A software tester typically is known to have the most touch points calling for interaction with several entities both amongst the product and non-product teams. They sometimes have opportunities to interact even with external entities such as end users. Within the software testing clan, software performance testing is calling for a lot more interaction in comparison to other functions. When such high levels of cross collaboration are required, the outcomes can really sway depending on how effectively the performance testing effort is carried out in full understanding of the coverage and scope of the role. A performance tester herein plays a significant part in understanding his/her role, taking charge of the same along with also being able to articulate as required to other entities involved. For example, in complex systems with several workflows that are in stake, a performance tester’s helping hand could come in from the core functional testing team. A lot of the workflows need to be understood in detail to assimilate the interdependencies and finalize the core scenarios to test. While under test, blocks if any, additional data that may be required can all be sorted out within the testing team itself. This is important as the performance testing teams are typically horizontal teams that run between projects, while the functional teams are often dedicated vertically. This handshake within the testing teams has several benefits – interdependence within the test team that minimizes overhead on the development and product teams, enabling the functional testers to understand the world of product performance, being able to collectively figure additional quality issues in the product amongst others. As a side benefit this also enhances the relationship the testers share amongst themselves.
Similarly, the performance tester is one that has an ongoing relationship with the infrastructure team (IT team) more than anyone else in the product group. Network performance testing, infrastructure performance testing may often be out of scope in the performance testing services world – but the outcomes from them paired with outcomes from the application performance testing together play a huge role in evaluating the product’s overall performance quality index.
Needless to say, is the relationship that performance testers share with developers. All debugging, troubleshooting, configuration changes are things that they closely work with the developers on. This certainly not just helps the resolution process but also builds a strong mutual respect for entities involved. Same is the case with business teams where the performance tester closely works to understand what baselines and competitive analysis need to be accounted for.
While all of these interactions can create a healthy bond, a performance tester who does not understand his role or leverages such tight coupling to evade his core responsibilities can soon create a disaster situation both for himself and his counterparts in the group. Today, the scenario is especially complex with the number of external product dependencies and integrations including the number of public APIs that products have come to leverage. Test data generation, understanding the role of performance testing in alignment with other functional and non-functional test areas are all things to keep in mind. A performance tester that takes the time to understand his role specific to his product and team ensuring everyone else also understands the same, has already taken a big leap in delivering successful outcomes.