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5 best practices for establishing a performance testing strategy

Your testing strategy may look great on paper. But how can you be sure it will provide accurate real-life results? In this article, I’ll share the most important aspects to consider when designing your performance test strategy.

Start testing early
If you are working on a live service product, you probably won’t have the resources to simultaneously add features and rewrite a flawed solution. Good quality assurance always starts early. The primary reason is the cost of late testing.

Your QA team may identify serious flaws that are near- or outright architecture-level problems. Such issues will be complex, if not impossible, to fix, requiring awkward workarounds or even a project reboot.

Pick your metrics
It’s easy to tell whether your app is good or not. If it loads things fast and doesn’t crash, it’s great. A software performance testing strategy, however, has nuances and thus needs to be more detailed especially for SaaS applications.

Stability metrics are important to include even if you aren’t expecting a lot of traffic. Parameters such as Peak Response Time, Throughput and Bandwidth should also be included — all of which indicate the health of your application. And naturally, Uptime is the most important metric — even if you’re running an online flower shop with 10 daily visitors

Build a testing software suite
The only way to make sure that your app is as excellent as it can be is to push it to its limits. It should perform flawlessly, even under high loads, and be free from bugs. Performance testing helps you achieve this, but it’s not easy.

You need a powerful platform capable of running tests 24/7 and collecting data about performance. This information will enable you to optimize your application’s user experience, functionality and security before the launch date.

Organise your tests
It might be time to change if you’re struggling to have a clear overview of all your tests. Your testing strategy should be more than just a list of random test cases each team member throws together on a whim. You can establish a sustainable process that allows you and your team to grow and thrive.

Establishing a good test management routine is just one half of the equation: you must follow it. Use test management software with workflow functionality to streamline your testing process, or look into service desk–style solutions and build a structure based on clear roles and responsibilities.

Ask your users
It is amazing that your users can quickly pick the size of the shoes they are about to order, but they had most likely filtered by size in the first place.

When working with limited resources, it may be better to drive the performance testing effort and developer’s time for optimisation elsewhere.

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If you want to follow my testing learning journey, follow the “Software Testing Talks” groups I created on Reddit and Linkedin. I share the most interesting QA discussions I find on the web and insights I get during testing work and studies there.

I am also happy to hear your feedback, suggestions, or ideas about what you would like me to write more about. Don’t hesitate to text me if you want to say hi or discuss something.

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