Performance-related issues have caused major websites and software apps to crash, and thus re-emphasizing the requirement for a robust and well-planned and executed performance testing approach.
All of us, from a user’s viewpoint, have experienced network downtime, website crashes, and other performance and load difficulties at some or other point. This is, in fact, a common event during the peak holiday season including the top shopping events like the Black Friday sale.
While performance testing takes charge of the non-functional aspects of an application, it is normally not given due attention from the stakeholders. If testing is pushed till the very end, performance testing is shifted even later in the cycle, which is too late to correct any of the detected issues.
Therefore, organizations are expected to change their outlook and not only include testing as the core component, but also concentrate on the performance features of the software.
For IT organizations to overcome their effort to meet the business application performance expectations for speed, scalability, and quality, a simple performance testing method does not serve.
Rather, they should choose a proactive performance quality engineering strategy that includes performance as an explicit and clear requirement and includes the creation of test cases for verifying and satisfying the performance expectations.
Therefore, there is a two-way change that should be performed. First, a transition from the legacy software development methodologies to Agile and DevOps for expediting the time to market. And second, using a dual-shift program for performance engineering and quality engineering, and executing a continuous feedback and monitoring loop to facilitate constant improvement.
Legacy modernization and QA transformation
As companies migrate from Waterfall, they would either go the Agile or the DevOps way. With the given market scene and the ever-evolving customer requirements, the ‘Agile or DevOps’ strategy falls small. Instead, companies need to embrace an ‘Agile and DevOps’ strategy.
DevOps is, in a way, an extension of the Agile policies. Therefore, we can say that by embracing the ‘and’ strategy rather than the ‘or’ strategy, companies can get the benefits of speed, collaboration, and scalability.
Additionally, as the time-to-market is stimulated and the codes are shoved into production much faster, companies are able to tap into the market and satisfy the users’ demands before their requirements again.
Performance engineering and the dual-shift approach
The MITRE org describes performance engineering as “a specialty operations engineering discipline that utilizes scientific, mathematical, engineering, and measurement theories, principles, and methods to produce a system that fits its nonfunctional performance-related requirements.”
While functional defects are relatively easier to fix, non-functional issues that impact performance are extremely challenging to solve as there are numerous various components and parts of the application included. Also, leaving them unresolved build heavy technical debt over time that ends in the app’s demise over time.
To address this, performance engineering becomes critical.
Gartner foretells that “by 2021, companies that have included a performance engineering approach for application development will beat the competition that has not, in both customer satisfaction and business outcomes.”
A performance engineering strategy for non-functional quality aspects included performance assessment and evaluation as a constant process right from the start.
This means the performance testing process is moving to the very left to run in parallel with the development and to devise enough time and scope to fix the defects that are identified.
In addition to starting the testing process early in the software development life cycle, it is not closed with the production. Rather, a constant feedback and monitoring loop is established that uses performance data from production and real users.
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