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Why Shift-Left Testing Matters in Continuous Testing?

In today’s competitive era, time-to-market has become more critical than ever before. This gave rise to more evolving methods like Shift-Left testing and Continuous Testing where the product is testing early and often throughout the development lifecycle. To meet market demands as well as achieve a better ROI, more and more companies are now integrating Shift-left testing with Continuous Testing. To help you better understand these two breakthrough solutions, in this article, we will delve into the definition of each notion, answer the question why you should apply Shift-left testing in Continuous Testing and unravel these concepts to see how they fit into the big idea.
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What is Shift-left Approach in Software Testing?

Simply put, shift-left testing is an approach of bringing testing earlier into the developer lifecycle while improving quality measures. Unlike the traditional testing method where testing is brought in at the end of the development process, the idea of shift-left testing is to involve the testing from the beginning of the design phase to build an appropriate testing strategy. Finding problems as soon as possible reduces the amount of time spent resolving them and reduces the change of testing becoming a bottleneck to a fast release.

Moreover, with shift-left testing practices in place, the product team is now incorporate testing early in their pipeline, thus advance faster, seamlessly improve and win over the competition in the market.

Continuous Testing: What Is It?

Continuous Testing is a software testing type in which the product is evaluated early, often, and throughout the entire continuous delivery process. Basically, it uses a procedure of testing early and often throughout the development lifecycle.

Incorporating continuous testing into your organization’s testing strategy not only accelerates your time-to-market but also keeps the quality your customers expect. Moreover, continuous testing also enables constant feedback for developers to fix bugs before being released to production, and as such, it does help the entire process run much faster.

Why Shift-Left Testing Matters in Continuous Testing?

More and more organization are now transitioning to continuous testing as the testing process is more severe, extensive and thorough. However, the technique alone is not enough, it is crucial to integrate Shift-Left testing with Continuous Testing. Shift-Left testing should serve as the foundation for your continuous test cycles.

Shift-left testing should be incorporated into continuous testing so that testers can generate more frequent, holistic and more practical tests with the implementation of real functional data. The combination “shift-left continuous testing” adds to the automation of your application testing, ensures that it is utilized as much, as early, and as continuous as possible throughout the product development pipeline.

In other words, by incorporating shift-left testing and continuous testing, bug detection can be done more efficiently in the early stage, resulting in higher quality feedback and faster issue resolution with lesser effort.

How to Apply Shift-left Testing in Continuous Testing?

As shift-left and continuous testing employ the same process of testing at every stage and as often as possible, it’s safe to say that shift-left testing is a part of continuous testing. While shift-left testing focuses on defined objectives, continuous testing is part of the process of executing tests in the DevOps pipeline to get feedback on bugs as soon as possible. Therefore, if continuous testing incorporates the entirety of the DevOps pipeline (i.e. from planning, designing, developing to deploying), shift-left takes a part of each cycle and sets testing strategies for each task in the cycle. Shift-left testing enhances continuous testing and makes it a stronger weapon against bugs.

Additionally, you can apply shift-left testing through BBD (behavior-driven development). BDD, for those who don’t already know, is a versatile Agile software development approach that enhances collaboration between developers and non-technical team members (e.g. managers).


After all, time is money. Keep in mind that when you get the software to market faster, you gain a competitive advantage. And integrate shift-left testing with continuous testing will definitely help you to beat your competitor.

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