Testing the Unknown. Is Performance Testing the Answer?

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Self-driven cars, self-instructing drones, or Tony Stark’s super-competent computer J.A.R.V.I.S. is soon becoming a reality for the world. Yes, the next thing you own could be any artificially intelligent gadget from the famous Marvel comic collection or a time and space crashing machine from Disney’s Tomorrowland.

The future has it!

News is out and twitter is trending with photos and videos of Google’s Burrito Delivery drones getting officially tested in Virginia. The drones are being tested for the capacity of weight it can carry, overall management, and coordination. With new age technologies being implemented for everyday jobs, one day you can surely expect a drone hovering over your head to deliver a pizza.

Literally speaking, testing performance ensures that the pizza is delivered in your hands and does not go down the chimney!

Uber is just gearing up to introduce a fleet of driverless cars in Pittsburgh, a former steel town and is on the way of becoming the first city to explore autonomous vehicles. It has planned to use around 100 modified Volvo sport utility vehicles for passenger trials with human monitor behind the wheel. Kind of ensuring convergence of human and technology. It proved to be a 21st century technology leap when Pittsburgh authorities helped the company to lease a large plot near the city’s riverfront to build a testing track.

A city of 306,000 seems like an ideal ground for Silicon Valley’s wildest experiments. Too soon to say so! It has also triggered worries amongst the populace regarding safety and regulations for testing a premature technology.

Is cynicism a prelude to any innovative venture?

How a city reacts and accepts disruptive tech experiments like driverless cab services is definitely a phenomenon to watch out. At the same time, there are quite a few tech and auto companies, who are testing their own driverless fleets in cities like California and Michigan and going through their own set of challenges.

Perfection is the key. The very reason testing is taking a front seat in the overall development process. Specifically, Performance testing makes a large impact by determining the effect of any new technology/device by gauging various factors. If we can say so, Performance testing refutes the hands-off approach to overcome every possible glitch.

In case of Uber, the tested cars are already on the roads and picking up commuters in Pittsburgh. What is the mechanism if the vehicle stops mid-way in traffic? Is there automated messaging to the base station? What is the contingency plan for any such possible breakdown?

Performance testing helps you answer ‘ifs & whys’ of every glitch that you may expect.

Performance testing has been helping CTOs identify, evaluate and authenticate the speed, consistency, and dependability of the system to finally deliver a bug-free software/device. It covers an entire spectrum of factors that determine quality, load, stress, and soak testing to volume testing at various stages of a software’s development. It further helps test at various levels of the application to measure factors like capacity analysis and server response time, risk management testing, which can act effectively to confirm the performance of the new age devices.

It helps CTOs/development teams monitor and assess critical aspects like response-time, infrastructure capabilities, Network bandwidth, risks involved, and much more that can determine seamless functioning. A wholesome testing approach helps address performance defects and helps meet sporadic demands at every stage of the SDLC.

Performance testing methodologies further check predictive performance of an application to run flawlessly and rush faster to the market.

With perspectives and tools evolving every day, experts are effectively leveraging open source performance engineering tools to slice off the turnaround time by monitoring the overall Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) process.

Soak Tests, Load Tests, or Stress Tests?

New age technologies and tools have been increasingly posing a challenge for the testing community. A particular type of testing or performance testing mechanism might not help to deliver a particular result. However, what could work magically, is a combination of various approaches for deriving the desired outcome.

Load tests and Stress tests have been increasingly used to evaluate a software or device’s stability, scalability, and responsiveness under excessively coercing and stretching parameters. Devices that are bound to determine the future of a particular service domain need to get tried and tested under equally stressful real-time environment with all possible unruly factors.

Soak testing is considered a type of Stress test to mainly check the response of a particular aspect under test or mostly an emulated environment over a particular time span. Inferences derived during Soak tests help improve the characteristics of the application/device.

Brands can possibly implement Soak tests for months together and simultaneously apply external factors to gauge the performance. This further confirms the system’s consistency and various other performance aspects over a longer and stretched time span, particularly evaluating a system’s stability over a much loaded period of time.

Leveraging the Virtual Environment

Working in an emulated environment can work wonders while testing services/devices that require a lot of factors to work together. Service Virtualization helps developers and testers test applications/software in a constantly evolving environment. It helps test against a wide range of functional and performance factors with a minimum set-up.

With service virtualization, you can simulate the performance of every dependent factor and control them. It further helps to determine the impact of the ‘virtualized’ dependencies to assess various high risk factors required to test the Application Under Test (AUT).

An experienced and capable testing partner can offer a virtualized Test environment as per your test needs and can scale them as per your requirement.

A comprehensive test strategy helps bring down the scepticism towards every innovative attempt and increase acceptance. What you need is a reliable testing partner to work with and devise the best possible approach.

While an inclusive Performance testing strategy will continue to kill the bug around all tech innovations, being a ‘Doubting Thomas’ always helps to bring the best from your testing efforts.

Cigniti’s Performance Engineering & Testing teams hold massive experience in providing cutting edge services to global clients. Cigniti is equipped with a dedicated Performance Testing CoE that focuses on providing solutions around performance testing and engineering. Connect with us for a complete performance testing strategy that accelerated time to market without compromising quality.

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