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A majority of industry owners in the software development industry have gone through various business problems that eventually results in unhappy customers. The major problems faced in recent times include – delayed product delivery on the customer’s end, higher software development costs, unexpected quality results, incomplete testing process, and so on.
Well, in that case, the one-stop solution that can keep you covered is – Shift Left Testing.
For newbies, who have no clue what shift left testing is, let’s have a quick look and understand how efficient it is for a software quality lifecycle.
Shift Left is the process of searching and stops defects early in the software life cycle. By shifting tasks to the left early in the life cycle is the plan to upgrade quality. Meaning of Shift Left testing is that we should start testing at the initial phase in the software development process.
While initiating a software development prototype, in the plan essential things are kept on the left side, and the delivery & testing essentials are kept on the right side. The only issue with these exercises is that they can’t handle changing assumptions and essentials and they lead to negative end results for the business such as increase in price, an increase in time to market and unpredictable errors.
Changing to “shift-left” is about moving critical testing operations in the development lifecycle early. This period is set up in especially Agile. So why do we need to execute early software testing?
Many activities of testing are carried out late in the cycle, where it takes lots of effort to identify what went wrong, and it costs more to determine the cause. Shifting left is all about shifting the recognition and precluding of issues early.
Shift-left testing depends on a more grown-up development practice, for example one based on the software testing pyramid (the design created by developers includes a set of unit tests which covers the code reasonably well, and the API and functional testers do as much as they can and try to minimize reliance on late-cycle testing so that we can have enough manual/UI tests to verify if everything is working fine). In this way, the late-cycle tests are present to prove functionality & not to find issues.
The mantra of the shift-left is –Test-Early, Test-Frequently.
The main activity that should be approached and implemented for shift left testing is applying the best testing practices at the development phase.
Performing development practices earlier, such as unit testing and static code analysis helps to identify and prevent defects earlier in the process.
Before introducing shift left testing to the development process, a few practices are recommended:
• Testing and development should be carried out
• Ownership of standard deployment procedures should be shared
• Automating and running tests early
• Deployment of new builds automatically
By applying these practices to the application lifecycle workflow, the testing and development process becomes smoother.
Below are some easy and effective steps that must be followed to start with Shift Left testing:
1. Planning and identifying Testing Lifecycle
2. Integration of Project Management and Development Processes with Testing
3. For All SDLC Stages Quality Standards & Controls must be defined
4. Planning of Departmental Deployments.
5. Process & Operation driven Test Cases & Framework should be created.
6. Test Automation should be adopted
7. Developers should perform coding with Testability in Mind
8. The Continuous Feedback Mechanism should be defined.
9. Testers should be encouraged to code.
10. Time to Time audit and inspection should be there.
By shifting left in automation can provide the following advantages:
• Human errors are reduced.
• More test coverage can be carried out at the same time by running more tests.
• Testers have enough time to focus on more inspiring and effective tasks.
• Production issues are reduced.
Project delivery can be faster by finding defects earlier in the software development life cycle, the time between releases can be minimized and hence improving software quality.
We must adopt Shift Left approach if the team can deliver all the features early, faster and with higher quality. Through this, higher customer satisfaction can be achieved and it even lowers the cost.
In a nutshell, Shift Left Testing process is:
• To find the defects early and hence reducing the cost of the project.
• Performing testing continuously and repeatedly to reduce defects in the end.
• Automating everything and improving time to market.
• Focusing on customer requirements and improving the customer experience.
Shift Left testing is an effective means for performing testing parallel to development processes, by enhancing collaboration between development, operation, and testing teams with faster, better and quality applications. Its proper implementation can reduce the risk and cost of application failure by early detection in the SDLC and also reduces the scope of rework, offering ten times productive outputs to the enterprises.