I was chatting through some ideas for “firing” up our regression testing process with one of my guys, Andy.
We already have a good set of the regression tests automated, but there are always some tests that need (or would benefit from) human interaction, especially when phone calls are involved.
We have a regression “pack” of standard tests but as Andy is running these each week (weekly release frequency) you can understand how it might get repetitive…and a tad boring.
So we talked about a few strategies. He and another one of the team, Simon, had decided to switch products every so often to break up the repetitiveness also.
This is a great plan. It means each of them get to see another part of the system and learn about it, it breaks up the repetitiveness and it also has an added benefit of a “fresh set of eyes”.
I won’t bore you with further details on this but one thing blurted our of my mouth whilst we were talking and at the time it made sense.
Only upon reflection later did I start to dig deeper and wonder what I was talking about.
I suggested to Andy that maybe we do some “exploratory regression testing“.
Sounds good right?
But can Exploratory Testing really be used to do regression testing?
- Isn’t regression testing “supposed” to be about running already executed tests (that subsequently become checks)?
- Should regression testing be about repeating already executed tests/checks? Is there value in this activity?
- Can exploratory testing really be performed to give confidence that nothing has regressed?
The more I explored some of these thoughts the more I realised that I actually quite like the term and concept of exploratory regression testing.
No doubt there are already people using the technique and phrase, and no doubt there will be many people who don’t believe exploratory testing is regression testing, but for now I’m going to keep using it.
Here we all seemed to understand the term and idea and it’s giving us great value.
I just thought I’d get your feedback on it.