Continuous performance engineering for Agile & DevOps organizations

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Performance-related issues have caused major websites and software apps to fail, and thus re-emphasizing the need for a robust and well-planned and executed performance testing strategy. 

All of us, from a user’s standpoint, have experienced network downtime, website crashes, and other performance and load challenges at some or other point. This is, in fact, a common occurrence during the peak holiday season including the top shopping events like the Black Friday sale. 

While performance testing takes care of the non-functional aspects of an application, it is usually not given the due importance from the stakeholders. If testing is pushed till the very end, performance testing is pushed even later in the cycle, which is too late to fix any of the detected issues. 

Therefore, organizations are required to change their outlook and not only involve testing as the core component, but also focus on the performance aspects of the software. 

For IT organizations to overcome their struggle to meet the business application performance expectations for speed, scalability, and quality, a simple performance testing approach does not suffice. 

Rather, they should adopt a proactive performance quality engineering strategy that involves performance as an explicit and clear requirement and involves the creation of test cases for verifying and fulfilling the performance expectations. 

Therefore, there is a two-way change that should be implemented. First, a transition from the legacy software development methodologies to Agile and DevOps for accelerating the time to market. And second, taking a dual-shift approach for performance engineering and quality engineering, and implementing a continuous feedback and monitoring loop to facilitate continuous improvement. 

Let us talk about these aspects in detail: 

Legacy modernization and QA transformation 

As organizations migrate from Waterfall, they would either go the Agile or the DevOps way. With the given market landscape and the ever-evolving customer requirements, the ‘Agile or DevOps’ strategy falls short. Instead, organizations need to embrace an ‘Agile and DevOps’ strategy. 

DevOps is, in a way, an extension of the Agile principles. Therefore, we can say that by embracing the ‘and’ strategy instead of the ‘or’ strategy, organizations can reap the benefits of speed, collaboration, and scalability. 

Additionally, as the time-to-market is accelerated and the codes are pushed into production much faster, organizations are able to tap into the market and fulfill the users’ demands before their requirements change again. 

Also read: Enterprise transformation from legacy QA to DevOps 

Performance engineering and the dual-shift approach 

The MITRE org defines performance engineering as “a specialty systems engineering discipline that applies scientific, mathematical, engineering, and measurement concepts, principles, and methods to deliver a system that meets its nonfunctional performance-related requirements. 

While functional defects are comparatively easier to fix, non-functional issues that impact performance are highly challenging to resolve as there are numerous different components and parts of the application involved. Also, leaving them unresolved create heavy technical debt over time that results in the app’s demise over time. 

To address this, performance engineering becomes critical. 

Gartner predicts that “by 2021, organizations that have embraced a performance engineering approach for application development will outperform the competition that has not, in both customer satisfaction and business results. 

Also read: Creating and running high-performance engineering teams 

A performance engineering approach for non-functional quality aspects involved performance assessment and evaluation as a continuous process right from the beginning. 

This means, the performance testing process is shifting to the very left to run in parallel with the development and to leave enough time and scope to resolve the defects that are identified. 

In addition to beginning the testing process early in the software development life cycle, it is not concluded with the production. Rather, a continuous feedback and monitoring loop is established that leverages performance data from production and real users. 

Case study: Performance Engineering CoE (PCoE) helped a leading US-based mortgage provider improve application performance by 25% 

A leading mortgage provider was looking for an independent quality engineering and software testing provider who could identify the multiple performance bottlenecks & suggest recommendations on how to implement performance fixes for legacy loan processing systems.  

They were facing several performance issues with their customer facing website and back office legacy loan processing systems. As a result, they wanted to test their website and legacy desktop applications and wanted suggestions for improving the performance of both types of applications. 

Know how Cigniti implemented a Performance Engineering Center of Excellence and performed deep diagnostics monitoring and analyses to improve the performance of the applications by 25%, made the web apps more scalable, and also helped the client achieve 100% cache utilization. 

Read the complete success story here. 

How can we help 

At Cigniti, we believe that implementing a Shift-Left/Shift-Right culture enables better monitoring and early detection of bottlenecks leading to a seamless, well-managed, and integrated performance. Monitoring performance leads to better decision making & a dual-shift approach supports faster delivery & enhances UX. 

We leverage our Performance Engineering CoE, enabled by its IP – BlueSwan, decision-enabling dashboards, acceleration kits for projects & process, a cloud-enabled performance testing lab for testing your cloud, IoT, & mobile-based apps, websites, and more to achieve scalability, improve quality, & increase ROI. 

Cigniti’s Performance Engineering CoE comprises 150+ Performance Testing specialists & a cloud-enabled performance test lab that takes care of your performance testing, engineering, consulting, production monitoring, and capacity planning needs. 

Connect with our performance engineering specialists by scheduling a discussion with us today.