The impact of the internet is hard to overstate, but when we consider how it has changed our lives, we perhaps think of our leisure time initially. If we think about it a little more, we realise how something that is now as commonplace as email has changed the way we do business, but there is plenty more as well.
Email features prominently in our thoughts because it is now so well established. However, it is really just a means of communication. Improving technology is opening up far more than that. Where once someone might have carried out work on a local PC before emailing the results to another person, now that person can work on a web application and their progress can be seen whenever necessary. It is also possible for two people or large numbers of people to work collaboratively using the same web application.
Photo source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bpedro/2081694086/
The impact of this is obvious. No longer is there any real need for people to work from the same office. Collaborative work can be carried out by people on opposite sides of the world who may not even share the same language. Furthermore, a person no longer needs to head to a particular location in order to work. Instead, their project is always accessible, no matter where they are. They can stay at home or travel the world and still carry out the same work as if they were going to the same familiar office day after day.
More flexible working practices bring logistical difficulties, of course, but as the benefits so outweigh the problems, it is in everyone’s interests to find a reliable, productive way of working. Furthermore, technology is making communication easier, so drawbacks are few and far between.
Any online software application must be able to stand up to the demands placed upon it. It is no good having something carefully designed and sophisticated if it crumples as soon as more than one person tries to use it. In order to find out whether it can cope or whether it needs to be moved to more powerful hardware, it is possible to simulate a great load prior to release.
Load testing software allows developers to trial their software without the bad publicity deriving from a real world failure. The internet brings great possibilities in that you can reach a wide audience in no time at all, but that also brings consequences. It is best to plan ahead.
Ken O’Malkin is a web developer who will use reflective.com to test his next project.