There has been a sea of changes in the way software & applications are developed during the last decade. Most enterprises have moved away from the conventional waterfall model to flexible agile approaches. With development being done in iterative models, testing, especially for the application performance in line with the development process is important.
Performance testing is, therefore, an integral part of the Agile process. It can actually help the organization to develop higher-quality software in a short time while reducing development costs. The goal is to test the performance early and often in the development efforts and to test the functionality and performance in the same sprint. That’s because the longer you wait to conduct a performance test and the more expensive it will become to incorporate changes.
With years of experience working on performance testing services for different software and applications from diverse niches, this blog will aim at highlighting the need for performance testing in an agile environment while giving a brief on types of performance testing.
Diving Into the Agile Environment
Scrum is a part of the Agile methodology which is most commonly used. The scrum model consists of a Scrum team which is included multiple team members like the Product Owner, Scrum Master, Developers, Technical Writers and quality engineers.
All the collected requirements are prepared into the Sprints and Testing to be completed for each sprint with performance testing. It is always benign to schedule all performance testing priorities on the scrum board such that the efforts required can be identified by planning a poker practice.
The important principles of Performance testing should be set & planned in the respective sprints and based on the prioritization should be planned or completed accordingly. Furthermore, the performance of an application will be the major factor and hence cannot be ignored.
Performance Testing has hugely progressed over the last decade. With digitization becoming a global trend, businesses need to optimize their performance metrics accordingly. There are multiple forms of Performance Testing that must be taken into account to build robust websites and applications. The main types of testing that make it to performance testing solutions include:
Load testing is the main subset of Performance Testing, this methodology involves checking the website, testing how a system behaves with a large number of user accounts & what is the response time received for pages under different scenarios. Performance Engineers can check the system behaviours with varying numbers of users and what kinds of bottlenecks arise in different usage scenarios.
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This is the type of performance load testing that helps to practice the system to prevention if the application can strictly take on the amount of traffic, they are designed to handle without compromising the user experience.
This kind of testing involves the testing of performance under extreme conditions. You will find out how application behaving when it faces the extreme conditions such as double the number of users, using a database server with low memory or weak CPU. will the system start clearing out the errors? Will the response time increased? Or will the whole system get stuck and crash?
Factors Affecting Performance Testing in Agile Environment
Successful performance testing is involving the performance testers at the starting of Sprint, at the end of the development cycle, who can assure the quality of the product and ensures the release without any delays.
Lack of experienced performance testing resources especially for testing critical projects. Lack of flexibility of Performance testing tools as claimed by clients
Trial adoptions in certain critical Agile projects might also lead to some specific performance issues cropping up
In specific agile projects, criteria for performance testing might not be properly planned for every sprint. Lack of priority of project teams to handle performance defects and take action quickly.
Some Popular Testing Tools for Performance Testing
Load Runner, most commonly used
Few Open-source tools are JMeter, Grinder etc.
Many tools available for Cloud-based Load testing such as:
Xamarin Test Cloud
Benefits Of Agile Performance Testing
Ever since the concept of agile in performance testing has been introduced, it has exhibited so many benefits to the efficiency goals surrounding tech innovations. More importantly, sticking to agile performance testing allows creating of more reliable products and cut off any follow-up questions that may emerge out of a limiting user experience. And therefore, agile performance testing has extensive benefits to offer which can be listed as:
With vast amount of planning and communication involved, agile testing allows teams to add speed and efficiency to an already existing test strategy. It not only makes space for frequent test cycles but allows negating even the smallest of issues or amendments made to the code. Above all, it allows for making testing updates more manageable and ensures smooth workflow throughout the SDLC.
Another significant advantage of sticking with the agile approach in performance testing is the ease of capacity management. It means verifying and validating the hardware and software used in development. The information received thus makes it easy to process tasks like load testing, stress testing, and soak testing that allowing effective handling of possible memory leads, defects, or other issues.
Performance testing allows the emulation of various user scenarios in order to create a system that is effective and free from failures. The introduction of agile methodology allows predicting all the possible use cases and therefore complements the customer support goals surrounding a technology.
Since it is not always convenient to predict every possible use case, agile performance testing allows the identification of maximum unknown use cases, and document them effectively. It, therefore, allows easy fixing of the issues and improves the end-user experience.
Cost Of Change
As agile methodology allows full-cycle testing, it fastens the performance testing sprints and helps save the time and costs involved in changes. In other words, agile performance testing reduces the feedback circle and allows determining the scope for developed features saving the cost of change.
Better Product & Brand Value
Last but most significantly, performance testing that comes with agile approach allows creating a product that is made to meet the user requirements and branding goals. Performance testing improves the customer retention rate and reduces the numbers for support tickets, phone calls, or queries that appear from any bug-ridden functionalities.
Therefore, it helps to avoid all the possible chances of liabilities that may come due to negligence of government legislation, compliance goals, security breaches, or possible data leak vulnerabilities.
Agile performance testing encourages the full-cycle testing process, working in small Agile teams that constantly transfuse and report to each other with quick reactions on any system change.
Performance testing in an agile project allows to manage the testing in a highly flexible manner. Specifically, this approach allows to re-thinking of the project approach and re-prioritize tasks based on the value added to performance testing at a specific time.
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