What is regression testing? What regression testing tools are available? How do you perform regression testing? We're here to answer all your burning questions in our ultimate guide.
Regression testing is among the most important parts of your overall testing suite and among the most well-known types of test. Here’s our breakdown of the best practices, the failure categories, and how to get started with regression tests. If you want to get started with regression testing with Global App Testing, you can do so here.
Recap | What is regression testing?
Regression testing is a type of QA software testing that ensures changes or updates to an existing software product do not affect previously functioning features. A regression test asks, “does everything still work as expected?” A malfunction or bug in another part of the system caused by a new release is called a “regression” – hence, “regression testing.”
A dev team is generally expected to run a regression test suite at the end of a development sprint, but they can also perform regression testing during development as part of your CI/CD pipeline in an agile testing environment. How often you should execute regression tests depends on the incentives for your business and the difficulty of the test.
Why is regression testing important?
What regression tests identify – that your existing functionality continues to work as expected – is likely to be extremely important for your business, making regression testing an important defence against against severe risk.
It can also surprise unseasoned developers to see how likely that risk is to occur. Even tiny changes to the code can have outsized and unexpected impacts on completely separate elements of the product. So the risk frequency is higher than you might expect.
It’s also much less severe outcome for the business to release broken new functionality than it is to break things upon which people already rely. As businesses shift from startup to scaleup, it becomes more impactful to prevent regression than to add new features quickly. To break an existing feature is massively disruptive, and will cause a huge headache for your CS team. So the larger your user base, the more important regression testing becomes.
Regression testing is also one of the most common types of test your business conducts, meaning that it’s also important to think about regression testing in operational terms. Done wrong, it can stack up significant cost to your business and can slow your CI/CD cycle down.