The Benefits of a Shift Left Testing Approach

Oct 20, 2022 | Best Practices, Product Insights, Test Automation Insights, Uncategorized

Have you been a part of a software project with a strict deadline or tight budget? Most people have. But contrary to popular assumption, a project’s failure to meet its deadline isn’t necessarily the result of inadequate preparation. The real problem is with the project’s code validation process.

It all comes down to software testing activities. Or, more particularly, software testing that is carried out insufficiently and at a late stage in the project. Lucky for us, shift left testing can help remedy this issue. 

The “shift left” methodology is founded on the idea that by testing code as it is created, the software development team will find flaws sooner than if they wait until the project is complete. This aims to move the testing phase away from the commencement of the software development process. Shift left methods can decrease the number of bugs found and enhance the overall caliber of code by testing more frequently and in much earlier stages in the testing process.

The overarching goal of the shift left testing approach is to steer clear of identifying any significant bugs that call for code fixes during the final phases of the software development. This article will explain the notions of shift left testing, the benefits of the shift left testing approach, how it works in the developmental process, and more. 

If you want to find out how to ensure there will be no bugs during the deployment phase, continue reading! 

How the Shift Left Testing Approach Works in the Development Process

Testing is pushed “left” in shift left testing to earlier phases of the workflow. The shift left methodology seeks to find and fix defects as early in the development process as is practical. This enhances software quality and reduces time spent troubleshooting problems down the line, which typically get worse and more difficult to improve as development moves forward.

Therefore, coordinating all development, project management, and operational activities with testing is vital when beginning shift left testing. This will help clarify where and when testing should take place. Additionally, it will aid in estimating the time needed to finish the testing cycle and prevent unnecessary and redundant tasks from being performed while shift left testing is carried out.

This means more developers will perform their tests before submitting a piece of individual code to version control, reducing the number of issues found after releasing it to market. Every developer should perform many tests to support shift left testing and promote better quality products.

For a more in-depth overview of the shift left testing approach, take a look at Ranorex’s guide

5 Key Benefits of This Approach to Software Testing

1. Speeds Up the Time to Market

The sooner the team gets started on the project, the sooner they finish. Shift left testing enables businesses to choose an all-encompassing strategy for their development, resulting in a shorter time to market.

Taking on the shift left approach to software testing allows critical issues to be identified and corrected quickly and more efficiently earlier in the software development cycle. The total time is cut in half, decreasing time to market and getting the product to the client quicker. 

2. Identify Problems in the Earliest Stages of Product Development

The sooner problems are identified, the sooner they can be resolved. Implementing the shift left approach allows the software to be evaluated more efficiently and sampled for functionalities, features, and performance. 

This is particularly important when the test execution occurs right at the start of the developmental cycle. The software’s overall quality is significantly impacted by increased test coverage, but luckily, test coverage automatically increases with the shift left testing approach. 

By including testers earlier in the development process, developers will catch faults more quickly, giving them more time to fix them and avoid compound mistakes. This means we lose less time dealing with faulty implementation since flaws are discovered early, which is so important in the software development cycle.

3. Results in Greater Efficiency in the Testing Process

It takes work to shift to the left, but it is worthwhile. The QA team has adequate time to investigate a product further and put creative testing techniques into practice. Additionally, it helps the testing team become familiar with the relevant tools and technologies. Shift left testing also makes it simpler to streamline software development process steps.

4. Preserves Software Quality

Incorporating stringent and regular code reviews and quality assurance tests into the development life cycle automatically enhances the written code’s quality.

This allows for efficient contact between developers, testers, and stakeholders, which also improves the code’s capability. Through regular communication and feedback, the products consumers receive are adequate in terms of standards and quality.

5. Allows for Continuous Feedback

Creating a continuous feedback structure ensures testers can provide developers with input throughout and after the development phase. Additionally, it becomes simple to report problems and achieve the desired quality.

By incorporating continuous feedback throughout the whole software development life cycle, it will become easier to close the gap between teams and improve participation and work quality for all. 

How Development Teams Can Use a Shift Left Testing Strategy

1. Identify What Earlier Testing Means for Your Team

We frequently underestimate the benefits of testing early in the software development life cycle. Regularly testing every code increment ensures the project’s quality and saves you a ton of time and money.

Essentially, early testing identifies and fixes issues before releasing the final product. It gives team members more time to fix bugs as a result of receiving test results sooner. 

The testing process should begin as soon as the software development life cycle (SDLC) starts. The product should be tested throughout the whole development process. The later a defect is discovered, the more expensive it will be to rectify. 

The QA team should therefore be brought on board as early as possible, perhaps during the requirements gathering phase, to improve time to market and reduce overall cost. 

2. Develop Your Testing Requirements

The requirements phase is where most software defects originate — encouraging your teams to complete a requirements analysis stage before they begin coding is one of the best ways of reducing the amount of new open defects in a project. Requirements-related bugs are expensive to fix, and the cost increases exponentially over time.

3. Involve Coders and Testers in Your Testing Effort

When switching to a shift left approach, it is also vital to encourage all coders and testers to start their work with testability in mind. Each person needs to be held accountable for the caliber of the code produced. This will help you develop a reliable testing system and bridge the gap between developers, coders, and testers to shorten the testing cycle.

The shift left testing process is used in agile testing and implies that automated tests will cover most, if not all, of a project’s expected functionality rather than merely a subset. Coders and testers must test, and testers must code for an agile methodology to function at its best. It is important that the experts behind the project can run tests when needed to react quickly to any issues that may arise.

Further, testers must be competent enough to comprehend and alter easy code, which includes rewriting essential procedures or automating tests. 

Improve Product Quality With Automation Testing Tools

In this article, we covered what the shift left testing approach is, why it’s one of the most beneficial types of testing, and how to incorporate it early into your software development. In a nutshell, the shift left testing approach focuses on identifying flaws sooner, lowering total costs, testing continually to eliminate faults, and as a result, reducing time to market.

As mentioned above, automation tools allow for frequent and early testing. You don’t want your testing staff to be overworked from manually testing every new feature the development team adds. A test automation tool can provide more rapid feedback on the reliability of the new code and assist your team in moving to the left. It will allow your team to create tests quickly and manage them with less time, effort, and money.

By including automation tools and the shift left testing approach, you can encourage regular testing before each deployment to a different environment and before each integration with the code base. 

Testing each feature with each build creates a certain degree of quality in the application that will help to guarantee an efficient production release. A bug is much easier to resolve if it is discovered early in the process!

Test teams need automated solutions to deliver high-quality products quickly and effectively. Ranorex has two products that aid in the software testing process. Ranorex Studio offers flexible tools that help speed up software testing, and Ranorex DesignWise helps eliminate any potential gaps in your testing process.

Our specialists will be happy to guide you through the platform’s use and answer any questions you may have. Get in touch today!

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