7 Things to Watch Out for When Performance Testing

Jasmine Chokshi
May 1, 2018

Performance testing is a software testing practice that helps determine the speed and effectiveness of the applications. More specifically, whether they will perform well under expected load. This includes factors like response time, resource usage, availability, reliability, and scalability.

Performance testing doesn’t concern itself with finding bugs or defects only diagnostic information that can help remove log jams.

But to understand how software will function on user systems, there are many layers and types of tests that can be applied. In the age of Agile, application outages have a lot of impact on productivity, profitability and customer experience. Thus, performance monitoring and engineering services are now a crucial part of successful software delivery.

Some common methods to check the performance include load testing, stress testing, volume testing spike testing, endurance testing, scalability testing etc. What are some common things to watch out for when testing the performance?

1. Performance testing in an Agile era

Owing to the iterative and rapid delivery of an Agile environment, performance testing needs to occur within individual sprints. While performance testing is generally conducted once an application is developed and functionally ready, the agile practice requires that performance testing is not delayed until the end of cycle, but concluded with the sprint.

2. Testing early and often

The essence of iterative, agile testing lies in testing early and often and nipping it in the bud, so to speak. Developers rely heavily on shorter feedback loops, so they can tackle performance problems now rather than go back to the code a few weeks or months into the development. Sooner the better is the mantra with performance testing within sprints.

3. Performance Testing Automation

When you are focused on testing early and often, it follows that automation can make your life so much easier. Automated performance testing can make a remarkable difference. Several modern automated testing tools help you create reusable test scripts and enable tests to be scheduled during the off hours to facilitate deadlines.

4. Modularity

With a view to testing early and often, it is common to use unit tests for performance. Performance unit testing combined with automation can help you build a library of elements that you can mix and match to use in various testing scenarios. You can piece these modules for more complex interactions to exercise a system in a realistic scenario.

5. Relying on hardware to fix performance bottlenecks

Many a times, organizations feel tempted to add more processors, servers or memory to resolve their performance challenges. This might be completely unnecessary and may add up the costs considerably to no gains.

6. Regression testing

Performance testing is necessary o rule out any configuration, hardware, infrastructure or server/database changes in performance during the regression phase. You can monitor improvements or changes within the app by running the same tests within the same environment.

7. Test the most realistic model

Bear in mind the real world consumers of the product or app undergoing performance testing. And measure how the results will affect the users, and not simply the test environment servers. Your model should be designed to have a test environment that takes into account the optimum user activity. Consider these factors and the audience when preparing reports on performance testing.

As more organizations embrace the DevOps model, performance issues can adversely impact the gains achieved via speed and efficiency. A well-defined performance testing and monitoring strategy can help you manage the quality and optimize the user experience.

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