not actually me
During my first ever interview for a QA position, I was asked if I knew what Black Box Testing was. Not knowing anything at all about QA, I admitted that I wasn't sure. But I had heard the term Black Box before, so I described that, and how I thought it might apply to testing. Apparently it was a good enough answer, since I ended up getting the job. copyrightjoestrazzere
At some point in time, I heard the term White Box Testing. Knowing what Black Box meant, and the context of how the new term was used, I understood the meaning.
Since then, I've seen a virtual rainbow of invented terms. And recently, Rob Lambert over at the Software Testing Club asked "How many different colour boxes are there?"
Among the responses he got were:
- Black Box Testing
- White Box Testing
- Gray (or Grey) Box Testing
- Clear Box Testing
- Glass Box Testing
- Pink Box Testing
- Red Box Testing
- Yellow Box Testing
- Green Box Testing
To me, anything much beyond Black Box and White Box is foolishness. I get the distinction between the two without much thought. But venturing beyond that almost always requires further company-specific interpretation.
Do we use Gray Box Testing? Perhaps. It depends on how dark or light a shade of Gray you mean, I suppose. Red Box Testing? I don't know. Purple or Brown? I might have done that once by accident.
Can we as professionals refrain from constantly inventing new, dare I say "colorful", terms? Probably not. But as Michael Bolton over at DevelopSense writes, the final test of a metaphor or heuristic is "Is it useful?" I don't see much use for this rainbow of terms, but perhaps you do.
"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said in a rather scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less." I think I may have interviewed with Mr. Dumpty once or twice.
|My name is Joe Strazzere and I'm currently a Director of Quality Assurance. |
I like to lead, to test, and occasionally to write about leading and testing.
Find me at http://strazzere.blogspot.com/.