Trying to Shift Left but Sliding Right?



Delivering high-quality code into production faster, cheaper and more efficiently has always been a primary objective of the software delivery process. Recent initiatives such as Shift Left, where the focus of testing effort is moved upstream closer to business design, has gained widespread popularity and adoption. However, for some organisations there has actually been a reverse trend where the User Acceptance Testing phase has increased in scope and size. How can this be? What are the circumstances behind this trend?


In this whitepaper we discuss the real situation in which many organisations find themselves and some techniques on how they can start to Shift Left.


Please contact info@challengecurve.com if you would like a copy.


CEOs take note: “Is there a Code Cheat in your products?”

As featured on LinkedIn.


The recent Volkswagen’s emissions scandal when a “Code Cheat” was placed in the software of diesel cars has resulted in the departure of former CEO Martin Winterkorn, a 30% fall in VW’s share price and a criminal investigation. But it has also created an important precedent:


CEOs are ultimately accountable for the source code of their products.


The boards of major corporates are handsomely paid; they enjoy the perks and trappings of high office and are trusted by employees, shareholders and customers alike to create sustainable returns by providing products and services that meet consumer needs.


Corporate boards deal with strategic issues, shareholder meetings and 3 year plans so the world of bits and bytes in computer code is a long way from the boardroom. Computer code is “deep techie stuff” and has no place on the agenda of corporate board meetings – until now.


Martin Winterkorn denies any knowledge of wrongdoing on his part but ignorance is no excuse as he has found out to his cost. The incident at Volkswagen may have left other CEOs worrying if something similar could happen to them. If not, then they should be.


What could Martin Winterkorn have done differently to have quickly determined who was responsible for the “Code Cheat” within the fleet of diesel cars rolling off the production line? What would he now give to have had complete traceability of the source code – who specified the designs, who wrote the code, who tested it, who implemented it? If the proper processes were in place then this information should have been available to him within minutes so that he could have quickly found those responsible and taken the appropriate action. It is because he didn’t have this information that he had to assume the responsibility for this scandal and resign.


Perhaps if the lines of computer code were given the same scrutiny as the figures on the company ledger then this episode may not have happened? Every financial transaction that organisations conduct can be traced and tracked. Independent auditors scrutinise the books before signing off on company accounts so perhaps we need the same independent diligence for scrutinising a company’s software code?


Organisations often feel that investing in independent Quality Assurance and Testing is a costly overhead or a commodity service for which the lowest tender wins the contract. Given the VW incident many companies may now take a greater interest in the hygiene of their computer code – after all, a 30% fall in the share price and a class action lawsuit due to some errant computer code is going to make the agenda in most boardrooms.


Do you have full confidence in your next cloud software release?

Our first whitepaper has just been released in partnership with the Cloud Industry Forum.


As a cloud-based SaaS (Software As a Service) provider there is a constant challenge to add more features and functions to your platform in order to remain competitive. And of course there are the necessary patches and security updates to ensure your customers have a stable and secure platform. But just how confident are your customers in receiving your next planned cloud software upgrade? How confident do you feel in your ability to deliver your next software release without production issues or client dissatisfaction?

With recent surveys finding that over 25% of customers are unhappy with their cloud-based service suppliers it is worth examining how the delivery life-cycle process differs between the SaaS and non-cloud models.


Interested in reading more? If so then please email info@challengecurve.com if you would like a free copy.