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“Faster: How to Optimize a System”

Faster: How to Optimize a System is the latest book by Cary Millsap with Jeff Holt. It’s a book for anybody who yearns to understand why systems in this world perform the way they do, and what you can do to improve them.

“I can’t believe I was in my forties the first time I saw how to optimize a system the way Cary and Jeff do it. Now, it doesn’t even make sense to me that anyone would try it any other way.”

Richard Russell, former 7-Eleven enterprise architect

Faster is available today.

Contents

  1. Look at It
    1. Bob
    2. Phyllis
    3. The Real Goal
    4. Nancy
    5. Looking at the Right It
    6. When you Can’t Look at It
  2. Method
    1. Forty-Nine Grievances
    2. The Shipping Labels Problem
    3. More Grievances
    4. Priority
    5. But My Whole System Is Slow
    6. Collateral Benefit
    7. The Silver Bullet
    8. The List
    9. Method R
  3. Profiling
    1. Payroll
    2. The Sequence Diagram
    3. The Gantt Chart
    4. Tracing
    5. The Profile
    6. Creating a Profile
  4. Measuring Performance
    1. Performance Is a Feature
    2. The Reproducible Test Case
    3. Intermittent Problems
    4. How Much to Trace
    5. Identifying Experiences
    6. Measurement Intrusion
  5. Optimizing
    1. A Riddle
    2. A Game
    3. Event Count
    4. Event Duration
    5. Filter Early
    6. Look Left
    7. Tow–Millsap Law
    8. The Bottleneck
    9. Beware the “System Bottleneck”
    10. The Problem with Optimizing Subsystems
    11. Every Problem Is a Skew Problem
    12. Critical Path
  6. Delays
    1. Kevin
    2. Queueing Delay
    3. Queueing Theory
    4. The Hyperbola
    5. Traffic Intensity
    6. Utilization
    7. Hyperbolic Leverage
    8. Coherency Delay
    9. The Impact of Delays on Throughput
  7. Waste
    1. Debra
    2. The Ramp
    3. Martha
    4. Efficiency
    5. Fix It, or Feed It?
    6. Yeti
    7. Fast vs. Efficient
    8. Scalability
  8. Problem Solving
    1. Four Simple Questions
    2. Reaching the End of Your Data
    3. Your C-Level Feedback Loop
    4. Collateral Damage
    5. Too Much of a Good Thing
    6. Doug
    7. When Are You Done?
  9. Predicting
    1. Richard
    2. Why Predict?
    3. Predicting with Profiles
    4. Go/No-Go Predictions
    5. Linear Behavior
    6. Skew
    7. Event Interdependencies
    8. Nonlinear Behavior
  10. Latency Hiding
    1. Mom
    2. Dominic
    3. Parallelization
    4. How to Melt a System
    5. Multitasking
    6. Human Multitasking
  11. Fallacies
    1. The Evil Genie
    2. The Leather Jacket
    3. The Buried Outlier
    4. Be Careful What You Wish For
    5. Percentile Specifications
    6. The Hit Rate Problem
    7. The MPG Problem
    8. The Ratio Trick
    9. Even Throughput and Response Time?
    10. Are Ratios Useless?
    11. When Ratios Are Reliable
    12. Describing Performance Improvements
    13. The “n Times Faster” Myth
  12. Testing
    1. Why Test?
    2. Risk
    3. Destructive Testing
    4. Testing Is Not a Phase
    5. Automated Testing
    6. Preventing Problems
  13. Planning
    1. Mrs. Utley
    2. Capacity Planning
    3. Utilization Targets
    4. When to Upgrade
  14. Politics
    1. Proving
    2. The Problem with Under-Promising
    3. Seven Project Risk Magnifiers
    4. Fail Fast
    5. Face
    6. The Jeweler’s Method
    7. Change Control
    8. Record Keeping
    9. Failure
    10. Don’t Worry, Be Nervous
  15. Just for Fun
    1. Optimizing for Kids

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