Software testing is a continuous cycle layered with several stages and spanning across multiple types of testing. Teams need to design test suites and implement test execution methodologies in each stage of development. For this reason, software testing teams comprise many individuals skilled in different aspects of software testing.
One of the most important types of software is performance testing. Performance testing helps ensure that critical components of an application perform as expected under varying user loads. It helps us evaluate the resource usage, speed, availability, response time, scalability, and reliability of any given application and assists us in making it ready for production.
However, a single individual cannot execute the process of performance testing. Rather, it requires a team of skilled professionals that have extensive experience in performance testing and other software testing types.
In this article, we break down the role of every member in a QA testing team and focus on the roles and responsibilities of performance testers.
Table of Contents:
- The Importance of a QA Team
- Overview Of a Software Testing Team
- Overview of Performance Tester Skills
- Performance Tester Roles and Responsibilities
- Benefits of Outsourcing QA Team
The Importance of a QA Team
Quality Assurance or QA is a team of experts who are dedicated to ensuring the quality of a certain product. In terms of software development, the QA team is responsible for maintaining high levels of quality in software applications and making sure that it meets all user and business requirements.
High-quality software can give businesses a significant competitive advantage and play a key role in the success of companies. However, in markets with tough competition high-quality software is not just an advantage but also a basic requirement for staying relevant.
The QA team helps software teams detect hidden errors and defects applications. Identifying and detecting these problems before the product goes live is essential for its success. Without the QA team, these defects can seep into the final product and affect its performance in the live environment.
If a company does stop bugs before the production phases, the cost of resolving these errors later is much higher. Furthermore, since these defects and errors directly impact the end-user, it leads to bad user experience, which is a prime reason for software failure.
The QA team not only detects these issues before they affect the user but also helps software teams prevent bugs proactively. Needless to say, investing in your QA team is not only beneficial to your product but indispensable given the fierce competition in IT.
Overview of a Software Testing Team
The QA or software testing team has many roles and responsibilities for performance testing. Here are some performance testing team roles and their responsibilities.
The QA Lead is often the most senior and experienced member of the software testing team. These professionals have a clear understanding of all critical testing methodologies and procedures. At the same time, they are also experienced in various test-program concerns like trouble reporting and resolution as well as data and test environment management.
The role of a QA Lead does not relate to performance testing directly but is adapted for a much broader role. QA Leads acts as the sole point of contact for inter and intra department communication. They are responsible for preparing the test schedule and budget, as well as distributing performance testing responsibilities.
Test leads have a clear understanding of the business needs of the application. They are skilled and experienced in test development, test design, and test data management. The role also demands technical expertise of test programs and approaches.
Test leads also assist the QA lead in the reporting of progress status and provide significant support in staff planning and supervision. At the same time, these professionals take care of testing requirements like test automation, testability, and script building.
Test engineers are responsible for creating processes that ensure test execution in the best manner possible. Test engineers may have different expertise according to their assigned roles in the company. Regardless, they act as the building blocks for any testing procedure.
Performance Test Engineers
Performance test engineers or performance testers play a critical role in the execution of performance testing. They are responsible for designing, implementing, and supporting performance testing systems and strategies. Therefore, they ensure that the application doesn’t misbehave under changing user load and that no bugs or errors reach the end-users.
Usability Test Engineers
Usability test engineers are highly proficient in dealing with usability issues. They have excellent interpersonal skills and play a key role in test facilitation. They help software testing teams create usability-testing scenarios; monitor usability testing in a given application and also assist in test procedure walkthroughs.
Manual Test Engineers
Manual testers have expertise in maintaining a high standard of design in Graphical User Interface (GUIs). They excel in executing test procedures manually and following the required set of standards for the application interface.
Automated Test Engineers
Automated test engineers are skilled at using software testing tools for streamlining the testing procedure. They automate mundane and repetitive tasks and ensure that all rest-design standards are followed.
Network Test Engineer
Network test engineers have a high degree of proficiency in a number of technical skills such as database technologies, networking systems, scripting languages, and operating system essentials. They help the testing team during product evaluation and integration. Their expertise in middle-ware, database, and network testing is essential for the performance of your product on various platforms and environments.
Test Library and Configuration Specialist
Test library and configuration specialists need to have strong system administration, database, and network skills. Besides that, they must also have technical proficiency in programming languages, operating systems, and database technologies.
Due to their high level of expertise, they are responsible for maintaining test-script version control, creating test builds, maintaining test-script reuse library and managing test-script change.
Overview of Performance Tester Skills
For performance testing, test engineers have to measure the quality of an application under a given user load. However, the testing procedure for performance testing is not simple and testing engineers need a particular set of skills to perform the procedure successfully.
Understanding Complex Systems
Not many people have the ability to accurately understand and interpret how each component of a modern system of software works. Therefore, we have to depend on the abstraction of systems and subject experts to help us interpret complex problems. For performance testers, the ability to understand complex systems clearly is essential.
They need to learn how to make sense of complex system environments such as shared resources, CPU memory, web components, storage and distributed networks. At the same time, they must have a clear understanding of test and production environments such as cloud, containers, configuration, and virtualization management.
Designing Effective Tests
Although understanding complex systems is important, it is not sufficient if you don’t know how to design effective tests. When creating a test, the performance test engineer needs to finalize what information he or she will use, how will it be utilized information in the test, and which conditions can cause the test to fail.
Therefore, performance testers have to be extremely careful in identifying their test goals. They have to keep test concurrency, scheduling, and arrival rates in mind when making tests. Furthermore, it’s also necessary to consider the role of capacity, reliability, scalability in quality assurance.
Performance test engineers have to conduct load tests like experiments. They can make the initial parameters of the load test the condition for the testing procedure. Unless testers are model load test data accurately, the application can crash when exposed to a live environment.
This is why it’s necessary for performance testers to detect transactions and workloads and calculate a reliable estimation of TPS rates. At the same time, they must know how to monitor production, run queries, and log file analysis.
To model loads accurately, one must be able to understand the estimation of both subject experts and stakeholders. After that, the performance tester needs to validate these assumptions with the help of data from monitoring systems and logs. It’s impossible to include every activity in your load test, but the performance tester must include the majority of critical and high-volume activities.
Automating Scripts and Tests
Unless you have foundational scripting knowledge, it’s difficult to customize and build effective load tests. Although there are various testing tools that provide rapid test development and reduce the need to code, you must know how to code to tailor the testing procedures according to your needs.
Aside from that, being able to automate scripts and testing procedures helps performance testers to measure dynamic content and parameters. It also assists them in understanding naming conventions and transaction measurements.
Awareness of Existing Web and Mobile Technologies
The majority of performance test engineers have to handle HTTP requests and validate data as responses on a daily basis. At the same time, they need to measure the performance of various web and mobile applications. Unless they know how to interact and extract data from these applications, it’s difficult for them to test their performance.
For instance, if testers need to extract or validate data from those responses or build other requests, they must have in-depth knowledge of CSS and XPath Selector. If performance testers are not aware of these technologies, they would need to use regular expressions to extract data.
Performance Tester Roles and Responsibilities
Performance testers are a critical resource for any software testing team. They have a number of performance testing roles and responsibilities. Here we list down the day-to-day performance testing roles and responsibilities.
- Analyzing business scenarios
- Understanding the non-functional requirements
- Evaluating the objectives of the service level agreement
- Designing the test scripts
- Identifying parameter for testing
- Establishing Checkpoints
- Designing workload models
- Executing performance tests
- Using consistent metrics for monitoring
- Identifying bottlenecks, and where they occur
- Interpret results and graphs.
- Understand describe the relationship between queues and sub-systems
- Identify suggestions for performance tuning
- Preparing the test report
Benefits of Outsourcing a QA Team
Finding errors in software is a never-ending process. Testing teams have to proactively search for errors during and after the development phase. The process continues until all relevant bugs are identified and dealt with and the application is ready for the live environment.
The testing procedure is both long and time-consuming. At the same time, inexperienced testers can prolong the testing procedure even more and increase the cost of testing significantly. This is why many software companies rely on the expertise of outsourced QA teams to expedite the process of software testing. Here are some of the key advantages of outsourcing QA team services.
Hiring a dedicated testing service can streamline the testing procedure and help you execute several types of testing efficiently. Testers from these services are extensively experienced and specialize in executing tests in minimal resources and time.
When you outsource your QA team, you don’t need expensive tools needed for testing purposes. At the same time, there is no need to pay for the operational and maintenance cost of the testing space. The outsourced testing service can handle both of these things for you.
Hiring a remote team does not have the fixed cost of hiring in-house personnel. You always have the option to scale your testing services to save expenses from employment.
Focus On Core Business
If you are a product-driven company, then it is critical for you to focus on the development aspect of your product. Outsourcing testing services help you dedicate all your resources to enhancing the product and expedite its marketing and delivery.
Choosing the right testing service can help you ensure the best quality of software and deliver a product that wins the market. Performance Lab is a software testing service that has experience in serving over 500 companies across all domains, from finance and healthcare to retail and technology.
With years of experience at their disposal, they can ensure that your mobile application delivers the highest quality and outperforms competing applications.Besides Performance Testing, the company has expertise in other core software testing services, such as Manual Testing, Usability Testing, Integration Testing, Test Automation, Security Testing, and much more. To learn more about the company, feel free to visit their website at Performance Lab.