A software product or application goes through many code changes during itse development lifecycle (SDLC).. This is the nature of software world. New features and functionalities need to be added to software products on a regular basis. The challenge is that even a small tweak to the code can suddenly impact another part of the code. In many instances, the developer might find that the code change meant to add a new feature or fix a bug has influenced other parts of the app up to a point where one or several features don’t work properly. Testers leverage regression testing to ensure the overall stability and functionality of existing features after any code change.
Simply put, regression testing ensures that an application continues to behave in an expected manner even after many code changes have been made. Wikipedia states that regression testing can be used to ascertain that previously developed and tested software still performs the same way after it is changed or interfaced with other software. However, regression testing is a tedious, time-consuming, and repetitive process. While manual regression testing is possible for small codebases, it is hardly an efficient process. This is why most modern organizations are turning to test automation for their regression testing requirements. Due to its repetitive nature, regression testing is an ideal candidate for test automation. It can speed up testing while ensuring optimum quality. Test automation employs a series of pre-written test scripts which will be executed after a code change with little or no human supervision.
Why Automate Regression Testing?
“Convenience” is the leading reason why a growing number of software development organizations around the globe are opting to automate regression testing. The value delivered by regression testing to an app’s quality and performance is remarkable. It empowers testing teams with insights that could be easily ignored, improves the quality of deliverables, and allows the teams to be proactive during the project maintenance phase. However, regression tests require a lot of time to be executed in an adequate way. During a comprehensive regression testing session, a developer has to:
- Examine rigorously all aspects of the application
- Define how a code change may have triggered certain resulting behaviors
- Fix the root cause of the problem
- Reiterate application evaluation
- Monitor the project over an extended period
While these steps can be performed manually, they are repetitive and time-consuming. By automating regression tests, organizations can achieve several desired outcomes that enhance the team’s agility and product quality. Automation allows teams to run regression tests without engaging the entire team in running it. While setting up and executing automated scripts requires a high level of skills, this issue has also been resolved by exciting new test automation platforms enabling codeless test and process automation.
Benefits of Automating Regression Testing
Regression testing automation simplifies iterations, creates unified standards across all projects, saves time, and prevents the team from having to fix human error-based issues. Due to its overarching benefits, today there are very few QA teams that run regression tests manually. The traditional approach to regression testing is inefficient, highly expensive, and doesn’t match with the present-day requirements for speed and agility. The most prominent benefits of automating regression testing include:
#1: Frees up resource time
One of the greatest benefits of regression testing automation, or test automation in general, is that it liberates resources from performing mundane and repetitive tasks. Teams can set up test automation to check specific parts of an application with greater accuracy and within a rapid time. The saved time can be spent on other types of tests and bug fixes, and conducting manual exploration into more unusual cases that require special attention. This can enhance the testing practice, ensure optimum product quality and ultimately deliver customers with a better, and significantly less buggy, experience.
#2: Delivers Agility and immediate feedback
Most organizations today are leveraging the agile development approach to ensure a quick time to market. Regression testing automation complements the agile methodology. With automation, it becomes simple to test iteratively, creating instant feedback loops and reducing the overall testing time while improving quality. It decreases the chances of missing the hidden requirements by uncovering them early while testing. Test automation enables organizations to deliver the best user experience for the developed application.
#3: Enables Round-the-clock testing
With automated regression testing, teams can run tests 24X7, 365 days a week. With its scheduling capability, test automation enables the scheduling of tests during the night, so no one has to sit around and wait for test results. Regression tests can also be scheduled at specific intervals, such as daily or weekly, to ensure that no bugs are missed. Test teams can also work on other business-critical and value-generating tasks, while regression tests run in the background.
#4: Increases coverage and enables scalability
Test automation enables the QA team with the ability to test more. When the testing resources are stretched to the maximum with manual, tedious tasks, they do not have sufficient time to test more. They also run the risk of overlooking things or skipping exploratory testing and test design, which can impact the end release quality. With the automation of regression testing, the QA team can run more tests and assess the code changes more thoroughly. By delivering an increased number of sessions, test automation allows teams to examine an app across its every facet over an extended period of time. As a result, the coverage of test automation far exceeds the one provided by a team of manual testers. Additionally, automation ensures that tests can run continuously at a speed and frequency simply not possible with manual testing. This makes it possible to scale testing, without spending on additional resources.
#5: Reduces maintenance hassles
Whenever new features are added to an existing application, new tests must follow, causing the regression suite to grow over time. Eventually, it reaches a point where it’s no longer feasible to manage the regression test cases manually. As a result, it is imperative for QA teams to select a test automation platform that will make it easy to keep a clear overview of the testing suite, and allows teams to adjust and maintain it without the requirements for a rewrite or code change. With a no-code automation tool, this becomes possible and helps keep maintenance burdens low.
#6: Delivers Repeatability
Automation of regression tests is not a good-to-have rather a must-have option for modern-day development teams. Present-day applications are not built in a single effort, it undergoes multiple iterations to add more value for end-users. However, manual regression testing does not match this mindset. The manual process would be a nightmare for organizations as it would occupy the majority of their testing team. With automation, no workforce is needed to run continuous test iterations.
The market today is inundated with various solutions for automating regression test cases. However, organizations can get the most out of automated regression tests only by choosing the right solution. Ideally, organizations should choose an AI-powered and codeless test automation solution that can be easily incorporated into the existing test cycle to enhance the quality of application releases.
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