Regression testing represents a foundational component of software development, safeguarding against unintended functionality disruptions caused by code modifications. This article delves into the significance of regression testing, its various types, and strategies for test prioritization, offering insights for quality assurance leaders, developers, and project stakeholders alike.
Regression Testing in a Nutshell
Simply put, regression testing is running a test against any code changes to see if negative impacts on the software now exist. Negative impacts can affect both functional and non-functional aspects of the software, in this case mobile apps. Any negative impacts found are called a “regression”, and a report would be sent back from the QA team to the development team for changes. Regression tests can be run any time the code changes which commonly includes new feature updates and bug fixes. The intention is to ensure that all parts of the software function seamlessly by catching potential bugs before customers do.
This form of testing centers around goals rather than related to specific software or tools. It can be done manually or with automation. Generally speaking, automating tests whenever possible will save QA teams enormous amounts of time and effort and benefits organizations recommended whenever possible. Regression testing can be executed on simulators, emulators, or real devices alike.
The Importance of Regression Testing
Regression testing is important for a number of reasons. The most obvious reason it ensures software quality through ensuring functionality. By creating a bug-free mobile app experience, new and returning users continue to download, use, and ideally share their experience with the product with their peers. This is especially necessary for the modern mobile app market, in which there are 8.93 million unique apps and growing. In this highly saturated market, uncompromising quality has become business-critical.
For a deeper dive into why your customers may be leaving your app, read our entry here.
Regression Testing Bottlenecks
Several common factors are culprits in driving up the time and/or budget spent on regression tests.
Code maintenance. Maintaining the code required for smooth regression testing requires both coding expertise and time spent on upkeep.
If your organization still relies on manual testing, you are likely spending many hours of time that could be scaled with automation easily. To combat this, consider choosing a tool that turns your manual tests into automation quickly.
Maximizing real-world test coverage represents a common challenge with several solutions. Running emulators and simulators provide speed and ease, though they do not provide feedback on common real-world scenarios. Creating and maintaining the code to test on multiple devices is no small feat.
Types of Regression Testing
Unit regression testing
This type of testing is performed on individual code units or modules to ensure that the changes made to the code have not affected the functionality of the individual units.
Partial regression testing
Partial regression testing involves choosing a subset of test cases with a high likelihood of being impacted by the changes made to the code.
Full regression testing
Full regression testing runs all previously executed test cases and runs when significant changes have been made to the source code.
End-to-End Regression Testing
End-To-End regression testing occurs after large releases. It’s really only possible for one to perform end-to-end testing after the full application has been developed.
Regression testing is a vital part of the mobile app testing process. It ensures a smoothly functioning app with any given code update and can be broken down in several different ways for different use cases. Test coverage can be maximized with the use of automation and real devices.
Up next in our series on regression testing, we’ll delve into how regression testing works with Sofy. Though if you’d like to get a jump start on learning, you can read our documentation here.