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The Seesaw of Shifting Left and Right

Performance engineering has witnessed a complete transformation in the last few years. This shift has made organizations realize the importance and need to embrace newer technologies and strategies that are coming in to expedite the performance of products. When it comes to performance engineering services, a software product needs to have a coherent cycle which incorporates this facet from the very early stages of its inception and continues even after a product is released in the market. With the oscillating shift-left and shift-right approach, performance engineering brings in a new flavour to a product’s experience.

The Need to Shift-left and Right for Performance Engineering

The days of siloed processes and development are long gone today. What has come in, is a collaborative culture and agile practices for an SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle). DevOps has changed the age-old processes in their entirety through a seamless amalgamation of development and operations’ teams. With these practices in play today, performance engineering services have become a crucial solution to avail – of shifting left and right with the right set of tools and technologies in place.

With a gamut of nuances, performance engineering includes a range of services that begin from the inception of a product to post-release management and monitoring as well. Shifting left essentially involves identifying and fixing pain points early-on in an SDLC while a shift-right approach moves more towards post-release areas such as user-feedback, application monitoring and management.

Performance engineering calls for a more iterative approach with seamless CI/CD (Continuous Integration/ Continuous Delivery) pipelines in place by shifting left. This also becomes essential to minimize any remediations at later stages. Shifting left thus, helps in bringing efficiency as well as cost-effectiveness through automated frameworks and processes. While shifting left is an imperative effort, shifting right becomes equally cogent within performance engineering. This ranges from analyzing the market response to the feedback of the users on the product. With performance engineering, monitoring production as well as the pre-production environment becomes imperative too. Application Performance Management or APM plays a significant role to monitor end-user experiences, profiling, tuning, etc. With a set of open-source APM tools such as New Relic, AppDynamics, Dynatrace, etc., performance can be effectively monitored and managed with the given metrics.

Performance engineering in itself incubates the culture of shifting left and right. But this should also be a deliberate effort for organizations to imbibe and follow. With a harmonious blend of both the approaches, a product’s experience will grow leaps and bounds.

Striking a Balance Between the Two

These approaches need to be aligned seamlessly and a harmony should be struck within the performance engineering effort. Non-functional attributes such as security or accessibility should also be taken into consideration with this approach. DevSecOps is already a niche and growing field – to have security amalgamated from the early stages of an SDLC as a continuous and ongoing process; including accessibility from the get-go or keeping remediations in consideration, become core aspects within the shift-left and right approach. If a number of aspects are embedded from the early stages itself, then shifting right would take less time in terms of remediations. However, shifting right is an equally important effort wherein the actual user-feedback loop is created to bring improvements within a product.

Thus, striking a balance between the two approaches becomes significant. Oscillating between the two as per the requirements and circumstances can help produce an effective and foolproof product. Albeit these approaches are imperative for the software testing domain as a whole, when it comes to performance engineering services specifically, it can help expedite processes even more. This also helps in creating a continuous loop of development, testing, monitoring and feedback. With greater collaboration and an agile environment, the traditional siloed processes now have a better and effective alternative. Thus, the seesaw of shifting left and right should have an ideal synergy to produce expedient deliverables and accelerate iterative processes.