How Agile Can Facelift Performance Testing ?

The success of apps in the market already saturated by similar apps depends on how efficiently they perform. Performance is a factor of quality. Organizations are realizing that quality is not dependent on a single department but a collective responsibility. This is the reason why and how over the past ten years, the software sector has changed in the way applications and programs are developed and tested. All applications need to be tested for how well they can function under a given load. Performance testing includes a range of tests that enable the testers to analyze the working of the system. It can be inbuilt in the design and structure of the system before coding. The aim of this testing it to improve page loading speed, ensure scalability for loads and stability that makes the app work all the time. Wal-Mart was behind the competition in the online sector till it improved the page load time. The result was a 2% improvement in conversion rate for every second.

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When is performance testing done in agile

In the conventional waterfall model of app development, the testing could happen only after the app was fully developed. Testing was the work of a separate department that worked in isolation and often at the last moment. Enterprises are these days favoring the flexibility offered by the Agile model. In this new method, development is no longer a step by step method. It is an iterative model where the app development and its testing go hand in hand and are both responsible for the release deadline. With Agile, there is a major ‘shift left’ approach that allows testing to start as early as possible and thus increases the efficiency. Scrum, Extreme Programming etc some examples of Agile testing that are being used widely.

Agile is preferred by developers because –it is iterative and evolves with every step. The product development cycle is broken into small increments thus the time spent for planning and design reduces. The time for iteration is short lasting typically from one to four weeks. There is a cross-functional team involved for planning, analysis, design, coding and acceptance testing. The stakeholders are in the picture with and involved at the end of the iteration thus making it possible to adapt to changes. The feedback loop thus becomes shorter and the team is able to analyze roadblocks if any much faster.

Agile performance testing challenges

Performance testing is an integral part of Agile. The process promises to develop quality software while reducing the development cycle thus affecting both the development cost and the release timings. In a typical Agile process, each project is divided into Sprints which are smaller projects. The aspect of performance testing is inbuilt in every sprint so that the project team can prioritize the defects and eliminate them in a logical manner. Keeping performance testing as the first and foremost necessity in any project, Agile allows the organization and end users to work closely. As a result, any issues related to performance that can affect the app can be identified as well as rectified early on in the development cycle.

Ideal environment for Performance testing

In order to succeed with performance testing, the testers need to be involved in every Sprint so that the end result of the Sprint development cycle is a quality product. On the part of the development team, the criteria for performance testing need to be spelled properly for every Sprint.

Further, the teams that have to handle the bugs need to prioritize and take action as per priority. The ideal testing environment is one that replicates the production environment but this is not always possible especially in case of bigger apps. Testing with one server for each layer with each server loaded as per the production environment helps identify the weak point. With these in place, Agile can be most effective for performance testing.

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