Technology changes at the speed of light. To say it can be hard to keep up is an understatement. For performance engineers, taking charge of your own continuing education is one of the most important things you can do to remain at the top of your game.
You have stay on top of new technology and practices. One great way to do this is by plugging into communities of performance engineers and learning what others are doing. Managers in particular should do everything possible to facilitate this process for team members. As an individual contributor, it can be helpful to educate your peers, both within Quality Assurance and outside of your group.
Simply put, training is an important part of a performance engineer’s career path. Here at Neotys, we’ve collected some of our favorite resources to share with you. Let’s begin with your game plan.
Begin With A Training Plan
Everyone on your team needs ongoing education. This is something that managers typically incorporate into their staff’s personal development plans, but if no one is spoon-feeding you, you have to take matters into your own hands. Anyone can be an organizer for group training – you’d be surprised by how much people will appreciate it if you play that role.
Start by developing a training plan for yourself and maybe for your team. Keep it simple. Identify a key conference or event to attend, maybe once a year. Carve out some time each week to review blogs, newsletters and publications. Be sure to subscribe to them, so they’re just a click away in your inbox. As you read, comment and reach out to peers – be active. Collaborative learning is very effective.
You can also send interesting articles to your team members and peers to further encourage conversation and collective learning. Finally, learn by doing: network, experiment, and try. When you’re always learning something new, you’ll find that you are able to better manage complex scenarios.
Exercise Your Brain With Neotys Resources
At Neotys, we’ve worked to create an expansive, useful resource library. Here are a few items from the collection that will be helpful for training purposes:
- Webinars– Looking for an interactive, visual way to learn about performance and load testing? With our webinars, you can explore topics like testing in production and performance testing horror stories alongside experts and specialists.
- Whitepapers and eBooks– Get down to the nitty-gritty with these detailed whitepapers and eBooks. You’ll learn how to modernize your load testing plan and work with flex applications and more.
Websites And Communities
Need to add some user-friendly websites and communities to your arsenal? The following are bound to drop some knowledge on you:
- Performancetesting.org: This news aggregation has some helpful tools designed with the performance engineer in mind.
- Google Developers Speed Tools: Google is big into zippy web performance. They have an active presence and lots of push-the-envelope ideas.
- Stickyminds.com: Stickyminds is a fun and interesting community with lots of pertinent articles and breaking news for testers and developers.
- Steve Souders: This leading expert in web performance offers great resources including videos and speech excerpts.
- Alex Podelko: If you find this list we’ve created interesting, check out the massive resource library that Alex Podelko has amassed.
- Scott Barber: Barber is another leading expert in web performance and has a list of book recommendations, tech terminology, and presentations.
Engage with like-minded peers at conferences and meetups worldwide. Whether you travel far or stay close to home, you’ll love networking and learning the latest tips and tricks.
- Get insights from the insiders at conferences like Eurostar, held in Maastricht, Netherlands this year. There’s also StarWest in Anaheim, California for US west coasters and StarEast in Orlando, Florida for those in the Eastern US.
- The Computer Measurement Group puts on the Performance and Capacity conference annually, focusing on network capacity and storage, application performance management, server computing and more.
Also look for local events and meetups organized around the particular technology you’re operating and hoping to learn more about.
Juicy knowledge isn’t just limited to websites. These books will function as your right hand man as you navigate the world of performance testing.
- Learn to cut response time in a flash with High Performance Web Sites: Essential Knowledge for Front-End Engineers by Steve Souders.
- Looking for practical tips and advice from someone who’s been there? Check out Bob Wescott’s The Every Computer Performance Book.
- Systems Performance: Enterprise and the Cloud by Brendan Gregg has become the Bible of anyone who works with systems performance.
Going back to school can actually be fun and productive with these online courses. Just be sure to take notes.
- Web Application Performance Testing Class: Take advantage of the lifetime access and make this class by Udemy your guide as you strategize for performance testing.
- MIT free course: Get to the top of the class with this comprehensive and complete video lecture series.
Resources For Newbies And Peers
Feeling a little green? Or looking to introduce a newbie to performance testing? These resources are perfect for baby steps.
- Wikipedia’s Software Performance Testing Page: Who doesn’t start with the Wikipedia page? Get your feet wet by learning about testing types and setting performance goals.
- Rob Knight’s Web Performance Slidedeck on Speaker Deck: Introduce someone to the world of web performance testing with this concise slide deck.
- Intro to Performance Testing by PerfTestPlus: Here’s an oldie but a goodie with concepts that still hold up today.
- SearchSoftwareQuality: The place for step-by-step guides, tutorials and definitions.
Collaborate and Listen
When it comes to training your team, be sure to take in as much input as you can. What is your team struggling the most with? What topics inspire them to take things to the next level? Let the answers to those questions guide your sessions. The old, corny saying is true: sharing is caring. What are your must-have resources for performance testing? If you’ve come across something inspiring and handy, let us know in the comments.
Photo: Sophie Merlo