About Eric Goldsmith

Eric Goldsmith, Operations Architect at AOL, has more than 20 years of experience providing technical leadership in the areas of product development, engineering and operations. At AOL he has led efforts to deliver the highest levels of performance and availability for top Web sites, including: AOL.com; AIM.com; and AOL Video; among others.

His areas of expertise include Performance Analysis, Capacity Planning, Network Engineering, and Software Development. Prior to AOL, Eric worked for companies such as UUNet, WorldCom and CompuServe, as well as telecom and Internet startups. He holds a BS in Computer Science from The Ohio State University.

What Makes a Good Performance Engineer?

Ran across a blog post from Jesse Robbins, and this quote really struck me:

Web Performance & Operations is an emerging discipline which requires incredible breadth, focusing less on specific technologies and more on how the entire system works together. While people often specialize on particular components, great engineers always think of that component in relation to the whole. The best engineers are able to fly to the 50,000 foot view and see the entire system in motion and then zoom in to microscopic levels and examine the tiny movements of an individual part.

Spot on.

More goodness in the rest of his post.

Velocity Conference 2009


Velocity, the Web Performance and Operations Conference 2009

Last year’s Velocity Conference was fantastic! More than 600 folks attended, from all corners of the Web Performance and Operations community. It was the epicenter of knowledge for making things faster and more reliable on the Web.

This year’s conference program looks even better. I’ll be attending and presenting again this year. If you’re a performance or operations geek, and looking for like-minded individuals, you need to be there.

Pssst. Use this top-secret code during registration to receive a 15% discount: vel09cmb. But you didn’t get it from me. 😉

Apdex – An In Depth Analysis

I first learned of Apdex at CMG 2006 and led a pilot project within my company to understand how we might use it. I presented my experience at CMG 2007. At that conference, I ran into an acquaintance, Neil Gunther, who had begun working with Apdex and alternate visualization techniques.

Neil has now published one of the most comprehensive discussions I’ve seen on Apdex: The Apdex Index Revealed.

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Quantifying The Impact Of Poor Performance

Your Web site experienced an outage or degradation of some kind – an installation gone wrong, a server crash, a network problem, etc. How do you quantify the impact of that event?

Wouldn’t it be great to be able to assign a dollar value to an outage? That can go a long way to help build a business case for more servers, new switches, better QA procedures, etc. to reduce the likelihood of future outages.

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