DevOps and Agile methodologies have enabled software teams to move faster than ever, but this shift has also introduced quality challenges at many organizations. That’s why modern software teams are adopting a shift-left testing strategy and low-code automated testing tools to rapidly deliver high-quality applications. 

Read on to learn more about why modern software teams are adopting shift-left testing. We’ll also cover the need for low code test automation to reduce the pressure on the quality teams and give developers feedback much sooner.

What Is Shift-Left Testing?

Shift-left testing is a strategy for integrating software testing at earlier stages of the development process. This helps quality assurance and engineering teams get faster feedback to resolve bugs and defects more easily — before they impact end-users. 

In the past, organizations typically tested applications at the end of the software development lifecycle (SDLC) under the Waterfall methodology. This meant that quality teams often operated in a silo, creating a bottleneck that slowed development velocity. Shift-left testing aims to solve this problem by improving collaboration between development and testing teams to meet the needs of the Agile era.

Further Reading: The Complete Guide to Shift-Left Testing

Who Is Adopting Shift-Left Testing?

Many organizations are adopting shift-left testing as part of their transition to DevOps and quality engineering. High-performance software organizations recognize the need to incorporate quality into everything they do from beginning to end. Shift left and shift-right testing help organizations implement software testing now that development is no longer linear, but a continual process of improvement and customer feedback.

The Benefits of Shift-Left Testing

The primary benefit of shift-left testing is that it’s cheaper and less time-consuming to resolve software issues earlier in the development process. This is especially true because test coverage generally increases when organizations adopt a shift-left testing strategy and developers play a greater role in software quality.

But shift-left testing can also improve collaboration with all stakeholders. This helps quality and engineering teams work together to write more realistic test cases and design applications with quality in mind from the start. In turn, organizations can deliver a better user experience with shorter release cycles and higher quality.

How Is Shift-left Testing Implemented?

Modern software teams are adopting shift-left testing to reduce the overall effort involved with fixing bugs and defects. This involved integrating automated testing tools directly into the development pipeline, especially during the build process or pull requests.

When implementing shift-left testing, it’s important to know which tests to shift-left. The most effective type of tests to shift-left is end-to-end testing since they expose integration issues and validate business-critical requirements. Since these tests are usually more expensive than other types of tests, it’s also important to shift as many of them from manual to automated as possible.

The Role Shift-Left Testing Plays in CI/CD

An automated CI/CD pipeline is a way to rapidly deliver new code changes to production. Since getting developers to perform manual testing would be nearly impossible, the adoption of shift-left testing requires automated tools that can integrate seamlessly into their existing workflow. This means choosing a test automation platform with out-of-the-box integrations with Jenkins, GitHub, GitLab, or any other CI/CD tool on which an organization relies.

Many companies are taking shift-left testing even further by implementing automated quality checks throughout the entire SDLC as well. This usually involves using APIs to trigger tests during multiple stages of development without any manual effort. Continuous testing provides greater visibility into overall quality because there is more test coverage at every stage of the development pipeline. 

Low-Code Test Automation for Shift-Left Testing

An effective shift-left testing strategy requires developers to write tests as well. In fact, test-driven development (TDD) is all about automating tests and running them as early and often as possible.

Low-code test automation is a great way to make it easier for developers to write and execute test cases themselves. This reduces the pressure on the quality teams and gives developers feedback much sooner. In turn, more frequent software releases are less stressful for both teams because high-impact defects can be resolved during the development stage rather than the deployment stage.

Shift-Left Testing with mabl

Mabl is a low-code test automation platform that makes it easy for developers (or anyone) to run end-to-end tests when code is built or after a deployment to a test environment. The platform has numerous CI/CD integrations, reducing the friction with incorporating shift-left testing into your development process.

Adopting shift-left testing with mabl is a step towards quality-driven development, enabling your organization to deliver higher-quality releases, faster than ever. This is the key to high-performance software development in an era of Agile and DevOps.

Thinking about adopting shift-left testing? Register for mabl’s 14-day free trial and begin creating automated tests within minutes!