Which is better Shift Left Testing or Shift Right Testing?

  • August 17, 2022
  • Reading Time: 3 minutes
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Performance engineering is a big part of Quality Assurance. With the advent of the agile methodology for software engineering, the landscape of QA has significantly changed, and for the better.

Once a variety of automation tools were developed, the tech world soon realized that automation could transform the way we engineer applications. It could foster more cooperation between inter disciplinary teams and get the work done with greater accuracy. This transformed the business bottomline positively while ensuring a higher return on investment in the process.

In this article, we attempt to understand and differentiate the Shift Left and the Shift Right approaches towards testing, and how combining the two is what efficient enterprises do.

What is Shift Left Testing?

The left side of the development Process, Early and Often are the two keywords that define the way Shift Left testing is performed. Testing begins much early in the software development lifecycle hand-in-hand with the development and production process. It is a continuous process with a constant feedback loop of communication between the client, the developers and the testers.  

It largely focuses on the functional aspects of the application or software.

Shift left testing is about scouting defects early on in the SDLC so risks can be anticipated and mitigated well in advance. It is a proactive approach that goes on parallel to the development process of the application. With end-to-end automation, this process can be speeded up with accuracy and efficiency.

This helps the business optimize operational expenses so the application can adhere to higher quality benchmarks with greater ease.

After the testing team has carefully outlined the larger test design inline with the client’s objectives, the team begins work on the application. During the test design phase in Shift Left testing, following tasks are outlined:

  • Understanding client requirements, application behavior and end user expectation
  • Creating unit tests parallel to development process
  • Creating functional and integration tests
  • End-to-end test automation for test execution 

The developers and the testers stay in communication throughout while meticulously working through each defect along the way. It often though not always becomes a Test-Driven-Development approach (TDD).

The development team and the testing teams work in close unity with increased collaboration in a DevOps environment to ensure that defects are solved during the production itself. As testers are part of important client and development team communication, a superior quality output where all stakeholders are on the same page is achieved smoothly.

Also Read: 10 Steps to Get Started with Shift Left Testing

What is Shift Right Testing?

In contrast to the Shift Left approach, the Shift Right approach in testing terms is all about testing the application after production but prior to deployment. It largely deals with performance of the application in real world environment.

In the Shift Right approach, the performance, user experience and resilience of the application are tested in controlled environments. Real life use cases are carefully sought and replicated for Shift Right testing.

Shift Right testing happens on the right side of the development process during the post-production phase. The application is completely developed and ready; however, it must be tested carefully so its stable, high-performing and offers a great user experience.

Canary releases, A/B testing and Blue Green deployments are utilized to gather feedback from target users about the application performance. Tools to detect errors are also used to gather additional performance data.

It often relies on feedback from real users to understand how well it performs in real time.

Benefits of Shift Left Testing:

1. Design Thinking for development and Testing 

2. High quality development

3. Reduced Time-to-Market and high ROI

4. Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery for faster sprints

Benefits of Shift Right Testing:

1. Customer Feedback Collation and Analysis for improved CX for actual users

2. Superior Performance Post Development 

3. Wider Test Coverage Post Development

4. Accurate Load Testing

Shift Left gets you a clean code with effective resource optimization while Shift Right reduces the time-to-market with improved CX.

Performance engineering isn’t just about Shift Left or Shift Right, it is about utilizing the two complementary approaches for holistic testing of applications for superior performance. And, now with automated testing, enterprises can automate end-to-end testing processes to ensure efficiency and accuracy.

If you are looking to implement automation testing within your enterprise, get in touch our experts at info@testing-whiz.com or call us on +1-855-699-6600.

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