Versatile Performance Testers can survive in the DevOps Era

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Organisations are now moving towards DevOps/agile methodologies. In this DevOps era, traditional performance testers need to be versatile to survive. Otherwise, they will not add value to overall project outcome. Basic performance testing capabilities will not be enough.  In this blog article, I will share my thoughts on why adaptable performance testers can easily endure in DevOps.

Conventional performance testers for traditional engagements

Conventional performance testers adapt with waterfall, spiral or major/minor release-based testing where performance testing is mostly carried at the end of SDLC at pre-production environment. Performance testers mostly concentrate on the typical performance testing process, share the performance testing results, observation on monitored performance testing metrics with key finding and recommendations. Basically, performance testers get less involved in any optimisation or tuning activities.

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DevOps – different from traditional engagements

In DevOps methodologies, performance testing starts at the early stages of SDLC (shift-left). Performance testers need to execute component performance testing in parallel with low volume. It also integrates with the CI/CD (Continuous Integration/Continuous Development) pipeline. Even full-blown performance testing is conducted at the end of SDLC and/or even after deployment as synthetic load ((shift-right) for proactive performance monitoring. Overall, DevOps enables comprehensive continuous performance testing which combines both shift-left & shift-right.

Conventional performance testers to Versatile performance testers

Conventional performance testers need to know about DevOps processes, it’s associated tools and technologies. For example, they need to learn Jenkins for CI/CD, Groovy for Pipeline, Load Runner Neoload, JMeter, BlazeMeter or Taurus for Performance Test executions, APM tools like AppDynamics/Dynatrace, visualisation tools like Grafana, Log Analyzer like Splunk. This is just an example, so it is not just limited to these tools or technologies. Adapting with this new way of performance testing is necessary for enduring in the market.

Conventional performance testers require systematic, well planned training with real time experiences, showcases, demos, screenshots etc. After proper training, hands-on sessions are necessary too. Hands-on sessions are mandatory to understand the overall methodologies. It is also essential to provide proper guidance and directions for motivational aspects. Conventional performance testers already have the foundation & experience. The only thing is they need is to be adaptive. Versatility is the only way to survive.

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Versatile performance testers – value add

Versatile performance testers let build people know that build success should also include performance SLA – service level agreements. It can assist developers to know the performance at early stages of the SDLC and scope of performance improvement at component level. Versatile performance testers can think about a bottom-up approach. However, their main attention will be on end-user experiences.  Versatile performance testers add value to the engagements in terms of overall system performance (5S-speed, scalability, stability, spike, size) to ensure end-user satisfaction. Also, versatile performance testers think in automation perspective. Overall, versatile performance testers need to know the operational (application performance monitoring) and development aspects (CI/CD pipeline concepts) in addition to the conventional performance tester’s role. They are also expected to know the business performance requirements, have a good understanding of architecture, analyse performance issues in a modularized approach, provide key findings, recommendations, support profiling, undertake performance engineering activities, extensive use of application performance monitoring like using dashboards, create alerts for performance high usages and continuous application performance improvement.

Conclusion

Versatile performance testers can survive in the DevOps performance era to support DevOps performance testing smoothly and effectively.

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About the Author

Arun Kumar

Arun earned a degree in Computer science from Govt. Engg. College, India. He is having 14+ years of working and managing E2E testing delivery experience in different types of applications. He has a keen interest in reading and writing different technical papers. He has been selected in multiple international conferences; global webinars and his papers have been published in multiple forums and also won various awards. He is now working as Senior Test Manager in Atos & Global Subdomain Leader for Atos Expert: Applications-Testing.
Find out more about @arun2005413gmail-com

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