Shift Left Testing: What, Why & How To Shift Left

Updated on Mon 28 Nov, 2022 | 5 mins read | Free training, qa training


In a traditional software development project, testing would take place shortly before the software was released into production. This meant that if defects or usability issues were found, the launch would be delayed until they were fixed.

With this approach, testing became a big problem that made it hard for projects to be finished by the set deadlines. Because development and quality assurance (QA) were separate, projects couldn’t change to meet shifting requirements and expectations, so business results were bad.

One way to avoid this is to implement shift left testing. In this tutorial, we’ll talk about the basics of shift left testing: what it is, what a shift left strategy is, and how to use it.

What is Shift Left Testing?

As the name suggests, “Shift Left” involves shifting the testing phase to the left so that it occurs earlier in the process. This means involving testers from the beginning and throughout the process.

Shift Left Testing is the process of doing QA work earlier in the development process.  This could be accomplished by bringing QA resources and practices into Agile teams or by introducing automated testing into Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment.  It can be especially effective when assisting DevOps or when speed is of the utmost importance for supporting the Digital Technology domain.

The objective of shift-left testing is to find and fix defects before they impact the end users. This is achieved when defects are found and fixed when they are less expensive to fix.

This approach can help improve product quality and reduce overall costs.

Shift-left Testing can be done at the beginning of a project to find problems and fix them before they become big problems.  Shift Left exposes issues sooner, so they can be addressed in advance of the traditional quality assurance life cycle, by being able to conduct static code reviews early, which is excellent quality practice.

Why Shift-left Testing Matters?

The test early principle is put into focus by the shift left testing methodology. In the last few years, it has become clear that the waterfall development model is not good for quick releases.

After all, time is money. By adopting shift-left testing and including testing at the early stages of the process, businesses can release their product sooner than their competition.

What should testers do differently in order to shift left?

The following are a few key things to know about what Testers do differently in Shift Left Strategy.

#1) The test team needs to get involved early in the system, so they can work with the rest of the team and the business to give useful input at every stage of software development.

#2) In order to gain clarity on the program, the test team should work closely with the Business and Operations team to provide a clear view of demand and help in planning for efficient resource ramp-up and training needs. They should also help with testing tool requirements.

#3) In order to get clear visibility of the product and design a unified testing strategy, test teams must interact with all the business stakeholders early in the software development.

#4) The test team has to work with the rest of the team to keep the long-term product vision in mind and provide good Test Leadership and guidance to the team.

#5) The success of the project is determined by the requirements that are defined. During the Requirements Planning phase, the testers must review and analyze the requirements to look for any ambiguity, clarity issues, incompleteness, testability issues, acceptance criteria definition issues, etc.

Additionally, it is important to identify the missing requirements (if any) and understand the dependencies and implementation strategies.

#6) Bring out real examples to make requirements clearer and more precise.

#7) Testers need to attend design review meetings on a regular basis and have a strong understanding of the product design and architecture. They must identify flaws in the design and suggest alternative design options. They also need to find loopholes and create test scenarios to see if the designs can be broken.

#8) In order to prevent defects from getting into the software, testers should conduct static testing (reviews) well in advance and provide feedback on key project documents.

#9) Test team is responsible for designing strong and robust test scenarios, ensuring that only a few defects are identified during testing and major defects are prevented from entering into the testing phase.

#10) Testers have to Test as early as possible so that defects don’t get into later stages.

The whole idea of the shift left concept is to find the defects early on.

The Advantages of Shift-Left Testing

The main reasons to adopt this approach are related to efficiency, cost, and product quality.

#1. Reduce costs

Time and resources are things that can be wasted quickly. Shift-left testing helps to conserve assets and save money.

#2. Higher efficiency

By implementing shift-left testing procedures, you will be able to increase your testing reliability and get your product to market faster.

#3. Higher quality

Fix bugs early on so that they don’t become a bigger issue later on in production.

#4. Competitive advantages

Using shift-left testing methods will allow you to produce high-quality software that will be completed in a timely manner.

Conclusion

Shift-left testing is done earlier in the development process. By taking advantage of modern software testing tools and shifting left, you will be able to produce software that is safe, secure, and reliable.

If you move your test efforts to the left side of the development spectrum, you will be able to identify bugs when they’re cheap and easy to fix, as well as decrease the total cost of ownership.