Performance testing is a vital component of any developer’s working process. The performance of your website or app can be judged by a lot of people in your organization, both technical and non-technical.
Developers, operators and performance engineers are on the front lines when it comes to the development of a functioning site/app, but there will always be people away from engineering with comments, too.
“Can we make this faster?”
“Is the UI making this a little too slow?”
C-level execs, board members and marketers can often make the journey into becoming amateur web performance testing experts and critics, but that’s okay!
Web performance is widely accepted as a crucial factor in user experience—for example, when it comes to the e-commerce buyer’s journey. Your application better be fast, or you’re going to end up costing yourself conversions and money.
Instead of having these conversations after the development and testing has been done, we should definitely include all the stakeholders in the process from the beginning. Sound familiar? (ahem, DevOps, ahem)
Assemble the Team
Here are a few simple ways you can get everyone involved in your performance testing cycle:
In the business of collecting data, getting a baseline is key. Test your minimum viable product (MVP) as aggressively as you would test your “final” product. If the MVP can’t stand up to some pressure early on, it might be in deep trouble moving forward.
Test Often—and Automate
The idea here is to create a performance trend to show if you’re moving in the right direction. More data points is always better.
The best way to generate many data points is to programmatically run tests after each code commit, either using continuous integration software or by having a post-commit hook or something similar in the source code control system that makes an API call to fire off a load test.
This way, you’re arming yourself with the right information to know when new code is impacting application performance, and you’ll know when to jump in and investigate changes right away.
Give People Access
We’re living in the era of transparency in software as a service (SaaS), so it’s always a good idea to give your coworkers access to your testing dashboard data. While some people in the organization might not wholly understand the technical side, it won’t be difficult for them to grasp that an increasing load time can be a bad trend.
There are all kinds of dashboard SaaS companies out there who can help you do this—assuming you want to stay away from pounding numbers into a spreadsheet or table every day.
At Load Impact, we’ve received a lot of feedback from engineers who were looking for an easy way to share test information with team members, and from that, we created the “Team Members” functionality.
Testers simply invite team members to their organization, and the new invitee can see past results and even create scenarios to be tested. That way, everyone’s in the loop, and everyone can get involved to the extent of their expertise.
Play Nice and Share
Continuous testing is a mindset as much as it’s a methodology. It fits neatly into the ideals of DevOps, and a big part of that is an inclusive, collaborative culture with your team members.
So remember, play nice with your colleagues—technical and non-technical—and you’ll create a productive, creative environment for everyone to thrive in.