Checklist of Questions to Ask When Performance Testing

  November 21, 2019

Suppose you have an e-commerce application and want to make sure it's performant. Load tests can help prevent issues under expected loads, but what happens if there's an unexpected load from a social media promotion or holiday sale? What if high traffic persists for several hours or days?

Load tests are the most popular type of performance test, but they can't answer all performance-related questions. For example, they can't tell you the maximum load the application could withstand or what would happen to the database if 10,000 new customers signed up. Knowing that would require other types of performance tests.

Read about the six most popular types of performance tests that answer test questions and others.

Use the following checklist as a starting point when building or auditing an existing performance testing workflow.

  • Do any new code contributions adversely impact performance under a normal load?
  • How is resource usage changing over time? Is the application becoming less efficient?
  • Can the application and infrastructure handle a sudden spike in traffic?
  • How many concurrent users or requests can the application handle before crashing?
  • Does the application gracefully crash at key breaking points?
  • Does the application remain performant if the database increases in size?
  • Does the application degrade over time at higher than average loads?
  • How much more resource usage occurs during a sudden spike in traffic?
  • What parts of the application put the greatest stress on resources under load?
  • Where are the key bottlenecks when an application is under unusually high load?

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