Ignore every thing to the right of the decimal point

I am reading “The Every Computer Performance Book” by Bob Westcott (http://www.treewhimsy.com/TECPB/Book.html)

I really like his rule #7 “Ignore everything to the right of the​
 decimal point”

A performance model or test is never going to be an accurate representation of real life then why pretend by quoting figures to X decimal places. All this does is attempt to confuse the end user and imply a level of accuracy the is not there.

I like Scott Barbers emoticon approach of using happy,sad and neutral faces to represent performance results although I often just stick with red, green and amber (possibly a little more professional).

I will stick to the sentiment rather than letter of the rule. At the moment I have a 2 second response time target from a performance test. I think this deserves at least results reported to 1 decimal places to understand if we have a near miss or a long miss and of course standard deviation to get an idea of spread.


One thought on “Ignore every thing to the right of the decimal point

  1. I love rules of thumb like the ones I put into my book, but I always leave room for exceptions when they make sense. Reporting response time as two seconds make sense if the last peak the response time was 18 seconds. If the last time the response time was 2.3, then it make sense to show the new number as 2.0. Mostly, with this rule I was trying to calm down the people that believe the showing results like 2.017 seconds is “better” than showing 2 seconds.

    Thanks for reading my book. I hope it serves you well.

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