How can I learn to use LoadRunner?
The hardcopy and PDF documentation that is shipped with LoadRunner is fairly good. You can learn the tool and something about load testing by reading the documentation. Mercury does not send documentation to non-customers. Please do not ask the forum members to send you a copy of the PDF.
Mercury Interactive offers courses at their facility in Sunnyvale and other US cities. They also can conduct courses at your site. Mercury has certified training partners that also offer classroom training.
Some community colleges and for-profit training companies offer LoadRunner courses as well.
What do I need to know to do load testing in addition to knowing how to use the LoadRunner tool?
Unlike functional testing you need to know more than just how the application under test functions. You need to know how the components behind the client work and what the performance issues for the components are.
Specifically, you need to know the following knowledge and skills:
Components such as web servers, application servers, database servers, operating systems, networks and network elements such as load balancers. You need not have \"guru\" level knowledge of each of the components but should have operational knowledge and an understanding of the performance issues associated with the components. For example, a load tester should know what multi-way joins, indexes and spin counts are and what affect they have on a database server.
Protocol(s) used between the client and server such as HTTP/HTML, ODBC, SQL*NET, and DCOM.
C. The LoadRunner script language is ANSI C. It helps to know the C language, but the scripts are generated and manipulated by LoadRunner, so there is usually not need to directly edit the code. There is also a icon script view which completely hides the C code.
Communication. Load testing is not a heads down coding exercise. You will work with many parts of an organization to coordinate activities, schedules and resources. Daily interaction with a variety of people requires good oral and written communication skills as well as good people skills. If you prefer to sit in a cube by yourself, you should stay in functional testing or development.