Regression checks best pratices

7 Regression Testing Best Practices To Follow

Regression testing comprises re-running the test cases of already stable features and finding out if the new code changes attributed to the new release led to any negative impacts on the existing functionalities. And following the Regression testing best practices ensures that you get accurate results.

With the amount of data flowing across multiple modules in applications, a feature addition or a fix can cause unexpected issues in the system’s operations.

To catch such bugs before they create havoc in production, it is important to include regression testing in the software testing process.

Regression Testing

What is Regression Testing?

Regression testing is a type of testing that validates if the existing features are working properly after new changes to the application. Any code updates or UI modifications should not break the already functioning software. And Regression testing re-runs all the functional and non-functional tests to ensure the system build is stable after any upgrade.

Usually, QAs run the existing test cases and do not spend time generating new ones. And so, it is possible to automate Regression testing that consists of executing redundant test cases.

When is Regression Testing done?

Regression checks should start as soon as a new build is released for testing and should be repeated for every new code build. Regression tests should be performed just after the sanity testing is complete.

The coverage of regression checks should increase exponentially as the product grows in complexity and the test teams should add more test cases for new modules or features in the regression suite.

Sometimes the regression suites can become so large that it can have a negative impact on the delivery timelines. To avoid this overhead, there has to be a proper plan to avoid such potential timeline delays.

Why is Regression Testing Important?

Regression testing is important because it ensures that the overall software does not break after any changes to the code. Improving the software quality and enhancing user experience is vital to eliminate any defects early in SDLC. You can employ automation tools that support your requirements to run Regression testing to validate the application under test. It allows for checking not only the existing functions but also the validates the new changes.

Why should you do Regression Checks?

Irrespective of the fact that regression checks can sometimes be too taxing on timelines, they have a great potential to enter into any part of the application & discover potential impacts on them due to the changing code.

They also have great potential to certify if the new changes impact the product’s quality as well.

Regression checks are vital from the continuous application development perspective wherein the new releases & fixes keep coming in as the application matures. It becomes very difficult to track which new implementation or fixes led to glitches in the existing functionality.

Read here to know how to implement different types of regression testing.

Regression Testing Best Practices To Follow

There has been a lot of debate when testing folks argue on how much regression checks are actually sufficient as a lesser amount of regression would result in defects slippage in production, and a great deal of it would overburden the testing teams.

So the need of the hour is to find the right balance which gives decent test coverage via a combination of thought thorough approach and a few Regression testing best practices listed below:

1.Reduce Regression Impacts – Plan Small & Frequent Releases

As Regression issues may occur because of the changes done to the existing application code; hence the more the code changes in a release, the more would be the probability of increased regression impacts.

The development team should be encouraged to release frequent code changes to the testing environment.

Regression Testing small and frequent releases

2.Understand the AUT/Product better

The QA folks should understand the application very deeply to understand which areas would be more prone to issues due to the new changes.

You can understand this by preparing story cards for the modules and connecting them to depict the related modules. By doing this, it’s easy to know changes to which module would impact which other module in general.

3.Involve QA in Code Reviews

It’s always beneficial to involve the QA team in the code reviews. Though it’s not necessary for them to dive deep into the code, it really helps them to understand the areas that went through code changes. And it further proves useful in determining continuous updates.

This, in turn, helps them in figuring out the possible impacted areas for the regression issues.

4.Dev-QA Pairing

In addition to the code review involvement, QA can also liaison with developers while they are programming the new modules.

This is, again, a great channel for QA teams to take notes and plan their regression suites to get the maximum test coverage for the release.

5.Use Defect Tracking Systems to Document

In the current realm of the agile environment, which focuses on more frequent releases, it’s very much essential to track everything that doesn’t work as expected to form the basis for the regression test plans. And one of the Regression testing best practices overcomes the lack of documentation problem.

It should be documented in the form of detailed steps with evidence that can later be converted to automated test cases.

6.Identify the Regression Test Coverage Right

Below are the points for consideration for marking a test case as a regression test candidate:

  • The high-risk areas cases of the AUT
  • The test cases cover the basic workflow of typical business use cases
  • The test cases that cover the core features of the AUT
  • For example: For an e-commerce web application, the most important test case should be the correct integration of the app and the payment gateway. So that should be very well present in the regression pack. The high-risk areas of AUT based on the previous test cycles
  • The test cases that uncovered defects in previous test cycles can be good to have.
  • Create a logical set of test cases instead of having exhaustive one-to-one test cases.
  • Keep a regular watch on the regression test suite and ensure that it receives frequent updates as the application development progresses

7.Automating Regression Suites

As grooming, the regression suite is an ongoing exercise that starts at the application start-up and continues henceforth; the suite may extend to thousands of test cases to have better test coverage. This creates a huge overhead on the test teams if done manually.

To avoid this, it’s always recommended to have an automation tool framework deployed to run the regression packs and report the code changes that broke the application as quickly as possible to the development teams. This drastically reduces the testing efforts and gets the issues identified and fixed quickly.

The first step for a successful automation implementation is choosing the right regression testing automation tool.

Pros of Regression Test Automation

  • Fast to Run – Automated tests are faster to run and report results when compared to manual execution of the same test cases.
  • Provide Targeted feedback – The automated regression test reports that get generated are clear enough to send feedback to the dev and QA teams as to which code changes led to the application glitches, and the same can be targeted for quick fixes by them. It greatly reduces the need for one-on-one communication across teams which can reduce the turnaround time for the fixes.
  • Supports Distributed Regression Tests – In an automated regression build, it’s possible to distribute the huge regression suite across various configured platforms/systems to run the tests in parallel to finish up the regression activities well before time.

Testsigma, an automated regression testing tool, is specially built with features that help achieve better and quicker results, for e.g., support of parallel execution of test cases on different devices, automatic report of test cases impacted by a change or a failure, integration support with most of the majorly used CI/CD tools.

The clear and comprehensive test reports generated for every test run help the testers and the developers debug better too. To get an insight into what Testsigma has to offer you, Sign Up for free using the link below:

Conclusion

Regression testing is essential. It helps make the product stable and offers a deep insight into the updates of every code change. But it works only as well as the practices used while running Regression tests.

All the 7 best practices discussed here are beneficial in ensuring that your tests are correct and that the AUT does not experience any bugs before releasing for the end-users. You can leverage these techniques to execute Regression testing best practices for your software after pushing any code change to the live server.

And when talking about best practices of Regression testing, automation tools also come into the picture. They help simplify the testing process either via their code-based platform or no-code option. Testsigma comes into the latter category as it supports Regression testing on its AI-powered platform through its codeless dashboard.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do you practice Regression testing?

You can practice Regression testing by identifying the code changes in the existing built application to check for issues. After every update in the application, verify the new change as well as existing features to roll out a bug-free product.

How to write Regression test cases?

Because you run the test cases to validate existing features, you don’t need to write Regression test cases. You can re-run the existing test cases to check the application.

What are the most important things during Regression testing?

The most important things during Regression testing are to determine the affected code and identify the relevant test suite and associated test cases that cover the new changes as well as the existing ones.

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Suggested Reading

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9 Tips for Selecting Test Cases for Regression Testing

Entry and Exit Criteria For Regression Testing

Full Regression Testing in Agile

Types of Regression Testing

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