Two steps forward, one step back. That’s what you can expect when your QA strategy doesn’t include software regression testing.

The reason why is simple. Changes and upgrades to their favorite software products are popular, but consumers also prefer consistency. The ability to interact easily with your application is more important to them than advancement.

No matter how many cool features you add or how drastically the UI changes, it won’t make a difference. Your customers will stop using your product if the expected functionality is no longer available.

So now you understand why so many QA teams are not willing to take regression testing for granted? It is your testers’ responsibility to make sure that this expectation is met from one deployment to the next.

This blog will answer all of your questions about regression testing:

  • Regression Testing: What Is It?
  • The Right Time to Implement Regression Testing
  • A Regression Test’s Benefits
  • Tests of Regression: Automated vs. Manual
  • What Is The Purpose Of Regression Testing?
  • Techniques For Regression Testing
  • A Regression Test’s Types
  • Tips On Reducing Regression Testing Time 
  • Putting Your Plan Into Practice

Regression Testing: What Is It?

Regression Testing is an approach to QA testing that validates the functionality of your software application’s existing features. With each new code change, QA teams run several types of regression testing to make sure that the system continues to function as expected. Manual and automated regression tests are essential parts of a robust QA strategy to ensure that the new changes do not disrupt previously established functionality.

There is no doubt that regression testing is important. It’s your QA team’s responsibility to manage risks and prevent bugs from going into production and regression testing can help you do that. 

In this way, your team can repair any damage caused by the new code before the launch of your product.

After releasing the new iOS 8 update in September 2014, Apple pulled it back within an hour. As a result of the update, severe unlocking problems as well as frozen updates, lost signal, and 67% more crashes occurred. Unfortunately, this blunder could’ve been avoided entirely with regression testing by the tech giant.

Therefore, take 15 minutes to learn best practices for regression testing and how to apply them in a modern Agile context.

The Right Time to Implement Regression Testing

Having learned what regression testing is, you may be confused as to when it should be carried out as part of your QA strategy. It is a fact that many teams experience regression testing challenges when regression tests aren’t performed regularly throughout the development cycle.

If you observe any of the following events within your project, consider performing software regression testing:

  • New functionality: When developers add new code, they don’t always check whether it will work with existing code. By using regression testing tools, QA engineers can identify any potential problems within the software before it is deployed. During the quality assurance process, many issues within the updated code are discovered, showing how important regression testing is.
  • Enhancing existing functionality: Based on consumer feedback, developers are often asked to improve existing product features. Your new code may damage or remove existing functionality from the system if the business requirements don’t address how it should function. You can have your QA testers perform automated regression tests to find out if the current functionality still works as expected.
  • Enhancing your UI or adding a new integration: QA teams should test beyond usability when creating new experiences within your product. In the event that the new design or integration unintentionally changes previous feature functionality, it is up to your Quality Assurance team to perform all types of regression testing to verify previous product functionality.

A Regression Test’s Benefits

There are rarely regression testing challenges if you have a solid QA strategy in place. It is easy to understand why so many QA teams include regression testing in their projects after calculating its ROI. These benefits are available across your entire development cycle when regression testing is implemented correctly.

  • Finding bugs created by software changes or additions: Finding bugs is only the first step in resolving them. You can help your developers figure out how to fix a bug by knowing why it exists within your application. Your QA team can pinpoint which new code additions or adjustments caused the problem with regression testing.
  • Automation opportunities: Time is of the essence during the development process, especially when regression testing is the final step in quality assurance. The good news is that many types of regression testing can be automated to increase testing accuracy, streamline the testing process, and find bugs sooner.
  • Integrative testing is compatible: Integration testing can verify that no errors are introduced into the system as new functionality is introduced. After all new functionality units are incorporated into the testing environment, QA engineers can conduct regression testing to verify that all product functionality functions as intended.

Tests of Regression: Automated vs. Manual

When you fail to execute test cases properly and use the correct methods for regression testing, your team is likely to face regression testing challenges. Knowing how to find these issues can mean the difference between finding them before market launch or not at all, as regression testing is intended to find defects within previously approved code changes.

Is it better to test manually or with automation? That depends on the test situation.

  • Automated Regression Testing: Regression testing is performed using regression testing tools by QA testers who write code for the test script and use regression testing tools to automate the test cases. Test feature functionality across hundreds of product touchpoints using an automated software regression testing process. In the case of repetitive tests, automated testing is ideal because manual testing can lead to human error.
  • Manual Regression Testing: How can you do regression testing if you don’t find bugs in your application like a consumer would? During manual testing, human testers walk through your product to see if previous features are still operational. When UI changes are made, and exploratory testing cannot be performed through automated testing, QA teams should perform regression testing manually.

What is the purpose of regression testing?

In software development practices, test automation is essential. A key aspect of this is also automated regression testing.

In addition to receiving more detailed feedback, product teams are able to respond more quickly as a result of rapid regression testing. By performing regression testing early in the deployment cycle, businesses can avoid devoting resources to fixing built-up defects. It is possible that a seemingly minor modification can have a domino effect on a product’s key functions.

Therefore, developers and testers must not leave any alterations, no matter how small, out of their control.

Functional tests examine the behavior of new features but ignore their compatibility with the existing ones. Determining the root cause and the architecture of the product is more difficult and time-consuming without regression testing. Regression testing is a filter for ensuring the quality of your product if it undergoes frequent modifications.

Techniques for regression testing

Regression testing can be implemented in three ways: retesting all, regression testing selection, and test case prioritization.

  • Complete Regression: The technique involves applying regression testing to all existing test suites. Despite the fact that it is the safest method for ensuring that all bugs are detected and fixed, it requires substantial time and resources. In some situations, the complete regression approach makes more sense, such as when an application is adapted for a new platform or language, or when the operating system undergoes a major update.
  • Regression Test Selection: Regression testing can be performed only on those parts affected by the changes. You can reduce the amount of time and effort spent in regression testing by selecting related areas and applying limited and relevant test cases.
  • Test Case Prioritization: Testing for regression may be prioritized according to which test cases must be included and performed first. In order to prioritize these test cases, consider the following criteria: failure rate, business impact, and gradually used functionalities. 

The test cases that relate to customer-facing aspects and newly added functionalities are of high priority as well.

What Is the Need for Regression Testing?

Adding new features, tweaking or changing existing features, and repairing bugs are all ways in which software applications are modified. Third-party services, which it uses to provide features through its interface, also have an indirect impact. 

Verify all changes made to the application’s source code, both intended and unintended. In addition, the impact of changes to external services used by the application should be evaluated.

The modification must function as expected and must not negatively impact the other sections of the application. 

Through a comprehensive regression testing procedure, the team is able to identify regression issues, which are then corrected and retested to ensure that the original faults do not recur. 

A Regression Test’s Types

Do regression tests include multiple techniques for identifying application defects? You should strategize how to conduct each regression test before executing it, in order to get the most value from it. You should include these types of software regression testing within your QA plan.

  • Corrective Regression Testing: Verifies that the functionality of all features works as expected even when there are no changes made to the code. Developers can reuse these test cases throughout the development process.
  • Retest-All Regression Testing: In this type of regression testing, the entire system is retested to determine whether there are any defects in the current code with the changes implemented. The use of this method is recommended when extensive updates and revisions are introduced into the application.
  • Selective Regression Testing: The test team evaluates how the new code impacts the existing code. These test cases are reused throughout the development process.
  • Progressive Regression Testing: This method is ideal when the system is undergoing minor changes. Testers verified that the updated code does not compromise previous features through new test cases.
  • Unit Regression Testing: QA engineers review the code and ensure all resultant dependencies are accounted for during testing. This type of regression testing center is best suited to testing key features or components already present in the application.

A regression test is essential to improving the quality of a product and user experience. Identifying all surfaced defects early on can significantly reduce the cost of fixing them. Additionally, regression testing has many technical and business advantages in Agile development. By investing in planning and executing regression testing, your organization will have greater control over budget, process, and error mitigation.

Tips on reducing regression testing time 

Testing regressions can be done in a number of ways, some more time-consuming than others. 

In order to keep up with release cycles and your competition, it is important to reduce regression testing time. We have compiled a list of best practices to reduce regression testing time.  

Developing a Better Strategy  

Automating regression testing requires a well-defined and carefully thought-out process. Building a comprehensive strategy and staying organized will also help regression testing go more smoothly. 

When developing a regression testing strategy, ask yourself these questions:  

  • Which tests should be part of your automated regression testing suite? Should manual tests be performed? 
  • Would it make sense to exclude a regression test if it is not going to be automated? 
  • Would it make sense to produce automated test cases during the sprint? 
  • Does the team have responsibility for maintenance?  
  • If tests are inconsistent, who is liable to exclude them?  
  • How are outcomes evaluated? 
  • When should regression tests be retired? 
  • How does the test environment and lab get updated with the latest platforms and test data? 

Putting Your Plan into Practice 

Test cases should be run and validated several times before being added to the regression suite. The fact that false failures waste time confirms that things work as they should. 

The test cases should be combined into a larger test suite when you are confident in their results. A test suite tests a single component from start to finish. In other words, all tests associated with that component are consolidated into a single test suite. 

Infrastructure Setup  

The goal is to minimize the test suite’s execution time. Once you have a set of individual tests, you should not have any difficulty running the entire suite at once.  

There should be a separate browser instance for each user interface test. If you want to use a Selenium grid in the cloud or run on your CI server, you can create your own Selenium grid.   

Automate your test automation with parallel testing 

CI servers like Jenkins, which are capable of handling parallel testing, are essential to driving faster feedback at a higher scale. As you get started, here are some common challenges and solutions:  


  • To run tests, hundreds of browsers or devices must work simultaneously, which cannot be accomplished on a single CI computer due to its limitations.  
  • Overburdened CI machines will fail tests if they are overburdened. 
  • The testing process requires more effort when it is carried out on a distributed system. 


A host-node option is available in most CI tools, enabling you to scale up your testing capacity. 

  • Specify the number of executors for each host-node setup.  
  • To avoid overloading your master system, run your tests on separate slaves at the same time. 
  • Make your pipeline more stable by breaking down your jobs into smaller tasks – that will help you debug a failed build. 

Taking a Closer Look at Failures 

It is essential, but often overlooked, to analyze failures and develop plans to avoid them in the future. 

A tester isn’t aware of a failing test case for much longer than teams expect. A team that is agile may slow down as a result of pushing back release cycles. 

Reports and alerts that include the following features can help you fix your failed scenarios: 

  • Data collection system  
  • Stack trace for failed tests   
  • Execution time of tests and suites 
  • Building results alerts 
  • Failed and passed cases 

In some cases, tests fail without a code error, which is called flakiness. What causes flakiness and how to isolate it are discussed below. 

Flaky test scripts 

  • Each test case’s execution history should be logged. 
  • Manually or automatically rerun failed tests cases to filter out flakiness.  

Design of Test Code  

  • Implement best practices such as Page Object Model (POM), Singelton, and others. 
  • Document failures with relevant test data.  
  • Peer-review test code as you would for production code. 

Stability issues with the browser 

  • Failed to start a session.  
  • Page load failures.  
  • Stale elements. 

Problems with CI server  

  • Dependency and code checkout issues. 
  • Hardware problems with CI. 
  • Network connectivity issues. 

Taking Feedback into Account  

Make sure everyone on the development team has approved your regression testing automation technique once you’ve created it. 

Create an environment that fosters continuous learning from there. Feedback from stakeholders, colleagues, and all team members who work with automation should be incorporated and embraced, and the strategy should be adjusted as necessary. 

Bringing It All Together

Maintaining high quality is essential, particularly when the scope of regression testing grows late in development. For Agile projects, it’s crucial to prioritize test cases correctly and automate them. It makes sense to use a third-party QA automation service if you don’t have enough resources to keep up with development or automated testing. Nobody better than TestGrid can help you!

Testing can be handled by external partners, who can also automate tests to allow your internal testers to focus on more exploratory testing.

When a new change is made to an existing system, regression testing is vital as it enables you to identify any defects. Whenever changes to a code are made, the changes don’t seem to affect the existing code, its features, or functionality. In addition, it enables you to see how the changes affect the old modules that haven’t been altered. It ultimately comes down to project specifications and requirements to determine which mode to use. Manual mode requires a lot of human effort and takes a lot of time. If the selected tool can update test scenarios in automation mode, it will be tested. This is an essential feature when testing this type of application. 

As such, it is an essential part of the testing process in the development of a product. Having the knowledge and experience of a test team is also important in determining the appropriate and optimal testing strategy. 


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