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Finding Balance: The Importance of Agile Performance Testing in the Development Process

Agile Performance TestingIt’s easy for a business to fall into the trap of focusing so intensely on content and capabilities for their applications that they neglect one of the areas that’s most important to the audience: performance. Apica and Gigaom’s white paper “Performance Testing: Balancing Agility and Quality” stresses how businesses need to make application performance a priority while maintaining a fast-updating development environment to remain competitive.

The white paper makes the case that combining Agile and DevOps production structures with performance testing services is an effective method for development teams to maximize business opportunities. The tools and development practices eliminate delays when moving a project from programming to testing by allowing constant feedback to help developers address performance issues before they become problems.

Performance Is Essential to a Site or Application’s Success

The longer your company’s application takes to load, the more business you stand to lose. How well your app performs directly relates to the customer experience, which in turn has a major impact on business outcomes. Performance is so important that the different between 100ms in load time on your company’s mobile site can make the difference between 1 percent revenue gain or loss. Every second cut from a mobile site’s load time can boost sales conversion rates by two percent. performance testing

Making Performance a Priority

Instead of being a major focal point, performance is often addressed only at the end of the development cycle. The performance-focused problem can become an even bigger issue when mixed with the expectations that applications should be constantly and quickly updated, leaving little time to address performance issues before pushing the latest iteration. This process pushes a product that has more features and viability from the business’s side—but the consumer won’t care about the new features if the application performs poorly. The push to get new features out the door quickly can’t come at the cost of performance if a business hopes to succeed.

The Agile and DevOps Approach

Integrating performance testing into the development process is an important shift toward treating performance testing as a crucial phase instead of an afterthought. Instead of working as independent entities, the different teams within the development project should work closely with heavy communication. The Agile development approach is a big help for prioritizing application performance, because it shifts testing from a post-production to a during-production task. However, performance testing can be a time-consuming task, so every iteration of the application does not necessarily receive the same amount of attention concerning performance testing. Applying the DevOps structure makes monitoring application performance an autonomous function of the development process. Cloud Testing Tools

Assistance from the Cloud

Advances in cloud technology make it easier for businesses to develop automated performance testing practices that provide valuable metrics that identify potential performance problems. Developers can use SaaS performance tools, browser recording features, and performance monitoring scripts to help gauge how well an application performs. These tools are an incredibly effective asset when applied to the Agile and DevOps production environment. Active monitoring and frequent load testing services will help you keep a close eye on your platform’s performance without forcing your development staff to run constant tests. That way when developers are running tests, they’re focusing on a smaller subsection of performance tests.

Performance testing is often neglected because of the perceived costs, but these can be negated with cost-effective testing automation tools. Additionally, cloud technology makes it easy to scale virtual user tests without requiring expensive, locally controlled testing capabilities.

 

Content is still king, but a lagging delivery platform will suffer against competition even when it provides top-notch content.

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