Software Performance

Software performance is an integral part of day to day operations - and many of the problems come from the actual coding of the software and not from external factors. Software performance issues tend to be built into the software by engineers who didn’t realize that there would be problems - sometimes, problems aren’t apparent because they aren’t because of the code, but how the code reacts to something else.

Even the best IT professional can’t predict the future correctly every time, and they can make the wrong assumptions about how another vendor or developer will work. That is why software performance needs to be monitored regularly and reviews should be built into your process - and it is why software performance engineering is so important.

Is there a way to prevent these oversights and improve software performance? The foundations of software and system performance engineering say that there is - and it will improve everything about your development lifecycle.

 

How Necessary Is It To Monitor Software Performance?

Monitoring software performance helps developers stay on top of their games as they work - like everyone else, they tend to move on autopilot and when they do the same type of work every day, they don’t think to check themselves or learn some newer skills. However, as technology both inside your company and outside of it changes, the methods that they have known and used for years is no longer enough. As more people join your team, they will bring with them different styles, and that requires more monitoring of software performance.

While there are likely team members assigned to monitoring software changes and problems, the end result is a combination of everyone’s work - so why shouldn’t everyone be responsible for it? Regardless of when something was created (and you likely have quite a few applications that are old), they need to stand next to today’s styles and systems.

So how can problems with software performance be resolved? IT teams typically work through a QA process - sometimes when they are developing in an agile environment and sometimes at the end of the process. Either way, it can be a long, arduous process. By the time an application or piece of code gets to that process, you are wasting time. Your team has worked on it for some time and waiting until the last minute to find a performance problem can cause rework and delay the launch of the product.

 

There isn’t enough time for rework of delays. IT teams need to get software performance right the first time with little hesitation. By bringing in tools to monitor software performance, some of the stress is taken off the individual developers and development managers by ensuring that when an application does get into that QA process, there will be far fewer changes needed.

At the same time, paying closer attention to software performance allows the user to have the benefit of the system, even while changes are being made in the background. If a user reports a problem, they will get a sense that their concerns will be addressed quickly.

Software Performance Tuning For Improvement

Performance tuning improves software performance in computer systems. Typically, there is a performance problem within the software - something that is actually happening in real time or something that is an anticipated problem. Most often, these will have to do with some sort of decreasing performance due to scalability.

Software performance tuning includes the following steps:

  1. Assessing the problem and establishing what is acceptable performance
  2. Measuring the performance of the system before any changes
  3. Identifying what is necessary for improving performance
  4. Modifying that part of the system to remove or change whatever is causing the problem
  5. Measuring the performance of the system after any changes

The Key To Software Performance: Anticipate Issues & Change Them As Soon As Possible

Software performance is necessary at all stages of development, but any issues absolutely must be caught before the end user sees them. Remember: it costs more to fix a bug the further along in the lifecycle you are; catching a bug earlier helps to mitigate costs.

In the end, paying attention to software performance does two key things:

  1. It reduces the need for rework of the application later on in the development cycle or lifecycle;
  2. The application performs better because application performance was a key consideration in the coding and design from the start.

When you have high-quality software performance, IT teams can focus more on quality development and mitigating any risk. For more information about software performance or information on how to monitor your own software performance, make sure to read our eBooks 20 Software Engineering Goals for the Digital Economy and 6 Steps to Enhance Performance of Critical Systems.