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How Slow Programs are Like Christmas

Method R Corporation makes systems faster. And we make people who make systems faster, faster. We train people to become performance optimization heroes.

Here is my story about why you should be interested in our training.


Slow programs remind me of Christmas when I was a kid. In early December, my parents would put a present for me under our Christmas tree. It would be wrapped up so I couldn’t see what was inside it. The unwrapping would not happen until Christmas morning, December 25. (That was the best-case scenario. If my Dad couldn’t be home because of work, then Christmas morning would come a day or two late.)

So, every day, for nearly a month, I would see that present under the tree and wonder what was in it. 

I’d take any clue I could find. What shape is it? What does it weigh? What does it sound like when I shake it? (Sometimes, my Mom and Dad would prohibit me from shaking it.) No matter how desperate the curiosity, all I could do was guess.

When Christmas came, I’d finally get to tear the paper off, and I would now see, plain as day, what had been in that box the whole time. All the clues and possibilities would collapse into a single reality. Finally, there was no more mystery, no more guessing.

Slow programs are like that. The clues aren’t enough. You guess a lot. But with slow programs, there’s no specially designated morning when your programs reveal their mysteries to you. They just keep irritating you, with no end in sight. You need somebody who knows how to tear the wrapping paper off those programs so you can see what they’re doing wrong. 

That’s the somebody I like being. The role scares a lot of people, but it doesn’t scare me. That’s because I trust my preparation. I know that I have three particular assets that tilt the game in my favor. 

Those assets are knowledgetools, and community. With the knowledge and tools I have, I don’t get stumped very often. But when I do, I have a network of friends who’ll help me out. My friends and I can solve just about anything. These three assets are huge for both my effectiveness and my confidence.

These three assets aren’t just for me. They’re for you, too. 

That’s the aim of my online course called “Mastering Oracle Trace Data.” In this course, I’ve bundled everything you need to claim those three assets for your own:

  1. You’ll learn the details about Oracle traces and the stories they’re trying to tell you. This is your knowledge asset.
  2. You’ll have, for the duration of your choosing, full-feature access to Method R Workbench, the most comprehensive software in the world for mining, managing, and manipulating Oracle traces. This is your tools asset.
  3. You’ll have access to our Slack channel, a global community of Oracle trace enthusiasts that can help you whenever you get stumped. You won’t be alone. You’ll have people who are there for you. This is your community asset. 

You can also fortify all three of your new assets by purchasing office hours for the course. Office hours are Zoom sessions, where you can spend time with my friends and me, discussing your questions about the material.

If you’re interested in becoming a more effective and confident optimizer, you can get started now. Just visit our course page for details.


That’s my story. I hope you’ll contact us if you’re interested.

And if you like stories like this, you’ll find a lot more in my How To Make Things Faster book, available wherever books are sold.

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