Regression testing is a time-consuming, yet critical, part of testing and quality assurance. This is why many try to automate their regression testing suite. But setting up automation can, in and of itself, be a time-consuming and costly affair, often diminishing the positive effects of automation.
The question is then: Can automation of regression test cases be cost effective? And if so, how?
We’ll answer those questions in this blog post and provide you guidance on how you can make your automated regression testing efficient in the shortest time possible, giving you the quickest possible return on your investment.
Automating vs. manual regression testing
The first natural step in the process of deciding whether or not to automate is to consider it in comparison to manual regression testing.
Not everything can or should be automated, and figuring out the right balance between manual and automated tests can be a difficult task as it is.
We have a comprehensive guide on test automation where you can learn all about what you should automate and why, but here’s a recap of some of the main outcomes that you can expect to see when striking that balance:
- Automation lets you achieve a higher coverage and scope of automation, reducing the risk of undiscovered bugs and improving software quality
- Automation helps ensure that bugs are fixed faster and at a lower cost compared to down the line where they become highly expensive to resolve
- Automation lets you perform predictable, repetitive tests significantly faster than human testers, and with fewer errors
- Automation flows can be run 24/7 instead of 8 hours a day, and robots don’t get sick or take vacation
- Automation allows testers to focus their skill and effort on exploratory testing and other tasks that require human intelligence
Combined, these things mean that automation drives higher productivity, reduced risk and lower costs.
But this is only true once automation is up-and-running… So what about all the time and resources that go into setting up automation and maintaining it?
Is test automation worth it when taking these time-sinks into consideration?
One way to find the answer to this question is to view it on a timeline of expenses.
Manual automation has low costs up front, but the costs will continue to grow over time as automation is scaled, and regression suites grow as the product evolves.
Automated testing, on the other hand, has higher start-up costs, but, with the right automation tool, the curve flattens due to its scalability.
The ideal scenario would be one where the initial costs of automation are lowered, and where costs can be kept low as automation is scaled.
But this isn’t all that easy to achieve. It requires an understanding of what we call the test automation paradox and a method to overcome it.
The problem: the test automation paradox
The problem that countless QA teams face, and that makes automation of regression testing costly and inefficient, is that most automation requires programming.
This is a problem for two reasons: First, it makes it all the more time-consuming to set up automation and, for the most part, it also requires developers to write the script as not all testers know how to program.
Second, it takes a lot of time to maintain and causes a dependency on developers, creating bottlenecks in the testing time and delaying releases down the road.
As a result, some teams see that test automation ends up taking more time to set up and maintain than if they had performed those same tests manually. This makes it virtually impossible for teams to scale their automation and to get that high return on investment that they expected to see.
This is what we call the test automation paradox.
So what is the root of the problem? The answer to this is code.
Automation has become almost synonymous with programming, making automation unavailable to many testers and diminishing the positive outcomes of test automation.
The solution: no-code automation
By removing code from automation, the pain of maintaining automation scripts goes away, and everyone on the QA team can take ownership of the automation process.
With no-code automation every team member, regardless of skill level, can thereby set up and execute test cases from day one.
This can shorten the regression test suite setup time substantially, and QA teams can experience the many benefits of test automation faster.
No code also makes it easier to collaborate with domain experts and other stakeholders than influence the quality of tests, which in turn helps to improve outcomes for the end user.
Watch this video to see how the global company Investec used no-code automation to automate their tests. They used LEAPWORK’s no-code automation platform to achieve positive results in a very short time-frame.
Do you want to see how you can achieve similar outcomes with automated regression testing? Then watch our on-demand webinar on no-code regression testing to learn more.