In today’s fast-paced market, the demand to deliver quality software products in a cost and time-effective manner continues to accelerate. When you get the software to market faster, you gain a competitive advantage. Shift-left testing and continuous testing is a great combination to accommodate that need. To help you better understand these two notions, in this article, we will walk you through the definition of each method, their benefits and how to implement them into your SDLC.
What is Continuous Testing?
Continuous Testing is a software testing type in which the product is evaluated early, often, and throughout the entire continuous delivery process. In short, continuous testing is all about testing early and often.
You may ask why continuous testing is so valuable, the answer is saving time. Incorporating continuous testing into your organization’s testing strategy accelerates your time-to-market but keeps the quality your customers expect. Moreover, this testing type also enables constant feedback for developers to fix bugs before being released to production, and as such, make the process run much faster.
Learn more: Continuous Testing 101 | All You Need To Know
What is Shift-Left Testing?
Shift-left testing is an approach of bringing testing earlier into the developer lifecycle while improving quality measures. Unlike the traditional testing method where testing is brought in at the end of the development process, the idea of shift-left testing is to involve testing from the beginning of the design phase to build an appropriate testing strategy. Finding problems as soon as possible reduces the amount of time spent resolving them and reduces the change of testing becoming a bottleneck to a fast release.
Additionally, with shift-left testing practices in place, the product team is now incorporate testing early in their pipeline, thus advance faster, seamlessly improve and win over the competition in the market.
To learn more about the benefits and challenges of Shift-left testing, refer to this article
Why Shift-Left Testing Matters in Continuous Testing?
While shift-left testing has a myriad of key benefits, the technique alone is not enough. Shift-left testing should be incorporated into continuous testing so that testers can generate more frequent, holistic and more practical tests with the implementation of real functional data. The combination “shift-left continuous testing” adds to the automation of your application testing, ensures that it is utilized as much, as early, and as continuous as possible throughout the product development pipeline.
In other words, by incorporating shift-left testing and continuous testing, bug detection can be done more efficiently in the early stage, resulting in higher quality feedback and faster issue resolution with lesser effort.
How to Apply Shift-left Testing in Continuous Testing?
As shift-left and continuous testing employ the same process of testing at every stage and as often as possible, it’s safe to say that shift-left testing is a part of continuous testing. While shift-left testing focuses on defined objectives, continuous testing is part of the process of executing tests in the DevOps pipeline to get feedback on bugs as soon as possible. Therefore, if continuous testing incorporates the entirety of the DevOps pipeline (i.e. from planning, designing, developing to deploying), shift-left takes a part of each cycle and sets testing strategies for each task in the cycle. Shift-left testing enhances continuous testing and makes it a stronger weapon against bugs.
Additionally, you can apply shift-left testing through BBD (behaviour-driven development). BDD, for those who don’t already know, is a versatile Agile software development approach that enhances collaboration between developers and non-technical team members (e.g. managers).
More and more, companies are finding out that the old style is simply not conducive to rapid releases. After all, time is money. Shifting testing practices left and incorporate testing as early as possible allows software businesses to beat their competition to the market.