Why is Continuous Regression Testing Important in the Agile World?

Over the last several years, the IT industry has practiced the Waterfall approach to software development. Besides Waterfall, it also followed some iterative approaches like V-Model, Spiral and RAD (Rapid Application Development) to develop software.

Testing teams worked on different phases like functional, system and regression testing which were conducted one after the other. Amongst all these testing phases, regression used to be very critical, disruptive and a separate iterative phase.

What is Regression testing?

It is a testing activity that gives confidence that the new changes do not impact or harm the existing behavior of the software. Usually regression testing continues until the working application has only a few low priority defects like P3 (Medium) or P4 (Low).

With the digital economy creating new demands for accelerated software development cycles, the industry is swiftly moving towards Agile methodologies like Scrum, Lean and Kanban. The agile world has posed some important questions about regression testing: How will traditional regression testing be adopted due to limited sprint durations? How will the complete system be tested within limited timeframes? Will the quality of the application be compromised with the agile approach?

Some common misconceptions around the significance of regression testing in agile:

  1. Testing activities are given low priority and attention.
  2. Quality of the software will be compromised. You can’t test the complete application.
  3. Testing jobs are facing threats due to full-fledged automation, CI (Continuous Integration) and CD (Continuous Delivery). Hence, companies may not need software testers.

There are also misconceptions that sprints will have to be customized as per project needs to adopt regression testing. In reality, in the Agile world, continuous regression testing is becoming more significant as it is more continuous and can be executed at any time and after each deployment.

The below table shows how regression testing is handled automatically over various sprints and as a continuous process.

Regression testing is taken care without the need for customizing sprints as per project needs or increasing sprint lengths or creating special sprints. Rather, continuous regression testing enables software teams to create and release high quality products any time with confidence.

These are some of the major benefits of regression testing in Agile:

  1. The continuous regression test suite is designed with all business-critical scenarios and keeps getting enhanced as the applications get incremented with a new feature after each sprint.
  2. The regression suite can be run any time on any environment after a new deployment, which helps in getting immediate feedback so that teams can act as soon as possible.
  3. Building a continuous regression test suite is cost effective for organizations in the long run.
  4. Continuous regression helps find many application risks as fast as possible.
  5. Quality is maintained throughout the product development life cycle.

Redefined Role of an Agile Software Tester

The Agile world has redefined the roles and responsibilities of software testers to “Software Development Engineers in Test (SDETs)”.

  1. SDETs work as facilitators to make sure the quality is maintained as expected throughout the software development lifecycle.
  2. Since the sprints are usually two weeks, and can’t be extended, this restricted duration requires the ability to work smartly along with the development team, starting from an understanding of the requirements, clarifying any doubts, getting in sync with business analysts, preparing test cases to be tested manually, identifying the test cases to be automated, automating the scenarios marked as automation candidates, which would then be added to the continuous regression test suite, testing the feature manually and testing again if any issues are found.

In Agile, immediate feedback is needed so that teams can adopt, plan and respond quickly. Hence automation is becoming crucial and continuous regression testing is gaining more significance.

The emergence of agile practices has only made continuous regression testing more critical and added more dimensions to the roles of testing teams.

Ness works with leading organizations to enable them to accelerate their software development processes to be able to reduce time to market and capture new opportunities at a rapid pace. Contact us to learn more.

Creating Smart Businesses with Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Monetize big dataThe concept of AI (which attempts to understand, design, and model intelligent systems), was invented by Stanford’s John McCarthy back in 1958. Yet, across the seven decades, the adoption of AI has been steady, yet sedate. The ever-evolving research in the field of AI, since the time of its inception, has seen a significant change in how intelligent systems are being designed in the present day.

Early adopters of AI technologies have been rewarded for their perseverance and are way ahead in the game as compared to their counterparts. They are reaping benefits in the form of increased revenues and expanded market shares, and they have carved out a niche for themselves with their par excellence products. The development of newer, better AI technologies has only motivated organizations further to embrace AI and reform their business strategies.

Although more businesses, big or small, have started implementing AI in their products, it’s noteworthy that the rate of acceptance across organizations varies remarkably. The variance in adoption can be attributed largely to the business challenges faced in employing AI effectively and how well organizations are equipped to overcome these challenges. Evidence suggest that despite AI success stories, which are becoming more prominent and visible, organizations are still facing challenges when it comes to the business implementation of these technologies.

A survey report by HBR of over 3000 global executives reveals that “Only 20% of the respondents use one or more AI technologies at scale or in a core part of the business.”

Enterprise data is growing rapidly in volume and variety, and it is posing bigger challenges. Data is often located across disparate sources and formats, which affects organizations’ ability to collect, store and integrate data. Overcoming these challenges is critical for paving the way for AI readiness and AI initiatives.

Are you waiting to transform your business with AI, but are unsure about the best approach? The white paper “Democratized Artificial Intelligence,” written by Ness’s Chief Solutions Officer, Rajeev Sharma, shares best practices for organizations to develop a roadmap for building AI within existing products and platforms. Read more at http://bit.ly/2eN7aZW

Designing Insightful Dashboards for Decision Making

In an article for TechZone360 (TMCNet), Anton Baturan, director of user experience (UX) design at Ness Digital Engineering, discusses three key areas organizations should examine when developing dashboards: purpose, defining its value, and examining the role design plays in this process. “Businesses sometimes don’t understand that defining the purpose of the dashboard in concrete terms is the first step in the design process, and that dashboards, or any other capability that provides value to users, do not themselves, represent value,” notes Anton.

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Building a Learning Culture is Crucial to Thrive in The Digital Economy

In an article for Deccan Herald, Narayanan Nair, chief people officer at Ness Digital Engineering, shares some valuable insights on the importance of continuous employee learning in building an innovation centric organization culture. “Learning needs to be experiential and involve mediums that engage individuals in the learning process. Being part of an organization that fosters and invests in learning will pay rich dividends,” notes Narayanan.

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Why Cultural Change is Crucial for Agile Transformation

Agile transformation entails real cultural change and goes far beyond deploying a new set of technologies and practices. Organizations that are truly drawing benefits from Agile have realized the need for making the cultural shifts that are essential in making software development teams and their enterprises ready for agile, before diving into the technology changes.  An understanding of the larger objectives and implications of agile on the different aspects of the business is a key determinant for success with new agile initiatives. In an article for ETCIO, Jithesh Radhakrishnan, Senior Program Director, Ness, sheds some light on the cultural changes that are crucial for agile transformation, and what organizations can do to embrace them.

“The real context of Agile implementation and how it will radically change an organization’s way of working beyond the software development process to impact different functions and people is a major differentiator in achieving success with these initiatives,” notes Jithesh.

Read more http://cio.economictimes.indiatimes.com/tech-talk/the-real-changes-required-to-make-your-organization-truly-agile/2581

Ness TechDays – Sharing Innovation and Ingenuity

Ness Digital Engineering is hosting its technology conference, Ness TechDays, for employees and customers across the globe on 19th, 26th  September & 4th October 2017. This three-day, virtual Conference promises a host of thoughtful and insightful presentations by Ness’s passionate technologists. Ness engineers from around the world will share best practices in Customer Experience Design, Platform Engineering, Big Data Analytics, and related topics around Machine Learning, Microservices, DevOps, Blockchain, and more. This engineer-led conference is sure to further inspire new ideas among Ness and its clients as we work together to achieve digital transformation in innovative ways every day.

The topics to be presented are:

  • Create Smart contracts using Blockchain
  • UX Quality Assurance
  • Microservices x Kafka – Conquering Challenges
  • DevOps – What Can Go Wrong?
  • Generic REST API Automation (GRAA)
  • Art and Science of Creating Highly Interactive Huddle-Boards For Visualizing Multidimensional Data
  • Machine Learning Integration with SAP HANA for Data De-duplication
  • Progressive Web Apps (PWAs): Experience That Combines the Best of the Web and the Best of the Apps
  • Automated Accessibility Web Testing with Selenium and Java Framework
  • App Development Made Faster with Google’s Firebase (Mobile Back End As A Service)

The Automotive Supply Chain Roadshow

Ness is a speaker and sponsor of the Automotive Supply Chain Roadshow in Dusseldorf on Nov 28th and in Munich on Nov 30th. This event brings together experts from Central and Eastern Europe (CCE) to help educate the automotive supply chain on the growing innovation opportunities in today’s digital economy. The event will provide deeper insights around the opportunities in automotive in the CCE, key trends in automotive OEM growth, the future of the supply chain market, and more.

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Data Vault Architectures – The Benefits and Limitations

Enterprise needs for data architectures can be highly fluctuating and that’s why Data Vault modeling, with its flexibility to adapt to changing enterprise needs, is proving to be a favored option for many organizations. Where traditional data models would require extensive governance and testing, the Data Vault architecture makes data warehouses highly agile and enables fast implementation of evolving data relationships.

In this article for Inside BIGDATA, Moshe Kranc, chief technology officer, reveals the significance of Data Vault modeling and its key benefits and limitations that can help organizations make an informed choice on whether it meets their specific data architecture requirements.

“Data Vault architectures is an innovative, hybrid approach that combines the best of 3rd Normal Form (3NF) and dimension modeling. This data modeling technique enables historical storage of data, integration of data from different operational systems, and tracing of the origin of all the data coming into the database,” notes Moshe.

Read more https://insidebigdata.com/2017/07/28/data-vault-modeling-good-choice-organization/

The Real Changes Required to Make Your Organization Truly Agile

In an article for ETCIO, Jithesh Radhakrishnan, senior program director of Ness Digital Engineering, discusses the key essentials to driving an agile cultural transformation in an organization. “I have realized that successful Agile transformation is highly-dependent on an organization’s ability to understand Agile’s real meaning. Agile methodologies aren’t just a set of superficial changes made to an existing software development process,” notes Jithesh.

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