Software Development: The Importance of Performance Testing

If you are interested in software development, then you are probably aware of the many stages of the development process. However, what you may not know is how very important it is that a program’s development continues even after its design is complete. That’s where performance testing comes in, and it is a process you can’t afford to overlook.

Factors of performance testing. The focus of performance testing is to ensure a software’s optimal efficiency in regards to three areas: speed, stability, and scalability. End users obviously want to use software that is highly responsive–that is, it must work fast–and if a software’s speed isn’t up to par, it’s back to the drawing board. Stability refers to a software’s ability to keep up with all of the functions it is supposed to perform–and all at once, if necessary; additionally, the program should be able to move between functions and tasks fluidly, without gliching or crashing. Scalability is a software’s tolerance for its maximum work load. A performance test in scalability involves seeing how much the program can handle before it stops working efficiently.

Types of performance tests. There are numerous performance tests, and it is important that all of them are utilized toward the end of the best-possible functioning software. The process of performance testing includes load testing, endurance testing, volume testing, spike testing, scalability testing, and stress testing. As you can probably guess just by the names of these tests, they each contribute to the betterment of a software program in a unique way, which lends to a multifaceted (and multi-advantageous) approach to software development.

Advantages of performance testing. The obvious advantage of performance testing is that the process results in optimized software. However, it is worth looking at these advantages from a more practical standpoint: the experience of the user and the financial well being of those invested in the software. Those who have financial investments in a software can best protect that investment by making sure that a software program is as good as it can be before it is released on the market, and performance testing is the best way to do that. Those people who purchase a new software program want to know that they are getting a product that will not freeze up or need constant updates to make it function at its maximum capacity.

As you can see, performance testing is an integral part of the software development process. Simply put, a software program is not fully developed until it has been thoroughly tested in accordance with all the methods and standards detailed here.