Welcome!

Big Data Journal Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Roger Strukhoff, Esmeralda Swartz, JP Morgenthal, Lori MacVittie

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
As Platform as a Service (PaaS) matures as a category, developers should have the ability to use the programming language of their choice to build applications and have access to a wide array of services. Bluemix is IBM's open cloud development platform that enables users to easily build cloud-based, creative mobile and web applications without having to spend large amounts of time and resources on configuring infrastructure and multiple software licenses. In this track, you will learn about the...
Samsung promises to be one of the 800-pound gorillas of the IoT, if its success in recent years with Android devices and other consumer electronics is any guide. Showing its willingness to be a big IoT player, the company recently acquired SmartThings, a recent startup that's developed an open smarthome appliation that currently supports 1,000 devices and 8,000 apps. SmartThings will now work under the auspices of Samsung's Open Innovation Center (OIC). SmartThings Founder and CEO Alex Hawkinson...
General Electric (GE) has been a household name for more than a century, thanks in large part to its role in making households easier to run. Starting with the light bulb invented by its founder, Thomas Edison, GE has been selling devices (“things”) to consumers throughout its 122-year history. Last week, GE announced that it is officially leaving that job to others. While the lighting division will stay, GE will now turn its attention to selling industrial machinery and analytics as a service t...
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, will discuss how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money! Speaker Bio: ...
How do you know when a technology has become mainstream? A good clue may be when politicians start talking about it on the campaign trail and with mainstream media. David Cameron, the UK prime minister, was the latest, indicating that the world was now on “fast-forward” with the Internet of Things (IoT) ushering in the new industrial revolution. No mention of IoT targeted at the masses would be complete without the clichéd example of the communicating fridge. While it is easy to get caught up in...
Machine-to-machine (M2M) technology and the resulting Internet of Things are leading us inexorably toward everything-as-a-service (XaaS). As more things get connected, the range of service opportunities expands. And as those services are presented online, they become available for use, re-use and re-purposing. At first thought, the idea of more connected devices suggests simply that there will be more devices around, and as such, more products for manufacturers to make and sell. That’s true, bu...
Samsung VP Jacopo Lenzi, who headed the company's recent SmartThings acquisition under the auspices of Samsung's Open Innovaction Center (OIC), answered a few questions we had about the deal. This interview was in conjunction with our interview with SmartThings CEO Alex Hawkinson. IoT Journal: SmartThings was developed in an open, standards-agnostic platform, and will now be part of Samsung's Open Innovation Center. Can you elaborate on your commitment to keep the platform open? Jacopo Lenzi: S...
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
SAP is delivering break-through innovation combined with fantastic user experience powered by the market-leading in-memory technology, SAP HANA. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce, SAP, will discuss how SAP and partners provide cloud and hybrid cloud solutions as well as real-time Big Data offerings that help companies of all sizes and industries run better. SAP launched an application challenge to award the most innovative SAP HANA and SAP ...
In her General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Anne Plese, Senior Consultant, Cloud Product Marketing, at Verizon Enterprise, will focus on finding the right mix of renting vs. buying Oracle capacity to scale to meet business demands, and offer validated Oracle database TCO models for Oracle development and testing environments. Anne Plese is a marketing and technology enthusiast/realist with over 19+ years in high tech. At Verizon Enterprise, she focuses on driving growth for the Verizon Cloud pla...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is going to require a new way of thinking and of developing software for speed, security and innovation. This requires IT leaders to balance business as usual while anticipating for the next market and technology trends. Cloud provides the right IT asset portfolio to help today’s IT leaders manage the old and prepare for the new. Today the cloud conversation is evolving from private and public to hybrid. This session will provide use cases and insights to reinforce t...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Verizon has been named "Gold Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Verizon Enterprise Solutions creates global connections that generate growth, drive business innovation and move society forward. With industry-specific solutions and a full range of global wholesale offerings provided over the company's secure mobility, cloud, strategic network...
SimpleECM is the only platform to offer a powerful combination of enterprise content management (ECM) services, capture solutions, and third-party business services providing simplified integrations and workflow development for solution providers. SimpleECM is opening the market to businesses of all sizes by reinventing the delivery of ECM services. Our APIs make the development of ECM services simple with the use of familiar technologies for a frictionless integration directly into web applicat...
The only place to be June 9-11 is Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo 2015 East at the Javits Center in New York City. Join us there as delegates from all over the world come to listen to and engage with speakers & sponsors from the leading Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data companies. Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo are the leading events covering the booming market of Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data for the enterprise. Speakers from all over the world will be hand-picked for their ability to explore the economic...
Cloudwick, the leading big data DevOps service and solution provider to the Fortune 1000, announced Big Loop, its multi-vendor operations platform. Cloudwick Big Loop creates greater collaboration between Fortune 1000 IT staff, developers and their database management systems as well as big data vendors. This allows customers to comprehensively manage and oversee their entire infrastructure, which leads to more successful production cluster operations, and scale-out. Cloudwick Big Loop supports ...
Software AG helps organizations transform into Digital Enterprises, so they can differentiate from competitors and better engage customers, partners and employees. Using the Software AG Suite, companies can close the gap between business and IT to create digital systems of differentiation that drive front-line agility. We offer four on-ramps to the Digital Enterprise: alignment through collaborative process analysis; transformation through portfolio management; agility through process automation...
Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Bitium was founded by Kriz and Erik Gustavson. The 1,500 cloud-based application using Bitium’s analytics, app management, and single sign-on services include bug trackers, customer service dashboards, Google Apps, and social networks. The firm states website administrators can do multiple tasks online without revealing passwords. Bitium’s advisors include Microsoft’s former CMO and the former senior vice president of strategy, the founder and CEO of Li...
Things are being built upon cloud foundations to transform organizations. This CEO Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo, moderated by Roger Strukhoff, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo conference chair, will address the big issues involving these technologies and, more important, the results they will achieve. How important are public, private, and hybrid cloud to the enterprise? How does one define Big Data? And how is the IoT tying all this together?
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.
The Industrial Internet revolution is now underway, enabled by connected machines and billions of devices that communicate and collaborate. The massive amounts of Big Data requiring real-time analysis is flooding legacy IT systems and giving way to cloud environments that can handle the unpredictable workloads. Yet many barriers remain until we can fully realize the opportunities and benefits from the convergence of machines and devices with Big Data and the cloud, including interoperability, da...