Have you ever worked on a project that went over budget or ran late? Believe it or not, poor planning isn’t always to blame for a project’s late completion. The real issue is with the project’s code validation process. To put it another way, it’s all about software testing. Or, to be more exact, software testing that is performed too late in the project’s life cycle and insufficiently regularly. A potential solution to this issue is Shift Left testing.
The “Shift Left” testing trend aims to bring testing closer to the beginning of the software development process. A project may minimize the number of problems and improve the quality of the code by testing early and regularly. The objective is to avoid finding any major defects that need code patching during the deployment phase.
This article teaches the fundamentals of Shift Left testing, benefits, and best practices.
What is Shift Left Testing?
It advocates relocating the testing component of the software development life cycle earlier in the process—Shifting Left in order to avoid methods in which testing is done just at the conclusion of the software development process. We introduce testing in the early phases of software development by moving Left. Software developers and product owners, on the other hand, often discovered issues that were not addressed by tests. Fixing such flaws at a later stage is highly expensive and time-consuming. In the worst-case scenario, the application will need to be redesigned.
Shift Left testing was born with the goal of including the testing team as early as possible in the process of software development. Shift Left testing implies “test often and begin as soon as feasible.” But why is it referred to as “Left.” That’s presumably a result of the fact that we read from Left to right in English and other western languages. So, if we’re going to depict sequential stages of any type, the first one will be on the far Left, and we’ll work our way up from there. The phrase “Shift Left testing” is often used in agile to refer to tiny code changes.
Testing is a vital aspect of the agile methodology’s shortened development cycle. As a result, Shift Left testing is a good match for the agile philosophy. Each code increment—often referred to as a two-week sprint—requires testing by the testing engineer. Shift Left testing is sometimes pushed even farther into the coding process by certain companies. Test-driven development is a useful strategy to use (TDD). To use test-driven development, you must first write the tests for the code you wish to create. As a result, you can check the correctness of your code right away.
Importance of Shift Left Testing
We often undervalue the importance of testing early in the software development life cycle, as described by the agile approach. Regularly testing code with each code increment not only ensures the project’s quality but also saves you time and money. It’s crucial first to comprehend how flaws get into the code.
How to move to Shift Left Testing?
There are a few essential tactics that can assist you in Shifting your software testing to the Left:
- Demand forecasting: Test analysts will interact with business and operational stakeholders to get a sense of demand in the future. Having this perspective allows you to prepare and complete ahead of time:
- Resourcing Test strategies on a budget: Demand planning is an important aspect of the Shift Left method since it is a springboard for all test lifecycle tasks.
- Testing in a static environment: Static testing is done in the early stages and comprises requirements and design validation. Static testing detects faults early in the project’s life cycle that might be highly costly to fix later on. Validate and verify requirements and design using suitable checklists. Defects should be entered into a defect management tool.
- Test approach that is unified: From unit testing through user acceptance testing (UAT), operational readiness testing (ORT), and post-deployment testing, this is a high-level method for testing end-to-end. The approach will define defined roles for all areas of quality control. You can analyze dependencies on environments, stubs, automation, and test data with a single test plan, guaranteeing that the relevant teams can meet the demands.
- Risk-based evaluation: A risk-based analysis is performed to estimate the effect and chance of failure for each test scenario. This method is used in functional, non-functional, and regression testing.
After the test cases have been developed, prioritize them depending on the results of the analysis. With the business analyst or designer, discuss the consequences of failure. From the development team, determine the chance of failure.
Benefits of Shift Left Testing to a DevOps team in an Organization
Below-mentioned are the benefits you can expect if you leverage Shift Left testing in your organisation.
- Development and testing costs are reduced. Testing occurs at the end of the product development cycle. As previously stated, the price and effects of bug-fixing would increase in proportion to the time it was detected. Testing is now considered an important aspect of each step of development after the move to the Left. As a result, testing is done once for each version, ensuring that errors are detected and resolved as soon as possible.
- Fixing basic errors may take more effort and produce negative effects as the code size grows. Because flaws have been discovered recently, a Shift Left testing technique may reduce total development, testing, and resolving expenses.
- Early bug detection ensures higher-quality code and products. The Shift Left strategy ensures that the project’s numerous stakeholders communicate in a timely manner. Unit tests and system tests may be developed collaboratively by developers.
- Shift Left testing relies heavily on automation, and with automation scripts, test teams may test many times each day. Their item feedback in the form of defects is sent back into the product development channel, which aids in code quality improvement. As a result of the strict code quality tests, the overall code quality will improve, resulting in a more reliable end-product supplied to the client. This indicates that stringent code quality checks will enhance overall code quality, resulting in a more reliable end-product provided to the client. Bugs are effectively resolved.
- Shift Left strategy assists in bringing more and more coordination between development and testing. As a result, testing occurs much earlier in the development cycle, allowing for immediate inspection and adjustment of the product.
- One of the main advantages of the procedure is that it detects faults and fixes them quickly. In a situation when speed and endurance are required, such tactics are critical. Enhanced Coverage of Tests The apps may be examined for all of their features since the tests are run straight from the start of the development process. The application/software is put through its paces in terms of functionality and performance.
- Increased test coverage also helps in ensuring the software’s quality. Time and resources are used efficiently. When bugs or flaws are addressed in a timely manner, it aids in the delivery of goods on schedule and enables the efficient use of resources. When testers collaborate with developers, the whole process aids in the strengthening of the application by effectively using abilities and producing outcomes. This also leads to cost-effectiveness, which is required in the commercial arena to maintain profitability.
Best Practices To Follow While Using Shift Left Testing
- Make Preparations: Shape development in a manner that makes Shift Left Testing easier. Once the requirements have been identified, developers and testers should start thinking about how to shape coding and testing as soon as feasible. Specific tactics may need to be designed to fit the Shift Left strategy, depending on product goals and team limits.
- Use Static Code Analysis To Your Advantage: The method of examining code without running it is known as static code analysis. It looks at the code’s core structure and verifies that it adheres to a variety of standards and principles. The static analysis searches for the following faults in general:
- Programming mistakes
- Violations of widely accepted coding conventions
- Anomalies in syntax
- Concerns about security
- Automating static code analysis: Before moving to QA, the program should scan every untested code in the project. A static code analyzer compares code to a set of preset standards and rules to see whether it adheres to them. If the analyzer detects any problems, a developer or tester must investigate them to ensure they are not false positives. The code may then be sent to testers once programmers have corrected any obvious errors.
- Provide continuous feedback to developers and testers: As much as feasible, the input should be provided to developers and testers throughout the product life cycle. This allows for the fast filling of gaps and gives everyone concerned a better understanding of any important patterns that emerge during testing. It may also be useful for future initiatives, particularly those that are similar to the present one.
- Imply the following quality standards: Keep in mind that most developers aren’t taught how to test from the ground up. As a result, students can’t be expected to figure out the finer elements of testing on their own. So that programmers conducting tests know what issues to search for, QAs and QA managers should explain the degree of quality, performance, and operational success anticipated from the code. They must have a clear understanding of what is non-negotiable and what concerns may be passed on to QAs (preferably with a few lines of context). Clarity on quality standards also aids tests in using the appropriate level of rigor to find defects in their own code.
- Automation Testing: Incorporate Test Automation: Because the Shift Left testing procedure entails continuous testing, developers and testers may find it difficult to repeat tests in each continuous cycle. As a result, both teams should embrace test automation solutions that may aid in the execution of tests and improve code coverage and product quality.
However, maintaining the automation suite and actual devices becomes an issue with test automation. Cloud-based cross-browser testing platforms such as LambdaTest, on the other hand, enable you to run end-to-end automation tests on a secure, dependable, and scalable online Selenium Grid. Selenium scripts can automate cross-browser testing on more than 3000 internet browsers and operating system settings, resulting in improved test coverage and shorter build times. Alternatively, you might run a single test across several browsers and operating systems setups at the same time.
A key advantage of the Shift Left strategy is the faster delivery of software with fewer errors. When it comes to testing, Shift Left testing has made a significant difference. Until recently, the most important idea for testers was defect detection. The Shift Left testing method, on the other hand, has presented the notion of early defect discovery and how it may lead to early defect avoidance, with advantages for the whole team as a consequence.