Shift Left Vs. Shift Right, Which Approach to Choose when it comes to Testing?


No matter what innovation and new-gen technology you bring in your software until its quality is optimized, it is sure to fail. Hence, strategizing testing activities and executing them as planned will avoid any discrepancies and yield accurate results. To ensure the QA process gives the desired outcome, the right testing approach is required, which determines the success and failure of the software. There are two different testing methods one can follow – shift-left and shift-right testing, choosing the right one is critical.

With the advancing development process like DevOps and agile methods, software testing has become the core part of the entire cycle to ensure quality is not compromised. Organizations are adopting new testing methods to improve the testing process which will eventually create high-quality software. Popular testing methods include shift left and shift right, let’s understand how one differs from the other and which one to select based on your requirements.

What is Shift Left Testing?

Shift-left testing is a popular testing method used by organizations; it indicates that the testing shifts to the left across the development process. Testing is being implemented early in the development process to ensure bugs are identified and fixed before they amplify and cause severe consequences. It helps mitigate risk, streamline the testing process, and improve software quality.

As development processes are moving agile, shift left testing becomes an important method to implement. It supports advanced processes and offers exceptional results. Some of the benefits of using shift-left testing are:

It reduces the turn-around-time and improves the quality, hence, increasing the ROI metrics
Testing from the beginning will help to identify bugs early, mitigate risk, and reduce time, cost, & effort
Achieves accurate and consistent results
It streamlines the testing process by moving testing incrementally to the left of the workflow
It helps in offering a seamless customer experience by improving the quality
The errors are well identified and fixed with ease; the issues arising from malfunctioning of the software can be eliminated as the quality of the software will increase.

What is Shift Right Testing?
Shift right testing indicates that testing is carried out from the right of the process, i.e., after the production is complete. Testing all the functional and non-functional aspects is carried out in a controlled environment to check its performance. Here, the main focus is laid on customer preferences and testing is carried out based on real-world scenarios. The major difference between shift left and shift right is that shift left is implemented at the beginning of the development process while shift right is performed post-production.

Shift-right testing offers the following advantages:

It operates on a customer-centric approach, hence, improving customer experience
Provides higher test coverage
Stability and performance are based on a real situation

Which is Better?
Shift left and shift right testing are both unique in their approach and help improve the QA process. Often, there is confusion about which one to use as a part of your testing strategy. Shift left is most suitable for agile models while shift right to test integration and collect customer feedback. Both models are important and help an organization improve their QA strategy.

Based on individual requirements, companies can choose the best test automation tool that can offer them great accuracy, consistency, and coverage.

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