The Force Awakens – the web performance testing farce continues

In a Galaxy far too close to home, Frank Borland has donned his Alec Guinness Jedi cape and fired up the Millennium Falcon of Best Web Performance Practice. People are just not learning their lessons and Frank ain’t happy.

I’ve got a bad feeling about this…

Now, it takes a lot to get Frank excited; maybe a new Creedence album, a BOGOF on red neckerchiefs at JC Penny – something pretty damn huge, anyway. But, any developer who has ever worn the uniform – insert ponytail/sandals/generic Sci-Fi movie T-shirt gag here – knows that a pretty darn special film is out this week. It’s been years in the making and has been promoted to a Galaxy far far away and back.

That’s right, folks. Because just as the Ridiculous 6 simultaneously hits the streets and the bargain bins, the season’s blockbuster, Alvin and the Chipmunks – the Road Chip gets ready to do its thing. Just kidding you – Frank knows full well that Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens is due, to, er, awaken. With force.

While the news has even reached Frank’s Testing Nerve Centre in my secret West Coast location, the news still caught UK cinemas with their metaphorical pants down when they tried and failed to sell advance tickets. That’s right, guys and gals – the very organisations who planned to make oodles of boodle from these screenings didn’t properly prepare for them. It’s like General Motors being caught out by the invention of roads. Not too likely, huh?

Looking through my well-thumbed copy of Talking Star Wars for Dummies – no dev should be without one – Frank’s eye spots a good quote. “Every so often there’s a great disturbance in The Force as thousands of voices cry out”. This time round it’s legions of dudes – let’s be honest, most of them are dudes – yelling at their laptops as the website they were using to not buy tickets for the Force Awakens crashed like Biggs Darklighter’s X-Wing in the final Death Star trench run.

But these organisations weren’t tipped into the edge into oblivion by a sneaky Sith Lord Vader TIE fighter attack. No sirree. These online commerce teams knew the onslaught was coming. And they did squat about it.

“Test. Or Test not. There is no try.”

The link between well-publicised events and website crashes is nothing new, right? Major eCommerce sites know you’re coming to visit – dammit, they spend thousands of bucks on ads that drive you to the site. But again and again and again inadequate performance testing casts them into a Sarlacc pit of doom.

Hit Google. Check out all the negative headlines. Read your Twitter feed – see all the bad vibes heading towards these companies. That reputation is going to take more rebuilding that the Death Star – and it’s just as difficult. Think of all the potential bounty that took-off faster than Boba Fett did when his back-pack took a lucky shot from Han’s trusty blaster. And it ain’t coming back.

Apparently some folks still think it is better to risk losing millions than drop a few bucks on world class performance testing software and a QA regime. Their customers disagree.

What a wonderful smell you’ve discovered

The Battle of Hoth begins on Social Media when the ordure of corporate misjudgement hits the fan of public opinion. The brave Rebel Alliance forces manning the Twitter and Facebook outposts are left to fight an unnecessary battle against impossible odds. A brave few will win a skirmish or two in full knowledge that it’s all slipping out of their control. People – it doesn’t have to be this way.

Somebody has to save our skins

That’s where Silk WebMeter, Silk Performer and our world class performance testing products come in folks. If you’re a developer, you won’t need me to remind you Obi-Wan’s wise words, “in my experience there’s no such thing as luck”. And who am I to argue with the Big Guy? So prepare your site for the next epic struggle against the hordes – or ‘customers’, as I call ‘em. Hit our Trials page, fire up your trusty, non-clumsy or random performance testing weapon of choice and May the Force Be With You!

Frank out.

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