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When are you really done with Performance testing

September 6, 2011 by kiranbadi1991 | Comments Off on When are you really done with Performance testing | Filed in Performance Engineering, Process, Project Management

Quite often we are taught that testing is said to be done when we are out of schedule/budget or when we have tested all the business process as outlined in the performance test plan.However my experience is telling me that they are all incorrect way of representing ”done”.I feel these are all more of the constraints imposed on the team for various reasons rather than measuring parameters or milestones.

Performance testing is done only when we have communicated our finding to all stakeholders which includes all our good and bad results.If we have some failures during execution,it makes more sense to access the impact of those failures in production and communicate these findings to all relevant stakeholders and get their signoff on these findings.If for any reasons,performance team is not aware of the impact, then they should ask the impact to the relevant concerned stakeholder before providing signoff.

A very small number of errors cannot be measuring criteria for closing the execution cycle.Years back I did use to accept less than 5% error count as acceptable criteria for closing the execution cycle however as I gained some more exposure I realized there were lot of other factors which also needs to be accounted for in addition to less than 5% errors.So today I feel  criteria for done is to access the impact of any leftovers unresolved errors and communicate these finding to all and get their signoff.

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Some Expectations from Software Tool Vendors

August 21, 2011 by kiranbadi1991 | Comments Off on Some Expectations from Software Tool Vendors | Filed in Performance Test Tools, Process, Small Businesses

As  a consultant ,what do you expect from the various tool vendors who are into the business of producing and selling tools ,

Below here are some of the expectations I have seen people talking or wants that every tool vendor should know or try to attempt,

1. Get close to your Users.Hear them, Feel them and be empathetic to them.This is universal rule of marketing.However definition of Users varies depending on the product involved and audience to whom you are selling.

2. Try to involve them in some kind of discussion, it could be community related or technical or something related to the industry overall.It really shows that you are committed to their profession and professional growth.If someone in the community speaks negative about your tool,stay calm and investigate rather than reacting.There always exists a section of users who are always demanding.If you don’t meet such users, for any reasons,then you can safely say you have miles to travel in your sales professional.

3. A good sales man is one who never ever says that his tool is best and can solve all problems by the click of the button.Its just that with growth of technology in recent years, we have seen exponential growth of  problems.Some problems have solutions, some remains unresolved and some requires workarounds.So investigate  and confirm before you speak else it should go as opinion rather than solution.

4.In my profession of Performance Engineering which requires a lot of technical expertise, I have seen some of best tools failing to capture reasonable market in spite of having relevant technical competency  for reasons that there wasn’t any kind of commitment from persons assigned to capture the market share for their tool.So if you are in business of selling tools, get involved with users by interacting in their professional forums,conferences or by writing white papers etc.I really appreciate the sellers who participate in  professional forums and help the users to see the complete picture.Yes this idea might not sound good to some folks as they might believe it creates some kind of bias in the mind of readers,but again we need to remember that we live in era of technology where information whether correct or incorrect is available at the click of button.I normally assume that bad experience is hard to hide now a days.

5.Teach the users as how to use the tool correctly and in his context, Fix the context in case you feel the context is incorrect.Tell him why is his context is wrong and how much it costs him for proceeding his way rather than your suggested way.People normally appreciate this kind of information rather than scripted  talk.Educating the users and then selling him gives you a lot more business than selling him as uneducated.

6.Finally if you are competing with other vendor whose areas of business is similar to yours, compete head on with merits and demerits of the case,but never leave the thread incomplete to guess,it leaves lot of questions unanswered in the minds of the readers and this impacts your reputation as a sellers, so for any reasons if you cannot reply back in the internet, use backdoor policy and try come to some kind of conclusion which looks good to all.The reasons I am writing this is in past 7 years of being part of my professional forums, I have just seen to so many vendors expecting change and good results after a few days of launching their tools.To capture a market, it requires a consistent effort in the right direction and targeting right users.You cannot be a overnight leader in your area unless you have mighty god standing behind you.

7. Your sales mantra should be” lets grow together” rather than just focusing on the growth of your own tool.Mantra here is if your user’s are growing only than profession will grow and so will your tool and your company.

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Processes When to follow and When not to follow..

May 27, 2011 by kiranbadi1991 | Comments Off on Processes When to follow and When not to follow.. | Filed in Development, Process, Project Management, Quality

Processes sometimes helps and sometimes do not help. There are situation which require process improvement and there are also situation where by following process in itself becomes a bottleneck. Blindly following the processes means that we are wasting valuable time and energy without understanding or knowing that process is indeed bringing any value add on to the table.

There are lot of situation where processes bring value add to the table, some of them are Release management processes, Environment Management Process, Testing Process, Estimating and costing processes. However sometimes these same process can become a bottleneck in certain conditions like releasing the product to the client to meet his time demand without fully educating him about risks or bypassing the development team in all together to troubleshoot the key critical issue like high CPU usage or memory issues, just because the environment where the error shows up is owned by the Environment team.

Sometimes there are cases where by following the process in itself consumes lot of time and later on people understand that issue which they are triaging do not belong to them and so cannot be solved by them. However they are bound to work in those areas for sometime for the reason that they own that functional area. Sometimes people use processes as their tool to defend/avoid/initiate activities which can or cannot bring positive results to the project.

Sometimes in large companies, due to various reasons people follow processes very strictly but again just because we work in large companies do not necessarily mean that we should not check for any value add. If involving development team in early stages helps to fix the issue quick and fast, then it makes more sense to take their help and fix the issue rather than wait for environment folks to do some trial and error and come out with fix. Look at the amount of time we are losing here.

So the best way to judge whether the process is bringing any value add to the table or not is to ask self questions like Will following this process xxx do my job faster or I still have some other better options to explore ? If your answer is yes, then I suggest go ahead and show that you can indeed bring value to the table. Saving project time is also a good value add.