Creating an Effective Regression Testing Strategy
What is regression testing?
In software development, changes are usually made to make the software more effective or deliver a certain result. Whenever any change is made, no matter how small, it can cause far reaching effects. It is for this reason that testing is required. Regression testing involves running tests to ensure that the recent modifications made to the system do not negatively affect the systemâs already existing functionality. Regression testing is very important especially for developers creating, or modifying, safety-critical and business applications.
Whenever developers are creating new applications, or modifying existing ones, they need to be extra careful because the changes in code can bring about new bugs that can be potentially damaging to the system. To avoid bugs in any application, there is a need for an effective regression testing strategy. Here are a few tips on how to create an effective strategy:
What are the needs and the components?
Whenever there is any change to the code of any software or application, it is crucial for the developers to implement regression testing. The new changes in the code can be tested using previously existing tests to check if the code modifications caused breakage in the code that was previously functioning well. If the existing tests are not enough to extensively test the changes, new tests should be created.
It is crucial for bugs to fixed; however, developers should be careful with such fixes. They should always be aware that while a bug is being fixed, another one might be introduced.
What are the requirements for testing?
Coming up with testing requirements is very critical to any regression testing strategy. There should be a collaboration between developers, software testing engineers, and business stakeholders to identify the most appropriate use/test cases for the organization/project that is at hand. Agreeing upon and creating a requirements list of the most suitable test cases will provide an excellent framework for future time and cost saving for everyone involved. If this is done properly, the list of developed test cases can be used down the road and leveraged as many times as possible.
What are the entry criteria for regression testing?
With regression testing, just like any other type of software testing, determining when to start testing is crucial. For this reason, there is need to come up with entry criteria relating to any regression testing project. The entry criteria are simply the minimum set of specific conditions or eligibility that need to be met to start testing. Here are a few things the software engineer should do:
- Confirm that a defect/bug is properly documented and is repeatable
- Open a record to track, identify and track regression testing scenarios
- Develop a regression test/use case that is specific to the defect/bug
What are the exit criteria for the testing?
Similar to the above entry criteria, there is need to determine the minimum specific conditions or eligibility that need to be met for the testing to be stopped. During the testing process, the engineer should:
- Ensure that all test are run
- Leave no major bugs/defects unfixed or untested
- Make sure they meet maximum levels of code coverage
- Make sure they fully test all âhigh riskâ areas
Developing a schedule
After the identification of the components of regression testing and above steps accomplished, the next step is developing a schedule for the testing. The schedule should clearly outline when the initial use/test cases for the components should be completed, i.e. a specific timeline in terms of hours or days.
If there is need for thorough and more controlled testing of the components, the software engineers can schedule automatic test that can be run at specific times.
While this might seem like a very short list of steps that need to be followed when creating an effective testing strategy, they are crucial for any software engineer that wants to achieve maximum code coverage levels for any software modifications. Time Machine is a very valuable tool for any regression testing of previously created code and its integration test environments. The tool is also crucial in code data aggregation and testing and helpful in continuous integration and regression testing processes.