Agile software teams are shipping code faster and faster, and quality teams often struggle to keep pace. By integrating automated regression testing into existing DevOps processes, organizations can balance development velocity with software quality. This requires building a scalable and sustainable regression testing strategy that leverages a modern automated testing solution.

In this article, you’ll learn how to confidently adopt Agile and DevOps with an effective automated regression testing strategy.

What is Regression Testing in Agile and DevOps?

The DevOps approach to software development involves continuously making iterative changes to add new features and functionality with each agile sprint. If you don't properly test the impact of these incremental code changes on the overall application, they can introduce bugs. Regression testing aims to prevent this by re-running test cases to confirm existing functionality still works as intended.

The Importance of Automated Regression Testing in Agile and DevOps

Manual testing is slow and time-consuming, and often limits teams from fully adopting Agile development practices. Automated regression testing is crucial for Agile and DevOps because it allows teams to fully integrate regression testing into development pipelines. As an application grows larger and more complex, it’s not practical to repeat the same tests manually. Automating these repetitive tasks makes more sense, as it allows continuous testing of the application throughout the development lifecycle.

Automated regression testing allows quality teams to write tests once and easily re-run them with each new build. Organizations can then run regression tests with pull requests or in other stages of the DevOps pipeline. This reduces the risk of changes negatively impacting the customer experience and speeds up release cycles. In short, automated testing helps quality teams match the increasing development velocity of modern software teams.

Types of Regression Testing Needed in Agile and DevOps

Quality teams can use different automated tests for regression testing, such as unit tests, API tests, and performance tests. They can also take different approaches to regressing testing depending on business requirements. For example, reusing all previous test cases is the most thorough approach, but the most complex. In contrast, re-running a subset of the most relevant test cases can save time and money.

Quality teams also need to decide which tests to perform manually and which tests to automate. Typically, testers manually perform exploratory testing, while repetitive tasks like unit testing and functional regression testing are better suited for automation. A combination of manual and automated testing can help software teams achieve specific testing goals without sacrificing development velocity.

Building an Automated Regression Testing Strategy for Agile and DevOps

An important aspect of building an automated regression testing strategy is choosing the right solution for implementing it. A solution with scalable testing infrastructure ensures that your team can avoid DevOps bottlenecks in the long-term. The software testing team at CTV advertising platform Wurl found that a scalable test infrastructure significantly improved their regression testing capabilities. Director of QA Engineering Pradgnya Kulkarni explained:

“If my number of test cases increased by 100, I used to worry about spinning up a new machine, getting approval, and navigating all of that red tape. Now, I don’t have to worry about that. My team can easily automate as many test cases as needed without worrying about the infrastructure.” 

Also essential for avoiding DevOps obstacles: integrations with popular development tools. Integrated tool sets ensure that teams can easily share relevant data through the development process. Our Buyer’s Guide can help you choose a solution that meets your testing requirements and integrates with existing tools.

Scaling an Automated Regression Testing Strategy for Agile and DevOps

Once automated regression testing has been integrated into the development, deployment, or production stages of your DevOps pipelines, you can begin scaling test coverage. This involves expanding the test suite to include a broader range of application features and user flows. Often limited by tight release cycles and complicated test script creation, low-code can help match Agile sprint cycles. 

Low-code test automation tools make it easier to scale test coverage by enabling anyone to create automated regression tests. With intuitive visual interfaces, low-code tools allow team members without extensive coding experience to contribute to improving software quality. This brings efficiency to the testing process and fosters collaboration across development, quality, and product teams.

Sustaining an Automated Regression Testing Strategy for Agile and DevOps

Once you have created your automated regression suite, you'll need to maintain it. Many testing teams find themselves struggling to manage test maintenance as their application evolves. Regression testing for Agile and DevOps requires tools that reduce the burden of updating tests with each new code change.

AI and machine learning can analyze test results, code changes, and other data to suggest updates you should prioritize. This helps quality teams keep up with development teams as the test suite grows.

AI and machine learning can also automate many aspects of test maintenance by identifying UI changes and updating test scripts. This reduces the need for manual test maintenance and improves test reliability. Quality teams have more resources for exploratory testing and other higher-impact tasks, ultimately leading to more effective quality assurance.

Automated Regression Testing with Mabl

Building an automated regression testing strategy that’s scalable and sustainable requires a modern automated testing solution. Mabl’s low-code test automation platform makes it easy to incorporate regression testing into your entire DevOps workflow. Software teams can automatically kick off regression tests that quickly run in parallel using on-demand cloud infrastructure.

In addition, anyone can create and maintain complex regression test cases using an intuitive visual interface to support high test coverage. Teams can also import existing Selenium regression test suites to avoid re-writing test cases. Mabl provides in-depth reports after each test run to help identify regression trends across software builds and continuously improve testing efforts. 

Altogether, mabl’s capabilities accelerate the delivery of high-quality, business critical applications. As organizations adopt agile and DevOps practices to push code faster than ever, it’s even more important to leverage an automated testing tool that can quickly and reliably execute browser, API, mobile tests, and more. Mabl can give you the confidence to adopt an automated testing strategy to meet the needs of modern software development.

Ready to integrate automated regression testing into your Agile and DevOps processes? Try mabl for free today.