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Load Testing Implementation With Agile Approach

08-Mar-2021

Load Testing Implementation With Agile Approach

Your customers expect high performance from your web application. They hope that your web application will always work and fulfill all their needs without excuses. Performance is a measure of quality. In case of slow response on your site, the customer will feel that your web application is not working correctly. Since summer 2010, Google has been using performance as part of their web page ranking, so performance directly affects your search visibility. Hence, what will happen when you connect your website or web application with the internet or intranet. What about the performance of your web application. Well, you need to get some answers:

  • Can my web application give a high performance when it is accessed by hundreds of thousands of ten thousands of users?
  • How many transactions my web application can handle within an hour?
  • What are the upper limits of my web application? These days many users only wait two seconds or less than 2 seconds to interact with the web application. When they find that the website is taking too much time to load, they immediately leave the platform and choose your competitor to buy similar products and services.

Some Stats and Facts

  • 47% of users predict a web page to load within 2 seconds or less.
  • 38% of mobile internet users say that the website wasn’t available when they visited on the platform.
  • If an e-commerce website is making $500,000 in one day, a one-second delay on the page can give you a loss of about $2.0 or 2.5 million in sales every year.
  • A half-second or one-second delay in the page response can diminish 7% conversions.
  • 73% of mobile internet users start complaining about websites when it takes too much time to load.
  • When the web application takes more than 3 seconds to load, it is possible that you can lose your 40% of visitors.

Sources: Tweets and Social Media

In July 2018, Google announced that page speed would be a ranking factor for mobile searches. Internet users want to get answers quickly, and they want to pay their bills faster on finance and other payment sites. They really care about the speed of the page.

Thus, to understand what are those bottlenecks that affect the performance of the web applications. Product owners must need to go through the performance profile of their applications. To fix the bottlenecks to improve the performance scale and site’s speed, one must consider load testing within an agile environment.

Understand the Principles Behind Agile Manifesto

  • In Agile, the highest priority is given to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.
  • Agile allows us to welcome changing requirements, even after late in development. The objective of using agile processes in load testing is to give a competitive advantage to the customers and their products.
  • Providing software delivery quickly, from a couple of years to a couple of weeks, with a choice to minimize the timescale.
  • Both developers and business people have an allowance for working together regularly for the entire project.
  • Working software or an application is the key to progress.
  • The most effective and efficient method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face communication.
  • It gives the environment which the testing teams need to get their job done.
  • Developing a project with motivated team members is possible with Agile.
  • On a regular basis, the teams think about how to stay in tune, become more effective, adjust their behavior accordingly.
  • Technical excellence, continuous attention, and good design help improve agility.
  • Agile processes ensure the promotion of sustainable development.
  • It helps developers, sponsors, and users to maintain a constant pace.
  • The best designs, requirements, and architectures arise from self-organizing teams.

The Manifesto for Agile Development says we are finding better ways of building software by performing it and give assistance to others for doing it. Throughout this work, we have come to value:

  • People and interactions over processes and tools
  • Working software over detailed documentation.
  • User collaboration over contract negotiation.
  • Adapting to change in accordance with a strategy.
  • That is, although the things on the list are valuable,
  • the right, we value the items on the left more.

Hence, when we consider load testing in an agile environment, developers can respond immediately to changeability for the software development scenarios. Agile development best practices help teams obtain quicker time to market, provide a constant feedback loop, improved team morale, better control, superior quality product, improved project predictability, customer satisfaction, increased flexibility, the continuous improvement due to adaptability of changing requirements, and give many more benefits in terms of cost and time.

The advantage of performance and load testing is, it helps to determine how much particular load an application can handle before it crashes in production. When to reconfigure the network, when it is needed to add another server, when it’s time to optimize the code, you can better resolve the answers to such types of questions with the load testing approach.

Load Testing

Load testing is a non-functional type of software testing that allows testing of software applications' performance under a specific expected load. It helps us understand how the application will behave when it is accessed by two or multiple users simultaneously. Load testing aims to improve the performance glitches/bottlenecks so that it becomes possible to attain stability and smooth functioning of software apps before deployment.

Load Testing Tools

There are several kinds of load testing tools available in the market, but we are going to shed some light on the few one such as:

  • LoadRunner
  • LoadNinja
  • Eggplant
  • NeoLoad

Load Testing Helps To Identify?

  • The sustainability of the application concerning high user load.
  • The applications’ maximum operating capacity.
  • It helps to understand whether the current infrastructure is enough to operate the application.
  • A number of concurrent users supported by the application or how many users can access the website.
  • Scalability of the application.

 Implementation of Load Testing With Agile Approach

Well, the main factor surround here is "How can load testing be implemented in an Agile Environment"? To answer this, first think about how much time you have to spend on finding and fixing production issues. After going live, you sometimes find mysterious vulnerabilities under a simultaneous load of thousands of users, and even you follow the most extensive functional process. Effective communication, rapid feedback, and early testing are cornerstones of the Agile methodology to software development.

As we know, one of the primary intentions of Agile is it enables us to manage change effectively in both external and software functionality.

It allows us to streamline the development of quality software. One of the essential factors of an organizational Agile is that it supports teams to produce a usable version. This load testing approach supports you to put tech writers, QA, and Devs on one page, and in the case of performance testing in Agile, it helps you design a resource and make you responsible for the testing. The other fact is all stakeholders, including those who are business members, have an allowance to include in this process.

The performance testing in the Agile concept differs from the “test early and often” as this process yet refers to the waterfall. Functional testers create checks that correspond to the sprint's features. Performance assessment scenarios can be introduced better by functional testing.

Check Out The Best Practices For Agile Load Testing:

Test Incrementally

Incremental testing begins at the most basic stages of functionality. Start with a simple function and expand from there. Suppose all of the individual components work and perform correctly. In that case, there's a good chance they'll work well together, and knowing this will help you analyze and debug performance bottlenecks later on when you evaluate at the system level.

In agile-based performance testing, one can approach different layers of performance in an onion-like fashion in the rhythm of the sprints. To achieve flexibility, you need to break a bigger challenge into smaller tasks, and also, you need to plan your performance testing efforts.

For example, it is a bit complicated and costly to solve a 12 man-year problem at once. Still, when you solve this problem in sequential order, you can apply the same technique while signing off the application’s performance. You can learn some concrete methods to plan for incremental performance testing later.

Define Performance Goals

You need to develop performance tests with your functional tests. Also, you need to include the performance test in your build process. You can start by writing stories to establish effective performance goals.

Suppose you want to build an online store where you want to add as many items from people into the cart and want to complete this task within a second. In these cases, you need to conduct the performance test with a functional test. It helps you check whether all activities are giving a consistent performance and capable of handling as many items in the cart. If adding so many things in the cart option, the site speed can go slow for other users. To keep it in a working condition, testing is a must.

Consider Reusability for Functional Tests

You need to check whether the existing functional or performance tests can give you reusability. It will save you more time and provide a faster delivery experience to your customer. You may incorporate timers into your automated tests, and it may help you understand how the application responds with a specific load.

Always hire a professional load tester because he/she will better review the functional tests and make the better decision for your business. This can be the vital anchor point for agile performance testing as it influences the development of the employer and allows you to build the final load tests.

Involve Performance Tests in the Build Process

The final step is to include performance tests in your build process because every build goes through some level of performance testing. By completing this step, you will be able to analyze what is the reason for slowing down in your app’s performance. In case of rolling back to an earlier build, you can incorporate the performance test into your build process to check how well it can perform.

Iterative Process for Performance Testing

The performance testing iterative process depends upon four factors:

  • Plan
  • Test
  • Analyze
  • Remediate

How to Plan?

  • Place performance activities on a Scrum board.
  • Fix out the functional defects as that can block your performance test.
  • Do not delay if it is a matter of resolving performance issues while identification of tests.
  • Consider retesting to ensure that after fixes, everything is working well.
  • It is impossible to guess the next bottlenecks.
  • Do not pre-optimized before testing.
  • Be familiar with the production environment.
  • Perform analysis on logs.
  • Acquire knowledge when performance is sufficient enough.
  • Don’t forget to apply low-level load to the system under test while manual testing.
  • You can use test scripts of load testing to check memory leaks, stability, and functional bugs and reproduce intermittent issues.

Describe Your Workload

Starting from small steps, perform incremental testing and then combine all efforts into a more realistic approach. For instance, if you get ready for the test setup for an e-commerce website, you may understand the data is coming from the cloud.

There may be two or more scenarios running at the same time. There is one group made for users who only support browsing your site. Other groups of users may check-out your website to purchase something. This is the right time to get the load test done on your system because it gives you a live view of how the users interact with your platform under a particular load.

Make sure to start testing from the low levels of the load, as it helps you fix problems faster. Later on, you can shift to heavy testing to acquire much better results for your web application. Apart from that, there are different types of load testing, such as capacity testing, stress testing, and soak testing that you need to remember while performing testing in an agile environment. You must have separate test cases for all load testing types. You can perform load testing on real browsers to get real metrics about how the page is visible, how the javascript loads, how the CSS looks with a specific load condition.

The best way is to use the right load testing tool or any other alternative if you want to perform bottleneck analysis, conduct unit testing, smoke testing, or any other tests.

Be Flexible

In an Agile environment, things can change quickly. Your customer can demand new features during the development. You need to be more flexible to respond to a new change. You have strategies to modify the previous functionality to the latest one. While fulfilling the unique requirements of your customer, you can face performance issues. Therefore, it is crucial to perform the testing continuously, fix the problems fasters, and make the desired corrections.

Prepare Some Data

When you perform testing based on the small increments or utilize a minimal amount of load, you may get some valuable information and that information you need to record to complete your iterations.

Suppose if you have four customers, and your performance is half a second. If these four users give a response that is double that after some changes, you’ve got an issue. However, with Agile testing, you can always check the delta between where you were and where you’re going to be. If delivering a working software version is one of the sprint's success criteria, efficiency and ability should be a sign-off metric. If you're going to be leveraging features through several sprints, you can consider these things as obstacles. Agile's main aim is to provide a methodology for managing a change more efficiently in both external and software functionality.

Test

It would be best if you have a professional tester during testing. You can choose in-house teams from the software testing company to design and follow a process when conducting tests in an iterative model and compare results for several iterations. The important parameters that you need to test while following the Agile load testing approach are users, search items, form values, and quantities.

Analyze

You need to analyze a generated test report for load testing. You have to spend some time while analyzing the test reports that you want to present to business owners. Involve network admins, developers, DBAs, and business owners. Allow them to give their own perspectives.

Third-Party Calls

These days many people consider guest posting, and you may also allow other people to link their content with your web pages. Whether it is advertising, analytics, or social media, 80% of the content you get from other sources and 20% content you write itself for your home page. But your customers don’t know where the content is coming to your website.

According to them, everything is yours. In case of performing not-well by your third-parties, keep in mind your website performance can also get affected. Thus, always perform the load testing when you fill up your web application with third parties content. You need to check for RAM, Cache storage, non-optimal or missing indexes, which can also slow down your application.

Remediate

When remediating these issues, you’ll be optimizing your cache, rebuilding, or adding your indexes. You’ll be adding new hardware, upgrading old hardware, optimizing settings and network components. You may have to collaborate with third-parties to work together for the optimization of any of those calls.

You may have to refactor your code or optimize the code loops. All such factors are necessary to perform but take too much time to remediate. To cut down on that time and support your corrections diligently, you need to perform continuous testing because it will give your fewer costly surprises at random moments.

The purpose of continuous testing is to make testing a regular necessity of your development process regardless of whether it comes in an Agile process or not. To satisfy more customer’s requirements, you need to test continuously throughout the entire development process, and you need to consider performance testing from the beginning. Any development team if launches the application without load testing can experience too much disappointment even if your site is full of traffic. You will get the least surprises if you perform performance testing regularly.

Agile and Performance testing fit well together. Agile development uses incremental and iterative development. It even involves incremental testing, iterative testing and gives you flexibility to respond to new changes. These are crucial characteristics of Agile and also play a significant role in load testing. When you think of performing load testing in an agile environment, just do it in an iterative way because it allows you to test, find bugs, make improvements, and retest again & again until you reach a new benchmark.

It is a never-ending process. Whenever you feel that your site is not working as expected, you can immediately perform different levels of load testing from endurance, volume, scalability, spike to stress testing. By performing such load testing types, you can ensure that your site’s performance is useful to achieve marketing goals and improve your user’s experience. 

Also Read: Case Study on Agile Testing for Social Media Application

How Can We Help You?

Do you have a performance concerns about your product? Our certified professionals can provide you best consultation on performance improvement areas and can give a detailed action plan on how to scale it with the help of our advance performance testing services. BugRaptors have multiple domain expertise that strives to improve your website performance 10X faster and have agile best practices to give you a 24/7 online presence, that allows your customers to buy from you anytime and anywhere. So, if you are looking to hire a tester for satisfying load testing and performance testing results? Give us your contact details, and we will get back to you with our detailed plan. Request Free Consultation

author

Neha Sethi

Neha is a testing professional having diverse exposure in various projects and application testing with comprehensive understanding of all aspects of SDLC. She is well versed with Manual testing, Mobile application testing, performance testing, load testing, Web applications testing. She is able to create effective documentation issue report and also working with bug tracking software which is used to report the bugs. Highly motivated and excellent team player with strong interpersonal, analytical and communication skills.

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