Performance Testing United: Everything you need to know about performance tests


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Find out why application performance tests are so important, what they mean for the development process, and how to acquire the necessary knowledge in order to carry them out.

Performance testing is the testing practice performed to determine how a system performs in terms of responsiveness and stability under a particular workload.

A girl raising a needle to the maximum level of productivity and a screen loading behind.

They help build faster and more reliable applications

Nowadays, as software is more and more integrated in people’s everyday activities, resolving relevant aspects of their lives, it is essential for the applications to be robust, reliable, and for them to offer fast answers, even in high demand times.

With that in mind, it is becoming increasingly necessary to carry out performance tests as applications are released in order to validate the behavior they will have when facing heavy usages and high demands.

They reduce risks and offer stability for releases

The costs of having issues in production are usually very high. Performance tests are the right way to detect these issues early on, and to correct them before releasing an application or when facing load, stress and concurrency scenarios.

On the one hand, the response times obtained from the different tests allow for you to detect and focus on the less efficient application procedures, making it possible for you to perform optimizations to ensure a better user experience for the offered services.

On the other hand, by monitoring the server and other infrastructure elements when performing the tests, it is possible to detect any existing bottlenecks and to make any necessary configuration adjustments and to optimize how resources are allocated.

Carrying out performance tests is not that simple

Experience is essential when carrying out performance tests because of the technical complexity of the activities involved in the process.

You need to have a thorough understanding of the system, its features, the context of use and the implemented architecture. The performance tester must determine the most challenging scenarios the application will be facing and use those scenarios to design the required tests.

The scripts that are generally used during these types of tests replicate the sessions of a user who is executing a series of actions or processes within the system. For web applications, the flow of HTTP requests between the client and the server is usually automated. This is typically a complex activity which usually accounts for most of the hours spent in a performance project.

When carrying out the tests, it is also essential to have a load generation tool in order to design and execute the different planned tests, and to gather information related to the application’s performance during the tests. One of the most widely used tools for these tests is Apache JMeter, because it offers both the necessary flexibility and robustness to perform the tests.

In parallel with the execution of the tests, it is necessary to monitor the server and the infrastructure, so you need to not only know about the required tools, but also to know which indicators are the most important for each component in the solution and how to interpret the results.

Once the tests have been completed, it is necessary to analyze the information that was gathered in order to detect improvement opportunities for the solution.

It is vital to understand all of the aforementioned aspects in order to successfully carry out performance tests. To cover these voids, initiatives such as Performance Testing United (PtU) have gained an important place in the industry, since they offer a proven process, best practices, and a specific training for performance.

What does the PtU training program offer?

This training program responds to the needs of the industry since, nowadays, these types of tests are crucial for most software systems.

With the aim of training successful performance testers on the discipline, the training offers a deep knowledge of the appropriate procedures to carry them out, going into detail for each of the stages, their concepts, and main activities.

The course has a practical approach oriented towards using JMeter, a free tool which is widely used to design and execute performance tests because of its flexibility and robustness. In this context, you will be able to learn about the different features offered by the tool; in addition to understanding the HTTP protocols, students will develop their first scripts during the course, learning how to record them, parameterize and carry out the correlation process. They will also be able to execute tests and analyze the results.

With the aim to offer a comprehensive training, the course also deals with matters related to the planning and monitoring processes using open-source tools, and to the analysis of the gathered information and the development of reports.

The syllabus is available both in Spanish and in English in the official PtU website. To obtain the maximum benefits, they offer online courses and consulting services that allow you to start applying these types of tests, even gaining an international certification in the process for all of the people involved (available online).

Certification information is available on the global exam provider page Brightest.

The course is especially recommended for Software Testers, Performance Testers, Performance Engineers, Test Leads and QA Managers.

QAlified is co-author for the Performance Testing United program, and has contributed to the syllabus, offered training and consulting services for performance tests.

Performance Testing United program overview