The software development life cycle (SDLC) is in a strange state of limbo. If Agile is the savior of the SDLC, and over 90% of companies have adopted Agile workflows, why do 75% of projects still run straight into a brick wall?

And, if DevOps is the key to unlocking faster launch times, why do only 2.5% of companies complete projects on time when over 50% of companies have implemented or are currently implementing DevOps practices?

It's a conundrum that's costing businesses $97 million dollars per $1 billion invested in projects. And, it's a conundrum that's solvable. The problem isn't DevOps; it's poor DevOps practices. The mentality that DevOps can be executed without the right set of tools and automation is inherently flawed. 

With the shift-left mentality and SDLC automation tools, realizing the value baked into DevOps is easy. But, it requires upfront investment and a complete restructuring of how your teams approach projects.

What is Shift-Left DevOps?

Remember when you were a kid, and you ate your dessert first? That's what DevOps teams are doing. Instead of focusing on the most critical components of the SDLC first — namely testing — teams are relegating testing to an ad-hoc, post-development activity to be completed by a team of "testers."

But, what if testing didn't have to wait until your app was finished? What if you could test during your entire SDLC and leverage that testing during every phase of the development pipeline to produce higher-quality products at greater speed? That, in a nutshell, is the shift-left mentality.

You take testing from the right side of the Dev pipeline and shove it to the left. Most importantly, you ignore the old paradigms of the waterfall mentality.

You'll find the results profound. With shift-left, you get to reduce production incidents, improve time-to-launch, reduce deployment lead times, and create better overall products for your consumers.

Studies estimate that as many as 78% of projects fail due to the lack of established parameters for requirements definition processes. Some teams spend months (even years) building projects only to realize that business requirements haven't been met.

One thing these teams missed: they forgot to "test early and test often," as advised by Larry Smith (the originator of the shift-left concept). With shift-left, you can identify integration issues early, prioritize issue resolution, and create a test-driven culture that changes your pipeline into a springboard of continuous delivery.

That's the Holy Grail of an effective SDLC. However, shifting left will be ineffective without the right automated tools. 

Understanding Testing Automation for Shift-Left DevOps

At 2 Steps, we believe that shift-left requires the right toolkit to implement properly. Your toolchain shouldn't just support your DevOps teams; it should enable them. Building automated synthetic testing into your DevOps lifecycle gives you the ability to focus on solutions and critical tasks instead of mundane rework.

Below, we discuss a few of the benefits of implementing synthetic monitoring software early in the SDLC.

1. Automation

Let's be honest. Many dev teams push testing off until the end. They focus all of their time and energy into app creation; then, they hand the app over to testing teams after they've wrapped up. This can lead to big problems. Not only does this usually end with Dev teams having to make changes, it can also lead to inconsistencies that impact your end product.

With the 2 Steps automated synthetic monitoring solution, for example, you don't have to worry about shifting responsibility to another team, because you're shifting that responsibility left. 2 Steps will test your app during every phase of the SDLC — making your delivery continuous and giving your Dev team time to respond to incidents as they arise.

So, your team has the agility to respond to app issues throughout the SDLC. No more conflicts between teams and ad-hoc testing sessions. 2 Steps infuses continuous testing into your SDLC framework.

2. Benchmark Performance

As you build your app, you'll likely run into issues. However, when testing isn't automated and continuous in nature, you won't recognize those issues until you reach a breakpoint or after the creative process is completed. So, your team of developers may spend months building before you recognize the issues at hand. That's a lot of time down the drain.

With 2 Steps, you'll realize those issues immediately. This gives you the flexibility to benchmark your app's performance at every single Dev phase. Did your team recently make a change to the app? 2 Steps will run benchmark tests to make sure the app still functions as-required. If it doesn't, you can make the necessary changes.

3. Infrastructure

When your Dev team is fleshing out that new app, it can run into some serious challenges. Just think: What if the latest changes sabotage your app infrastructure? Would you notice?

Without automated testing software, you can build out an app that's broken for weeks without realizing it. Then, when you finally hit a milestone phase, you'll see a small core issue grinding the entire app to a halt. Here's the problem: You've spent weeks building on top of that infrastructure-breaking code.

And, it's a huge problem! With 2 Steps, you won't be kept in the dark. Since 2 Steps is continuously testing your app for breaks, it recognizes infrastructure issues early and as often as necessary.

4. UX

Let's say that you've incorporated testing into various stages of your SDLC without deploying automation. You may have a crack team of expert, crowd-sourced testers who can find those infrastructure-breaking issues.

However, can they identify UX issues at scale? With thousands of varied customer pathways, finding UX issues in your app isn't always easy. 2 Steps automates all of those pathways to show you UX issues before they become major problems. That means launching apps that work as-expected on Day 1 — not apps that require rushed updates post-launch.

5. Splunk

When it comes to DevOps tools, Splunk is one of the most popular DevOps enablers on the planet. So, doesn't it make sense that your synthetic testing automation software should send your data straight to your Splunk dashboard?

At its heart, DevOps is a game of tools. You need automation tools to help you launch faster. Yet, all of those tools can cause serious headaches for your teams. Jumping between dashboards and launching new tools constantly can introduce new frictions that impact your time-to-launch. Keeping up with all of these tools can also get confusing for your teams.

2 Steps sends data straight to your Splunk dashboard. That means you can have one pane of truth for all of your DevOps needs. No need to jump into the 2 Steps dashboard to check for issues. We'll integrate with your favorite tools.

Are You Ready to Realize the Power of 2 Step's Synthetic Testing Automation?

Do you want to shift-left and launch faster? We can help. Our synthetic testing automation tool will help you create better apps, improve your launch times, and help you identify issues early. Want to learn more? Contact us today, and let's have a conversation about shifting left.


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