Diagnostics, Diagnostics and more Diagnostics

When I was first doing testing back at Microsoft Labs we had 2 main roles on our performance test consulting team: test consultants and system consultants. As a Test Consultant I was responsible for designing, planning, developing and executing performance tests in the test labs. Before joining this team I had been working for about 10 years with LoadRunner and other performance testing tools. The system consultants were responsible for hardware configuration and setting up the system under test. At that time, I really thought I knew performance and testing better than most – (heck, I’d been working with LoadRunner for an eternity!)


But I learned quickly the difference between being a performance tester and really working as a performance engineer.


As just a performance tester – I was conditioned to just find the bugs and report them. But what I learned at Microsoft is that to be really effective and efficient I had to understand WHY the performance was bad and then also suggest different options for fixing the performance defect. I learned that performance analysis and engineering is a deep and vast discipline that requires advanced technical skills and robust experience in root-cause-analysis. At Microsoft, we relied heavily on developer consultants who used private profilers and the windows debugger to dig deeply into the applications. Our performance gurus for SQL Server used a simple SQL Profiler tool and mostly relied on their advanced experience and knowledge of database performance tuning. We were truly spoiled by the abundance of performance knowledge working on our team. But how can you learn to become a performance guru?


Use LoadRunner Monitoring together with Diagnostics.


With HP Diagnostics you’ll actually see deeply into the application code as it is running and Diagnostics can open the black-box for you to learn about system performance and engineering. I think that’s the most important investment you can make in your career as a performance tester. As you dig into the system under test you’ll be able to see exactly why the % CPU utilization is so high, and why so many bytes/sec are being pumped through the stack and flooding into the network adapter. For the database you can start seeing exactly the SQL statements and returned data sets, which will allow you to start learning about how the database engine works to deliver that results set back to the client. When you use the LoadRunner Monitors and Diagnostics together, you’ll have the best ability to view all the inner-workings of the application’s architecture and how it’s built. You can accelerate your skills and experience by using LoadRunner Monitors and Diagnostics together.


The more you learn, the more valuable you are.

Comments
(anon) | ‎05-13-2009 12:47 PM

performance testers are payed the most...so learn it

(anon) | ‎05-25-2009 11:55 AM

I am also a performance tester and more loooking towards performance engineering. Can you tell me how to get more details on result analysis and monitering. As well as how we can tune performance of our system.

(anon) | ‎06-16-2009 05:53 AM

Thanks for the information. This is really very helpful.

I am very keen to know how to use the LoadRunner Monitoring together with Diagnostics?

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About the Author
Mark Tomlinson is a software tester and test engineer. His career began in 1992 with a comprehensive two-year test for a life-critical trans...


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