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Why Should Regression Testing Be Automated

Author: Richard Schulz | | December 21, 2021


Are you performing regression tests with every application update? Or do you just cross your fingers and hope that code changes don’t break your existing features? Regression testing helps you maintain software quality, but it’s only helpful if you perform the tests frequently. With agile development driving frequent updates, your regression testing should also keep up with this pace. However, manual regression testing has the deck stacked against it; it takes a ton of time, especially as your application grows more complex, and it’s tedious.

These factors lead to regression testing getting overlooked. Bugs may go undetected until much later in the development process. You’ll have a harder time figuring out exactly what caused the problem and why, as it may have happened multiple releases in the past. Addressing issues at later stages in development can take up valuable time and resources, and the original bug may have snowballed into a far more serious problem.

Automated regression testing is a way to tackle the challenges of regression testing and ensure that your applications are delivering the expected user experience.

Why Regression Testing is Perfect for Automation

Regression testing has many characteristics that lend themselves to test automation:

  • Repetitive: You have to run regression test cases repeatedly with each application update. When you have a continuous delivery cycle for application development, you need to run these tests on a daily or weekly basis.
  • Time-consuming: Thorough regression testing also takes a long time. If you’re stuck in the constraints of manual regression testing, then you have to dedicate significant work hours to the task. Automated regression testing, on the other hand, can run all day and night. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, because the process isn’t taking away testers and developers from other valuable tasks.
  • Necessary but unengaging: Regression testing is critically important, but it’s also likely to not find bugs in a lot of cases. Testers that excel in problem-solving and bug reporting can easily become bored at these tasks. Automating as much regression testing as possible allows them to engage with intellectually stimulating tasks.
  • Actionable feedback: You can speed up the validation process and gather actionable feedback quickly with automated regression testing. The reporting allows you to get to the bottom of any bugs, and more efficiently use your resources to correct them.
  • Required scalability: Regression testing demands to be scaled, since you have to perform more extensive tests as the application grows. Automation is the key to making this scale possible.

Automated Regression Testing Best Practices

When you explore automated regression testing for your AppDev team, you’ll want to adopt best practices to get them off to a good start. One of the most important things to keep in mind with automated regression testing is that you need to perform comprehensive testing on the entire application. Some automated testing tools only focus on one aspect of your software, such as the GUI or the user-facing experience. If you focus solely on these areas, bugs in the services and database layers can slip through and cause greater problems in the future.

You also want to avoid locking your automated regression testing processes to a single tool. Your testing and automation requirements can change over time, and if you have vendor lock-in, then you won’t be able to adopt the solution that best suits your current needs.

Automating early in the development cycle is also essential. You can start creating regression test cases near the beginning of the process so that you’re ready to go. The AppDev team can focus their attention on fixing any bugs that come up at every stage of development, rather than untangling issues shortly before release.

Stay on top of the test case and test data maintenance and creation. While most of the automated regression testing process is hands off, you still need to monitor and manage your test cases. Thankfully, these tests are reused frequently, so you’re getting the most out of that resource investment.

Automating Regression Tests With Limited Technical Resources  

Automated regression tests save you significant time and resources, but you need the right technical talent to deploy and optimize it. With limited technical resources, you may not have the right skills in-house to choose the right automated testing solutions, create the right test cases, and adhere to test automation best practices.

You can work with a Testing-as-a-Service vendor to bring in the necessary experts for automated regression testing implementation. You’re able to dedicate your in-house AppDev team to other tasks, while the third-party provider brings their extensive test automation knowledge with them.

They help you select the right automated regression testing tools, create test cases, maintain your test suite, and provide other valuable testing and QA services. You’re able to speed up your application development speed and your software quality, with flexible testing talent coming in when you need them the most. You can get help with as little or as much as you need in the automation process.

Want to learn more about automated regression testing and how it can help your AppDev team? Download our white paper, The Key to Accelerating Your Pace of Innovation – Automated Regression Testing.

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