Monday, October 12, 2020

PNSQC 2020 Live Blog: Software Performance And Load Testing Utilizing JMeter with Anna Sharpe


this is number two of the fast-paced talks this hour. Performance testing is often seen as a black art and an area that requires specialized skills. To be sure, doing performance testing at a high level on a regular basis will require special skills and often use tools that are specific and need to be set up in a way that everyone knows about.

However, that may be overkill for what an immediate team needs as well as to run smaller levels of stress tests that are not as all-encompassing. Another challenge is that, if you don't have performance testing skills, you may find it a challenge to getting those skills or getting people to give you the time to train on those skills. The good news is that you can start doing performance testing with a small amount of data and practice getting a handle on the skills that you want to learn. JMeter is a great place to start with this. It's free, it has a small footprint (relatively speaking) and it is friendly to running on smaller, more isolated environments.

JMeter is a well used and well-known tool that has a broad user community and active developer support. JMeter can also work with tools like Fiddler and Charles Proxy to help construct tests and control the responses. 

If at all possible, run your performance and load tests during off-peak hours if possible and especially to make sure not to run these tools on the actual production environment. If you have to use the production environment, do so at a time that coincides with a maintenance window or otherwise runs at a time when customers are not actively using the system. If you have a confirmed level of response that the server is meant to provide (say, 30 active users) a good rule of thumb is to try to run a load test based on the expected load of the system, at least at first. If the system doesn't fall over or requests don't fail, you may want to bump p the number of concurrent users./threads and see how performance changes.

This is a good reminder that testing with JMeter need not be a big involved process and can actually be fun. 

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