Manual testing is a plausible explanation for most regression testing issues: Doing manual regression testing is both time-consuming and error-prone. Additionally, manual testing tends to create bottlenecks and uncertainty, and can lead to duplicate test cases. When test scenarios, or suites, grow into the hundreds, or perhaps thousands, manual testing suites can turn into unmanageable monsters that can slow down process significantly.
A (possibly inevitable) solution to this is to automate your regression testing, as pure manual testing will stop being feasible at a certain point.
- Automating regression testing :
When a regression suite is built with an automation tool it is infinitely scalable and flows can be adjusted and reused again and again. As a result, tester’s time can be spent on tasks that require creative and critical thinking. This means faster regression testing and better utilization of resources.
Side-note: Selecting right tool for your team is crucial when migrating to automated testing. To properly reap benefits of automation, no-code (LEAPWORK) or low-code (eg. Blueprism or UiPath) tools are advantageous, as they eliminate time spent writing scripts.
Another benefit of no-code is structure of tests, especially if your team is cross-functional. By replacing scripts and code with a visual interface, testing does not only become faster, but accessible by entire team and limited to developers. This makes maintenance of test suites easier.
- Combining manual and automated testing :
However, before you start automating everything, it is important to mention that automated testing often goes hand-in-hand with manual testing, and a balance between them is advisable.
Usually, a company’s approach to testing lies on a spectrum. On the left side is “structured approach”, where all test cases are written upfront and used religiously. At the other end of spectrum lies “exploratory approach”. As the name suggests, this approach is more free and unstructured.
Regression testing is a good example of where a structured approach is suitable. As this type of testing involves repetitive and error-prone tasks, it’s a good candidate for automation. Doing so will then lead to faster end-to-end testing with less errors. And as automation robots are designed to do exactly what you ask them to do, it makes it easy to find known faults.
However, as the tested product changes, critical, human thinking becomes crucial to testing process. It is up to testing team to review and evaluate results of test and identify potential unknown problems – an exploratory approach.
Another major upside of automation is that it creates a positive cycle – more repetitive tasks you automate, more time you can devote to exploratory testing. This illustrates interplay between two processes.
Summarized, regression testing is a vital part of software testing, and when done purely manually, it stops being feasible at a certain point. Regression testing will benefit from being automated, and key to success lies in finding right balance on the spectrum when testing.
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