5 Practices To Take Up To Implement a Shift-Left Approach to Testing
By Space Coast Daily // November 24, 2021
Have you ever had the opportunity of working on a custom software project for a company that went over budget or ran late? You most likely did. 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 custom software testing. Or, to be more exact, software testing is performed too late in the project’s life cycle and insufficiently regularly. A potential solution to this problem is shift-left testing.
The “shift left” testing trend aims to bring testing closer to the beginning of the software development process. A project can reduce the number of problems and improve the quality of the code by testing early and often. The goal is to avoid finding any critical defects that need code patching during the deployment phase.
In this article, Hanna Shnaider, the head of marketing at FortySeven teaches the fundamentals of shift-left testing and how to use it in your company.
What Is the Idea of Shifting Left?
The shift left movement advocates relocating the testing component of the custom software development life cycle earlier in the process—shifting left. We wish to avoid methods in which testing is done just at the end of the custom software agency software development process. We introduce testing in the initial stages of software development by shifting the left.
A typical software development method was sequential until the late 1990s. Only towards the conclusion of the development of the software lifecycle by a custom software development firm do stakeholders pay attention to detail and prioritize quality. The testing and deployment phases, in particular. Testing occurs near the end of the project’s life cycle in this sequential paradigm.
Software developers and product owners, on the other hand, frequently discovered issues that were not addressed by tests. Fixing such flaws at a later stage is very expensive and time-consuming. In the worst-case scenario, the application will need to be redesigned.
Shift left testing was born here to involve the testing team as early as possible in the software development process.
When is the Shift-left Approach Taken to Software Testing?
When it comes to projects involving complicated, inventive, and non-trivial software, or when validating platform-based apps with a high degree of customization, FortySeven prefers shift-left testing.
For example, when testing custom CRM for the automobile industry, a test team was included early in the project’s requirements validation phase.
Manual testing was supplemented with test automation at the API and UI levels. The development team, for its part, increased the percentage of time spent on unit testing. This allowed us to confirm the excellent quality of the CRM under test, which was later successfully implemented at several dealerships of a major European automaker.
On the other hand, taking a shift-left method does not pay off in basic, quick, and common tasks, such as testing a mobile app with a single user role. In projects involving platform-based applications with a few incorporated changes, we find the usefulness of shift-left approaches to be minimal.
Five Proven Shift-left Testing Practices
Here is an outline of FortySeven’s experience with shift-left testing approaches in software testing projects, as well as the strategies you can consider adopting to implement the shift-left approach in your project:
■ Involving test teams from the beginning of a project
Involve test engineers in clarifying and prioritizing application requirements to minimize unclear and contradictory requirements and improve the end-user experience. Clarity, consistency, testability, and traceability are all checked by test engineers on existing or freshly produced requirements or user stories.
■ Including development teams in the software validation process
In software development company projects handled by the FortySeven IT team, ensuring software quality is a responsibility shared among all project teams, and development teams are also involved in the quality assurance process. A custom software developer is advised to stick to code quality guidelines.
To ensure that the code quality is under control, development companies regularly monitor such metrics as code readability, clarity, maintainability, extensibility, cyclomatic complexity, and the depth of inheritance.
As part of a shift-left approach, we also increase the share of unit testing performed by development teams. The web and software development team at FortySeven, advises: “To make sure that unit tests reflect recent changes introduced to software and provide accurate feedback on its quality, unit tests should be included into the general code review practice.”
1. Performing module testing
Test engineers at FortySeven divide an application’s functionality into modules based on functional similarity. We selected out production planning, purchasing, inventory control, and other modules while validating an ERP application, for example.
Most custom software development companies believe that careful modularization is especially important for linear projects with a tight timeline. In such projects, a test team can begin validating isolated modules during the development phase without risking regression, allowing the test phase to be shortened while maintaining good software quality.
2. Increasing the share of testing performed at the API level
FortySeven software professionals prefer to begin testing activities at the API level rather than waiting until the application’s UI is complete. You could decide to use manual or automated API testing, or a combination of both, depending on the scope and characteristics of the project. Postman, SoapUI, REST Assured, JMeter, and Fiddler are the most popular API testing tools.
3. Creating CI/CD pipelines to improve the efficiency of the testing process
Most software development companies, including FortySeven often prefer to set up a CI/CD pipeline at ScienceSoft to improve test process efficiency, which is very important for agile testing. With CI/CD in place, tests are automatically triggered after each new code commit, resulting in fewer post-release problems and more reliable application updates.
A shift-left approach to software testing, in my experience, catalyzes advances in test process efficiency and overall software quality. However, several issues may hinder the adoption of shift-left methods, such as a lack of thoughtful preparation or inexperienced project management. Furthermore, software or mobile app development teams may be hesitant to devote their full attention to guaranteeing good software quality.
FortySeven will be pleased to assist you if you lack the skills or resources to apply a shift-left method to testing. You are invited to submit a request to us.