Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Elizabeth White, Karyn Jeffery, Flint Brenton, Liz McMillan, Scott Allen

Related Topics: Microservices Expo, Java IoT, Microsoft Cloud, Linux Containers, Agile Computing, @BigDataExpo

Microservices Expo: Article

Eight Software Testing Buzzwords You Should Know

The industry’s jargon can be hard to decipher at times, especially when trying to explain these buzzwords to co-workers

The industry's jargon can be hard to decipher at times, especially when trying to explain these buzzwords to fellow co-workers within your organization who don't really have a clue what you are talking about. Buzzwords are unavoidable, however there needs to be a clear understanding of what a buzzword is and the testing buzzwords you should know.

What Is a Buzzword?
A buzzword can be defined as, "a term of art or technical jargon that has begun to have wider use in society among non-specialists who use the term vaguely or imprecisely."

Basically, it comes down to the word being so overused it loses its original meaning and begins to confuse people within the industry. Think of the words like "visibility" or "enterprise" you have probably heard over and over again but each person has a different meaning for the word.

Top Eight Testing Buzzwords

1. Crowdsourced testing
Crowdsourced testing is becoming a popular word to throw around, especially since the rise of crowdsourced funding (not related to testing). Crowdsourced testing is when a person with a website asks fellow testers to "attack" the server to see how much load the site can take and to try to run through many user paths. You can probably find a Redditor asking his fellow friends to join him for a "load testing party." Like this guy...

Without mass coordination and planning, crowdsourced testing is not as effective as using a testing tool - which will get you better, more reliable, and more predictable results.

2. Testing as a Service (TaaS)
TaaS is also known as on-demand testing. Basically, it is an outsourced model where a test plan is given to a service provider who then executes all that testing on the organization's behalf. Usually, due primarily to expense, a company will still do most of their testing in-house. TaaS is most suitable for specialized testing efforts that don't require a lot of in-depth knowledge of the design or the system but may require a unique environment or short-term bursts of specialized activity.

While some TaaS providers operate with heavy automation out of a well-equipped lab, you'll also find TaaS providers that use crowdsourced testing to achieve results for their clients.

3. Smoke testing
This buzzword has significantly changed since when it was first used. The first thing an electronics engineer would do when testing a device was to turn it on and watch for smoke. If they saw any, something was clearly wrong.

The meaning of smoke testing as it relates to performance testing still refers to an early check, but luckily no smoke is involved. It is used as a gatekeeper - telling the tester if it is alright to initiate the long, intensive battery of performance tests that will follow. The last thing anyone wants to do is kick off a long series of tests before heading home for the night, only to come in the next day and see that the system crashed five minutes after you walked out the door.

4. Sanity check
Sanity checks are synonymous with smoke tests. You've probably heard this one a couple times. It's a basic test to quickly evaluate whether a claim or the result of a calculation can possibly be true. In testing, a sanity check will determine whether it is possible and reasonable to continue testing.

5. Regression testing
This buzzword might bring you back to your freshman statistics class and some people confuse this test for looking for some sort of trend. It actually means you are testing changes to applications to make sure that older bugs that were previously fixed are not reintroduced with the new changes.

Mike Kelly, an expert in regression testing explains, "When I think about regression testing, I think about any testing that involves the reuse of tests (manual or automated) or test ideas (regression charters for example -- a regression test does not necessarily need to be the exact same test) to manage the risks of change. This could include testing for bug fixes, testing to make sure a bug fix didn't break something else."

6. Automated testing
Automated testing is often thought of as being specifically for functional testing, but it can mean any type of testing that is not performed manually. Businesses can automate many tasks, including load testing, which is easier than you might think if you're already running Continuous Integration builds.

Software quality underwent a paradigm shift when automated testing systems were introduced. Instead of hiring an army of people to test a few functions on a few systems, it was suddenly possible to develop and run thousands of tests across many different real and virtual systems every day.

7. Continuous integration
If you can automate your testing, why not run it with every code change? This is the concept behind continuous integration. The various developers working on a project combine their code - or check it in - to a central repository where it is built and tested automatically and continually. When a problem pops up between changes, you know about it immediately and can correct it right away.

8. Exploratory testing
You can thank Cem Kaner, the man who coined this buzzword back in 1983. Exploratory testing is sometimes confused with ad hoc testing but it's actually an approach to software testing that is concisely described as simultaneous learning.

Kaner now defines the term as "a style of software testing that emphasizes the personal freedom and responsibility of the individual tester to continually optimize the quality of his or her work by treating test-related learning, test design, test execution, and test result interpretation as mutually supportive activities that run parallel throughout the project."

Don't Let These Buzzwords Fool You
Now that you have a clear understanding for these software testing buzzwords, we hope they won't fool you in the future. Go forward knowing you have a clear understanding of what each of these words actually mean.

More Stories By Tim Hinds

Tim Hinds is the Product Marketing Manager for NeoLoad at Neotys. He has a background in Agile software development, Scrum, Kanban, Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery, and Continuous Testing practices.

Previously, Tim was Product Marketing Manager at AccuRev, a company acquired by Micro Focus, where he worked with software configuration management, issue tracking, Agile project management, continuous integration, workflow automation, and distributed version control systems.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that ContentMX, the marketing technology and services company with a singular mission to increase engagement and drive more conversations for enterprise, channel and SMB technology marketers, has been named “Sponsor & Exhibitor Lounge Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. “CloudExpo is a great opportunity to start a conversation with new prospects, but what happens after the...
The IoTs will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and share the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the development proc...
SYS-CON Events announced today that EastBanc Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. EastBanc Technologies has been working at the frontier of technology since 1999. Today, the firm provides full-lifecycle software development delivering flexible technology solutions that seamlessly integrate with existing systems – whether on premise or cloud. EastBanc Technologies partners with p...
WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, will discuss the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to fo...
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discuss how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. We'll cite examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He'll also highlight how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device. For more information, please visit https://www.mangoapps.com/.
SYS-CON Events announced today the How to Create Angular 2 Clients for the Cloud Workshop, being held June 7, 2016, in conjunction with 18th Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Angular 2 is a complete re-write of the popular framework AngularJS. Programming in Angular 2 is greatly simplified. Now it’s a component-based well-performing framework. The immersive one-day workshop led by Yakov Fain, a Java Champion and a co-founder of the IT consultancy Farata Systems and...
What a difference a year makes. Organizations aren’t just talking about IoT possibilities, it is now baked into their core business strategy. With IoT, billions of devices generating data from different companies on different networks around the globe need to interact. From efficiency to better customer insights to completely new business models, IoT will turn traditional business models upside down. In the new customer-centric age, the key to success is delivering critical services and apps wit...
Join us at Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo 2016 – June 7-9 at the Javits Center in New York City and November 1-3 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – and deliver your unique message in a way that is striking and unforgettable by taking advantage of SYS-CON's unmatched high-impact, result-driven event / media packages.
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, will provide an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that BMC Software has been named "Siver Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. BMC is a global leader in innovative software solutions that help businesses transform into digital enterprises for the ultimate competitive advantage. BMC Digital Enterprise Management is a set of innovative IT solutions designed to make digital business fast, seamless, and optimized from mainframe to mo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex software systems for startups and enterprises. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business managers to a full-scale mobile software company with over 200 develope...
As cloud and storage projections continue to rise, the number of organizations moving to the cloud is escalating and it is clear cloud storage is here to stay. However, is it secure? Data is the lifeblood for government entities, countries, cloud service providers and enterprises alike and losing or exposing that data can have disastrous results. There are new concepts for data storage on the horizon that will deliver secure solutions for storing and moving sensitive data around the world. ...
SoftLayer operates a global cloud infrastructure platform built for Internet scale. With a global footprint of data centers and network points of presence, SoftLayer provides infrastructure as a service to leading-edge customers ranging from Web startups to global enterprises. SoftLayer's modular architecture, full-featured API, and sophisticated automation provide unparalleled performance and control. Its flexible unified platform seamlessly spans physical and virtual devices linked via a world...
Companies can harness IoT and predictive analytics to sustain business continuity; predict and manage site performance during emergencies; minimize expensive reactive maintenance; and forecast equipment and maintenance budgets and expenditures. Providing cost-effective, uninterrupted service is challenging, particularly for organizations with geographically dispersed operations.
SYS-CON Events announced today TechTarget has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TechTarget is the Web’s leading destination for serious technology buyers researching and making enterprise technology decisions. Its extensive global networ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
The essence of data analysis involves setting up data pipelines that consist of several operations that are chained together – starting from data collection, data quality checks, data integration, data analysis and data visualization (including the setting up of interaction paths in that visualization). In our opinion, the challenges stem from the technology diversity at each stage of the data pipeline as well as the lack of process around the analysis.
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
Designing IoT applications is complex, but deploying them in a scalable fashion is even more complex. A scalable, API first IaaS cloud is a good start, but in order to understand the various components specific to deploying IoT applications, one needs to understand the architecture of these applications and figure out how to scale these components independently. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nara Rajagopalan is CEO of Accelerite, will discuss the fundamental architecture of IoT applications, ...