Shift-Left Testing Is a Reality
June 02, 2021

Rob Mason
Applause

Plenty of organizations are already underway with shift-left testing — i.e., conducting the testing of features immediately after they are coded — according to a survey of more than 1,800 QA, product, engineering and DevOps professionals and practitioners around the world on the topic of shift-left testing, conducted by Applause in April 2021.

In fact, 86% of organizations are doing this type of testing already, representing a vast majority.

Is Shift-Left Helping?

When it comes to large organizations and enterprises, the process of shifting left is leading to a variety of benefits across their software development lifecycles (SDLCs). Respondents at large organizations pointed to three top benefits they hoped to achieve by shifting left:

1. Reduce the number of bugs released to end users.

2. Save on costs related to fixing bugs at a later stage in development.

3. Reduce the need for hot-fixes.

The impact of shift-left can also be found among developers and QA teams, who are now testing more often. The survey found that for organizations with 500+ employees focused on releasing new features multiple times per month:

■ 44% have their teams working eight+ hours a week on testing right after coding

■ 27% have their teams spending between five to eight hours a week on testing right after coding

A noticeable majority of large organizations now have teams working a full work day or more per week just on testing code right after it is developed. Not only can that cause burnout for internal teams, but it also means that higher-value projects are not being done because there is not enough time left in the day. If the majority of developers at an organization are spending a full work day each week testing, for example, then they are missing out on valuable development time.

The survey found that over half (52%) of teams that rely on developers for eight or more hours of testing per week agree that the testing of new features is having an impact on developer productivity.

Developer Coding vs. Developer Testing

The survey also looked into what barriers are standing in the way of organizations that are not shifting left and found that:

■ For 45% of these organizations, developers are too busy with coding.

■ For 37% of these organizations, development and QA efforts are too siloed.

■ For 31% of these organizations, test results are too slow.

■ For 18% of these organizations, developers have not bought into shift-left.

Part of the issue with developers being too busy is, they are challenged to re-acclimate to code that they or someone else worked on days or weeks earlier, with 44% of developers sharing that context switching is a challenge for them.

Overall, shift-left testing has gone from a new concept to seeing the vast majority of organizations implement it. It's bringing benefits where it matters most, to the end experience for customers, and the bottom-line for businesses. But developers and QA teams are still facing challenges with adopting and adapting to this approach. Like all new processes, it may take time to smooth out the bumps and create an ideal setup for everyone.

The key for organizations will be balancing the needs of their internal and external clients so they can deliver high-quality digital experiences to end users quickly and on an ongoing basis. Many enterprises are now looking to crowdsourced providers as a way to get the in-sprint testing they need to successfully shift left without bogging down developers' workloads with frequent testing requests.

Rob Mason is CTO of Applause
Share this

Industry News

October 02, 2023

Spectro Cloud announced Palette EdgeAI to simplify how organizations deploy and manage AI workloads at scale across simple to complex edge locations, such as retail, healthcare, industrial automation, oil and gas, automotive/connected cars, and more.

September 28, 2023

Kong announced Kong Konnect Dedicated Cloud Gateways, the simplest and most cost-effective way to run Kong Gateways in the cloud fully managed as a service and on enterprise dedicated infrastructure.

September 28, 2023

Sisense unveiled the public preview of Compose SDK for Fusion.

September 28, 2023

Cloudflare announced Hyperdrive to make every local database global. Now developers can easily build globally distributed applications on Cloudflare Workers, the serverless developer platform used by over one million developers, without being constrained by their existing infrastructure.

September 27, 2023

Kong announced full support for Kong Mesh in Konnect, making Kong Konnect an API lifecycle management platform with built-in support for Kong Gateway Enterprise, Kong Ingress Controller and Kong Mesh via a SaaS control plane.

September 27, 2023

Vultr announced the launch of the Vultr GPU Stack and Container Registry to enable global enterprises and digital startups alike to build, test and operationalize artificial intelligence (AI) models at scale — across any region on the globe. \

September 27, 2023

Salt Security expanded its partnership with CrowdStrike by integrating the Salt Security API Protection Platform with the CrowdStrike Falcon® Platform.

September 26, 2023

Progress announced a partnership with Software Improvement Group (SIG), an independent technology and advisory firm for software quality, security and improvement, to help ensure the long-term maintainability and modernization of business-critical applications built on the Progress® OpenEdge® platform.

September 26, 2023

Solace announced a new version of its Solace Event Portal solution that gives organizations with Apache Kafka deployments better visibility into, and control over, their Kafka event streams, brokers and associated assets.

September 26, 2023

Reply launched a proprietary framework for generative AI-based software development, KICODE Reply.

September 26, 2023

Harness announced the industry-wide Engineering Excellence Collective™, an engineering leadership community.

September 25, 2023

Harness announced four new product modules on the Harness platform.

September 25, 2023

Sylabs announced the release of SingularityCE 4.0.

September 25, 2023

Timescale announced the launch of Timescale Vector, enabling developers to build production AI applications at scale with PostgreSQL.