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Shift Left Testing: Everything You Should Know About It

Shift Left Testing: Everything You Should Know About It

In many cases, projects run out of time not because of an incorrect planning, but the inefficient way the code is tested. Testing a software product for bugs should happen at earlier stages because the earlier, the cheaper. Besides, it immensely saves time and resources.

In a traditional testing process, engineers perform software testing towards the end of the software development process, one step before deployment. It results in bugs being identified at later stages which leads to reworks and delays. The best solution to this bottleneck is shift left testing where the testing takes an early step much before a deployment. This saves time, additional efforts, and ensure higher application quality; most importantly – a seamless customer experience.

Let’s see the traditional software development pipeline that looks like in the image given below.

automated software testing tools

Here, testing happens towards the last. In shift left testing, the process moves to the left, i.e., to the earlier stages of the pipeline to detect bugs at each stage of the development- from start to finish. The intent is to find software issues as early as possible in the overall testing process and resolve them upfront. This approach significantly improves the software quality besides reducing the total time required to resolve bug-related issues.

Here’s an image that shows what happens in a shift left testing.

test cases in software testing

Why Shift Left Testing is Always Better for You

Bugs identified at the end are more complicated to fix. Resolving them requires a complete software rework, in most cases, from scratch. It results in multiple consequences like,

  1. Unwanted additional costs
  2. Delayed releases
  3. Loss of customer trust and acceptance

As reported by the an IBM study, the cost climbs up six times more to fix a bug identified at implementation and 15 times more to fix a bug identified during the testing phase against a bug identified during the design phase. Shift left testing does everything that it requires to identify bugs from the start. It also facilitates developers to run more tests themselves before pushing their individual code unit forward.

Six Core Benefits of Shift Left Testing

  1. Bugs that get fixed earlier reduce reworks, saving time and resources
  2. Step-by-step testing started early in the development process increases efficiency
  3. Significantly improves product quality with first-step bug detection
  4. Drives quick time-to-market with less QA process time and faster project completions
  5. Gives greater ability to automate testing
  6. Guarantees customer satisfaction with less defects in the final product

How to Shift Left

Implement Coding Standards

Development teams and the QA teams should work on the same coding standards. It helps them be on the same page and review code, besides avoiding wrong/insecure codes.

Execute Testing in Early Stages

With the help of static code analyzers, detect bad coding practices and bugs during the development phase itself. Also, integrate testing in the early stages with agile methodologies.

Plan and finalize Demands

Demand planning is the starting point for all activities in the test lifecycle. It steers budget, resources, and test strategies.

Engage Static Testing

Static testing identifies bugs or errors early in the life cycle. It successfully validates requirements and design.

Deploy Test Automation

As shift left testing involves frequent testing, it’s wise to deploy test automation solution. It gives quick feedback and speeds up the development life cycle.

While bugs exist for sure, the benefits of shift left testing are clear and a secret mantra for a successful software delivery. It is a powerful and popular trend within the software testing community. With a test-everything, test every-time approach, it helps software engineers gain complete insight and product knowledge to identify all possible defects even before coding gets completed.

Avo automation offers contemporary test automation solutions that completely support shift left testing. To know more about Avo solutions, get a free demo today.

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