Matt Heusser sent the context-driven-testing email group a series of questions about handling regression testing. Specifically he asked:
How do your teams handle regression testing? That is, testing for features /after/ the ‘new feature’ testing is done. Do you exploratory test the system? Do you have a standard way to do it? Super-high level mission set? Session based test management? Do you automate everything and get a green light? Do you have a set of missions, directives, ‘test cases’, etc that you pass off to a lower-skill/cost group? (or your own group)? Do you run all of those or some risk-adjusted fraction of them? Do they get old over time? Or something else? I’m curious what your teams are actually doing. Feel free to reply with /context/ – not just what but why – and how it’s working for you. 🙂
I worked for a small software company where I was the only tester among (usually) 3-4 developers. Our waterfall-ish development cycles were a month+ in development with the same time given to testing. After the new features were tested, if we had time to do regression testing it was done through exploratory testing at a sort of high level. I don’t think I ever wrote out a “standard way” to do it but it fit into my normal process of trying to anticipate where changes (new features, bug fixes) might have affected the product. If I had understood SBTM at the time I would have used it.
We’ve never gotten around to automating regression testing. A part of that has to do with time constraints – small company I wear multiple hats, could have managed my time better, etc. Other reasons involve not really knowing how to approach designing a regression suite. I’ve used Selenium IDE in the past but automating parts of our web applications GUI isn’t possible without changes.
When I’ve had test contractors we used a set of missions to guide the group so everyone could hit parts of the application using their own understanding and skill (although this was our approach I don’t think it was necessarily an understood approach =).) In all of the testing / regression or otherwise its all based on some sort of risk – based fashion.