Professional jargon is always weird when you are not too deep into it, but it is also unavoidable if you want to communicate with this industry workers easily and cooperate effectively.
Among the QA buzzwords, or software testing jargon terms, are the following eight. And this is what they mean.
- Automated testing
Often considered to deal only with functional testing, automated testing actually means any testing type performed not manually. Lots of tasks are possible to automate and this is much easier if you have Continuous Integration builds already running. With the introduction of automated testing, systems software quality experienced a paradigm shift. With it it became possible to build and run hundreds and thousands of tests on multiple real or virtual systems on a daily basis.
- Continuous integration
Being able to automate your tests you’ll probably want to run it after every code change, which is the concept behind the continuous integration model. Many developers working on projects today check their code into the repository that allows the project to be developed and tested both automatically and continually. Thus, when there’s a problem between the changes, you immediately know about it and can fix it right away.
- Crowdsourced testing
Another popular phrase QA people like to throw around is “crowdsourced testing”, the trend that appeared to be spreading along with introduction of crowdsourced funding. Crowdsourced testing suggests that a person operating a website asks their fellow testers to help them in testing by attacking the server all together in order to define which load the website can take and by running through as many user paths as possible. For example, you may often see a Reddit user asking their friends to join in for a load testing session. Of course, without planning and mass coordination the crowdsourced testing model is not as helpful as a testing tool which usually gives you more reliable, accurate, predictable and generally better results.
- Exploratory testing
We owe this buzzword to Cem Kaner who coined it in 1983. Confused with the ad hoc testing technology at times, exploratory testing is a software testing approach that can be briefly explained as simultaneous learning. According to Kaner, this type of testing stresses a tester’s responsibility and personal freedom to optimize their work quality continually by treating QA learning, test design, execution and result interpretation activities as mutually essential throughout the project.
- Regression testing
This type of testing is about testing app changes in order to ensure no older bugs are introduced with these new changes again. One should think about regression tests as ones involving reusing of tests, either manual or automated, as well as test ideas in order to handle the risks associated with changes. For example, these tests check if the bug fixes are implemented well or if a bug fix hasn’t broken anything else.
- Sanity check
These are basic tests that quickly evaluate if the calculation result or claim can be possibly true. In software testing, sanity checks determine whether or not it’s possible or reasonable to further continue testing.
- Smoke testing
This term has changed considerably since its first usage as initially it related to the situation when an electronics engineer tested a device and the first thing he did was turn it on to watch for smoke, so that if there was any, something was likely wrong. Now, though it still refers to such an early check, the idea of smoke testing now, luckily, has nothing to do with smoke. today it’s used to tell a tester if it’s okay to initiate a long and intensive series of tests without the fear that the system crashes after five minutes once the testing begins.
- Testing as a Service
Also widely known as testing on demand, the TaaS outsourced model involves giving your test plan to some service provider which executes all your testing on your company’s behalf. Normally, mostly due to expense, the company will still complete most of their QA in-house. This model of testing most suits specialized testing efforts which don’t require much in-depth knowledge in the system’s design though may require some unique environment or brief bursts some specialized activity. Some TaaS providers use heavy automation and well-equipped labs whereas some also use crowdsourced testing for achieving results for the clients.
Now as you have clearer understanding of the most popular software testing buzzwords, hopefully you won’t be fooled by them in the future anymore. However, we recommend you to go ahead and learn more of these to be even more QA-aware to do your testing-associated business effectively.
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