The need to deliver quality at speed followed by the rise of agile has meant that many teams have shifted from manual testing to automation.
Regression tests can in theory be performed manually, but as software systems change or grow, so will the number of test cases and thereby the regression suite. Eventually, it’ll reach a point where it’s no longer feasible to manage the regression test cases manually.
Fortunately, due to its repetitive and predictable nature, regression testing is an ideal candidate for automation.
By automating regression tests, it is possible to achieve a number of desired outcomes that enhance team agility and product quality.
On a high level, the greatest benefit of automated regression testing, and automated testing in general, is probably that it frees up resources.
You can set up automation to check specific parts of the software with great accuracy, and then spend brainpower on other types of tests and bug fixes, and conduct manual exploration into more unusual cases that require special attention. This can enhance your software product and ultimately give your customers a better, and significantly less buggy, experience.
By choosing a test automation tool that doesn’t require coding, additional time can be saved on setup and maintenance of automated flows, and dependencies on developers are removed letting QA teams flow through bottlenecks.
For teams following a waterfall approach rather than an agile one, regression testing is typically performed at the end of software builds as the last step before a release. With the introduction of automation, however, it becomes possible to test iteratively, creating instant feedback loops and reducing the overall testing time while improving quality.
With an automation tool that creates visual recording and logs, you can easily go in and detect why tests fail, which not only speeds up feedback loops, but also speeds up the fixing of failures.
Automated regression tests can run 24/7, 365 days a week. With scheduling you can do things like set up your test runs during the night, so no one has to sit around and wait for test results, or run your tests at specific intervals, such as daily or weekly, to ensure that no bugs are missed. Testers can also work on more value-generating tasks, while regression tests run in the background.
Continuous regression testing ensures that testers are notified about bugs before they reach the end-users. And as mentioned above, with the visual recordings and logs, identifying and fixing bugs becomes fast and efficient.
With the ability to test faster comes the ability to test more. When tester resources are stretched to the maximum with manual, tedious tasks, not only do the testers not have the time to test more, they also risk overlooking things, or skip exploratory testing and test design, which can impact the quality of the tests.
By automating, tests can be run continuously at a speed and frequency simply not possible with manual testing. This makes it possible to scale testing and QA, without spending additional resources.
As new features are added to a product, new tests must follow, causing the regression suite to grow over time. Eventually, it’ll reach a point where it’s no longer feasible to manage the regression test cases manually.
For this reason, it is important to select an automation tool that will make it easy for you to keep a clear overview of your testing suite, and allow you to adjust and maintain it without requiring you to rewrite or change code. With a no-code automation tool, this becomes possible and helps keep maintenance burdens low.
Read on in our next blog post on this topic to learn more about how to choose the right test automation tool for regression testing: Regression testing tool evaluation: A checklist. You can also download our whitepaper: How to do Regression Testing in Agile Teams to learn everything you need to know about regression testing in agile teams.