As companies continue to get more efficient at delivery, better software, processes, and methodology have changed in order to keep up with the demand. Nowadays, shifting left – or testing software earlier in the process – is common in order to meet the needs of continuous delivery – being ready to deliver software at any time.
Of course, each company is different in how they implement new methodology such as continuous delivery, which is the reason I asked a group of developers, information technology (IT) experts, and software engineers via a Currnt KnowledgeStream how they are adopting continuous delivery and where they are in their shift left journey.
Why Shift Testing Left?
Our panelists agree that one of the major factors for shifting testing to the left is to improve feedback loop time, thus finding problems sooner and improving quality overall. It seems obvious that testing earlier in the process could save time and money in the long run, but the previous mind set was to wait until the end to test. In addition, competition is driving the need for continuous delivery and the shift left business strategy since companies are getting product to market at a rapid pace.
There are several factors that contribute to shifting left, but I especially appreciate the contributions Sandy Bish, an IT and Software Development Consultant, believe are important: “Using database replication tools and providing an on-demand test data set will better facilitate teamwork between coders and testers.” Teamwork is essential in shifting left.
How to Shift Testing Left?
As more emphasis is placed on test-driven development when shifting to the left, people
need to evaluate what tools can aid in the process. The open source community has been ahead of the curve, realizing teamwork and constant improvements throughout the development process are necessary to achieve a superior product. When asked whether open source tools are a facilitator in the shift left journey, Vinay Manne, Chief Technology Officer at Ace Info Solutions LLC, said, “Absolutely! Rapid experimentation and innovations are possible by leveraging open source tools.” However, Alexander Podelko, Performance Engineer at Oracle, didn’t necessarily agree, saying, “Open source tools aren’t a facilitator for shift-left – it may be done with commercial tools. Most developer tools happen to be open source and maybe are faster to incorporate but for testing tools it’s not as evident.”
Automation, especially when it comes to testing throughout the software development life cycle (SDLC) is a tool that has assisted in shifting left for several businesses according to several of the panelist members.
Additionally, moving to the cloud has been instrumental in shifting left. Paul Korzeniowski, a B2B Content Producer, pointed out one of benefits of cloud computing technology: “Recent advances in computer hardware and system infrastructure, like cloud, mean companies spend more time on application design and less on allocating resources.”
These are just a few of the insights found on this theme. I invite anyone interested in the future of continuous delivery and open source tools to follow us on Currnt and contribute your insights on our themes. I also want to point out the media tab where our experts have collected informative reads that will support you in your journey of shifting to the left. A fantastic article that provides details on the difference between continuous integration vs. continuous delivery, titled “What is CI/CD?” is a perfect example.
Christine Bentsen is the Product Marketing Leader for Broadcom. She is a high-energy innovator adept at working with customers, creative resources, and developers to achieve the best results possible. Christine is a results-oriented DevOps product professional with extensive experience launching new products and expanding markets for existing products.