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The logic behind API’s can involve look-ups on other systems. API’s also address things like identifying the user, authentication, security, encryption, message signing etc many of these reside on other centralized or shared systems. A trend in the Data Economy, SaaS and Cloud services is to do mash-ups of API’s, either Consuming API’s outside of your organization as part of your application, or Consuming, refining then Providing them it turn. Collectively, I refer to these as Enablers, services that support, yet not exclusively for your application or under your control. The vast majority of the performance issues I have being involved in was due to some Enabler or other being slow or failing under load.

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Performance Testing Mobile Applications – Conclusion

In conclusion, I wanted to answer a few questions and comments that I have got back on the series, and summarize.

When at junior school, I was asked what I wanted to be one day. I responded a scientist and inventor. The response I got stuck in my mind as it seemed totally at odds with how I perceived this career path. While I thought each day would bring new things, the “Scientific Method” is around understanding the impact of dependant and independent variables. Running the exact same test over and over again, with the small change in a single variable to understand the effects that variable has.

User Experience = Enablers + API + Network + Client. Read More

What is the future for QA Analysts in Canada?

I wanted to generate some thought on how the QA role is changing in Canada.

The largest fix costs associated with QA by far is that of labour. Let’s look at some average QA analyst salaries using Canadian median numbers to avoid debate.

Level 1 QA Analyst 0-2 years experience C$53,463 /year C$26 /hour
Level 2 QA Analyst 2-4 years C$61,839 /year. C$30 /hour
Level 3 QA Analyst 5+ years C$75,585 /year C$36 /hour
QA Manager 8+ years C$93,642 /year C$45 /hour
QA Director 12+ years C$107,355 /year C$52 /hour

Finding the right balance and mix of staff, seniority, skill set, to work load is a difficult endeavour. Do you set aside individuals to do client vs. server, performance vs. functionality, regression vs. pre-production etc.

For simplicity let’s say Acme Inc has 10 QA staff all level 2 QA Analysts and one QA director.  Their application has 4 releases a year.  The calculation for wages expense would be 10 employees x C$61,839 wage = C$618,390 + C$107,355 for the director = C$725,745 excluding additional costs associated with an employee like office, equipment, management overhead etc. That’s C$181,436.25 a release. It’s not surprising that management focus is often on ways to reduce this amount.  Attempts at cutting the costs of labour, usually comes in the a few forms

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