“UX(User Experience)” or “CX(Customer Experience)” is critical for software applications today. While most organizations think of UX and CX as “look and feel”, there is more to what meets the eye, literally. Application performance, response times are all part of your customer experience, and hence you need a well devised “testing strategy” that covers both functional and non-functional areas of your application.
For many organizations, performance testing is a “seasonal” activity. They tend to focus more on it when they experience application degradation because of high user loads on their website or app and start using all tools, processes, and strategies to overcome the situation. Unfortunately, this approach to performance testing is not helpful and only results in high spending on tools and technologies without addressing the problem at its core.
Choosing to outsource your performance testing with the right partner can help organizations avoid spending high efforts, costs and build a robust “continuous performance testing” strategy for the application. However, the question is, when should you consider outsourcing your performance testing efforts?
Can you identify the problem?
A lot of times performance issues are not straightforward to identify. They can come in the form of flaky tests which testing teams can “pass off” as “some one-time issue that we have not seen before”. A good outsourcing partner with experience can help you here.
Do you know what tool to use?
The testing tools market is overwhelmed with tools for both functional and non-functional testing. Which tool is the one best suited to address your needs? Do we need an open-source testing tool to solve the problem or should we invest in a commercial tool? How do we know that? Partners with experience using multiple tools can guide you with their experience on what suits you best and how to combine tools and make the best use of them.
From Performance Testing to Performance Engineering
While performance testing is helpful in the short term, building a culture of performance engineering is what helps you in the long term. Performance engineering works best when teams(technology, business, and user representatives) start thinking about it from the beginning.
What type of tests are needed for us?
The type of load test you run for a retailer is very different from the type of load test you want to run for a banking application. The challenge lies in knowing which type of tests we should run every day, which environment to run them, and which assertions to add in order to meet our application performance goals.
When you need proactive answers
You do not want your users to find your performance issues. You need to identify the issues ahead of them. A “test early test often” approach to performance testing helps in identifying application degradation issues then and there. To get there, you need partners with experience in “Performance Test Automation” and in building “unit tests for performance.”
Pairing Performance Testers with Developers
“Software Engineers in Test” (SET), a cadre introduced by Google was for a reason. Testing becomes a lot easier when you know the code. Outsourced partners with the right skills know how to define performance scenarios ahead of time for developers to start thinking about them. Additionally, they know that pairing performance testers with developers and using tools for profiling can help in identifying where your application code is failing and leading to performance issues.
Beyond what we have discussed above, outsourced partners with the right experience can also help you in integrating your performance tests in the Continuous Integration(CI) environment, an extension to the “Test Early, Test Often” approach which leads to building a “continuous performance testing” strategy.