Software Testing Glossary - Testing Terms Explained

Published at: July 19, 2021
Last updated: January 2, 2023

Software Testing Glossary

For many members of the QA community, testing was their first job entering into the job market.

As such, many can relate to the feeling that the testing world can sometimes feel overwhelming for new entrants, when it is hard to follow the various tasks and the difference between them. In order to assist, we have created a testing glossary that includes all you need to know about the different types of testing.

Testing Terms by Letters:




  • A/B testing

    A method used to compare between different, typically two versions of a website page or an application, to determine which one yields better results.
  • AST

    The Association for Software Testing, commonly referred to as the AST, is dedicated to advancing the understanding of the science and practice of software testing according to context-driven principles.
  • ALM

    Application lifecycle management, commonly referred to as ALM, represents the complete lifecycle of a product or an application, from conception through retirement. The term is used in the context of software applications, but it can be used in other types of systems as well.
  • Automated testing

    Testing activities that are done by scripts and tools rather than by manual work by a human. It is considered to be more cost effective and with lower levels of human errors.



  • BDD

    Behavior-driven development, commonly referred to as BDD, is a method for a more accessible and effective way for teams new to agile software delivery that aims at testing human behavior rather than a computer function. Test scenarios in BDD are based on the concept of “given, when, then” to describe various user BDD scenarios.
  • Bug

    A discrepancy between an application or a system desired behaviour and their actual behavior.
  • Black box testing

    Or behavioral testing is based on software requirements, and is testing the inputs and outputs of a software, without testing its internal elements.



  • CI/CD

    Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery, commonly referred to as CI/CD, is the usage of automation in the process of application development in order to frequently deliver to customers by constantly integrating new code that is recently developed, without the need to wait for a new version.



  • Defect

    Or a bug, is a case where a system doesn’t perform as expected. It is commonly reported back to developers to be fixed and is re-evaluated once corrected.
  • DevOps

    An approach that combines development and operation activities, in order to allow for faster development and higher quality. DevOps is commonly used along with Agile methodology.



  • Exploratory testing

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



  • Functional Testing

    Functional Testing aims to verify that the application functions the way it was meant to, and doesn’t function in ways it was intended to.



  • Grey Box testing

    A combination of White box testing and Black box testing.
  • GUI testing

    Testing the Graphic user interface, to ensure the system or application is providing the end user with a satisfactory experience. Currently there are many automation tools available to support this type of testing.



  • History

    The overview of all changes happened to a test which enables users to identify the root cause of an error when such occurs



  • Integration testing

    A test level that focuses on interactions between components or systems. Integration testing can validate that two or more systems or components can exchange data or control correctly.



  • Load testing

    Is simulating the system ability to serve it’s users in cases of extensive, loaded usage. It is commonly performed using automation tools.



  • Manual testing

    The common name given to scripted, traditional testing that is performed by humans manually, as opposed to using automated testing.



  • Negative testing

    Testing a system or an application to make sure it can function properly even in cases of undesired user behaviour.



  • OnlineTestConf

    A free online testing conference hosted by PractiTest since 2016, that combines industry top thought leaders with new speakers who get their chance to share their knowledge with the testing community.



  • Performance testing

    A testing activity that evaluates the speed, stability and responsiveness of a system or an application under the required conditions.
  • PractiTest

    A leading provider of a test management solution to ensure the quality of products and processes by providing one source of truth for quality.



  • Quality assurance

    The process of ensuring that the product is released to market in a level that will satisfy the business requirements and user expectations. It contains the activity of various software testing elements, but also looks at the broader picture and involves multiple stakeholders in the organization.



  • Requirements

    A detailed description of the actions a specific developed software should perform to meet user expectations.
  • Requirement traceability Matrix

    Requirements traceability matrices are a way to plan, control, and measure software testing activities.
  • Regression testing

    A way to detect if previously working functions in software no longer work correctly. In essence, we are seeking to learn if the software or system has regressed to a lower level of quality than before a change was made.



  • Sanity Test

    A quick check on something to see if it makes sense at a basic, surface level.
  • Stress Testing

    A type of load testing when intentionally putting the tested system or an application under stress, to ensure it can support these levels.
  • Security Testing

    A testing type that aims to ensure that the system or an application under test meets the requirements of required security standards, by a specific certification or simply by the user expectations.
  • State of Testing™

    A yearly report conducted by PractiTest since 2013, that tracks the testing industry current and future trends. The survey allows testing members to make sure they keep up with the required knowledge and skills to maintain their competitiveness.
  • Smoke Testing

    Sometimes also called Sanity testing or build verification testing is aiming to find defects at the basic level of functionality after some form of integration.



  • TDD

    Test Driven Development is an approach where test cases are being written based on feature requirements, prior to the actual development phase, unlike developing the software first and the matching test cases later.
  • Traceability

    The linkage between various testing elements such as requirements, tests, test suits and issues, that allows one to have a broader view of the effect of a correction or an identified issue.
  • Test Case

    Or Test defines the specific work procedure, expected results and the conditions that a tester needs to verify. It derives from the application or system requirements.
  • Test plan

    A project plan for your testing process. It describes the objectives, scope and schedule of your testing activities.
  • Testing metrics

    A measure of a software testing characteristic that is quantifiable. It is used to measure the testing team activities and more importantly, the product quality current status and enables comparison to previous versions to determine release decisions.



  • User Acceptance Testing

    UAT is a formal testing that relates to the user’s needs, requirements, and business processes in order to validate that the system meets the acceptance criteria and enable the user to determine whether to accept or reject the system.
  • Unit Testing

    Testing that aims to validate the source code or units, are working as planned. This is a basic testing level, often performed by developers using scripts.



  • Visual Testing

    A testing activity that compares visual elements of a system against a predefined design to ensure they match.



  • Waterfall

    A development framework that was traditionally used,where software was developed in linear sequential phases,when the next step will only start when the previous one has come to an end. Development would only begin once design is completed, testing would only begin once development was handed over to the testing teams.
  • White Box Testing

    An activity that aims to test an application internal structure and not it’s functionality. It is commonly used in order to design the matching test cases.




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