Performance testing usually takes place at the end of product development in order to see how the product performs under different types of load. However, performance engineering comes into play right from the beginning of the SDLC and continues throughout the product development cycle. Performance engineering is an art where multiple teams work in sync and utilize their experiences to produce a high quality product.
Application performance has a direct impact on an organization’s business model. A crash of just a few minutes can result in huge financial losses. Also, the root cause analysis of the error will add to your development time and costs. This is one of the many reasons why many software companies are shifting from performance testing to performance engineering.
Major Benefits of Performance Engineering:
- Efficiently meet end user expectations and product SLAs
- Identifies issues early
- Improves ROI
- Improves customer satisfaction and feedback
Moving from performance testing to performance engineering isn't an easy process. Your team must move from running a checkbox performance test script to understanding your product’s hardware, software, configuration, performance, security, usability and business value. You must focus on delivering quickly and at highest possible quality.
How to Move from Performance Testing to Performance Engineering
1. Build a Team With the Right Mix of Skill Sets: A good performance engineering team should consist of stakeholders with development, database, network and DevOps skill-sets working toward a common goal. You should have a clearly defined baseline and milestones along the way. You will also need continuous monitoring that can act as a valuable feedback for overall improvement.
2. Follow Performance Metrics with the Help of APM: Your teams can start using APM tools early in the development phase to detect and monitor application performance issues. If issues are identified at the right time, they can be rectified with very little time and effort.
3. Testing and Pre-production Environments: Your team would need to execute all performance tests through the CI/CD pipeline on a pre-production environment that is identical to production. This approach can uncover many performance bottlenecks before the application is live.
Best Practices for Performance Engineering:
Deep and Early Planning: When developing a product, you should focus on your product’s planning and documentation in order to understand the business model and strategies. It should include application architecture, network configurations, hardware and server deployments. This will form the baseline for your application’s performance.
SLAs and Performance Testing Models: It is very important to have a clear understanding of your application’s SLAs and they should be signed off by your product management team. You should also have thorough knowledge of the end user workflows that can help develop workload models.
Early and Continuous Performance Testing: Performance engineering kicks in right from the start- during the initial development of the application's architecture and basic modules. It’s always a good practice to write a few unit tests to measure the performance of your application modules before starting integration testing. This will help you avoid costly maintenance that's the result of performance issues discovered during delayed performance testing.
Code Profiling: Dev teams should frequently audit new chunks of code in order to validate performance degradations that can occur during development. Teams need to follow predefined performance metrics that were drafted during product planning and make sure the product's performance meets its benchmark. Your teams can also use any of the code profiling tools available to easily identify bottlenecks.
Capacity Planning and Sizing: Once your team has the required SLAs and workload models, your next step should be capacity planning. This can help you identify the correct hardware and network configuration, which will ensure that you meet the end user’s expectations.
DevOps and CI/CD: Performance tests developed at the unit testing level or UX level need to be integrated with CI/CD pipelines in order to catch performance defects quickly. This process also helps create application response times and other server metric trends. Using this information, your development teams can plan future product improvements and improve the overall performance.
Whether you are implementing performance testing or performance engineering, you should ensure that your application meets performance standards. By collaborating with a professional QA services provider, you can execute tests and know the performance status of your product, get in touch with a QASource expert today!