The Solution to 5 Common Problems Associated with Regression Testing

In this blog, we will discuss the common problems which are associated with regression testing and their practical solutions. Due to fast-paced software development, it is imperative to ensure that the IT industry delivers quality applications. Regression testing is an integral part of the development lifecycle to produce quality applications. Regression testing will test existing software to ensure that new development will not affect existing functions. Regression testing is essential because it can help you find errors early when the cost of fixing them is still low. 

With a regression testing strategy, you can ensure that your testing plan is effective and beneficial for your business. 

Regression testing strategies usually encounter five main problems: 

  1. Regression testing is not appealing and interesting for testers and developers. 
  2. Regression testing is considered not important because you are going to repeat the same old function repeatedly. 
  3. Regression testing is expensive, and the cost is difficult to ascertain. 
  4. Regression tests take time to run, which slows down the speed of agile development. 
  5. Regression tests and their value are not visible enough for test teams, developers, and management. 

1) REGRESSION TESTING IS NOT ATTRACTIVE 

Problem: 

Since there are no solution-regression tests that will run the same tests repeatedly, testers often get demoralized and begin to lose focus on interpreting the results. 

Solution: 

  • Consider automated testing to reduce manual labor. 
  • Rotate the team and prevent one person from doing the same job repeatedly. 
  • Educate the testing team regarding the importance of regression testing and its long-term contribution to quality. 
  • Make regression test indicators highly visible to the team and management. 
  • Incentivize regression testers for their contribution to the high-quality deliverables. 

2) REGRESSION TESTING IS NOT CONSIDERED PARTICULARLY VALUABLE 

Problem: 

There is no immediate benefit to regression testing. The management usually inquires: “Why is testing necessary for the features that were developed months or years ago? Why not focus on new features that generate new revenue?  

Solution: 

  • Train the team and managers to realize the importance of finding bugs and other deviations between versions as early as possible: code quality, developer productivity, and less time and effort for manual testers and acceptance testing.  
  • Let your team and managers understand the importance of core functions (such as a login) and the impact on the company’s brand and business if they stop working.  
  • Share ROI (Return on Investment) statistics for early error detection.  

One of the real examples of the functions that could have been detected with regression tests was Samsung Note 7 battery recharge. Experts speculate that one of the problems with Note 7 phones was related to the battery management system. The system that monitored the current and stopped charging when the battery was sufficiently charged malfunctioned. Failure of this system caused the battery to overcharge, become unstable and eventually explode.  

This repair cost Samsung nearly $17 billion (about $52 per person in the US). If the company detects problems early, it can save the company potential losses in terms of money and clients. 

3) EXPENSIVE 

Problem: 

If regression testing is performed manually, it means that the cost of continuous labor is high. The company must pay one or more testers a salary to run the regression tests. If this happens automatically, payment is required to develop and troubleshoot regression test suites and tools. – 

Solution: 

  • If you are still running the tests manually, then automation is the first thing to do. 
  • Use risk-based testing. Prioritize testing and focus on the areas of the software that are most prone to failure or frequent changes. 

4) TIME TO FINISH 

Problem: 

Regression testing should be performed after each development iteration. If it is done manually (or even partially manually), then a complex product may take days or weeks for regression tests to execute. In a two-week sprint, time taken for regression tests would disrupt deployment schedule even if it is fully automated. Regression testing can also become a bottleneck in the agile feedback loop. 

Solution: 

  • The correct automation solution will reduce the cost of current regression testing. 
  • Use risk-based testing. Prioritize testing and focus on the areas of the software that are most prone to failure or frequent changes.  
  • If your regression test runs within 4 to 14 hours after automation, is built overnight and needs to complete a continuous integration cycle, please optimize it! There are many tools and best practices that can reduce compilation time from hours to minutes.  

5) VISIBILITY 

Problem: 

Many organizations do not clearly define their regression testing goals and the indicators on which these goals are based. Testers can run regression tests, but it is not clear how they work and how this affects the quality and stability of the software. 

Solution: 

  • Define indicators and goals. 
  • Ensure that these indicators are related to the results that are important to the business, such as fewer production defects. 
  • Try to estimate the return on investment of troubleshooting as quickly as possible. For each actual error discovered by the tester early, please add an amount worthy of correcting the error later. 
  • Many quality analysis platforms can show you which parts of the software are covered by tests and which tests will help you gain coverage. This can help show management the role and scope of regression testing and explain why and where additional testing should be performed. 

Conclusion 

Your regression testing strategy does not exist in a vacuum. Many other tests are executed in parallel to cover all aspects of software quality assurance. These include UI (User Interface) automation, functional tests, integration tests, and guidelines. It is important to understand the role of different types of testing processes. What role does regression testing play on a larger scale? How important is regression testing to reduce risk?  

You must answer these questions. After finding the answer, if regression testing is required then you can establish an internal functional testing department or outsource the work to a professional company that provides software testing automation services. 

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