97 Things Every Programmer Should Know

(Chris Devlin) #1

Collective Wisdom from the Experts 165

  • re you getting quality time on your performance testing environment? A I
    have seen teams bickering with each other to get time on the performance
    testing environment. In most cases, neither team gets enough quality
    time during the day, while the environment is virtually idle after hours.
    The servers and the network are not as busy during the night or over the
    weekend. It’s an ideal time to run some quality performance tests.

  • Are there too many permutations to test manually? In many cases, your
    product is targeted to run on a variety of platforms. For example, both
    32-bit and 64-bit, on Linux, Solaris, and Windows, or simply on differ-
    ent versions of the same operating system. To make matters worse, many
    modern applications expose themselves to a plethora of transport mech-
    anisms and protocols (HTTP, AMQP, SOAP, CORBA, etc.). Manually
    testing all of these permutations is very time consuming and most likely
    done close to a release due to resource pressure. Alas, it may be too late in
    the cycle to catch certain nasty bugs.

Automated tests run during the night or over weekends will ensure that all
these permutations are tested more often. With a little bit of thinking and
some scripting knowledge, you can schedule a few cron jobs to kick off some
testing at night and over the weekend. There are also many testing tools out
there that could help. Some organizations even have server grids that pool
servers across different departments and teams to ensure that resources are
utilized efficiently. If this is available in your organization, you can submit tests
to be run at night or over weekends.

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