Testing was often a one-off event that happened at the end of a project before it was delivered into production. However, with the inception of agile test management platforms, testing has become more involved throughout the software development lifecycle. As a result, regression testing has become more important to ensure that developed features still function appropriately after the program has been changed through patches, configuration adjustments or enhancements. Let's take a look at a few things quality assurance teams can do to optimize their regression testing:
Regression Test Selection
The first thing to do is to categorize your tests into reusable, retestable and obsolete cases. This will give your team a much better idea of which ones should be used during regression testing and also help you create new tests to be incorporated. TechWell contributor Sunil Sehgal noted that by organizing your tests, you can also prioritize them by risk, showing what factors you should be especially aware of. It will also help you adapt or delete older test cases that are taking up space in your regression testing efforts. QA teams should also pay attention to the size of their tests. If test cases are too long or too big, you should look to optimize these from the start, and it will have a visible effect on regression efficiency.
Test cases cannot be set and forgotten about. They require regular evaluation to ensure that your chosen tests are pulling their weight. Industry expert Arthur Hicken, known as the Code Curmudgeon, noted that teams should use a review process to go over the code, just as they would for developers. They can identify if the test proves what they need or if it does something that's no longer necessary. This not only will help improve understanding of the test's capabilities, but also give QA teams a chance to update their scripts to better reflect requirements and support compliance needs. With diligent practices and the use of the best test case management tool for your teams, a code review inherently leads to better regression testing and overall better quality products.
Data is incredibly important to improving business operations, and this goes double for regression testing. The amount of bugs found in a regression test, for example, can tell you a lot about how developers and testers worked before release. Perhaps there were more defects than usual this sprint. However, when considering testing metrics, it's also important to understand the context. Even if there were more problems than expected, maybe that's because there was a time constraint, an unexpected change or a new issue that had to be handled. These details will be crucial to not only verifying your team's performance, but also optimizing your regression efforts to catch any bugs that you may have missed.
Regression testing is all about ensuring that your users constantly have a viable product. If any issues are found after release, regression efforts will be crucial to not only fixing these problems, but keeping others from opening up. By categorizing your tests, reviewing the code in your active cases and monitoring your testing metrics, you can optimize regression testing.