Things to know while incorporating Performance Testing into your Software Development Lifecycle

The advent of DevOps and agile methodologies have paved the way to shift-left testing. This is justified with the growth of highly distributed applications becoming more complex and developers want their systems to be user-friendly, scalable, and secure. In order to achieve this, finding performance glitches and resolving them immediately at every stage of development will accelerate the release cycle.

Is it necessary to integrate Performance Testing in your SDLC?

Performance testing focuses on testing the non-functional aspects of the application like speed, response time, stability, and so on at a particular workload, and by incorporating it at every stage of its development aids in identifying, resolving, and optimizing potential issues.

Distributed applications are usually developed with numerous complex modules and each of them has a different dynamic response time based on their respective intended functions. By performing various tests to these modules, designers and developers can actually rectify the identified flaws. This allows DevOps teams to achieve better chances to automate processes, flexibility, and the ability to configure disruptive components.

Then, what is Performance Tuning?

Performance Tuning is a procedure done post the identification of performance issues during the performance testing. Based on the bottlenecks detected, the system is fine-tuned to avoid them and perform better. Here the application code is rewritten with an objective to achieve the initial performance SLA decided. This rewritten code for the system is again performance tested to evaluate if the changes have worked and if the expected results are not received this performance tuning process continues.

Some Best Practices to adopt while making Performance Testing as a key part of SDLC

  • Mandate performance into the documentation– This helps to have the required metrics and acceptance criteria baked into the early stage of the design and development process.
  • Shift left testing – Make sure to test your system at an earlier stage possible, however, load testing cannot be shifted left but on the parts where it could be, make sure to evaluate the performance from the beginning.
  • Leave room for new functionalities– It is a best practice to leave room for future functionalities that will be included in the system features. This gives a scope to forecast the required performance benchmark the development team must work for and to avoid damage control in the future.
  • Future Workloads – This point is in continuation to the previous, where the development team must concentrate on the future of the system, regarding the potential growth in the number of users operating this system and its ability to scale based on the increase in the users.
  • Shift Right Testing is also important – Shift Right testing is the process of conducting tests and taking necessary actions post the development process, usually in the steps subsequent to deployment or release. Shift Right testing is usually performed in API monitoring, feature toggles, and in places where production traffic is used for testing applications.

Final Thoughts

Performance Testing embedded in SDLC is the future of non-functional software testing and there are numerous examples that have documented its beneficial impact on the software development process. Therefore, making this part of your SDLC ecosystem is an effective way to optimize your product quality and performance in a long run.

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