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Michael Lopez
Michael Lopez

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Why Understanding Regression Defects Is Crucial

With the widespread adoption of the agile methodology, regression testing has emerged as a focal point and added value. Today, most businesses outsource regression testing services and utilize an iterative, agile software development process.

For instance, various SaaS service providers often include new functionality or features with each software update. These businesses consult an eminent regression testing firm to maintain performance and verify that newly introduced features do not affect the final product. The primary objective of regression testing is to check that a bug fix has successfully corrected a code defect.
This article highlights the importance of understanding regression defects, testing, and the best practices for handling regression defects.

What Are Regression Defects Bugs?

Bugs are frequently detected during software testing, and QA teams fix such bugs quickly. Testers perform regression testing to check for any disruption to the intended functionality of any application feature due to the bug repair. Additional bugs that result from a bug repair are referred to as regression bugs. For instance, let us consider the application login page containing specific issues that the developer has repaired. The login page usually functions as expected, but the registration page generates validation or other issues that did not exist earlier. The login page fix may have brought about the new error. This regression issue or bug must be fixed to deliver a more robust product to the users.

Why are Regression Defects Challenging?

- Time complexity:
The most challenging part of regression testing is the strict timing constraints. With each modification to the product, the testing team must ensure that the existing functionality is not compromised. Even with automation, regression tests involve the repetitive execution of existing test cases. Thus, finishing the regression cycle requires a considerable amount of time. With each added feature, the number of times regression testing must be performed rises. Development and QA teams must execute regression test cases multiple times within the reduced regression cycles in the sprint.

- Maintenance difficulties:
Occasionally, optimizing the test cases for regression testing is difficult. As the scope of regression testing expands with each sprint, implementing and maintaining the number of automated test cases during code changes becomes increasingly difficult. It is crucial to incorporate these modifications in regression test scenarios.

- Suitability of Testing Environment:
The environment where regression testing is to be conducted must be stable for testing to proceed smoothly. Environmental factors during the execution of regression tests can cause execution delays.

- Lack of cross-team communication:
During regression testing, a lack of communication between cross-functional teams also causes problems. Moreover, it may be difficult for a new team member to comprehend what features or functionality the team is modifying and what is being affected if they intervene halfway.

- Overlooking key functionality:
Identifying the test cases in each module and regression cycle wherein the development team makes a change requires time, and it is a possibility that developers and testers might overlook a test case that is essential for validating this change or may oversee testing of crucial functionality.

- Choosing the right testing tool:
Selecting the right automated tool before beginning regression testing is very important. Record and playback tools often do not perform well in automated regression testing due to the extensive amount of rework required.

- Reduction in development velocity:
Regression tests must be programmed and executed on an automated build system. Development and QA teams must incorporate automated regression tests into each sprint to repair bugs and minimize late hardening sprints continuously. QA teams must execute regression tests after any modifications to the application. During regression, testers may identify numerous application stability or deployment concerns. It can slow the whole testing process.

How to Manage Regression Defects?

There are multiple methods for effectively handling regression problems. Testers can ideally manage regression defects effectively and ensure a seamless product launch by the following approaches:

- A comprehensive review of the code
Scripts for both development and testing require regular code review. Testers need to evaluate the test cases to check if they are sufficient to test each component module. Ideally, the QA team should collaborate with the development team to identify high-risk areas. They should modify the regression testing suite to see if the new updates introduced critical regression defects. Integrating automated test cases into your application will assist testers in performing the following:

  • Identify logical errors
  • Fulfill the app requirements
  • Create automatic versions of code
  • Report the test results

- Tracking test data and other metrics
Bugs discovered during testing are not just intended to be identified and fixed. They provide a comprehensive view of the application behavior. Regression faults, in particular, reveal a great deal about the coding, coverage of previous test cases, and degree of integration between testing and last development.

Monitoring the metrics allows the complete evaluation of the software life cycle for effectiveness. Testers can identify if the current spring has more faults or if the coders and testers had to work quickly owing to time constraints, resulting in increased regression defects.

Considering the details of such variables is essential for evaluating the performance of QA teams, which in turn improves the entire regression effort and assists in detecting any overlooked regression defects. Monitoring the data is also essential for production and other corporate activities, enabling a seamless application launch.

- Automating regression testing
Automation testing is a time-saving approach as it minimizes regression bugs. During unit testing, in particular, automated scripts enable in-depth functionality analysis and identify logical defects. A comprehensive written unit test script ensures that regression testing is performed seamlessly and that development teams can deliver a high-quality application on time.

- Shift-Left testing
Typically, QA teams conduct testing in the staging environment after development. However, testers are frequently required to complete a comprehensive round of testing within a relatively short time frame. If defects are identified late in the release process, the release date may need to be postponed, and if critical bugs are detected after migration to the production environment, the entire release may need to be reverted. It proves to be both time-consuming and laborious for teams working in an agile environment. Shift-left testing is a testing strategy that incorporates testing at the earliest stages of the SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle). Continuous Shift-left testing is a highly effective method for mitigating risks and disruptions.

Regression Testing Is the First Line of Deference

As with all software quality assurance, one of the primary objectives of regression testing is transparency which facilitates the organization's precise awareness of what the code system will and will not do. The regression test suite is the initial line of defense against the leakage of defects into public releases.

Regression testing must be meticulously examined and maintained for success; otherwise, it will become a mere nuisance and be ignored. Regression testing should be an inherent part of a robust test automation process to maintain its relevance and ensure that it is used to safeguard the system's integrity.

Source: This article was originally published at

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