App development is a complex process that requires a great deal of time, funding, and resources to do correctly. Things like coding, user interface, and visual design are all important parts of app design, but there is one aspect that often gets overlooked – bug detection.
Bugs can make or break an app; they can be the key factor in whether an app is a success of a failure. If a bug is identified during the later stages of development the effects can be highly disruptive and can force an entire redesign and restructuring of the app itself. This is why early detection of bugs is so important. The practice of early-stage bug detection is known as shift left. Let’s take a look at it in more detail and discuss how best to identify bugs in your app earlier. Read on to find out more.
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What is Shift Left?
The term shift left can seem a bit confusing, but it’s actually relatively straightforward to understand. Imagine the entire app development process as a line with a series of plotted points going from left to right, with the first point being the very beginning of the process and the last being the app shipping out to customers. What shift left means is just moving the bug detection stage further to the left of this line, or closer to the start of the development process.
Why Shift Left?
Traditionally, bug testing and quality control was done at the end of the development process. On the surface, this makes a lot of sense. Testing at the end allows you to review the finished article and assess the app as it would be seen by the end user.
However, testing at the end can have some critical disadvantages. Major bugs can throw a major spanner in the works, often driving the development process all the way back to the early stages. This costs time and, of course, money, and can be catastrophic for businesses.
By shifting left and starting the testing process early, bugs can be identified and rectified as and when they appear. This can offer development teams several significant benefits and means that by the time they are ready to finalize the app, there will be few if any bugs left to deal with.
Ensure Your Team Understands the App
When it comes to detecting bugs, it’s absolutely essential that your team has a solid understanding of their goals, and that they are aware of how the app should look and perform when it is finished. Even in the very early stages, staff should not just be working on code that doesn’t fit into the bigger picture. Ensure your team understands the company’s goals and the ethos behind the app they are designing.
By doing this, your team will be able to spot and flag bugs early on and with a far greater deal of accuracy and efficiency. If they are not able to visualize the app in its final state, they may miss errors in their work that could have a detrimental effect further down the line.
Testing is an Ongoing Process
Testing once at the very end of a project can cause all sorts of issues. Similarly, testing just once at the beginning of the development project simply isn’t sufficient. To keep on top of and prevent any bugs in your app, testing must be an ongoing process that takes place at several stages throughout your project’s timeline. Implement a robust round of testing every time a new feature or section of code is added. This will allow you to identify any issues and address them before you move onto the next stage.
Establish a Bug Management Team
Detecting bugs in your app early on is only half of the battle, you then need to take steps to address and rectify them. App development projects are often running on extremely tight schedules and strict budgets, reassigning staff to take care of bugs can cause serious disruption and can result in you missing deadlines or spending beyond your means.
Bugs are inevitable, it’s almost an impossibility that you won’t encounter some kind of bug or glitch at some point during the project. By establishing a dedicated bug management team, you can ensure that you don’t have to sacrifice time or resources when fixing issues.
Make Use of Detection Tools
While manual bug detection can be an effective approach, it can be time-consuming and comes with risk of human error. Thankfully, there are advanced tools available that can be used to automate the process and make bug detection far more efficient and less resource intensive.
These tools can be used to assess everything including proprietary code, open-source code components, and security threats. As these tools become more sophisticated, we can expect to see them deliver better results and eventually eliminate the need for human-led bug detection.
It’s impossible to overstate the importance of bug detection in the app development process. Don’t assume that you can leave it until the last minute, this can cause all sorts of issues and can result in significant delays and disruption. Instead, adopt a shift left policy and begin ongoing bug testing procedures as early as possible.
Also Read: How To Avoid Abandonment Of Your Mobile App