Performance testing is a type of non-functional software testing process that checks whether the software or the application performs in the desired manner. The idea is to create an application that is stable and efficient under all user-case scenarios. This is especially true when the software in question has a huge number of users operating it simultaneously.
Performance testing, in a nutshell, tests for readability, scalability, speed and stability of the software to ensure that it works seamlessly under all conditions.
However, it is not an easy process that can be completed in a small amount of time. If you do not plan everything down to the T, certain challenges do come up. These challenges can occur due to the lack of resources like time and money or the lack of an efficient test strategy.
To help you get a better understanding of the possible obstacles you could face during performance testing, we have listed out some of the common challenges that crop up and the best possible solutions to overcome them.
Improper test strategy and test coverage
The biggest challenge faced by testers is the lack of a proper test strategy and coverage. A lot of times, the absence of a comprehensive workflow affects the end results badly. Performance Testing requires you to identify and prioritise the project risks and then come with a proper workplan to mitigate them.
Planning appropriate tests for different characteristics of the software, simulating real-life situations and the testing of API are just a few of the many things that need to be done. Since it is a tiring and long process, it can lead to the QA team not developing a full-proof plan.
Solution: The QA and the performance testing team should come with a test strategy that focuses on the software architecture, load distribution, usage model, geography of usage, and requirements related to availability, resilience and reliability, technology stack and so on. The test strategy you build should cover validating all these features of the software to create a robust product.
Selecting the wrong set of Performance Testing tools
Once you have created a test strategy, the next step is to identify the tools that will do the job for you and this is where a lot of people go wrong. Apart from the choosing the tool based on the test cases, you need to look into other factors as well, like application technology stack, application communication protocol, skillset of the performance tester, familiarity of the tool and the licencing cost of the tool. If you end up choosing the wrong tool, it will lead to the loss of time, energy and money.
Solution: Evaluation of the Application Under Test (AUT) is the key here. For this, the QA manager and the team have to go through the various features of the application and evaluate the AUT to identify the right set of tools required to get the desired results.
Lack of sufficient time and budget
One of the biggest challenges faced during performance testing is the lack of resources. This mainly happens due to the lack of proper planning during the initial phase when the allocation of the budget and time is worked upon. As a result, the QA team ends up relying on low-skilled testers who may not understand the full scope of the application and end up performing badly.
A lack of sufficient budget also leads to resorting to using poor testing tools that might be open-sourced, thus increasing the risks involved in the project by a huge margin.
Solution: During the initial planning phase of the project, performance testers should be a part of the team that allocates the funds and the timeframe, so as to ensure the availability of the required resources. This is the only way to ensure quality in the end product.
Always saving Performance Testing for the last step
To start with, there are times when the project owners and stakeholders do not recognise the need for performance testing during software development. This in itself is a huge challenge that needs to be addressed. Nevertheless, even if they do understand the need for it, the QA team makes the wrong move by keeping the performance testing phase towards the end of the SDLC (Software Development Lifecycle).
It is a common belief that performance testing is to be conducted just before the product rolls out to the public. On the contrary, this practice can be devastating in some cases, as it can be too late for you to rectify the bugs in the software right before the product is launched. If there are some serious defects, you may end up making a lot of changes in the source code, leading to an increase in costs.
Solution: At a time when the DevOps methodology is being used to churn out faster releases, it is imperative that you integrate performance testing right from the start. Furthermore, by automating these tests, you can easily eradicate the issues faced due to the lack of testers to perform tests manually.
Improper analysis of the test results
One of the biggest challenges faced during performance testing is the lack of expertise amongst testers regarding how to analyse the test results in the right manner. Not being able to analyse the problem in depth can lead to the software being released with bugs.
Solution: Performance testing has to be performed by experienced testers who have worked under different conditions to ensure that they address every issue that crops up in the test results. You need to hire testers who have an extensive knowledge of OS concepts, web architecture, data structures, OSI model, networking concepts, performance concepts from both client-side and server-side, and so on. Proficient testers will be able to quickly analyse the results and come up with the necessary solutions to increase the release speed.
After going through the challenges and their solutions, it must be pretty clear to you how important it is to have efficient performance testers in your team. At TestUnity, we offer you the best services, thanks to the experienced testers from around the world who work with us.