SPE Body of Knowledge

The Software Performance Engineering Body of Knowledge

The overview

The Software Performance Engineering Body of Knowledge is a collection of key knowledge areas, supported by underlaying competencies for delivering in those knowledge areas, and includes a set of techniques for each knowledge area. The BoK also addresses the career path of the performance engineer for formalizing the profession.  Most people who describe themselves as a performance engineer arrive in a familiar pattern.  They are technical problem solvers, who througout their career ended up on the problem projects. Asked to help on production systems that are having user experience problems (too slow), instability problems (stops working), and missing the batch window.

The goal of the BoK is to clarify roles and responsibilties. Many people interchange performance engineer and performance testing. They are not aware of the differences in skillsets. Some of the roles or titles found;

  • Performance architect
  • Performance engineer
  • Capacity planner
  • Performance analyst
  • Automation technician
  • Troubleshooter or problem solver

Within many organizations the actual title of Performance Engineer does not exist in the Human Resources (HR) talent management process.  They try to fit them into developer, architect, or quality assurance roles.The career of the performance engineer is not managed.  People are left on thier own to figure out how to improve or move up the ladder.  Finding and growing software performance engineers is a challange for every organization. By not having a formal role description in the company, each division or group within the company determine there own description. One group calls them performace testers, another Sr. developers, or performance engineer. The it takes to develop one can vary greatly, with the right experience and guidance, you can be a very good performance engineer in ten years. This begins the discusson on your skillset pyramid, growing the base (technical competency) and  the height (communication, management, leader) to acheive a Sr. Performance Engineer role.


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