Welcome!

Containers Expo Blog Authors: Jamie Madison, Dalibor Siroky, PagerDuty Blog, Stackify Blog, Matt Lonstine

Related Topics: @DevOpsSummit, Linux Containers, Containers Expo Blog

@DevOpsSummit: Blog Post

Why Software Testers Should Strive to Go Unnoticed | @DevOpsSummit #DevOps

Flying under the radar

Ah, the plight of software testers - destined to crank away behind the scenes ensuring all runs smoothly. Unlike musical conductors who command the spotlight while overseeing the performance of a piece, testers only seem to attract attention when things go terribly wrong.

The same can be said for most IT professionals, at least according to Reddit. In December, this question was posed to the AskReddit community:

"What is a job when done right no one notices, but the moment its [sic] done wrong all eyes are on you?"

Second only to a response about bass players, a comment citing IT professionals ranked highest with more than 5,500 upvotes. I'm sure many testers can lament with the commenter, who added, "When things work well, it's because of the glorious vision of Operations and Marketing. When things don't, it's because we're plagued by IT glitches that hold back the glorious vision of Operations and Marketing."

Okay, so life isn't fair and software testers seem to have drawn the short stick, at least in regards to the blame game. When users notice application performance issues, the fallout may prove detrimental to the success of not only the application, but also the organization as a whole. To prevent reoccurring performance problems, understanding what went wrong and why is critical. Failing to adjust testing strategies accordingly will only lead to unhappy users, unhappy managers, and ultimately an unhappy you.

When Users Notice
Slowly but surely, organizations are realizing the monumental importance of validating application performance. In the same vein, web and mobile application users are becoming less patient, opting to visit a competing site if pages either fail to load or take too long to load. How long is too long?

According to surveys of online shopping behavior, 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in two seconds or less and 40% will abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load.

Three seconds.

A lot could happen in three seconds, or nothing could happen in three seconds – it simply depends on how long it takes your application to load. BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE! Think three seconds is nothing? Check out what can happen in one or less:

  • For Bing, a one-second delay results in a 2.8% drop in revenue
  • For the Aberdeen Group, a one-second delay resulted in 11% fewer page views, a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction, and 7% loss in conversions
  • For Amazon, every 100ms increase in load time results in a 1% decrease in revenue

When a company faces site outages and poor performance, the finger pointing begins - usually at software testers - whom many believe to be at fault. After the QA team is forcibly dragged into the spotlight, testers must then turn to the task at hand: discovering what went wrong and why.

What Went Wrong?
Application crashes and slow load times can be attributed to a number of factors including but not limited to software configuration issues for web servers, databases, or load balancers, poor network configuration, poorly optimized software code, for example, code that does not allow for concurrent access, and insufficient hardware resources or lack of auto-scaling elastic computing. Obviously, these areas should receive immediate attention after end users experience poor performance.

If a thorough analysis of all of the above returns no red flags, you may be faced with one of several other common performance problems that you can explore in detail here.

If your team is utilizing a synthetic user monitoring tool, it should be able to access all the synthetic user data inside a browser to provide you with a rich set of dashboards. A deep dive into this data should yield insight into common and/or complicated user paths and the experiences synthetic users are having within said paths. With a synthetic monitoring system, you'll be able to identify performance issues before real users encounter them on your production environment - the ultimate safeguard against spotlight-inducing performance problems.

Preventative Measures
It's not enough to merely identify and fix a performance issue after the fact. Software testers should use this information to create a list of action items designed to prevent future crashes and/or poor application performance.

After you understand the core issue, it may be tempting to stop at the initial, immediate solution. However, installing more storage after determining the problem was disk space still won't explain why you incorrectly estimated how much you needed in the first place. Keep this thought process in mind and you'll be more likely to discover the precise solution.

After determining the solution, look for ways to recreate the issue in a controlled way. For example, use a load testing tool to simulate a large number of users stressing the system through a variety of realistic testing scenarios. Focus on scenarios that have been known to cause problems in the past, are new and untested, are likely to produce bottlenecks, involve complex transactions, and/or are critical paths for users.

Scenarios like these are crucial for discovering how your application reacts with abnormal amounts of load. By simulating user performance, you'll be able to understand how tasks and transactions will function for your real users.

Flying Under Users' Radar
If testers are able to successfully ensure the performance of a web or mobile application, users should remain unaware of their involvement. Sure, software testers may never be famous in the eyes of the public, but when it comes working in QA, going unnoticed is, more often than not, a good thing.

Testers that go unnoticed deliver high quality applications designed to provide exceptional performance across different browsers, devices, locations and more. Throughout a career, most testers will have to face the spotlight in the aftermath of application crashes or performance problems - but if you can learn from mistakes, invest in the right tools and initiate preventative measures, you'll be able to not only, for the most part, remain out of the spotlight, but you'll also be able to handle the heat when the spotlight becomes unavoidable.

More Stories By Tim Hinds

Tim Hinds is the Product Marketing Manager for NeoLoad at Neotys. He has a background in Agile software development, Scrum, Kanban, Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery, and Continuous Testing practices.

Previously, Tim was Product Marketing Manager at AccuRev, a company acquired by Micro Focus, where he worked with software configuration management, issue tracking, Agile project management, continuous integration, workflow automation, and distributed version control systems.

@ThingsExpo Stories
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of the 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to gre...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develop...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.