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Are You Making These Automated Regression Testing Mistakes? Here’s How to Undo Them

Are you planning to automate your regression testing? This list of frequent missteps and best practices will help you conduct successful automated regression testing.

Automated Regression Testing

In the software development lifecycle, whenever developers modify an original piece of code, there is a risk that these changes, however small, can lead to unexpected and undesirable behavior in the product. The purpose of regression testing is to identify defects that any recent modifications might have brought into the build and ensure that they are addressed.

Regression testing is performed by re-running testing scenarios that were constructed during the previous glitch-fixing stages. This ensures that any new adjustment has not caused any regressions, or adversely influenced any functional component of the system or product.

When should you automate regression testing?

As regression testing involves repetition, it easily becomes a bottleneck in the software delivery schedule. Luckily, there is an easy solution – automation. However, this easy solution is not always so readily adopted by organizations for various reasons.

Before diving into that, let’s look at the pre-existing conditions that benefit from automation in regression testing:

  • When there is already a pre-existing functionality that you can easily automate.
  • When manual regression testing is taking up a significant amount of time and resources.
  • When there are increasing code changes with every iteration.
  • When production costs bear the burden of major updates and quick fixes.
  • When there are specific components in the system that show defective functionality frequently.

These examples are only the tip of the iceberg. There are several other cases where automated regression testing can be brought into the picture.

Common mistakes in automated regression testing

Now, if automation can solve all these problems, then why don’t organizations adopt automated regression testing by default? Because even quality assurance (QA) experts sometimes make mistakes. These include:

1.     Not understanding the value of regression testing

Since regression testing does not generate immediate value, it is often hard for management to understand why the same features are being tested again when the effort and budget could be spent on new features that bring in new revenue.

2.     Using record and playback for scripts

Often, quality engineers depend entirely on the record and playback approach to write test scripts; however, the record features should really be used for generating just the skeleton of the script. Using the feature as the ultimate step to generate scripts defeats the merits of the automated testing process where customization of the test script is vital.

3.     Not using validation

Using test scripts without any validation is one of the most damaging mistakes of automated regression testing. QA professionals must be cautious to set up as many checkpoints as possible to ensure script validation is carried out frequently.

4.     Only considering visible validation

Quality engineering teams often fail to realize that non-visible objects require validation too for a successful testing process. Restricting validation to only visible components makes the system vulnerable to errors.

Best practices of automated regression testing

When an enterprise has a clear understanding of the potential mistakes that might occur in the process of automated regression testing, it becomes easier to foolproof the procedure and capitalize on its benefits. However, being aware of the possible errors alone is not enough, you must also have a clear-cut familiarity with the best practices of automated regression testing. The primary ones are:

1.     Stick to a testing schedule

Creating a testing schedule and maintaining it as closely as possible ensures maximum control over the process. Furthermore, frequent tracking of the progress of the tests using test management software and keeping the QA team fully updated with each progression helps tackle the load of the repetitive procedure.

2.     Create a failing test plan

To ensure that current test scripts are not producing false positive results, the QA team should write negative tests for new glitches.

3.     Categorize tests for better organization

Categorizing tests simplifies the test management procedure significantly. It is vital that you choose which tests to automate first. Once that is done, you should prioritize the functions that are most important and more frequently used.

4.     Conduct a critical functionality coverage test

Post every defect-fixing process and minor modification. Running tests that at least provide critical functionality coverage keeps things in check and eliminates the need to run a complete regression test unless very necessary.

Is test automation enough for an effective regression testing?

Even though automation sounds tempting to investigate, an inefficient execution of the process leads to more chaos than organization. To make automation work for your regression testing efforts, you should have a coherent strategy and a suitable test suite above all.

While test automation makes your regression testing efforts more efficient, an incorrect approach in your test automation plan can ruin the entire project. Qualitest’s skilled and experienced QA experts can help you reduce this risk with bespoke test automation strategies and intelligent frameworks that focus on testing the right interfaces.

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