Shift-Left Approach to Software Testing

The shift-left approach to software development means shifting the testing process to the left, i.e. to the earliest possible phase. We use it, especially when working in an Agile way, where, the delivery of small but functional parts of our application is the most important.

Why is the shift-left approach so important and early testing is now becoming a necessity?

Problem with late testing

Many processes assume that testing will take place in the final stages of the project. In this case, the elimination of defects becomes problematic. It takes a lot of time and takes a lot of work and costs.


The effort that we must devote to identifying, repairing and re-testing during the upcoming final development phase of the application may also lead to the inability to remove them all before the final version.

What can we do in such a situation and what steps should we take to ensure that our applications are of high quality and to avoid the stress associated with such situations?

The role of testing

The most important thing for the team to realize is that the role of testing is not to find defects but to reduce their number by preventing them.

We can only achieve this by moving the entire quality control process to the earliest stages of software development. The main assumptions of the whole process can be presented in several steps.

The most important assumption is the cooperation of all project stakeholders at the planning and specification stage. The more thought-out and discussed the project, the fewer mistakes we will make during its implementation and it will be more in line with the vision that stood behind its creation.

The resulting requirements should also be tested, making it possible to detect any problems, inaccuracies and inconsistencies in the planning phase, before the start of the actual development phase.

Implementing a testing strategy for our project

This should cover all areas of quality control and should consider both types and levels of tests. so that we are sure that all areas have been covered with tests in the amount that was planned at the beginning of the project.

Automation. Wherever possible, we should apply the automation of our tests at every possible level so that we can reduce human error. Another advantage of this approach is an increase in test coverage, by being able to run many tests at one time. By increasing the number of automated tests in our project, as testers, we can spend more time on creativity, rather than on tedious and unsatisfying tasks.


By applying and implementing these assumptions to our projects, all stakeholders will be more satisfied with the quality of the software delivered in the final phase, and we as a team will have less implementation stress.