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Is There a Need For Performance Testing in Production?

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Is There a Need For Performance Testing in Production?

As we wrapped up our interviews with these 14 tech industry experts, we asked if they had any other comments about the performance in production.

· Performance Zone ·
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To gather insights on the current and future state of Performance Testing and Tuning, we talked to 14 executives involved in performance testing and tuning. We asked them,"What have I failed to ask you that you think we need to consider with regards to performance testing and tuning?" Here's what they told us: 

  • We had a nice solution with Blazemeter – JMeter on steroids. Now that’s part of CA. Curious where that leaves the market.
  • Performance testing is a whole world of techniques, methodologies, and technologies. Every application need a highly customized environment to test its performance. The time investment, when done right, will serve any company’s product. The success of any application depends on scalability factor, since we as a company want to serve as many clients as possible. Trying to hit your application’s limit forces you to make your application more efficient one new error or bottleneck at a time.
  • Just testing from a front-end perspective is not enough. Tools are able to measure one-quarter to one-third what’s seen in the production environment which is sterile. Regardless of what you are using to test, add more to the backend to really understand response time and load dynamics.
  • We know how to test hardware. We need to get performance metrics for software based on clearly defined objectives and know how to interpret results.
  • Convergence of pre-release testing (application development) and post-release monitoring (IT ops). Increase in testing is coming from the convergence of two worlds and teams that don’t like to talk to each other.
  • Is there a need for performance testing in production? Can we execute on production hardware? Use canary releases, A/B tests, expose code to 1% of users and observe behavior?
  • R&D and DevOps need to stay connected to the end user experience. Know how the product is performing. Think of the application as a whole with regards to UX. Full-stack development will become important in 2018. There are a lot of tools to improve experience and performance. Developers can become a one-man shop.
  • Performance testing and tuning is a complex topic and a large area. No matter how much one learns about the topic, there is always more and more detail that can be taken into account and the scope can always be widened. It's the gift that keeps giving.
  • It's easy to get lost in performance testing and to feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of metrics and things to observe through testing. For me, performance testing is less of a pass/fail activity, and more of a risk management activity. I like to qualify test candidates by their likelihood and impact of risk to production. This can help shape what it is you need to test. For example, I might choose to test some batch type interfaces because although infrequently called, they contribute significant volume to back-end systems. Alternatively, I might choose something public facing over internal endpoints, as it has a more readily described customer impact. When testing, I like to think more in terms of a scientific method. That is, it's more a process of experimentation that is used to explore observations and answer questions. It can be quite liberating to test "off plan" or follow a line of thought through to conclusion. Best case is that you head off performance defects before they occur in production, worst case you learn a little more about the way a system component behaves. Don't be afraid to start load testing. It's a very challenging, yet satisfying aspect of systems performance and will give you great insight into the way components interact. Over time you will develop better intuition and gain experience on where to first look. You'll also be stumped by defects.

Here’s who we spoke to:

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Topics:
performance testing and tuning

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