Open Source 18 February 2021

k6 in ThoughtWorks Technology Radar

Nicole van der Hoeven, Developer Advocate

ThoughtWorks is a global software consulting company that releases an insightful Technology Radar twice a year as a round-up of the current state of technological techniques, platforms, tools, and languages or frameworks.

We were pleasantly surprised to see k6 featured in the Tools section of Volume 23, the latest volume of the Technology Radar.

k6 was added to the Assess category by ThoughtWorks

The "Assess" category includes tools that are worth exploring, and it's an honor to be included on this list among the likes of Playwright and Eleventy.

Thoughtworks highlighted some key features of k6 as a reason for our inclusion.

Focus on developer experience

The k6 team is heavy on engineers, and we've built a tool we would want to use ourselves. ThoughtWorks particularly picked up on our CLI, which lets users set test parameters as flags to run global load tests with a single line.

JavaScript for load testing

JavaScript is a middle ground between developers and testers. It's common enough in other functional automation tools that testers are familiar with it, and it's ubiquitous among front-end developers. The choice of JavaScript as a language for k6 load testing scripts was intentional, and helps in removing test/dev silos so that everyone can participate in writing load test scripts.

Results output options

k6 plays well with many other data visualization and application performance monitoring tools, providing many options for results output of k6 tests. Being able to find meaningful insights in results is one of the biggest challenges, but also one of the most valuable parts, of load testing.

Goal-based testing

ThoughtWorks cited the use of checks in k6 as a way to incorporate load testing into CI/CD pipelines. We would also add that thresholds make k6 very focused on getting a continuous assessment of how actual performance compares to expected or target performance.

k6 Cloud

One of the themes that ThoughtWorks identified for this edition was "Democratizing Programming", which is something we resonate with. While k6 does create load tests as code, k6 Cloud comes with a GUI that we think makes it significantly easier to get started, as well as tools like the Test Builder, a browser recorder, and converters.

Conclusion

We've honored to have been selected by ThoughtWorks on this list of tools on the technological frontier, and we think it represents a shift towards more modern solutions for engineering teams in the know.

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