Regression Testing in QA: What You Need to Know

Owen Savage

Automation Expert

In an ever more agile environment with frequent releases and updates to software, you need to ensure that those updates don’t cause your software to break. That’s where regression testing in QA comes in.

Software developers want to be able to update software while maintaining existing features. 

It’s a useful tactic to use regression testing in test automation because it can help identify bugs before they become a problem. 

This article will give you an outline of regression testing in QA and why it’s important. 

Skip to: 

What is regression testing in QA?
Why is regression testing in QA important?
Why automate regression testing?

What is regression testing in QA? 

When a company builds a software system, it’s released once the team is confident that it will work as it’s meant to. Later on though, new features will be released to add value to the end-user but these new features might cause old ones to fail. 

That’s where regression testing comes in. 

Regression testing is a type of software testing used to make sure that a recent change to code or program hasn’t adversely affected existing features. It’s about checking features to make sure that they’re functioning well. 

It’s making sure that your product doesn’t perform worse (or regress) after changes. 

 

The regression testing process

 

Read more: How to Make Automation of Regression Testing Cost-Effective

This type of testing is a partial execution of previously executed test cases, re-executing a certain number of relevant tests from your test suite. 

Doing regression testing means choosing between retesting all of your test cases from a test suite, selecting between tests that can be used or cannot be used for regression testing, or prioritizing test cases based on business relevance and impact. 

Sometimes, it’s easy to confuse regression testing vs retesting – testing code that previously wasn’t working but that the tester now believes is fixed.

Related reading: The Difference Between Regression Testing vs. Retesting

Regression testing vs retesting

 

Why is regression testing in QA important? 

With the increased adding of digital features that came with the pandemic, plus the adoption of agile methodologies, regression testing has become more and more important. It can be surprising how updates can affect the source code of applications, breaking functions in unanticipated places. 

Considering it can have unexpected consequences when developers make even a small tweak to code, a testing strategy that includes regression testing is vital. It’s especially important when it comes to large software applications, where there’s more opportunity for changing one part of an application to have an effect on another. 

Why automate regression testing? 

Manual regression testing is both prone to error and time-consuming. 

The Capgemini World Quality Report of 2021/22 isolates regression testing as an obvious candidate for automation, but suggested that only 15-20% of regression testing is in fact automated. 

Automating regression testing is an essential part of adopting an agile methodology as it lets you perform it far more efficiently. Also, regression testing should be performed every time you make a change to code. That means that with a large software system, this is only really possible with test automation. 

Related reading: How to do Regression Testing (Faster)

Whereas functional tests just look at the functionality of new features and not how they integrate with previous features, automation can allow more regression testing and mitigates against risk. 

If you do automation right, it can lead to testers time being freed up so that they can work on test design and improvement. 

This might be the case, but scripted test automation is time-consuming and requires heavy maintenance. With a visual approach like Leapwork’s that doesn’t require code, companies have more scope for regression testing. 

Want to know more about automated regression testing? Check out our on-demand webinar

Without needing to constantly resolve built-up defects, there will simply be more time for thorough regression testing. 

With a no-code approach, you can introduce test automation without spending hours and hours on setup and maintenance. 

We’ve made a whole whitepaper on regression testing in agile teams. If you want to learn more, read it by clicking on the image below. 

New call-to-action