Why Does DevOps Recommend Shift-left Testing Principles

blog_auth Blog Author


published Published

Oct 16, 2023

views Views


readTime Read Time

16 mins

Tabel of the content


All organizations are adopting various methodologies and there are some great results that accompany agile and DevOps methods in projects in IT development. The delivery time is reduced, and it also helps in delivering products of high quality. But it becomes hard with such short sprints to deliver a quality product and increase the velocity, and productivity all at the same time. So, to make sure that the projects are not getting compromised on testing and quality, there is a QA approach that is getting very prominent these days known as “Shift Left” in the world of Agile and DevOps.

Today in this article, we are going to answer the question- why does DevOps recommend shift-left testing principles? We will go in-depth about this approach and look for various benefits associated with this approach. Also, with devops online training, you will be able to learn more about upcoming approaches that are being followed in agile projects.

What is Shift Left testing?

There are many times the overall development velocity and reliability of the project are hampered as the codebase needs some work in the later stage of the project leading to late delivery of project work. To make sure that the testing, quality assurance and performance evaluation activities are run on time, these activities are put to the left of the traditional software development lifecycle. This helps in detecting the issues early on and resolving them on time.

This is based on the principle that DevOps follow while working on a project- Test early and Test often. This is very much needed in the project as this helps in making sure that the problems are anticipated early on in the project and do not affect the product performance and delivery process. Shift-Left should ideally begin even before the codebase is produced, with the verification of APIs, container setups, microservice interactions, and so on, beginning with the fundamental technical documentation.

Shift Left testing can sometimes integrate BDD-like procedures and templates to assess whether the nature of the product being built is the same as the customer expectations as embodied in the business requirements. Finally, shifting left ensures that the product created is consistent with the design envisioned.

DevOps Certification

Training Course

100% Placement Guarantee

View course

Why does DevOps recommend shift-left testing principles

Traditionally, testing has been done towards the end of the development process, after the code has been written. However, with shift-left testing, testing is done much earlier in the process, often as soon as the code is written.

There are several reasons why DevOps recommends shift-left testing principles:

Early Detection of Defects: By testing earlier in the development process, defects can be detected and resolved earlier, when they are less expensive and time-consuming to fix. This can reduce the overall cost of development and improve the quality of the software product.

1. Improved Collaboration: It helps in collaboration between developers, testers, and other stakeholders. By involving testers and other stakeholders earlier in the development process, everyone can work together to ensure that the software product meets the desired quality standards.

2. Continuous Feedback: With shift-left testing principles, developers can receive continuous feedback on their code, which helps them to identify and fix defects quickly. This can lead to faster development cycles and a more efficient development process.

3. Greater Automation: Shift-left testing principles often involve greater automation of the testing process. This can reduce the time and effort required for testing and improve the reliability of the testing process.

DevOps recommends shift-left testing principles because they promote a more efficient, collaborative, and effective development process that leads to higher-quality software products.

What are the advantages of shift-left testing principles?

1. Early Identification of Errors: If testing is performed early and frequently, errors may be found and corrected earlier in the development process. This lowers the likelihood of time-consuming and financially burdensome rework being required in the future.

2. Enhancement of Collaboration: Shift-left testing encourages cooperation between development, testing, and other teams, which enables faster feedback loops and better agility in response to changing needs or issues.

3. Increased efficiency: Tests may be automated and incorporated into the development process using shift-left testing, which reduces the amount of time and effort necessary for testing and frees up resources that can be used for other tasks.

4. Increased Quality: Shift-left testing helps to enhance the overall quality of the software product by identifying faults sooner and more frequently. This reduces the likelihood of difficulties occurring during the production and increases the level of happiness experienced by customers.

5. Reduced Costs: Shift-left testing can assist to decrease the total costs of development by finding flaws early on and boosting efficiency. These costs include rework and delays in the delivery of the finished product.

6. Increased Speed: Shift-left testing enables faster feedback and iteration, which enables teams to develop software products more rapidly and adapt more swiftly to changing needs or concerns. This results in increased speed.

Overall, shift-left testing is a key component of a successful DevOps approach, enabling teams to build higher-quality software products more quickly and efficiently.

What are the best practices of the Shift left approach in agile?

Engage the Testing Team Early

The testing team should be included in the project from the beginning so that they may offer feedback on requirements and design and assist detect possible issues prior to development. Engaging the testing team will ensure that they are able to work on those bugs on time and get back to them on time as well.

Automation of Testing

Automation of tests is a crucial component of shift-left testing. Automated tests may be executed rapidly and often, resulting in faster feedback and early fault detection during the development process. This really helps in getting the work done on time and ensures that the client is getting the deliverables on time.

In a test-driven culture, testing is viewed as an integral component of the development process, and developers are responsible for designing and executing their own tests. This can aid in early problem identification and foster communication between developers and testers.

Use Continuous Integration and Continuous Testing 

Continuous integration (CI) and continuous testing (CT) guarantee that code changes are often tested and integrated, minimizing the chance of problems and enabling faster feedback and iterations which helps the teamwork in the right direction and also with the right pace.

Emphasis on Exploratory

Testing Exploratory testing is a highly effective method for discovering flaws that automated tests may miss. Encouraging testers to employ exploratory testing approaches can help find bugs that automated tests alone may overlook.

Prioritize Testing

Task Prioritizing testing jobs based on risk and criticality may guarantee that the most essential tests are performed first, hence lowering the possibility of critical flaws remaining undetected.

Delivering Sufficient Test Data 

Supplying sufficient test data is crucial for efficient testing. To guarantee that the software product is adequately tested, test data must be realistic and cover a variety of circumstances. This is very much important to deliver the test data because this is needed to make sure that the testing is of quality and the purpose of testing is met.

Implementing shift-left testing in an Agile environment requires a focus on collaboration, automation, and a culture of testing. By following these best practices, teams can identify defects earlier in the development process, improve quality, and deliver software products more quickly and efficiently.

Challenges of Shift Left approach

There are certain challenges that come with this approach:

  • Lack of Testing Expertise: To implement shift-left testing effectively, development teams need to have a solid understanding of testing principles and techniques. However, not all developers may have the necessary expertise in testing, which can lead to gaps in testing coverage or less effective testing.
  • Limited Resources: Implementing shift-left testing requires a significant investment in tools, infrastructure, and personnel. Smaller organizations may struggle to allocate the necessary resources to implement shift-left testing effectively.
  • Resistance to Change: Shift-left testing represents a significant change in the way software development is typically done. Developers and testers may be resistant to changing their existing workflows and processes, which can slow down adoption.
  • Integration Challenges: Integrating automated testing into the development process can be challenging, particularly in complex systems with multiple dependencies. Ensuring that all components are tested effectively can require significant effort and coordination.
  • Managing Test Data: Effective testing requires realistic test data that covers a range of scenarios. Managing and maintaining test data can be challenging, particularly in systems with large datasets or complex requirements.
  • Balancing Speed and Quality: Shift-left testing is designed to accelerate the development process by catching defects earlier. However, there is a risk that focusing too much on speed can come at the expense of quality. Balancing speed and quality are the key challenge with shift-left testing.

DevOps Certification

Training Course

In Collaboration with IBM

View course


Shift-left testing improves software quality. Testing sooner in the development cycle helps uncover more faults before production. This saves time and money over time. If not already, add shift left testing to your DevOps pipeline. We get to know why does DevOps recommend shift left approach. DevOps recommends shift-left testing for significant reasons. This method can improve your software and products.

So, if you are looking for a career in Devops and have an interest in knowing more about this technology, then going for Devops online training is the best way to proceed with your career. With StarAgile, you will be able to get the resources that are needed to make a career in this field. This will open doors for you where you can work with industry professionals who have sound knowledge of DevOps and its principles.

Share the blog

Keep reading about

Card image cap
Top 10 DevOps programming languages in 20...
calender18 May 2020calender20 mins
Card image cap
Top 9 Devops Engineer Skills
calender18 May 2020calender20 mins
Card image cap
Best DevOps Tools in 2024
calender18 May 2020calender20 mins

We have
successfully served:


professionals trained




sucess rate


>4.5 ratings in Google

Drop a Query

Email Id
Contact Number
Enquiry for*
Enter Your Query*