When To Choose Shift Left or Shift Right Testing Approach?


By Sahil Verma

When To Choose Shift Left or Shift Right Testing Approach?

Shift Left or Shift Right Testing Approach

Only a decade back, the entire process of developing new technologies was much more simplified. However, the growing demand for software and applications, along with much necessary sophistication led to the introduction of several new practices and methodologies. 

More importantly, it was to overcome the strategic division of quality assurance and software testing practices as a part of the development procedure. The modern-day testing practices enabled overcoming all the delays in the development process and made way for solutions that were bug-free.  

As of now, most development teams work in collaboration with QA to ensure early error detection and rectification of the issues. Also, it is the responsibility of every person involved in the project to ensure quality throughout the process. And here comes the role of the shift right and shift left testing approach.  

Considering the general idea of left-to-right testing, the shift left approach works by testing applications for every stage of development achieved. On the other hand, the shift right testing works by testing towards the end of the development cycle.  

In this blog, we will be talking about the whole concept of shift left testing, while exploring all the potential reasons for using shift right testing. Besides, we will even aim at highlighting all the potential methods to foster shift right testing and learn the need for combining shift right and shift left testing. 

Shift Left Testing 

The shift left testing works by doing things ahead of time. The process needs developers to test before time instead of waiting for the application to be developed before it goes into the testing process. This requires testing the application at every step of development, bringing testers and developers together towards a common goal.  

Why Shift Left Approach Must Be Adopted? 

Though most developers consider shift left as a part of continuous testing feel bottlenecked, using it as an early approach to testing could allow significant business benefits. Here we have three potential reasons that make shift left testing an important part of the development lifecycle: 

  • It allows you to measure possible performance roadblocks at the earliest 

  • Quicker rectification of testing blunders allows better and improved versions of technology to thrive 

  • It fills any time gaps for fixing bugs complementing the deliveries and deadlines.  

  • Shift left testing allows accurate results and adds more value to the project in terms of efficiency and quality.  

Types Of Shift-left Testing 

  • The Traditional Testing 

Specifically, focused on the unit and integration testing used in the combined effect of API testing and tools, traditional shift left testing is an approach that fails to work on acceptance testing and system-level.  

  • Incremental Testing 

Used for high-level application development, the incremental shift left testing works by breaking complex codes into small segments. These segments are further tested individually one at a time. Such an approach enables developers to build a segment above the other ensuring complete accuracy. 

  • Agile/DevOps 

Shift left testing allows performing tests in sprints and therefore aligns well with the development-based testing without operational testing. However, the agile/DevOps shift left testing has gained popularity over time, making it a popular option to choose for various organizations.  

  • Model-based  

Model-based shift left approach works on the early-stage testing concept. Executed in the design and development phase, it works on executable requirements, architecture, and design model, which allows rectification of 50% of errors in the early development process.  

Shift Right Testing 

Shift right testing works by performing tests at the end of the development stage. In most cases, it is done after the deployment or release of the software. Besides, it can even be worked for configuring, monitoring, and operating the software bringing tests and operations together.  

Closely linked to DevOps testing services, the process involves development and operations teams working together in a close environment throughout the development lifecycle to provide valuable input. API monitoring, feature toggles, and taking advantage of production traffic are a few good examples of using shift right testing. Also, the process drives more value to the continuous testing initiatives giving a more holistic vision to the development lifecycle.  

Shift Right testing practices such as API Monitoring, Feature Toggles, and using production traffic for testing applications are just a few examples of how teams can extend their Continuous Testing culture to a more holistic approach in the development lifecycle. 

Why Shift-right Testing Must Be Adopted? 

The shift right approach works well for the developers who need to take advantage of real-time customer feedback. The information retrieved can then be used to strengthen the development phase and implement any potential changes that are necessary for the product under test. Here are a few good reasons that make shift-right testing a potential step to aid the development lifecycle: 

  • Testing applications individually allows automation to step in. Moreover, apps developed in small chunks even ease the automation process allowing quality to dive in 

  • Shift right testing allows working on user interface automation after the app core is confirmed to be stable 

  • Shift right testing approach allows developers to test big application chunks together 

  • Shift right testing allows broader functioning on the application allowing bug-free application development for optimum CX.  

Shift-right Testing Methods 

  • A/B Testing 

Commonly known as a bucket or split testing, A/B testing works by duplicating the web page designs for individual tests that can generate more leads. As a part of conversion rate provision process, pages with minor variations are compared to understand how a product is performing. It is more of a comparison-based approach that allows testers to identify pages that generate more leads.  

  • Continuous Quality Monitoring 

Continuous quality monitoring supports the quality building process of software throughout the development lifecycle. The process involves the use of various tools that can help in monitoring the application across development phases. Some of the most common practices of Continuous Quality Monitoring include code instrumentation, real user monitoring, and virtual user monitoring.  

Struggling To Understand Continuous Quality Monitoring & Continuous Testing? 

Read Here: Explaining the Process of Continuous Integration & Continuous Testing 

  • Chaos Testing 

Chaos testing works by manually injecting errors into the system code to understand how a system works under varying scenarios. It is done with the intention to monitor an app’s performance for stressful conditions that need developers to locate bugs and fix them before the product reaches the market.  

However, it works using various performance testing tools that can automate the process for maximum efficiency and speed. Chaos testing is meant to check the performance of an application under sudden attacks made on the infrastructure or network.  

Making The Most Out Of Shift Left & Shift Right Testing 

When shift left and shift right testing is required to be integrated into an agile environment, it becomes vital to understand when it is essential to test. As the development lifecycle of a product goes through many changes of requirements until it reaches the delivery stage, QA testers should avoid sticking to a testing calendar as it may cause delayed testing. 

On the other hand, testers must aim for a productive test schedule where testing is done for every iteration and sprint. As a part of an agile practice that focuses on test-driven development, shift left and shift right must incorporate seamlessly into the picture.  

Concluding it all, shift left and shift testing must be used wisely wherever required in the development process. It can not only help bring development and testing teams closer but complements the quality goals surrounding the product.  

More importantly, testers and developers can always work together on improving the development lifecycle by working on every detail of the production process. In other words, it is necessary to find the perfect balance of testing and development resisting both testers and developers to feel engulfed during the rescue for creativity.  

And to avoid such overwhelming tasks, automation can always be integrated into the process to meet the time, quality, and delivery goals. In a nutshell, automation testing services could bring a lot of value to the development process. Also, when shift left and shift right testing has so many things to offer, combining both could offer extensive benefits in meeting the continuous testing benchmarks. 

All The Best! 

Need a one-stop solution for all your automation testing goals or looking to generate maximum value by balancing shift left and shift right testing, reach our experts at Bugraptors today.  

Let us be the helping hand you need for testing your next software solution. 


Sahil Verma

Sahil Verma is a seasoned expert working as the Lead Software Engineer at BugRaptors. Since he has been associated with the QA industry for more than 10 years, he has a strong belief that, “‘Quality in any software is like grace to its existence.” More importantly, Sahil is a highly dynamic professional and more competent leader who understands every aspect of creating and executing business-productive software technology.

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