5 Best Practices of Regression Testing

Practices of Regression Testing

Regression testing is a critical part of the software testing process that cannot be overlooked. It ensures that code changes, bug fixes, feature additions, and other modifications don’t end up creating new issues with existing functionality.

Thorough regression testing gives confidence that the software remains stable. Regression tests are executed after any changes are applied to the application code or environment to ensure the functionality is as expected.

The objective is to find any regressions as early as possible so they can be fixed before the users are affected by them. Here are 5 key best practices that development and testing teams should follow for effective regression testing:

Perform testing early and often

Regression testing should be started early in the development cycle, before the beginning of the first line of code. Tests should be made along with the new code requirements, specifications, and design documents so that they can detect problems and verify that the software is per its intended functionality at the very beginning. After this, testing is done regularly, after any changes or bug fixes, even if they seem insignificant. The sooner a problem is detected, the easier and cheaper it will be to fix, because it becomes more complicated and turns out to be more ingrained in the codebase as time goes by. Frequent testing, e.g., after each sprint or iteration, uncovers the issues in the early stages; this prevents small problems from becoming big ones that are hard to resolve.

Automate testing wherever possible.

Automated tests can be run fast and multiple times without creating much overhead, which will save you time and resources that you would probably have used on manual testing activities. Automation facilitates time and resource savings for testers, so they can concentrate on complicated and essential testing tasks that only humans can do. Start with the most critical test cases and automate the areas where the churn rate is high, as changes are made often and the risk of regressions is high. Automation is also suitable for dull, repetitive, and error-prone tests because these are often error-prone and inconsistent when done manually by humans.

Prioritize and manage tests.

With a large and growing test suite, you should give priority to the most important tests first, and then your resources can be allocated properly to maximize test effectiveness and minimize redundancy. The tests can be classified at various levels of priority depending on their importance, risk, complexity, and frequency of change. More crucial tests should be performed immediately if a change is made, while less important tests may be executed less frequently, such as on a weekly or monthly basis, or more specifically focusing on those parts of the application.

The other important task is to manage and update the tests; review the tests periodically and delete the ones that are out of date, redundant, or no longer relevant to keep the suite lean and effective. With the progress of software, the tests should be modified to match the requirement changes, functionalities, and architecture, and new tests should be added to cover those areas that were not taken into account before.

Run through the test cases in multiple environments.

Another common issue is that bugs often manifest in different environments (hardware configurations, operating systems, browsers, devices, and databases). To ensure that the problem is solved, regression testing should be performed in a wide range of these environments. Lower environments are being used first as a testing ground, for example, development or test environments.

This way, risk, and potential impact are minimal before promoting these changes to staging and production environments. Stage and production changes should only be made after thorough regression testing has been completed in lower environments, which makes sure that the software’s stability and performance are in their best condition.

Use code-analysis tools.

Static code analysis tools are used to analyze code by machines and to detect quality, security, and performance issues. They coordinate with testing by detecting bugs, vulnerabilities, and inefficiencies at early stages, even before the code is deployed. Turn these tools on during the development process to analyze the code after every check-in, thus providing the developers with real-time feedback and helping to catch issues at the initial stage. Test coverage tools can detect uncovered lines of code, which is used to improve the test suite by highlighting those areas that need more testing and to ensure the complete functional coverage of the application.

In a nutshell, regression tests are a critical factor for software quality and bug-free code. Some of the key best practices include continuous testing, automated tests, managing and prioritizing the tests, testing across different environments, and using code analysis tools. To avoid heavy regressions, teams can follow these practices and ship software with confidence.

With a proper regression testing plan, organizations can go at an agile pace, while customers are still happy. Regression testing implementation is labor-intensive, requires a lot of resources, and is a challenging commitment, however, it brings multiple advantages of fewer defects and technical debt. Besides, regression testing performed right makes companies remain competitive by having a faster development of innovations while at the same time retaining quality.


Leave a Reply