Software development begins as a quest for capability, doing what could not be done before. Once that what is achieved, the engineer is left with the how. In enterprise software, the most frequently asked questions are, “How fast?” and more importantly, “How reliable?”
Questions about software performance cannot be answered, or even appropriately articulated, without statistics.
Yet most developers can’t tell you much about statistics. Much like math, statistics simply don’t come up for typical projects. Between coding the new and maintaining the old, who has the time?
Engineers must make the time. I understand fifteen minutes can seem like a big commitment these days, so maybe bookmark it. Insistent TLDR seekers can head for our instrumentation section or straight to the summary.
For the dedicated few, class is in session. It’s time to broach the topic, learn what works, and take the guesswork out of software. A few core practices go a long way in generating meaningful systems analysis. And a few common mistakes set projects way back. This guide aims to lighten software maintenance and speed up future development through answers made possible by the right kinds of applied statistics.