Shift Left Testing

What is shift left testing?

Shift left testing is a practice that involves moving software testing activities earlier in the development process, such as during the design and planning phases. Its goal is to identify and fix issues as early as possible in order to reduce overall cost and time required to develop and maintain software.

How to implement shift left testing?

  1. Collaborative development which involves bringing testers and developers together to work on the same tasks, allowing them to share knowledge and identify and address potential issues early in the process.
  2. Test-driven development (TDD) which uses tests written before code to ensure that the code meets the desired specifications.
  3. Unit testing i.e. testing individual units of code, such as functions or classes, to ensure that they are working correctly.
  4. Automated testing which uses automated tools and processes to test the software continuously throughout the development process.
  5. Continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) that involves automatically building and testing code changes as they are made, using automated tools and processes, allowing problems to be identified and fixed quickly.

Incremental shift left testing can help to improve the quality of the software and reduce the overall cost of development by identifying and fixing problems early in the process, rather than waiting until later stages when they may be more difficult and costly to fix. It is often used in agile development methodologies, such as Extreme Programming (XP) and Scrum, where the focus is on delivering software quickly and iteratively.