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Performance Testing Software Systems

Performance Testing the Front-End


It is common for two-thirds or more of the end-user percieved response time results from front-end design and implementation. It is also common for performance testing efforts to focus almost entirely on the back-end. While back-end performance testing and tuning frequently leads to some response time improvements and is generally the best way to increase the total supported usage volume, there are significantly more opportunities to dramatically improve end-user response time. Additionally, performance testing and tuning on the front-end is almost always faster, cheaper, and easier than it is on the back-end.

This unique workshop builds on the Performance Testing Software Systems heuristic approach that focuses on mitigating risks to the business and satisfying end users in commercially driven software development environments. This approach marries the software testing insights of James Bach, Rob Sabourin, Cem Kaner and many other members of the Context-Driven School of software testing with the performance testing insights of Alberto Savoia, Ross Collard, Roland Stens, and the rest of the WOPR (Workshop On Performance and Reliability) community. The approach has a track record of success with regard to adequately mitigating business risk in time to keep pace with the commercial aspects of the project. The Microsoft patterns & practices book Performance Testing Guidance for Web Applications by J.D. Meier, Scott Barber, Carlos Farre, Prashant Bansode, and Dennis Rea complements the material presented in this workshop.

Because this version of the PTSS series of workshops focuses on performance testing and tuning the front-end, it is equaly targeted for performance testers, front-end designers & developers, and administrators of front-end components likeweb servers content delivery networks. This class uses real tools and tests real websites as examples. In some cases teams test, tune, and realize significantly increased response times before even leaving the classroom. Depending on the initial state of the front-end of your web site, this workshop could reasonably result in over a 25% reduction in end-user response time within days of the completion of the course.

This 1-day workshop is primarily offered as an on-site course, but sometimes we work with organizations that arrange to make it public. Contact us for more information.

Course Objectives:

In this course, you will learn:

  • Five core principles to performance the front-end of a web site
  • Concise, universal heuristics and models for rapid application of those principles
  • How to apply the core principles into your team’s development process
  • How to rapidly conduct front-end performance tests that will achieve your performance testing objectives
  • What tools to use to make your front-end testing more efficient
  • How to communicate and support the results of front-end tests

Course Outline:


  • Why The Front-End Matters
  • Who Is Responsible For Font-End Performance Testing
  • How Font-End Performance Testing Relates to Load Testing
  • Tools

Five core principles of successful performance testing:

  • Size
  • Caching
  • Order
  • Response Codes
  • Number


  • Overview
  • Media Compression
  • Object/Code Duplication
  • Code Minification
  • Script/Style Abstraction


  • Understanding Client-Side Browser Caching
  • Expires
  • ETags
  • Other Controls


  • Overview
  • Styles
  • Critical Content
  • Relevant Media
  • Incidentals
  • Sripts

CORE PRINCIPLE: Response Codes

  • Overview
  • 3xx
  • 4xx
  • 5xx


Realism matters.
  • Overview
  • 1 Style Sheet
  • 1 External Script
  • Fewer Multi-Media Objects

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