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Grzegorz Piechnik
Grzegorz Piechnik

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How to Become Performance Tester in 2023?

In today's dynamic world, where technology plays a pivotal role, the field of performance testing is a crucial element in ensuring top-notch software quality. In 2023, as our reliance on digital solutions continues to grow, the role of performance testers becomes more critical than ever before. If you dream of a career that allows you to push the boundaries of application performance and contribute to the creation of high-performing software, you're in the right place.

To begin with, we need to clarify one thing - a performance engineer is someone different from a performance tester. Being a performance engineer requires knowledge in various areas and is more challenging than becoming a performance tester. Another thing to note is that this is my individual perspective on the topic of performance testers. Not everyone will agree with what I say in this video, and that's perfectly fine - everything should be open to discussion, which I encourage.

Learn the basics of testing

One of the cornerstones of software engineering is understanding the fundamentals of testing. Familiarity with testing objectives, various types of tests, and testing terminology is essential for effectively ensuring software quality.

Understanding these fundamental testing concepts is crucial, not only for testers but also for developers and other members of the project team. It helps ensure that the software undergoes thorough testing, meets customer expectations, and is free of critical issues. It's important to remember that learning about testing is an ongoing process, as technologies and tools in this field continuously evolve.

Learn at least one programming language

Another of the crucial steps you need to take to become a performance tester in 2023 is to acquire programming skills. Programming is a fundamental tool that will allow you to automate tests, analyze performance data, and identify potential issues.

But how do you choose the right programming language? There are several popular choices, mainly Java, Python, and JavaScript. Why?

Java is one of the most popular programming languages in the world of performance testing. It has extensive support for performance testing tools like Apache JMeter and Gatling. Additionally, Java has a large community and rich documentation.

Python is also an excellent choice for those who are just starting their programming journey. It's easy to learn and has many libraries for performance testing, such as Locust and pytest. However, from my perspective, it may teach some less optimal programming practices initially due to its dynamically typed nature.

The last language I would personally consider is JavaScript. Over the past few years, we've seen a rise in the popularity of a performance testing tool called k6. It's revolutionary for many reasons. The only drawback is that it's not yet as widely used in commercial projects. This is something to keep in mind when choosing a programming language.

No matter which language you choose, it's essential to become proficient in it. Understanding fundamental programming concepts like variables, functions, loops, and data operations is crucial. Additionally, learning to use performance testing tools and libraries in your chosen language is valuable.

Remember that learning programming is a process that takes time and patience. Start with simple projects and gradually build your skills. The more advanced you become in programming, the more effective a performance tester you'll be.

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At least one performance testing tool is a must-have!

Once you've mastered the basics of programming, you must become proficient with at least one performance testing tool. It's essential, and there's no way around it.

You have several choices - it could be JMeter, k6, Locust, or Gatling. For the past few years, JMeter has been the most commonly used tool, and it's almost certain that you'll encounter it in a commercial setting.

However, k6 deserves attention as it's a relatively new tool but is gaining popularity in the performance testing community. It's based on JavaScript, making it an attractive choice for developers who are already experienced in the language. k6 offers a simple syntax and allows you to write performance tests in a more programmatic way. It can be especially useful if you plan to work in DevOps teams or want to integrate performance testing more seamlessly into the continuous integration and delivery process.

Locust is another interesting option, also based on Python. This tool is exceptionally flexible and enables you to write tests in code, providing a high level of control over test scenarios. Gatling, on the other hand, is often chosen in developer-centric environments and is known for its excellent performance and efficient execution of performance tests. In my opinion, both Gatling and Locust can be efficiently replaced with k6.

The ultimate choice of a tool depends on your context and needs, but understanding at least one of these tools is crucial if you want to effectively conduct performance tests and monitor application performance. If I were to choose again, I would start with k6.

Fundamentals of software engineering

It's essential to build a solid foundation in software engineering principles. These fundamentals will not only make you a better performance tester but also provide you with a well-rounded understanding of the software development process.

First of all you have to understand Software Development Life Cycle that defines the stages and processes involved in developing software, from initial planning and requirements gathering to coding, testing, deployment, and maintenance. Understanding different SDLC models (e.g., waterfall, Agile, DevOps) is crucial.

In addition, it is essential to have basic knowledge of version control systems. These systems allow effective management of source code, tracking changes, and collaboration within a team. An example of a popular version control tool is Git.

System observability

The last aspect that you need to be familiar with as a performance tester is system observability. This is a broad topic that you will primarily explore in your practical work. However, it's essential to have knowledge about the various applications available for system observability.

Certainly, in the context of system observability, a significant advantage at the beginning will be familiarity with Grafana and data aggregation systems like Prometheus and InfluxDB, which can be integrated with tools like JMeter or k6. These are tools with relatively low entry barriers, but in practice, they are highly sophisticated and offer powerful capabilities.


In conclusion, the path to becoming a performance tester in 2023 involves grasping testing fundamentals, programming skills, performance testing tools, software engineering principles, and system observability basics. It's a challenging but rewarding journey, contributing to high-quality, high-performing software.

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