Four Traits of Great Performance Testers
Whether you are a hiring manager looking for the right candidate or a current performance tester who wants to become better, these four traits will help.
Passion in technology
My first question in every interview is “What is the reason you perused a career in the IT field?”. This filters out people who are not passionate fast. It’s not really a question that someone can fake, and you will be able to tell the truly passionate apart from the rest.
One candidate, particularly sticks out in my mind as truly passionate. When asked the question, he responded that he loved computers from a young age and wanted to learn programming to improve this video gaming experience. He had no experience and was just out of college, but he never needed help, never stumbled, and always searched out the answers to solve complex problems every day. Although the job was new troubleshooting computer issues for him was not because of his passion for technology.
Analyzing results is not something that you can just apply a formula to and solve. A good performance tester should be curious about their results, and want to understand what is happening. Over time through this curiosity they will begin to recognize trends and see through the results what the application is doing.
None of my large projects have ever been the same, and without curiosity I would be lost. Each time you test an application there will be some components you have never worked with or business processes that you have never used. This can be perceived as terrifying for the content or the dream of a curious tester. Asking the right questions at the right time can mean the difference between success and failure.
Ability to recognize patterns
Patterns are important in testing, being able to recognize those patterns and use them to your advantage will greatly increase your ability to performance test. This first begins with scripting and follows all the way through to results analysis. Even recognizing patterns in your delivery, on boarding a new application, and results analysis will allow you to streamline your entire workflow. No two applications are the same, but the way we deliver the service may be.
Good knowledge of how IT and Business function together
Performance is about the user of the application. Every good performance tester I have met is able to reduce issues to how it will affect the end users. There will be occasions where you must become creative and determine the applications projected throughput by understanding how the business works. From knowing how a marketing campaign will affect traffic to understanding that you can’t have more volume than butts in seats make a huge difference in your testers ability to project target throughput.