What is the term to convey the use of black, gray, and white-box testing?



  • A little bit of context... At my workplace, software test engineers (SWET) have access to source code. That doesn't mean that SWETs must review the source code, but more so have access in case they wish to review the source code.

    If the source code for software component A was to be reviewed and understood, with the understanding of A applied to the testing process, by the SWET then the testing they would engage in would be called "white-box testing".

    Likewise, if the source code for software component B was to be reviewed and understanding was limited then that type of testing would be called "gray-box testing".

    Finally, if the source code for software component C was not made available to the tester, or it was available but neither reviewed nor understood, then this kind of testing would be called "black-box testing".

    At my workplace, all 3 testing processes are applied. When describing the kind of testing done at my workplace to potential employers or friends unfamiliar with software testing, is using the term "software testing" the most suitable term? I choose this term because it indeed encompasses the previous testing processes. However, I recognize that it does not clearly convey the 3 testing processes and leaves out the explicit "(color of the) box" testing, which higher-ups and potential employers jump after or which friends may be familiar with due to the "buzz" of such terms.



  • Everywhere I have worked, we referred to all the boxes collectively as "Software Testing". Also our black, white, and gray-box testers were also just referred to as "Test Engineers".

    The only exception I can think of, is for "Test Automation". But I do not think this is exactly what you are looking for.

    I understand the concern about ambiguity, but I have not heard of a better name.


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