Traditionally, testing always waited for the development cycle to end before it began. This can be a time-consuming and expensive strategy because bugs encountered are usually discovered too late in the development process to be easily fixed. Businesses are making assertive use of DevOps to respond to changing client requests and shifting market dynamics, and many enterprises using the DevOps framework still perform manual testing. While the software development life cycle (SDLC) can be sped up with DevOps, without sound testing practices, there is a lack of visibility, effort duplication, and project backlogs, thereby leading to cost overruns and project delays. Therefore, better practices for development and testing are required as a result of less budget and the need for quicker deliveries. Check out the best courses for DevOps.
Enterprises could use shift left testing concepts, test automation, and shift left testing principles in DevOps, which enable them to test more thoroughly and quickly, to overcome these difficulties.
What are Shift Left Testing Principles?
The fundamental tenet of shift-left testing is that finding and fixing issues early in the software development life cycle is preferable to doing so later. Teams can avoid having to rewrite already written code by spotting and fixing errors early. A testing process that is continuous throughout the software development life cycle has an impact on Shift Left DevOps testing principles because it improves software quality, shortens lengthy test cycles, and reduces the likelihood of unwelcome surprises at the end of the development cycle or production cycle. If you want to get certified in DevOps look at Top DevOps Certifications.
Shift-left software testing is best explained by seeing the development cycle as a line that extends from left to right. In a standard model, testing is only applied to the line's extreme right. We now expect to relocate the start of testing as far to the left as feasible after realizing this is the bottleneck.
To aid with this, you can adhere to a few essential DevOps practices:
- Automate all processes: It will be simpler to get started early and uncover issues rapidly the more testing you can automate.
- Create quality from the beginning: Focusing on quality from the start is crucial since the shift left testing strategy prevents defects. It entails using test-driven development and other high-quality coding practices.
- Continuously test: Testing is done continuously throughout the whole software development cycle. Early flaw detection and correction aid in preventing complications.
- Shift left everything: The entire team must be involved; it cannot just be about the shift left in testing. Quality should be considered from the beginning, and everyone should be accountable for ensuring that the final result is of the highest calibre.
Why Shift Left Testing Principles?
Cost is a very powerful motivator for moving your testing to the left. According to a report, the cost of fixing a bug that is discovered during testing just before production is 15 times more than it would be during the design process.
Any bugs that do surface when testing is put on hold until the conclusion of development is typically more challenging to address. Since all the code has already been written, the only way to resolve their issue is to completely redesign the product. The impacts of such an approach would be:
- The cost will rise since the software must be sent back and completely rewritten.
- Longer time to market because these reworks will take longer to finish.
- Any unexpected error encountered.
The Shift Left approach emphasizes the necessity for developers to focus on quality from the beginning of a software build rather than waiting until faults and issues are discovered toward the end of the SDLC. Adapting Shift Left strategy in DevOps will allow not only cost saving but also saving time and teams can carry out regular tasks such as:
- Early and continuous Testing
- Providing feedback
- Examining changes and improvement
Why DevOps Recommends Shift-left Testing Principles?
It's difficult to keep up with changing expectations and needs in the software world because requirements change frequently, this is why DevOps left shift testing is required. If you are new to DevOps, don’t worry as we have got you covered with DevOps Foundation classes.
So why does DevOps recommend shift left testing principles? Below are the reasons:
- Reduce development and testing expenses: As already mentioned, the cost and consequences of repairing bugs grow with time. Shift-left testing is therefore carried out following each build to identify and fix faults as soon as possible. A shift-left testing technique can lower the overall costs for development, testing, and resolution because defects are found early.
- Write better, more streamlined code: Because they can be difficult to fix, defects can occasionally be overlooked when they are detected too late. Bugs can be fixed if they are discovered early, resulting in a final product with higher-quality performance and code in comparison to requirements and expectations.
- Coordinate the bug fix: Since testing starts with the initial build, shift-left encourages better collaboration between developers and testers. Shift-left testing is the most effective method for aligning testing and development in a situation when speed and good quality are required.
- Saving time: It is unlikely that the testing will run over budget or be delayed because it begins with the very first stage of the cycle. This indicates that quality can still be delivered on schedule.
- Assuring client satisfaction: The code that is delivered after the development cycle and is put into production is cleaner, higher quality, and more stable when using a shift-left strategy. Users don't have to wait for fresh versions because they can go into production with little to no obvious faults.
Shift-left and Test Automation in DevOps (Complete Overview)
It's no longer an issue of why, but rather how to implement test automation in an agile environment. There are a variety of approaches to integrating test automation into your SDLC, including self-developed test automation frameworks, commercial tools based on programming, and code-free test automation technologies. Make sure to explore KnowledgeHut best courses for DevOps.
The framework for automating tests must be carefully chosen because it is not worthwhile if automation costs more than it saves. If the incorrect automation framework is used, the time required may outweigh the advantages. This is particularly true when testing the user interface (UI) is automated because the tests become more unstable and expensive to maintain.
Let's find out how to facilitate this challenge:
- Eliminate dependency: When automating functional UI tests, avoid relying on code experts. Business users and QA experts may create and maintain automation using codeless automation technologies.
- Utilization ease: Test automation will be operational and accessible to non-technical testers more quickly with a solution with a short onboarding period. Visual test automation is less expensive in terms of time, money, and brainpower than scripting automation for testing.
- Resilience: Low-maintenance, stable tests will require less maintenance. Visual automation technologies make it simple to spot, comprehend, and rectify automation failures so you can immediately find and address the source of the issue.
- Scalability: It will be possible to scale automation efforts as projects expand if a tool has built-in reusability.
- Include developers in test activities: The merged code is cleaner and less prone to errors when developers test their code before submitting it to the main branch. Since they are smaller and easier to navigate, individual code units are simpler to test.
- Acquaint testers with coding: Testers that have a foundation in coding are better able to perform code reviews and contribute significantly to sprint teams. The ability to read and alter simple code, such as an automated test or rewrite essential functions, is a must for testers.
- Early inclusion of testers: Agile's Shift Left Test functions best when QAs are present from the initial ideation session resulting in a deeper understanding of the underlying ideas as a result, which helps them create more effective tests during the Continuous Testing stage. Additionally, having QAs there can help developers get a clear picture of the kinds of defects that are most likely to appear and how to prevent them.
- When coding, consider testability: Shift Left Testing in DevOps takes teamwork to be successful. It can't be something that only some people perform toward the end of a sprint. Developers should consider how to make their code more testable as they write it.
Common Challenges to Incorporating Test Automation in DevOps
- Overall Build Time: Many businesses consider creating their test automation frameworks but doing so is time- and money-consuming and rarely successful.
- Incremental Learning Curve: Businesses that manage their test automation framework with code-based open-source technologies like Selenium rely on technical workers. This is a challenge since technical teams frequently have more high-value jobs to do than test, and non-technical business customers are better at understanding their workflows.
- Hefty upkeep costs: Since the majority of test automation solutions employ static scripts, they are unable to automatically adjust to UI changes in the form of new screens, buttons, user flows, or user inputs. Static script-based tools require far more maintenance than dynamic script-based tools since their scripts tend to fragment more frequently.
How to Address These Challenges
The aforementioned issues are resolved by a no-code test automation platform's quick ramp-up, low learning curve, and minimal maintenance requirements. This enables your company to shorten the release cycles and will help you implement changes fast in a setting of intense competition.
The foundation for shift-left success is created when it is combined with the two fundamental DevOps concepts of continuous testing and continuous development. To switch to benefit from a shift-left strategy is not an easy road with a timeline you can easily predict. It is ongoing and is meant to support your long-term development strategy.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What is a shift-left strategy in DevOps?
A shift-left is a process in which testing, quality, and performance evaluation are performed early in the software development process, thus shifting left in DevOps cycle.
2. How do you implement a shift-left testing approach in DevOps?
- Include Testers during the initial plan and design phase.
- Unified Test Strategy with Static Testing.
- Utilize automated technology and address potential issues.
- Set the course of action and be ready with a Risk-based analysis.
3. What practices could be prioritized to achieve this shift left culture?
- Adapt to the corporate vision and prioritize your scope.
- Promote Teams to Work Toward a Common Objective.
- Adopt a mindset that puts automation first.
- Create quality gates in your shift-left strategy.