One of the best ways to learn is by listening to your peers. Whether it be a topic you are already versed in, or something completely new, our peers offer a different perspective that can help inspire new ideas and advance your knowledge.
DeveloperWeek 2017 in San Francisco was an environment for accelerated learning. Speakers from today’s major tech companies provided interactive sessions and workshops, while exhibitors unveiled new tools and technologies built for the future (i.e. Microsoft’s Real-time Crowd Insights)
Amongst the expert speakers were two of our own: Dawn Parzych, Director of Product and Solution Marketing, and Andrew Smirnov, Technical Solutions Engineer. Below is a recap of their talks.
Perception, Bias, and Manipulating Metrics
By now, we’ve all learned that using accurate metrics is a key component of smart decision making—but knowing exactly what you should be measuring isn’t always a clear-cut answer. During her talk, Dawn discussed how human perception and bias can influence how metrics are interpreted, often without you even realizing it. Regardless of what you are measuring, understanding that your assumptions and biases are in fact influencing your interpretation of the data will help you see the blind spots and use those metrics effectively.
It’s also important to note that valid metrics can be a reliable way to open lines of communication across and within teams, but it shouldn’t be used to shame or call-out individuals. Vanity metrics might offer some immediate gratification; however, these metrics are typically not very actionable and should be avoided during analysis.
The way in which you interpret data is just as important as choosing what to measure in the first place.
The Era of Disruption: Building with Speed and Resiliency
We are in the era of disruption. It seems like every day there is a new technology being released with the sole purpose of making a huge impact and disrupting the norm. Disruptive products take an everyday item or task and completely turn it around into something new, which is largely the reason these products tend to see immediate success. You could argue that this type of innovation is an incredible asset to society, but we often forget what happens when disruption takes a turn for the worse.
During his DeveloperWeek talk, Andrew shed light on the fact that many of these disruptive services and products fail because of performance problems and outages. A recent example is Pokemon Go; Niantic capitalized on a childhood game of the ‘90s and released it as a smartphone game. At one point, Pokemon Go was reported to have 21 million active users. Achieving a user base that large is an incredible success, but the brand was hit hard when its servers were down and people couldn’t play.
Such incidents make it more critical than ever for businesses to build with speed and resiliency from the perspective of the user. Understanding how to test and validate your web applications will help you deliver consistent, fast, and seamless end-user experiences.