As a software professional, you are expected to have an excellent knowledge of engineering and some relevant and robust skill sets in the industry. Though commonly misunderstood to be one, performance testing and performance engineering have several differences in each level of their entire processes. However, software testers or engineers need to know the proper definitions, uses, and approaches that each of these two processes follows.
To achieve performance excellence in their several digital propositions, enterprises today implement robust strategies to ensure speed, accuracy, responsiveness, and flawless applications. Although they adopt several performance testing aspects to ensure the best quality, a conceptual shift from performance testing to performance engineering is noticed with time.
A closer look into Performance Engineering
Performance engineering refers to using various systematic techniques and practices at every stage of the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). Unlike the job of a performance testing expert, the performance engineer’s job involves going beyond conducting testing for a software product to finding out the solutions to the bugs or issues detected during the software testing process.
A performance engineer needs to perform the following tasks to do their job efficiently:
- Evaluate the system architecture and come up with recommended solutions for an effective performance
- Perform test design and data creation, along with distribution and statistical analysis
- Apply performance testing tools such as JMeter, NeoLoad, and Gatling
- Tune, forecast, and monitor performance under several load scenarios
- Use code profiling tools and database monitoring techniques
- Use deep-dive tools such as CA Wily and HP Diagnostics
- Be adept in management skills, business knowledge, and communication
Therefore, the efficiency of a software product depends upon the efficiency of a performance engineer in many ways. As they specify the need for changes, the rest of the team works to use the resources and implement them accordingly. Once that is done, they analyze the results and make all other changes as required.
Performance engineering is a vital process for Agile and DevOps teams, to successfully validate the quality and efficiency of the applications.
Why do QA experts emphasize the shift to Performance Engineering?
The job of a performance tester or testing company is to arrange the tests that would be executed, to check the problems in the system or application. After the tester reveals several issues or bugs that need to be addressed, they are next analyzed, and a solution is produced to counter them. Performance and load testing provide quality assurance and is performed after every development cycle is completed.
With the rise in more advanced applications and emerging new-age technologies, that comprise several layers, a more comprehensive performance verification is essential. This results in the conceptual shift and performance engineering gains more recognition due to its comprehensive approach towards ensuring the overall quality of the applications.
Today’s enterprises expect rapid delivery to stay ahead of the competition and therefore, cannot afford any delay in their time to market. Performance engineering embraces an approach, which involves flawless application performance along with accelerated delivery of the application. Since performance engineering ensures impeccable quality by rectifying any issues at the initial stage, the shift to this approach is being acknowledged more.
Since continuous testing and delivery is the norm of project development today, performance engineering methodologies are preferred, because you can efficiently align this with the “shift-left” approach in Agile. Therefore, this enables identifying and addressing glitches in performance quite early in the process of development. This approach also allows a complete optimization of the total system performance because you can easily recognize the performance bottlenecks and their causes.
However, performance testing is also instrumental in the development of an application. Though the jobs of a Performance Tester and Performance Engineer are noticeably different, they share the common objective of being result-oriented. The ultimate aim is to add value to the organization’s business. An organization should ensure that it possesses both the professionals that complement each other. Thus, performance testing and performance engineering should be essential components right at the beginning of the software development life cycle, which will ascertain the quality and efficiency of a software product before it is released in the market.