The Growing Significance of Automated Regression Testing and 3 Big Benefits

When a company has gotten used to manual testing, it can be hard to see the benefits to a comfortable familiar way of testing. Remaining as manual testing, there’s no learning cost, no ramp up, no new skills, no higher pay for those new skills, no changes to the current SDLC schedule. Yes, the new features need to be tested immediately once the new build comes out; we know that.

But what about that giant part of the code and UI known as “everything else”? Regression testing gauges your product after new patches/updates, as new faults appear or old faults re-emerge. Updates can create bugs in different parts of the application, or some other dependent modules may stop working. Regression testing circumvents this problem, and ensures that the entire application will be tested for functionality for every patch or update.

Effective regression testing saves you time and money, using tools such as HP WinRunner, UFT/QTP, AdventNet Qengine Regression Tester, vTEST, Watir, Selenium, Actiwate, Rational Functional Tester and Silk Test. Most companies spend 40% to 60% of their QA budget on regression testing, but automation can greatly reduce this. Due to time constraints, regression testing in the manual world gets lumped into the end of a release cycle (after the majority of code changes have been made), and often requires a month or longer to complete.

The problem with this is that all the code changes made once regression testing begins (and there will be a lot, because none of these areas have been tested yet), how do you do regression checks on those changes? The answer is: You don’t. You have to hope that the new changes don’t break anything else. Once time has been devoted to manual regression, you can’t do another round of regression testing for the same scope without devoting the same resources to accomplish them.

Automated regression testing gives you:

1. Stability: The vulnerabilities of people (longer time to execute, sloppiness in rushing, etc.) are removed. In fact, variables can be expanded (including browser and device) to have more values with complicating the execution or manpower needs.

2. The Magic button: Human resources need not be pulled from other projects or work extra hours to get the job done.

3. Time gains: Regression tests can be executed multiple times per release, since it can run unattended whenever needed. A minimal amount of time is needed to keep the test scripts up-to-date to match up with the feature changes, and to add new features into the regression set for the next time regression is needed.

Automation can include the prepwork for your test environment, including configuration settings, cached settings and dumped cookies, which helps ensure testing legitimacy while preventing inaccurate test results based on improper set up. Automation also means that the bugs get caught closer to the start of testing, so that development can start fixing bugs sooner, thereby getting the fixes back to QA sooner.

Quicker execution, quicker response by development and more probable inclusion of performance testing per build, as discussed above, all lead to shorter release cycles addressing performance issues, and fixing their problems earlier in the development life cycle.

I Am Arjun Krishna, I love to write technology blog and currently working with Qualitest Group