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Introduction to performance testing at the NWTG

We love going to NWTG events in Manchester which are a great benefit to the testing community in this area.  As a performance testing consultancy, events like this give Trust IV insights into testing fields outside our specialist skill-set. Topics such as context driven, functional testing and DevOps are frequently debated. We have noticed that performance testing is “under represented” at these events and can be a misunderstood member of the testing fraternity.  With this in mind, I attempted to squeeze fifteen years of experience into a forty five minute introduction to performance testing.

Is a load test the same as a stress test?

The aim of the presentation was to inform people about performance testing. I’m regularly asked to define performance testing. This surprises me because performance testing is essential when quantifying application risk and validating application infrastructure. With so numerous definitions and types of test, it’s easy to see why people are sometimes confused. You’ve probably heard of a load test or a stress test, but were unable to explain the differences. Hopefully the presentation helped to clear up any confusion.

How do you do performance testing?

One of my key aims for the session was to help attendees understand the performance testing process.  The links to my slides and the video will hopefully explain the process in more detail. Despite the introduction, I believe that the best way to understand testing, is to actually get "hands on". With this in mind, members of the NWTG can gain access to a free 50Vuser edition of LoadRunner to “have a go”.
Visit our downloads page to download “LoadRunner Community Edition – T7177-15059”.

I’d like to thank the NWTG for letting me present to the group as well as thanking the attendees for asking so many great questions. In particular, someone asked about performance testing and extrapolation. I already blogged about the dangers of extrapolation, so the Trust IV blog site may be of interest to NWTG members. We also had conversations about testing in virtual environments, and performance testing with continuous integration. I’m going to write more blogs about these subjects and will ask the organising team to circulate them to the community.

For those unable to attend, the slides are available on SlideShare.

....and a video of the presentation is available on YouTube.

The final slide includes links to the Trust IV LoadRunner download page as well as blogs that I have found helpful during my time as a tester.
If anybody wants to learn more, don’t hesitate to contact @RichardBishop or @TrustIV via Twitter.

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