Load Testing Services is one of the highly sought after and complex services today in the quality portfolio of an application. It is a specialized area that testers focus on building skills on as well – however, there are a bunch of attributes that together support a good load testing effort. Just a mere understanding of performance testing tools and scripting of scenarios will get you only so far. What are the others that may not be taken into consideration, especially by test efforts that are mostly shallow, but which play a very important role in robust website load testing services?
At the very core it starts with a very strong functional understanding of the application, its workflows and what the performance testing goals and scenarios are – these alone constitute to more than half of the success of a performance test effort. While at a generic level we often talk about starting a performance test effort once the functional scenarios have stabilized, today, tools support performance tests even at unit tests level. Such an early start will give you proactive indicators of how your application’s implementation and application’s architecture will fare with real time loads down the line.
Performance test setup is another important area – in the last decade cloud computing has significantly been helping with performance testing alleviating the need for local setups, but herein testers need to consider that newer technologies such as wearables, machine learning etc. are necessitating a lot of in field setup too, which means a pseudo performance test environment may also have to be set up in house. Test data for performance test efforts is quite different from test data for functional efforts. It is not just the volume but also having data across a representative set of fields that is both easy to create/maintain as well as realistic. Post load testing runs, result generation, data analysis, deriving actionable inputs from the same, are all very important in getting the effort to a smooth closure. It is important for newer testers to understand this full cycle, with a specific focus on app scenarios and functionality rather than just focusing on the performance testing tool. None of the specialized test areas be it load testing, security testing, accessibility testing etc. can succeed independently without a deep understanding of the core application’s functionality and workflows. This should be a message that every tester imbibes in ensuring holistic quality efforts in areas of their ownership.