Continuous delivery while minimizing performance risks

Operations and Culture
Location: Hilton 1-6 Level: Intermediate

Developers are releasing working code at a high frequency, operations are implementing changes quickly, managers are happy and users flock at the website. But then there is a major outage, your site makes it to the international press and only after several days of hard work are things back to normal. This might sound like a nightmare scenario but it does happen, so how do we minimize chances of this?

The traditional approach would be to run performance tests on everything, but this is a big constraint for developers and can seriously decrease the frequency of deployments, all while the added value can be questionable. On the other hand, not doing anything can be hard to sell to the boss when stakes are high.

In this session, Adriaan will share his experience on getting changes into production quickly, while minimizing the risk of negative performance impact. This involves:

  • Having the correct type of monitoring, both front-end (e.g. RUM vs synthetic) and beyond,
  • Making sure that requirements are clear and written from the main stakeholder’s perspective,
  • Helping developers be aware of risks but prevent premature optimizations,
  • Training everyone in solving problems fast,
  • Deciding what is really necessary and what is testing overkill,
  • For scrum teams, getting performance into the definition of done.

Attendees will learn what some large companies are doing to prevent production problems while not taking months to push (sometimes trivial) changes into production. In particular, engineers will get ideas on how they can take control of certain aspects and push for changes, so they can hopefully sleep better.

Photo of Adriaan Thomas

Adriaan Thomas


With well over ten years of professional experience and being a life-long nerd, Adriaan has spent the most recent years of his career as a consultant that enters high-stress situations to fix performance problems on some of the busiest websites in the Netherlands.

When there are no more problems left for him to fix, he advises companies on how to avoid production problems, by looking at the total software delivery process. Customers include big banks, major online retailers and one of the largest employment agencies in the world.

Adriaan is married, has two children and enjoys jogging and reading books in his spare time.


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