A Perfect Holiday Gift for Software Developers

Gift Giving For Developers

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

“Hey Mark, how is it going?
Hope you are staying healthy.

I know you are an expert on low latency tuning.
I wanted to ask if you will be interested in writing about how to
optimize application for low latency?

I don’t know if you know, but I’m writing a book about perf analysis
and tuning. And thought this might add value to the book.”

— Email from Denis Bakhvalov on Apr 3, 2020 12:59:44PM CDT

It had been 2 weeks into Illinois Governor Pritzker’s Stay-At-Home Order by the time I received that fateful email. Homebound for longer than I’d ever been before, I’d already binge-watched a couple Netflix shows of middling quality. And the seedlings of an unhealthy relationship with Cinnamon Toast Crunch had just begun to sprout. It was in this milieu that an angel in the form of my pal Denis emerged to slap a sense of purpose back into me.

And what a purpose it turned out to be! How better could I spend my quarantine than by imparting valuable performance engineering knowledge to an audience of developer colleagues? Dispelling myths perpetuated by outdated CS curricula and spurious Stack Overflow answers. Red-pilling those immersed in the “just buy more hardware” worldview which itself morphed into “just auto-scale in the cloud” culture.

I figured, “With a project like this, our readers could help companies scale better and simultaneously cut costs, thereby increasing their own value at the office.”

Yep, it was a no-brainer. So, I hopped aboard immediately. Along with Nadav Rotem and Sridhar Lakshmanamurthy, with Denis at the helm, we embarked on that writing journey together. Even our list of reviewers read like a Who’s Who of your favorite bloggers, authors, and open source contributors. Guys like Dick Sites, Thomas Dullien, Matt Fleming, and Daniel Lemire, just to name a few.

Finally, 7 months later and just in time for the holidays, we released Performance Analysis and Tuning on Modern CPUs.1Paid affiliate link I thought to myself (albeit from a biased viewpoint), “What a perfect holiday gift this will make for software developers!”

Performance Book for Software Developers
A Proud Product of the 2020 Lockdown

Still a Perfect Holiday Gift?

Now here we are, two years later, in the heart of Holiday Season 2022. And the lessons laid out in this book hold as much weight now as when initially released. Today’s companies seek ways to cut back on cloud spending as they face rising inflation and interest rates. Some even consider “cloud repatriation” for various reasons, including latency and scaling concerns. A boom in Cloud Cost Management and Continuous Profiling solutions has emerged over the past few years in response. I guess Auto Scaling Groups and Kubernetes HPA/VPA ain’t the panaceas they thought they’d be. Understanding the techniques and principles for extracting every bit of performance from modern-day CPUs is just as important today as ever.

So yes, I believe this book still makes a perfect holiday gift for software developers in your family and social circle. Not only will it benefit them, but it will help the companies where they ply their trade better navigate these economic headwinds. That’s a win-win if I ever heard of one!

Happy Holidays!

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