Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Elizabeth White, Flint Brenton, Anders Wallgren, Pat Romanski, AppDynamics Blog

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.


@MicroservicesExpo Stories
As the software delivery industry continues to evolve and mature, the challenge of managing the growing list of the tools and processes becomes more daunting every day. Today, Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) platforms are proving most valuable by providing the governance, management and coordination for every stage of development, deployment and release. Recently, I spoke with Madison Moore at SD Times about the changing market and where ALM is headed.
Struggling to keep up with increasing application demand? Learn how Platform as a Service (PaaS) can streamline application development processes and make resource management easy.
If there is anything we have learned by now, is that every business paves their own unique path for releasing software- every pipeline, implementation and practices are a bit different, and DevOps comes in all shapes and sizes. Software delivery practices are often comprised of set of several complementing (or even competing) methodologies – such as leveraging Agile, DevOps and even a mix of ITIL, to create the combination that’s most suitable for your organization and that maximize your busines...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Peak 10, Inc., a national IT infrastructure and cloud services provider, 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. Peak 10 provides reliable, tailored data center and network services, cloud and managed services. Its solutions are designed to scale and adapt to customers’ changing business needs, enabling them to lower costs, improve performance and focus inter...
The goal of any tech business worth its salt is to provide the best product or service to its clients in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible. This is just as true in the development of software products as it is in other product design services. Microservices, an app architecture style that leans mostly on independent, self-contained programs, are quickly becoming the new norm, so to speak. With this change comes a declining reliance on older SOAs like COBRA, a push toward more s...
From the conception of Docker containers to the unfolding microservices revolution we see today, here is a brief history of what I like to call 'containerology'. In 2013, we were solidly in the monolithic application era. I had noticed that a growing amount of effort was going into deploying and configuring applications. As applications had grown in complexity and interdependency over the years, the effort to install and configure them was becoming significant. But the road did not end with a ...
You deployed your app with the Bluemix PaaS and it's gaining some serious traction, so it's time to make some tweaks. Did you design your application in a way that it can scale in the cloud? Were you even thinking about the cloud when you built the app? If not, chances are your app is going to break. Check out this webcast to learn various techniques for designing applications that will scale successfully in Bluemix, for the confidence you need to take your apps to the next level and beyond.
Digital means customer preferences and behavior are driving enterprise technology decisions to be sure, but let’s not forget our employees. After all, when we say customer, we mean customer writ large, including partners, supply chain participants, and yes, those salaried denizens whose daily labor forms the cornerstone of the enterprise. While your customers bask in the warm rays of your digital efforts, are your employees toiling away in the dark recesses of your enterprise, pecking data into...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DatacenterDynamics 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. DatacenterDynamics is a brand of DCD Group, a global B2B media and publishing company that develops products to help senior professionals in the world's most ICT dependent organizations make risk-based infrastructure and capacity decisions.
Wow, if you ever wanted to learn about Rugged DevOps (some call it DevSecOps), sit down for a spell with Shannon Lietz, Ian Allison and Scott Kennedy from Intuit. We discussed a number of important topics including internal war games, culture hacking, gamification of Rugged DevOps and starting as a small team. There are 100 gold nuggets in this conversation for novices and experts alike.
With DevOps becoming more well-known and established practice in nearly every industry that delivers software, it is important to continually reassess its efficacy. This week’s top 10 includes a discussion on how the quick uptake of DevOps adoption in the enterprise has posed some serious challenges. Additionally, organizations who have taken the DevOps plunge must find ways to find, hire and keep their DevOps talent in order to keep the machine running smoothly.
Call it DevOps or not, if you are concerned about releasing more code faster and at a higher quality, the resulting software delivery chain and process will look and smell like DevOps. But for existing development teams, no matter what the velocity objective is, getting from here to there is not something that can be done without a plan. Moving your release cadence from months to weeks is not just about learning Agile practices and getting some automation tools. It involves people, tooling and ...
Between the mockups and specs produced by analysts, and resulting applications built by developers, there exists a gulf where projects fail, costs spiral, and applications disappoint. Methodologies like Agile attempt to address this with intensified communication, with partial success but many limitations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Charles Kendrick, CTO & Chief Architect at Isomorphic Software, will present a revolutionary model enabled by new technologies. Learn how business and devel...
The notion of customer journeys, of course, are central to the digital marketer’s playbook. Clearly, enterprises should focus their digital efforts on such journeys, as they represent customer interactions over time. But making customer journeys the centerpiece of the enterprise architecture, however, leaves more questions than answers. The challenge arises when EAs consider the context of the customer journey in the overall architecture as well as the architectural elements that make up each...
In 2006, Martin Fowler posted his now famous essay on Continuous Integration. Looking back, what seemed revolutionary, radical or just plain crazy is now common, pedestrian and "just what you do." I love it. Back then, building and releasing software was a real pain. Integration was something you did at the end, after code complete, and we didn't know how long it would take. Some people may recall how we, as an industry, spent a massive amount of time integrating code from one team with another...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Stratoscale, the software company developing the next generation data center operating system, 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. Stratoscale is revolutionizing the data center with a zero-to-cloud-in-minutes solution. With Stratoscale’s hardware-agnostic, Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) solution to store everything, run anything and scale everywhere...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Men & Mice, the leading global provider of DNS, DHCP and IP address management overlay solutions, 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. The Men & Mice Suite overlay solution is already known for its powerful application in heterogeneous operating environments, enabling enterprises to scale without fuss. Building on a solid range of diverse platform support,...
Much of the discussion around cloud DevOps focuses on the speed with which companies need to get new code into production. This focus is important – because in an increasingly digital marketplace, new code enables new value propositions. New code is also often essential for maintaining competitive parity with market innovators. But new code doesn’t just have to deliver the functionality the business requires. It also has to behave well because the behavior of code in the cloud affects performan...
This is not a small hotel event. It is also not a big vendor party where politicians and entertainers are more important than real content. This is Cloud Expo, the world's longest-running conference and exhibition focused on Cloud Computing and all that it entails. If you want serious presentations and valuable insight about Cloud Computing for three straight days, then register now for Cloud Expo.
I had the opportunity to catch up with Chris Corriere - DevOps Engineer at AutoTrader - to talk about his experiences in the realm of Rugged DevOps. We discussed automation, culture and collaboration, and which thought leaders he is following. Chris Corriere: Hey, I'm Chris Corriere. I'm a DevOps Engineer AutoTrader. Derek Weeks: Today we're going to talk about Rugged DevOps. It's a subject that's gaining a lot of traction in the community but not a lot of people are really familiar with wh...