How to do Regression Testing under Rapid Release cycles

With the ever-increasing rate of software releases, Regression Testing becomes a necessity by giving critical feedback, among other things, to the product owner on releases. Through this Article you will gain a better understanding of Regression Test Suites and whether or not they would be a good fit for your software testing team.

What is Regression Testing?

Regression Testing is re-running functional and non-functional tests to ensure that previously developed and tested software still performs after a change. Changes that may require regression testing include but aren’t limited to: bug fixes, software enhancements, new features added, and configuration changes.

Why Regression Testing?

Nowadays, Agile is being used more than ever to bring application features to end users as fast as possible. According to Cprime.com, Agile software development refers to “a group of software development methodologies based on iterative development, where requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration between self-organizing cross-functional teams.”

In other words, software is being released more rapidly. This rapid pace makes Regression Testing a key player in terms of successful software releases. It can give the product owner the critical feedback on bug fixes, enhancements break developed, and tested software. The fast-paced software releases make it necessary to build automation suites for regression testing to ensure that teams keep up with Agile.

In overview, as Regression Test Suites exponentially increases with each found defect, Automated Regression Testing becomes more frequently involved in the process.

Regression Test Suites

If a team wants to be successful in Agile, having a well-defined regression suite is paramount. The ideal Regression Test Suite contains the right mix of test cases on the current program to check its integrity. In practice, we may have multiple Regression Test Suites which are a part of the test suite-all tests.

Sometimes a change impact analysis is performed to determine an appropriate subset of tests to form a real Regression Test Suite. These are a few considerations when it comes to creating an automated regression suite that is scalable for Agile:

Prioritize Regression Test Cases

First, you need to prioritize your test cases.  You can’t run a test on everything—it is too expensive and doesn’t provide immediate feedbackBy prioritizing your test cases in Regression Test Suites you increase a test suite’s rate of fault detection. Regression Test Cases that have higher priority are normally executed before the test cases that have a lower priority. This ensures that critical defects are found sooner.

Regression Testing Tools

Tool choice is important when it comes to automating your regression testing. Automated Regression Testing is the smart choice in case your software changes frequently which is almost obvious nowadays. You need a tool that can handle these changes, from business flow to UIs, you’ll want something that covers the spectrum. Therefore you may need to be careful when applying test case design methodology. It should separate between business workflow and UIs, Manual and Automation friendly i.e. your manual tests are automated tests themselves. One option on the market is TestArchitect.

Fun fact: TestArchitect utilizes Action Based Testing (ABT).

ABT is a modular-design and action-driven test method that provides a systematic approach to increase the success of automated testing. Modular-design addresses the challenges of test planning and test case management through efficient test organization. Action-driven test development eliminates the majority of the programming work required to automate and maintain tests long-term.

It not only leverages better collaboration between manual and automation testers, it unlocks the ability of creating readable automated tests by non-technical testers. Action Based Testing is a good starting point for teams who are looking to build an automated regression suite.

Final Thoughts

Regression Testing is facing high pressures due to rapid software release cycles. Using an appropriate test design methodology and automation testing tool will increase the success of your automated testing and keep the pace with your software release cycle.

Look into what we can do to help you and your team through regression testing today! Click here to contact us if you have any questions.

Author: Hien D. Nguyen

Hien D. Nguyen is an experienced Software QA Engineer at LogiGear Corporation. A tester by day and a blogger by night, Hien has a great passion for software testing, especially complex test automation problems. When not doing all those, he enjoys reading, jogging and trying new things.

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