Software Development & Testing

Shift-Left Testing For Higher Software Quality

Despite its fame, it isn't always clear how to implement shift-left testing it in software development. Discover the first essential steps.

Over the years, a vision has been gaining momentum in developers and technology experts, known as shift-left testing for higher software quality. The exciting thing is that when developing a product, software, or system, the quality is engineered at the beginning of its life cycle, instead of having to test the software at the end. Do you know what the Shift-Left Testing Strategy is but you wish to create a thorough mindset of this concept for yourself and your organization? Well, here we discuss some key points for a successful shift-left testing strategy.


credits to bmc


Build Quality Gates

The notion of Quality Gates is based on the stage-gate system. To employ this approach, it is necessary to divide the process into distinct phases. Between each phase, it is then inserted a quality checkpoint, or gate, where the quality of the product will be controlled before moving on to the next phase. Although it is true that building quality gates is still challenging to accomplish because of resisting development organizations that do not incorporate a quality mindset, it is a fundamental element of the shift-left testing strategy. 

Demand Planning

Demand planning is essential to the shift-left testing strategy, where test analysts contract with business and stakeholders to provide an initial estimation of demand. This evaluation assists you with planning test strategies and calculating the budget.

You must also prioritize the features and test cases, which will ultimately help you accomplish plans and establish standardized thresholds of product quality. 

Embrace Automation

The shift-left testing strategy requires frequent and continuous testing, so the development team needs to implement the test automation tools from the first phases of the process. Not only automation is fundamental for the shift-left testing strategy, but it will also improve the collaboration between developers and Quality Engineers, a relationship whose importance will be underlined in the next paragraph. 

Keep in mind that embracing automation not only will help your organization to adopt a shift-left strategy but will also help decrease human errors and production issues, while increasing the speed of delivery and the quality of the final product.

To know more about agile automation testing click here

Quality As A Shared Duty

To understand this point, let’s first consider that for a shift-left testing approach to exist in your organization it is fundamental to build an environment in which the quality strategy is considered a duty shared by all the teams involved, pushed by quality engineers. This way quality engineers will collaborate with both the quality assurance team and the developers guaranteeing the quality of the product between all the different phases of the software development life cycle. Finally, quality engineers will also be responsible for the approval of the feature and testing acceptance criteria.

Consider that sharing the responsibility of quality will also mean for a more diverse group of team members to work on quality testing which is both a requirement and a benefit of the shift-left testing strategy. 

Is "Shift-Left" The Way To Follow?

Although the answer varies from one organization to another, it is possible to move towards adopting the shift-left testing strategy for higher software quality implementing the steps outlined above.

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