You are waiting to be seated at a restaurant. There are three ways you might be left waiting. You can see that everyone is busy serving customers but no one tells you how long you might have to wait. The maître d’ comes and tells you that it will only be a few minutes but he keeps telling you that. A different maître d’ comes and tells you that it could take 40 minutes.
Which waiting experience would give the greatest perception of performance if they all took 30 minutes?
- The first waiting experience is the equivalent of a “spinner,” the animation that has no determined end point.
- The second waiting experience is the equivalent of “optimistic progress,” the progress bar that makes optimistic or naïve guesses.
- The third waiting experience is the better option of “pessimistic progress.”
Ultimately it boils down to people appreciating honesty so that they can make the right decision next, such as going off to get a coffee, or calling up tech support.
Software situations are not that different from a restaurant. There are so many pieces moving that telling someone exactly how long something will take is like trying to shoot an apple from a mile away, while blindfolded, and dizzy, and riding a horse…and the horse is dizzy too.
Here are just a few examples of things software generally might have to wait on.
Client computer performance.
- Server performance.
- Database server performance.
- Other people using the servers at the same time.
- Network traffic volume between any of the servers.
- Quality of the network between each of the servers.
- The physical distance between each of the servers.
- The complexity of calculations required on any of the computers.
- The volume of data being written or read on each computer.
However, all we really want to know is “how long might I have to wait?”
The latest version of Rocket Discover has some major improvements on the feedback of how long things might take. Including large file volume upload progress. Status indicators on data preparation. Top 1,000 row indications. Last updated indicators on reports.