Shift left testing is an advanced software testing approach. Through this approach, testers draft test cases as per the clients’ requirements at the inception of the software development. The team focuses on preventing defects rather than the detection of defects. It aims to enhance the overall quality of the software. In traditional testing, testing happens at a later stage of the development cycle; however, testing when conducted at the early stages, avoids a significant number of different issues while testing. This new approach of testing creates a better development path, and the amount of defects in the final product is less. This approach offers better user acceptance testing, real-time load, and performance testing.

The introduction of shifting left has enhanced the overall quality of the software developed, thereby emphasizing the prevention of defects at an early stage rather than detecting defects at a later stage. It also helps in the prevention of different issues, promotes insertion of quality assurance exactly from the crucial phase of development, and moves down to the subsequent phases.

Motivation towards Shift Left Testing

Every global business has adopted advanced technology due to aggressive competition and is constantly trying hard to increase revenue, reduce cost, weight margins, and speed up time in the market. Therefore, businesses depend on testing for a green signal to operate on a bug-free and hitch-free software or application. 

Every Organization Focuses On Some Key Questions

How can we rectify the defects halfway through any software application development? 

How to make sure the software application development progresses smoothly?

And how do we speed up the development process to save cost?

The common disruptive problems that occur while delivering software solutions are technological, cost and time. The testing process begins when the development reaches the coding phase. This implies that the software developed is of high quality.

Significant Problems In Testing

  • Incurring higher costs of the software development process.

  • Delay in the delivery of the developed software.

  • Wrong testing procedures.

  • Developed software fails to meet quality and standards.

What happens if we detect the defects early? Would it avoid unnecessary trouble? It is where Shift left testing plays a significant role. Implementing testing at the beginning of the development cycle lowers cost, reduces risks, on-time delivery, well-timed rectification, and so on. It lowers the defect rate and ensures no defects are present now or ever.

When the testing process starts early in the SDLC, the quality of the developed software increases. We can detect the flaws early, Implement static testing procedures, boost system tests, and finally can assure that the code quality is the best.

Benefits of shift-left testing

shift left testing benefits(1)

Within the testing team, one individual’s primary responsibility is to analyze and suggest advanced technologies that enhance and empower the team to follow the shift-left testing process continuously. It encourages the testing process to happen parallel to the application development or before the development activities. Testing early ensures cost-effectiveness in development and quality assurance while saving time and resources right from day one of the project. The shift-left testing model enhances better teamwork between developers as well as testers and minimizes the frictional differences between teams.

Here are the benefits of adopting testing in the earlier stages of SDLC:

  • Lower cost of bug detection. 

  • Improvement in the overall efficiency of the software development process.

  • Since the Quality Analysis process does not take time, it takes less time. 

  • The workplace of the development team increases which brings a competitive advantage.

Key points about Shift Left Testing:

  • Every tester in the team is involved in all stages of the software application development process. It enables the testers to focus on defect prevention procedures and achieve the business goals of the assigned program.

  • This methodology demands perfection from all testers.

  • The testing team just does not focus on testing the software to identify the bugs but works with the team from the initial stages of planning and builds a robust and effective testing strategy. Therefore, there has been a drastic increase in the responsibilities of testers, and their focus on long-term visions. 

  • It encourages the testing team to design the tests scripts first, and the tests are entirely focused on the customer experience. Every customer’s expectations are envisioned by the designers while developing the software.

  • This approach helps the testing team carry out the testing activities continuously and take more ownership of their code with an increase in their responsibilities on testing.

Final words

The introduction of the ‘Shift Left Testing’ concept has evoked a huge transformation for a Tester. The sole focus of a Tester was only ‘Defect Detection’ however, now the aim of the this approach, from a Tester’s perspective is a journey of ‘Early Defect Detection to Defect Prevention’ & thereby improving software quality and reduces ‘Time to Market’.

Clients and developers need to engage themselves in the discussion and collaborate on ideas, requirements at every single stage of the project to identify the risks and mitigate them in advance.

It helps in detecting defects at an earlier stage when it is less expensive and easier to fix. Shift left testing involves four different variants such as Traditional, Incremental, Agile/DevOps, and Model-based. However, each of these variants depends on each other to substantially improve the efficiency of testing and extent of testing.