Top 10 performance testing tips

Are you properly testing your applications for performance? These performance testing tips -- many written by performance testing expert Scott Barber -- can help you make sure you're covering all your bases.

Performance, performance, performance. That's one of the most important concerns in application development. And it's up to software testers to make sure applications are properly tested for performance. These tips -- the most popular and highly rated from 2007 and 2008 -- can help you make sure you're covering all your bases.


1. What is performance testing?
Determining what exactly performance testing is proves to be more difficult than you'd expect. Testing expert Scott Barber attempts to pinpoint a definition while recognizing that it may be impossible for the industry to settle on one set explanation.

2. Developing an approach to performance testing
While there's no universal approach to testing application performance, there are some activities that are part of nearly every performance testing effort. Scott Barber reviews what those activities are in this Peak Performance column.

3. Testing for performance, part 1: Assess the problem space
In the first article of this series on testing for performance, Mike Kelly outlines ways for you to understand your content and the system and figure out where to start testing.

4. Testing for performance, part 2: Build out the test assets
In this second article of our three-part series on testing for performance Michael Kelly looks at how to build test assets and the work required to support that effort.

5. Software performance testing: You can't test everything
It's nearly impossible to simulate all the ways an application will be used, so deciding which scenarios to include in a performance test plays a critical role in estimating performance in production. In this Peak Performance column, Scott Barber shares how he handles this important task.

6. What to include in a performance test plan
Before performance testing can be performed effectively, a detailed plan should be formulated that specifies how performance testing will proceed from a business perspective and a technical perspective. David W. Johnson outlines what to include in such a plan.

7. Software testing is improved by good bug reporting
Bug reports can be an excellent means of assessing how well you've tested a bug. Testing expert Scott Barber explains how good bug reports indicate good testing.

8. Use "SCORN" to test the front end of a website for performance
The front end of a website likely contains the most opportunities for the largest and cheapest performance improvements. Scott Barber shows how to use the SCORN heuristic to conduct a reasonably comprehensive set of front-end performance tests in just 15 minutes.

9. Software performance testing: There is no 'I' in 'team'
Whether you're on a football team or software testing team, one exemplary player won't make a difference. Everyone needs to work together and support one another. Scott Barber explains in this Peak Performance column.

10. Why do we test for performance?
If you ask stakeholders their goals for performance testing, chances are their answer won't help you design your tests. But if you follow Scott Barber's model for such conversations, you will likely gain better insight and be able to improve your testing effort.

This was last published in September 2008

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