Welcome!

Big Data Journal Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Greg Ness, Mat Mathews, Pat Romanski, Carmen Gonzalez

Related Topics: SOA & WOA, Java, .NET, Linux, Web 2.0, Big Data Journal

SOA & WOA: 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.


@BigDataExpo Stories
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from ha...

ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's

Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and asse...
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com...
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Ar...
Technology is enabling a new approach to collecting and using data. This approach, commonly referred to as the "Internet of Things" (IoT), enables businesses to use real-time data from all sorts of things including machines, devices and sensors to make better decisions, improve customer service, and lower the risk in the creation of new revenue opportunities. In his General Session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Dave Wagstaff, Vice President and Chief Architect at BSQUARE Corporation, discuss the ...
The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, a...
"BSQUARE is in the business of selling software solutions for smart connected devices. It's obvious that IoT has moved from being a technology to being a fundamental part of business, and in the last 18 months people have said let's figure out how to do it and let's put some focus on it, " explained Dave Wagstaff, VP & Chief Architect, at BSQUARE Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The 4th International DevOps Summit, co-located with16th International Cloud Expo – being held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY – announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's large...
The 3rd International @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to th...
As cloud gives an opportunity to businesses to buy services externally – how is cloud impacting your customers? In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Fabio Gori, Director of Worldwide Cloud Marketing at Cisco, provided answers to big questions: Do you see hybrid cloud as where the world is going? What benefits does it bring? And how does Cisco connect all of these clouds? He also discussed Intercloud and Cisco’s investment on it.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, p...
Working with Big Data is challenging, especially when decision makers depend on market insights and intelligence from your data but don't have quick access to it or find it unusable. In their session at 6th Big Data Expo, Ian Khan, Global Strategic Positioning & Brand Manager at Solgenia; Zel Bianco, President, CEO and Co-Founder of Interactive Edge of Solgenia; and Ermanno Bonifazi, CEO & Founder at Solgenia, discussed how a revolutionary cloud-based BI along with mobile analytics is already c...
There is no doubt that Big Data is here and getting bigger every day. Building a Big Data infrastructure today is no easy task. There are an enormous number of choices for database engines and technologies. To make things even more challenging, requirements are getting more sophisticated, and the standard paradigm of supporting historical analytics queries is often just one facet of what is needed. As Big Data growth continues, organizations are demanding real-time access to data, allowing immed...
Vichara Technologies in Hoboken, New Jersey is expanding its capabilities in big data from origins on Wall Street into other areas, and thereby demonstrating the growing marketplace for advanced big-data analytics services. The next BriefingsDirect deep-dive big data benefits case study interview explores how Vichara Technologies in Hoboken, New Jersey is expanding its capabilities in big data from origins on Wall Street into other areas, and thereby demonstrating the growing marketplace for ad...
Moscow-based OpenBank, one of the largest private financial services groups in Russia, has built out a business intelligence capability for wholly new business activity monitoring benefits. The next BriefingsDirect deep-dive big data benefits case study interview explores how Moscow-based Otkritie Bank, one of the largest private financial services groups in Russia, has built out a business intelligence (BI) capability for wholly new business activity monitoring (BAM) benefits. The use of HP V...
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Scene scenario: 10 am in a boardroom somewhere, second round of coffees served, Danish and donuts untouched, a quiet hush settles. “Well you know what guys? (and, by the use of the term guys I mean to include both sexes here assembled) – the trouble that we have as a company is that we are, to put it bluntly, just a little analytics poor,” said the newly appointed Chief Analytics Officer. That we should consider a firm to be analytically deficient or poor is a profound comment on our modern ag...
Quantum is a leading expert in scale-out storage, archive and data protection, providing intelligent solutions for capturing, sharing and preserving digital assets over the entire data lifecyle. They help customers maximize the value of these assets to achieve their goals, whether it’s top movie studios looking to create the next blockbuster, researchers working to accelerate scientific discovery, or small businesses trying to streamline their operations. With a comprehensive portfolio of best-i...