the point, back it up with facts, and avoid hyperbole.
  1. When you have proof that someone from the prospect is wrong on a technical matter, point it out gently: there’s no need to celebrate your victory.
  1. Finally – although passion about the job is a good thing, don’t get too emotionally involved in the sale. Win or lose, you’ll be on to the next deal soon.

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