Regression Testing: What It Is and How to Use It

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Regression is a software test that seeks to validate or reject software. Regression is conducted on previously developed software to test whether the software has reverted to it its former stage or remained stable.

Generally, developers conduct regression tests when a new feature is introduced to software. The main reason for conducting these tests is to ascertain whether the new feature has been picked up or the software has regresses to its previous state.

Regression is one of the most common tests in software development. This is because whenever any changes are made to the software, regression has to be conducted.

These changes range from fixing bugs, software enhancement, performance enhancements, component substitutions and configuration changes.


How to conduct a Regression Test

As we saw earlier on, regression testing is necessary whenever you are enforcing changes the software. These are the key steps to look out for in conducting regression

First, you would need to identify each occurrence where a modification is made. This is to ensure that the new modifications do not negatively affect the normal workings of the software.

Next is to prioritize the changes and requirements in order to tackle each of them depending on their unique functions and uses.

Define the entry point and entry criteria for the regression test.

Decide on an exit point that must be finalized before finishing the testing phase.

Create a test schedule and identify the initial unit tests for the components that should be completed.

Now, there are two ways to go about regression. These are the partial regression and full regression

Partial Regression

This test focuses on testing the features of the sections of the software which have undergone modification. It also extends to those sections of the software which may have been affected by the modifications.

To obtain desired results, those conducting tests narrow down on the application areas which may have been affected by the code changes, and single out only relevant cases from the test suite.

This regression testing method is particularly attractive to development methods like Rapid Application Development and Agile Methods. This is because of time constraints that are synonymous with these methods.

Full Regression

This is usually performed in readiness of major software releases. It includes all regression tests, and is normally conducted at the tail-end of most product releases.

When a program undergoes major functional and non-functional changes that are likely to interfere with the code, then full regression test is necessary.

Test teams usually use the best test cases to look into the code and identify anomalies for urgent fixing.

While it is considered to be one of the most involving tests, full regression happens to be one of the most effective tests in software development.

Importance of Regression Testing

As we previously observed, regression testing is one of the most effective testing techniques.

Its core importance is that it ensures the software is working properly even after modifications are made on the primary code.

Regression also serves to detect bugs that could have been created in the process of adding new modification on the source code.


Regression Testing is quite an important test in the software development lifecycle which cannot be ignored. It helps in providing the developers with a 360-degree angle of their software before it hits the market.



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