Older and more established methodologies are failing to meet the needs to today’s competition. For example, especially in development, the so called Waterfall methodology usually yields worse quality software and more expensive hot fixes.
Inclined to be better, DevOps teams are, well, shifting left.
1.2 What does it mean to Shift Left?
The term “Shift Left” usually refers to the practice in software development where the main focus remains on quality production, pro active error prevention rather than detecting and doing proper tests as early as possible in order to avoid finding issues after everything is finished and then re doing the whole thing. This wastes time, money and reputation.
1.3 Promoting Best Practice & Cost Effectiveness
This tactic has proven quite invaluable and currently hailed as best practice throughout the DevOps circles. Basically what it boils down to is this, errors are far more difficult to track and fix in the late stages of development rather than early on. This means that if something is caught early on developers can simply find a way around it, but it if it is found much too late it means that entire segments need to be re-done, a task which might not be even possible. So that is why most are using the Shift Left methodology as a better tactic, which in simple terms means, start as early as possible and find/fix as many bugs as you can early on in the Devops Toolchain and beyond.
1.4 Continuous Deployment & Continuous Testing
Modern practices have led DevOps teams to a few better suited operations such as CD (Continuous Deployment) and CT (Continuous Testing). What CD simply means is that deployments are automating the provisioning of new builds and enables them to continue testing a lot more quickly and more effectively. Basically all of this is feeding the Continuous Mentality. This in turn begins to build up a Continuous Environment which helps DevOps Teams benefit in all of the development cycle stages.
1.5 Security Matters & Why Continue Shifting Left?
Besides testing everything to the brim and deploying in a timely manners, there are other issues to attend to as well, such as the Security aspect of it all. What is interesting is the hybrid collaboration of a QA Team with Cyber Security Teams in order to embrace the shift left testing methodology and work together. So basically, if you comb through the entire cycle for security flaws it is more likely to have a very proficient and established outcome rather than only testing it in the end. There is no need for Security Teams to be called only when everything is finished anymore, now they can participate in the whole cycle. This rests purely at the heart of the Shift Left methodology and as such it should not be taken lightly.
We have discussed how the Shift Left Methodology has changed the landscape, especially in DevOps Team inner workings. But in order to fully grasp the benefits that come from it all, we should try to envision and not restrict ourselves to old methodologies even further, instead try and grasp what new opportunities lie just beyond the horizon.