In the process of the Software Development Cycle (SDLC), developers traditionally perform software testing later, mainly during the integration or testing phase. This type of approach results in extended time for the completion of the project. The developer has to rectify all the errors identified by the tester. These errors may extend to the earlier stage of development. Hence the developer has to make changes from the initial stages of the project. Thus the duration and cost of the development will increase.
The traditional testing seems to be inefficient, which results in emphasizing the testing activities earlier in the SDLC. The term “shift left” refers to moving testing activities closer to the beginning of the SDLC. The shift left testing technique seeks to find and address faults and issues early in the development process. This approach aims to lower the overall cost and work necessary to resolve them. It promotes higher-quality software and enhances delivery speed by discovering and addressing errors early.
Features of Shift Left Testing:
- Early Engagement: This kind of testing lets the testers actively participate in the development processes such as requirements gathering, design, and coding stages. This early engagement enables them to offer useful input, detect possible concerns, and contribute to the software’s quality.
- Test Automation: Automation is critical in shift left testing. To write and execute tests early in the development process, testers use a variety of automated testing tools and frameworks. Regularly running automated tests provides immediate feedback on the software’s behavior and assists in the early detection of faults.
- Collaboration: Shift-left testing promotes developers, testers, and other stakeholders to work closely together. Testers closely collaborate with developers to understand the code and offer comments on prospective test situations, while developers actively participate in test design and execution.
- Continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD): Shift left testing adheres to the CI/CD concepts of regularly and iteratively building, testing, and deploying software. It integrates testing into the CI/CD pipeline, enabling early issue discovery and ensuring that each software update undergoes thorough testing.
Advantages of shift left testing:
- Early Error Detection: Shift-left testing allows for the early discovery of flaws and issues by shifting testing efforts to earlier phases of the software development lifecycle (SDLC). This enables faster bug detection and resolution, lowering the cost and work necessary to resolve them.
- Cost and Time Savings: Catching errors early on in the development process can avoid problems from escalating to later stages, where they may be more difficult and expensive to resolve. Shift-left testing cuts down on rework, delays, and expenses overall while speeding up development.
- Better Software Quality: Shift Left Testing’s proactive approach encourages a quality-centric approach across the whole SDLC. By discovering and resolving problems as early as possible, testers’ early engagement and collaboration with developers boost the software’s overall quality.
- Speedy Launch to Market: Shift Left Testing speeds up software development by finding bugs early and minimizing rework. It makes software versions more quickly available, assuring timely deployment and maybe earning a market edge.
- Test Coverage can be improved: Testing is included in the development process from the start when testing activities are moved to the left. This makes it possible to test a wider range of software components, including requirements, designs, and individual code units, earlier in the development process.
- Increased Test Automation: The usage of automated testing tools and frameworks is encouraged by shift left testing. Test automation makes it possible to run tests more often and quickly, providing instant feedback and hastening the discovery of problems.
Shift left testing, in general, plays an active role in quality assurance by including testing activities in the first phases of software development, eventually producing higher-quality software and increasing development effectiveness.
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