Over the last several years, the IT industry has practiced the Waterfall approach to software development. Besides Waterfall, it also followed some iterative approaches like V-Model, Spiral and RAD (Rapid Application Development) to develop software.
Testing teams worked on different phases like functional, system and regression testing which were conducted one after the other. Amongst all these testing phases, regression used to be very critical, disruptive and a separate iterative phase.
What is Regression testing?
It is a testing activity that gives confidence that the new changes do not impact or harm the existing behavior of the software. Usually regression testing continues until the working application has only a few low priority defects like P3 (Medium) or P4 (Low).
With the digital economy creating new demands for accelerated software development cycles, the industry is swiftly moving towards Agile methodologies like Scrum, Lean and Kanban. The agile world has posed some important questions about regression testing: How will traditional regression testing be adopted due to limited sprint durations? How will the complete system be tested within limited timeframes? Will the quality of the application be compromised with the agile approach?
Some common misconceptions around the significance of regression testing in agile:
There are also misconceptions that sprints will have to be customized as per project needs to adopt regression testing. In reality, in the Agile world, continuous regression testing is becoming more significant as it is more continuous and can be executed at any time and after each deployment.
The below table shows how regression testing is handled automatically over various sprints and as a continuous process.
Regression testing is taken care without the need for customizing sprints as per project needs or increasing sprint lengths or creating special sprints. Rather, continuous regression testing enables software teams to create and release high quality products any time with confidence.
These are some of the major benefits of regression testing in Agile:
Redefined Role of an Agile Software Tester
The Agile world has redefined the roles and responsibilities of software testers to “Software Development Engineers in Test (SDETs)”.
In Agile, immediate feedback is needed so that teams can adopt, plan and respond quickly. Hence automation is becoming crucial and continuous regression testing is gaining more significance.
The emergence of agile practices has only made continuous regression testing more critical and added more dimensions to the roles of testing teams.
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