Continuous integration and continuous deployment are tenets of modern-day DevOps culture, particularly in the context of agile. But engaging in this fast-paced software development strategy means building in methods to prevent falling prey to risk. Since you’re at the mercy of this quick market, you must keep moving forward, and error-filled software doesn’t allow for that. One method to improve your process and thus your product overall is to incorporate regression testing much earlier in the development arc. Doing so doesn’t mean altering your existing process or replacing commonly used build platforms, however. Regardless of what you currently use, these three steps can help deploy software regression testing best practices within an agile development environment.
Step 1: Refresh on the Basics of Regression Testing
Regression testing is assessing how a software product behaves after it or something it integrates with has changed. But, there is more than one type of regression testing, and many companies forget this. Regression testing can involve checking original code after a new integration has been made or evaluating how a small update impacts performance during peak workflow. Regression testing also includes testing patches before they’re introduced to ensure they don’t create flaws. Another common form of regression testing is determining how the software functions after any updates were made to allow for use on a different operating system. All of these must become part of DevOps’ workflow to protect against risks.
Step 2: Create a Plan for Automation
Although regression testing can be done manually, it’s time-consuming and difficult to incorporate in the always-moving-forward environment of today’s IT community. Not to mention, to really be effective, regression testing needs to be done every single time that a change is made to the existing code. Automated regression testing tools can make the process automatic and prevent your team from spending valuable time doing monotonous tasks.
However, while automation does help cut down on the tedium of manual regression testing, an automate-it-all strategy may cause more trouble than anything else. Instead, take a moment to assess which tests make sense to automate. Tests that are too complex, require human oversight, or are areas of the software application that are constantly changing may not benefit from automation. Set realistic goals and constraints for the tests you choose to automate. Also, don’t keep your plan rooted only to the action of automation. A solid DevOps culture has open communication between developers and testers, so be sure to consider how you use the data gathered from continuous testing in DevOps to improve future projects.
Step 3: Rinse and Repeat
Your plan for automation isn’t just a one and done deal. The procedure for every project will look slightly different. Doing this type of strategizing early and often helps you build a strong foundation in both automated and manual regression testing and the conversation around both types. The more you build this into your process, the better your dialogue between engineer and tester will become. This is especially true if you couple the new focus on testing with having engineers develop code in smaller batches. This helps ensure that your team won’t be spending forever in triage debugging rather than creating new capabilities. Although automating regression testing does help save time for your engineers, it’s still a balancing act in DevOps culture, since manual testing will still be needed.
Because hearing from a peer that there are 100 bugs in something you’ve spent months perfecting doesn’t exactly make that easy, it might benefit your team to instead bring on an unbiased expert vendor to strategize automation for your projects. This is where iLAB steps in and brings our experience and diversity to bear. We know that our reputation rests on doing the very best work possible, but we also know that a little tact goes a lot way. You can trust us to engage in full testing due diligence while also treating your team with respect.