The Personal MBA

Master the Art of Business

A world-class business education in a single volume. Learn the universal principles behind every successful business, then use these ideas to make more money, get more done, and have more fun in your life and work.

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What Is 'Stress Testing'? (Systems)

Stress Testing means identifying the boundaries of a system by simulating certain environmental conditions.

To try Stress Testing, you should ask this question about your system: What would it take to break it? Stress Testing is a great way to understand how your system works.

Be creative and let chaos take over, then fix any problems you may find before you take your system to the real world.

Josh Kaufman Explains 'Stress Testing'

Let's say you've developed what you believe is a robust, Resilient system, but you want to ensure that it actually works. How would you go about Testing it?

Stress Testing is the process of identifying the boundaries of a system by simulating specific environmental conditions.

Instead of staying in systems engineer mode, Stress Testing inverts your mindset into "demon mode." What would it take to break what you've built?

In the early days of the Personal MBA, every time I launched a new version of the reading list, my Web server would go down in a blaze of glory-the system couldn't keep up with all of the people trying to visit the Web site. I upgraded to several different systems, but each time, it wasn't enough.

I continued having server issues until I got serious about stress testing.

Instead of waiting for an influx of traffic for my site to go down, I set about "breaking" my system intentionally, then trying different things to make the system more Resilient.

Using an Automated tool, I simulated a huge number of visitors hitting my Web site at the same time. The tool continuously increased the number of visitors requesting my Web site, then tracked how long my Web site took to respond. As the requests went up, my site's performance decreased until the server failed.

Using the data I collected from the stress test, I made several major improvements to my Web site's infrastructure and systems.

Now, thousands of people can visit my site at precisely the same moment without noticeably affecting performance-a huge improvement.

Stress Testing can help you learn more how your system works.

If you're in the manufacturing business, you could simulate a sudden order of thousands of units-can you keep up? If you're doing customer support, you could simulate a massive influx of questions or complaints-could you handle it?

Your ability to test is only limited by your available time and imagination-let your inner demon run wild, then fix major problems before they actually occur.

Questions About 'Stress Testing'


"To make no mistakes is not in the power of man; but from their errors and mistakes the wise and good learn wisdom for the future."

Plutarch, ancient Greek historian and essayist


From Chapter 11:

Understanding Systems


https://personalmba.com/stress-testing/



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The Personal MBA

Master the Art of Business

A world-class business education in a single volume. Learn the universal principles behind every successful business, then use these ideas to make more money, get more done, and have more fun in your life and work.

Buy the book:


About Josh Kaufman

Josh Kaufman is an acclaimed business, learning, and skill acquisition expert. He is the author of two international bestsellers: The Personal MBA and The First 20 Hours. Josh's research and writing have helped millions of people worldwide learn the fundamentals of modern business.

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