Mobile IoT Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, William Schmarzo, Rostyslav Demush

Related Topics: @DevOpsSummit, Linux Containers, Containers Expo Blog

@DevOpsSummit: Blog Post

Top Misconceptions of Load Testing in an Agile Environment | @DevOpsSummit #Agile #DevOps

If you asked me to describe Agile Development in one word, that's the word I'd choose: fast


If you asked me to describe Agile Development in one word, that's the word I'd choose: fast. The notion of speed is embedded into the very fabric of Agile. You find it in all sorts of Agile terms and practices. Think about it:

  • You plan everything in sprints.
  • You measure the velocity of the team to improve efficiency.
  • Coordination happens in a 15-minute daily standup.
  • Even integration happens continuously.

So why is it that performance testing is often saved for the end of the Agile Development process? It's like developers think they can't improve efficiency until all the code is written, so they just wait until it's done before trying. It's odd, because in a culture that's obsessed with speed, you'd think that improving the speed of the application would be a front-and-center activity.

Most of the time, that's not the case.

We've written a few posts recently about how load testing and performance testing aren't always as agile as they ought to be. But why are we in this situation in the first place? Often, it's because there are a lot of misconceptions that people have about what's possible with respect to performance testing in an Agile setting. People don't necessarily understand what it takes to do a good job in this area.

As a performance engineer, we wanted to arm you with a few of the common misconceptions out there, and give you some helpful ways of addressing them. That way, you can push your performance testing initiatives deeper into your Agile process, improving your application and making your end users happy.

Misconception #1: Performance Testing Is Just Different - It Doesn't Fit Into Agile
There's a lot more to load testing that that big, massive, full-throttle, peak-usage stress test - you know the one, it's essentially designed to push the entire environment to its breaking point. Unfortunately that's how many people see the entire endeavor of performance testing, as wrapped up in that one kind of test. So naturally people don't think that performance testing is something that can easily fit into the small-batch, highly iterative world of Agile.

As you know, there's a whole lot more to performance testing than that. Individual modules can be tested for performance just as easily as they can be tested for functionality. By developing a suite of modular performance test scenarios, you can help dispel this myth. Create tests for common queries or critical transactions. That way your peers will understand there are lots of ways that performance testing can fit into the normal Dev-Test-Ops cycle.

Misconception #2: Performance Tests Can't Be Run Quickly Enough for Agile
For some types of tests, this is true. Think about a complicated stress test that requires the entire production environment to operate. You can't hijack your whole system to run this test every time you do a build. After all, you have a business to run! What would happen to the users if this were the case?

However, there are plenty of ways to segment that activity and perform targeted performance testing. In fact, one of the best things you can do is think about performance requirements up front and build them into your specification process. For agile, this means putting performance SLAs on the task board. By doing so, you can automate a lot of basic testing as part of your normal, continuous integration process.

Misconception #3: Developers Shouldn't Focus on Performance Until After Functionality Is Complete
One of the core tenets of agile programming is that problems found early are fixed faster and at a far lower costs. That's exactly why you see trends like test-driven development, and test automation, and why more and more testers are learning how to code, so they can create tests alongside creating code.

It's no different with performance testing. How many times have you heard the story - an enormous bottleneck was found in the field, causing a huge slowdown and impacting revenue. When the root cause was finally found, it came down to one poorly optimized line of code or a badly written SQL statement. Wouldn't it have been nice to find that error when it was written, and not after users were affected?

Back-end interfaces like SOAP or Web Services open up all sorts of possibilities for testing performance along a variety of application paths before the user interface is fully built out. Take advantage of this and you'll find you can improve performance well before your app's functionality is done.

Misconception #4: Performance Can't Be Accurately Measured While Code Is Under Development, so Why Bother?
It's true that the performance characteristics of code that is actively being developed will change quite frequently. As code is built out, it becomes more and more complex, and that's going to directly impact how fast and efficiently it runs.

But that's all the more reason to design performance tests early in the process. By doing so, you're going to help developers be aware of their code's behavior under load or stress, and they'll even be more conscious throughout the process of the decisions they make that could affect performance.

Misconception #5: Load Testing Doesn't Involve the Whole Team Like Functional Testing Does
Well, the truth is that while performance testing may have historically been the responsibility of a lone individual or a small, distinct department, that's a pretty antiquated way of looking at load testing. Plus, it flies in the face of everything that Agile stands for.

If you look at any modern Agile organization, you'll see that everyone is responsible for quality. Everyone plays a role in maintaining working software (as the Agile Manifesto says). In fact, as testers you know better than anyone that while organizations still have testers and quality assurance specialists, developers are often expected to write their own test cases, and operations specialists are similarly expected to identify problems and work towards fixing them. Everyone is a tester.

Just because performance testing hasn't been fully integrated through the team yet, doesn't mean that it shouldn't be.

Misconception #6: Load Testing Is Too Manual for Our Automated Continuous Integration Environment
There will always be manual aspects of load testing, just as there will always be manual aspects of functional testing. After all, at the end of the day it's the user experience that counts. If you eliminate the human perspective completely during testing, there's no way you can have full confidence in the code you are delivering.

Automation goes a long way, and there are plenty of ways to automate performance testing too. Saying that the process is too manual is little more than an excuse.

Now is a great time to find opportunities to make performance testing an integrated part of your Agile process. So much is changing with the tools and processes out there, it's hard to resist the benefits you can achieve. Hopefully, this post helps you get around some of the preconceived notions that may be standing in your way.

More Stories By Tim Hinds

Tim Hinds is the Product Marketing Manager for NeoLoad at Neotys. He has a background in Agile software development, Scrum, Kanban, Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery, and Continuous Testing practices.

Previously, Tim was Product Marketing Manager at AccuRev, a company acquired by Micro Focus, where he worked with software configuration management, issue tracking, Agile project management, continuous integration, workflow automation, and distributed version control systems.

@ThingsExpo Stories
DevOpsSummit New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DXWorldEXPO within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of bus...
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, we provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading...
DXWordEXPO New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that ICOHOLDER named "Media Sponsor" of Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO. ICOHOLDER give you detailed information and help the community to invest in the trusty projects. Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO has opened its Call for Papers. The two-day event will present 20 top Blockchain experts. All speaking inquiries which covers the following information can be submitted by email to [email protected] Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO also offers s...
DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
Cloud-enabled transformation has evolved from cost saving measure to business innovation strategy -- one that combines the cloud with cognitive capabilities to drive market disruption. Learn how you can achieve the insight and agility you need to gain a competitive advantage. Industry-acclaimed CTO and cloud expert, Shankar Kalyana presents. Only the most exceptional IBMers are appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the company. Shankar has also receive...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities - ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups.
Poor data quality and analytics drive down business value. In fact, Gartner estimated that the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year. But bad data is much more than a cost center. By eroding trust in information, analytics and the business decisions based on these, it is a serious impediment to digital transformation.
The standardization of container runtimes and images has sparked the creation of an almost overwhelming number of new open source projects that build on and otherwise work with these specifications. Of course, there's Kubernetes, which orchestrates and manages collections of containers. It was one of the first and best-known examples of projects that make containers truly useful for production use. However, more recently, the container ecosystem has truly exploded. A service mesh like Istio addr...
Predicting the future has never been more challenging - not because of the lack of data but because of the flood of ungoverned and risk laden information. Microsoft states that 2.5 exabytes of data are created every day. Expectations and reliance on data are being pushed to the limits, as demands around hybrid options continue to grow.
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
As IoT continues to increase momentum, so does the associated risk. Secure Device Lifecycle Management (DLM) is ranked as one of the most important technology areas of IoT. Driving this trend is the realization that secure support for IoT devices provides companies the ability to deliver high-quality, reliable, secure offerings faster, create new revenue streams, and reduce support costs, all while building a competitive advantage in their markets. In this session, we will use customer use cases...
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
The IoT Will Grow: In what might be the most obvious prediction of the decade, the IoT will continue to expand next year, with more and more devices coming online every single day. What isn’t so obvious about this prediction: where that growth will occur. The retail, healthcare, and industrial/supply chain industries will likely see the greatest growth. Forrester Research has predicted the IoT will become “the backbone” of customer value as it continues to grow. It is no surprise that retail is ...
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that "Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO" has announced that its Call for Papers is now open. The two-day event will present 20 top Blockchain experts. All speaking inquiries which covers the following information can be submitted by email to [email protected] Financial enterprises in New York City, London, Singapore, and other world financial capitals are embracing a new generation of smart, automated FinTech that eliminates many cumbersome, slow, and expe...
Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo have announced the conference tracks for Cloud Expo 2018. Cloud Expo will be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, and November 6-8, 2018, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DX Expo within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive ov...