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Testing

How to Automate Regression Testing: A Leader's Guide

Ibrahim Ogunbiyi
Ibrahim Ogunbiyi
How to Automate Regression Testing: A Leader's Guide
May 31, 2022
6
min read

Have you ever had the experience of introducing new functions or making modifications to an existing system, then testing it and finding out that other functionalities aren't working? Now you're puzzled about what's going on or what may have gone wrong (e.g., wondering if a bug has developed in the system). Let's look at a technical scenario to grok what we're talking about. CarlSupport, a firm, had an issue with its financial department. They discovered a bug in their financial system that prevented the system from reporting past-due invoices. They assigned a developer to resolve the bug. The developer fixed the error, ran unit tests on the changes, and boom!—everything worked fine. Later that week, the audit department also had an issue with one of their systems. After debugging and attempting to determine the source of the problem, it became clear that the developer's fixes to the first problem had generated a bug in the audit department's system.

So why is this the case? This happened because the developer's new fix wasn't regressively tested on other systems (i.e., the new fix could have affected other systems somehow) before it was deployed into production. Rather, it was individually tested (unit testing) for the bug that was happening in the system. Now, how can you solve this? Regression testing is useful in this case.

What Is Regression Testing?

You might be wondering what the heck this term is, but don't worry—we'll break it down into chunks so we can understand what's going on. Let's begin with the term "regression." Regression simply refers to a return to a previous state, which can be either positive or negative. In the context of software engineering, this indicates that our software reverts to its previously bad state. Let's say we fixed a bug and then attempted to execute the fix. But, after executing the new fix, we discovered that our software had not changed. We then assert that after the fix, our software has regressively gone back to its previous state.

Regression testing ensures that a system is working well when, after an update, patches or fixes are made to the system before releasing it into production. It ensures that the new change to the system doesn't affect the existing functionality (i.e., that system updates don't negatively affect existing functionalities).

How to Choose Regression Test Cases

A regression test case is part of a system or software that you wish to test for errors, fixes, patches, or updates. However, knowing which test case to use is critical when performing regression testing. Not all regression test cases must be automated. You can test a case manually as soon as possible to ensure efficiency (for instance, it could just be a minor update that you added to your system). The reason for understanding which test cases to automate is due to the concept that as a test case expands, so does its execution time. However, in the workplace, we don't want that because the goal is to ensure correctness in a very short period of time. Thus, knowing how to identify test cases is essential.

When selecting regression test cases, there are a few key factors to keep in mind:

  • Always include core functionality in your software (e.g., homepage, payment gateway, login page).
  • Include a function that generates defects regularly whenever the system changes.
  • Whenever you add an integration to your product, include it in your test case to ensure that the integration works with the existing function in your software.
However, knowing which test case to use is critical when performing regression testing. Not all regression test cases must be automated.

Steps Needed to Migrate From Another Type of Testing to Automated Regression Testing

Choosing Tools

When migrating to automated regression testing, selecting a tool is critical. Because all these tools are off the shelf, they may not accomplish all the functions you require, but they can come in handy. However, when selecting an automated regression testing tool, there are several things you should think about or have.

Selecting the Appropriate Tool

Consider, for instance, that you build a mobile application. The first thing to consider when selecting a tool is whether you want a full-featured regression tool or one that focuses on solving a specific problem (which, in your case, is just a mobile regression tool). There are benefits and drawbacks to selecting one of the aforementioned options. (For instance, the full package tool gives you all you need, even if you want to migrate to testing a web app, and the con is that it becomes more expensive to purchase.) So, when selecting a tool, you should decide which package to go with.

Programming Knowledge of your QA/Tester

When selecting a tool, you should also consider your QA's programming knowledge. There are both code-based and codeless regression testing tools. If you know your QA is proficient in programming, go with script-based tools; otherwise, go with no-code tools.

There are benefits and drawbacks to selecting one of the aforementioned options.

Pricing

Pricing is another factor to consider when selecting a regression testing tool. Some are open source (i.e., free to use) and provide useful features, while others require payment. Think about which one is most affordable to your firm.

Integration With Other Platforms

As previously noted, because these tools are purchased off the shelf, they may not satisfy all your demands. You should select tools based on their integration with other major platforms. Do they support well-known continuous delivery and integration (CI/CD) workflows?

Ease of Interaction and Accessibility

When selecting a tool, consider the user interface and experience (UI/UX). Is it simple to use the tool? Does it provide a better user interface (GUI)? Is its documentation simple to understand?

Support

How is the vendor providing the tool's support? Is there an active community there? Do they provide documentation? How quickly do they reply when their clients have problems? How quickly do they issue updates and fixes? Do they host webinars? And so on.

You Need a Bit of Coding

You might be wondering why you needed to learn to code since we have no-code tools for automating regression testing. So here's why. It's always recommended to have some coding knowledge because some of the tools available that suit your preferences and match your goals may be no-code tools. It may be script-based (i.e., you need to have a programming language). As a result, familiarity with popular languages such as Java, Python, scripting languages (such as javascript, VB script), and so on is recommended.

Conclusion and Learning More

Regression testing is a software testing concept that you can't overlook. It is a core thing to do in a business organization as it makes sure that every part of the system/software is functional before it's deployed into production. However, using automated tools for regression testing will ensure efficiency and productivity in the company or organization. Waldo is an automated regression tool you can trust. It is a no-code automated regression testing tool for mobile applications. You can sign up on their website to know more about them and get started with a free trial.

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