Shift-left software testing
Today we look at a testing approach that places the testing process earlier in the software development life cycle (SDLC): Shift-left software testing. The objective of this approach is to identify and fix issues as early as possible, rather than waiting until later stages.
Why use shift-left testing?
A lot of software projects run out of budget and / or time and typically, it is thought that this is due to incorrect or insufficient planning. On the contrary, the root cause is actually when software testing is carried out too late or not frequently enough. One solution to this is the “shift-left” testing movement, which proposes testing early and often. The benefits associated with this are numerous, including:
- Early identification and resolution of issues: By testing early, teams can catch and fix defects before they become more difficult and costly to resolve
- Faster time to market for products
- Reduced costs
- Improved collaboration
- Better quality
The concept of “shifting-left”
The “shift-left” movement goes completely against the sequential software development process that was typical up until the late 1990s. This process only introduced attention to detail and quality assurance during the latest phases of the SDLC. These were typically the testing and deployment phases but software developers and product owners often found issues thereafter. Fixing errors and bugs at such a late stage is both costly and time-consuming, and in some cases, developers even had to redesign applications. Shift-left software testing originated then to involve testing teams as early as possible in the software development process.
The shift-left testing approach is one designed to incorporate testing activities early on in the development process. Unit testing, integration testing, and acceptance testing are all vital elements that can be implemented to ensure project success. Additionally, test-driven development (TDD) is also recommended. This is where developers write test cases before writing code, thus ensuring that the code meets the requirements. Should you adopt shift-left testing? The concept is a logical one and the benefits are clear. Ultimately though, the choice is yours.
Interested in the latest testing developments? Read our blog, “Software Testing Trends To Watch Out For In 2023”.