Testing Vs. Validation

Since the first time I joined a software testing training in 2010, I wondered to see some colleagues having a job tile which got “Testing” word in it. That time, my job title at work was Software Engineer although I was already the leader of software testing team. After that, I was able to meet some software testing experts at Software Testing Conference (SOFTEC2010) and it was the same story. The word “Testing” shows on the business cards of those experts.

Mid of 2011, the manager at work started to call us “Validation Team”. Honestly, I did not feel ok with this term “Validation”. Therefore, I kept calling our team “Testing Team”. Even our job titles were changed to “Validation Engineers” and also some of team members started to argue with me about that. They started to call themselves “Validation” but I insisted to use the word “Testing”.

The management always talking about not to limit the scope of our team. Unfortunately, the are contradicting themselves when they call us “Validation Team”. They might not realize that. However, just looking at the definitions of  both “Testing” and “Validation” will show the big difference between the two and this was explained to the management. Here are the definitions according to the standard glossary of terms used in software testing:

  • Testing: The process consisting of all life cycle activities, both static and dynamic, concerned with planning, preparation and evaluation of software products and related work products to determine that they satisfy specifiedrequirements, to demonstrate that they are fit for purpose and to detect defects.
  • Validation:Confirmation by examination and through provision of objective evidence that the requirements for a specific intended use or application have been fulfilled. [ISO 9000]

Some people still insist to use the word “Validation”. However, the above definitions are a good proof of my point of view to use “Testing” word. Therefore, I insist to use the word “Testing” even if others disagree.

All the best…


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