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  1. #1
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    How often do old bugs resurface in new builds?

    It seems an accepted focus in regression testing is to make sure that old bugs haven't resurfaced in new builds. I'd like to hear of the experiences of others, because in my eight years in the profession, old bugs have only resurfaced in a ratio of about 1:20 or more.

    This would indicate that automated regression testing should focus 20 times more effort on basic functionality than catching old bugs.

    What's your experience been?

  2. #2
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    Re: How often do old bugs resurface in new builds?

    Actually the main purpose of regression testing is to insure that new functionality and code changes have not affected the baselined functions. Checking for reoccurring defects is also a good idea, but I would rank it second to the baselined functions testing. The frequency of reoccurring defects depends a lot on the complexity of the code as well as the quality of the development team and the turnover rate of that team.
    Personal Comment

    Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.
    ~ Winston Churchill ~


    ...Rich Wagner

  3. #3
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    Re: How often do old bugs resurface in new builds?

    I don't think old bugs resurface often unless you have a very poor change management process. What I gather from your post is that you are not clear on the primary purpose of regression testing, to confirm that no existing functionality is changed by accident when other changes are introduced. It is a common process to add confirmation tests for bugs that were field-upgraded to make sure that a new formal release has the fixes incorporated in the proper manner, but that is a special case, so you could remove those special tests from the regression library after the new release is out. I think people leave those tests in for no clear reason especially when the tests are automated so the overhead is minimal. As for those bugs that do resurface you need to consider why: is it the same bug, or is it the same mistake made in some totally different area (for example, a datafield that is re-used on the assumption it is not used anywhere else). As for your conclusion, any type of regression testing should focus on confirming that basic functionality is not compromised as a result of any changes made to the code.
    Frits Bos, PMP
    frits_bos@hotmail.com

 

 

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