Smoke Tests

I learned what Smoke Tests are. A software smoke test would be the test or set of tests that are made to the software system first after a new build to assure the program performs some basic actions so it is ready for some other more stressful testing.

I've been thinking about it. In some development projects I've been involved, the testing team did not have any smoke testing. But the development team did perform some basic testing before handing a new build to the testing team: just run the program and check it displays basic data in screen when feeding test input.

In a different project, the development included unit tests that where compiled and run together within the build process, making the build process fail if tests do fail. Not performing a smoke test suite on a new build is not a big deal when there is a good set of unit tests compiling and running together with the application build.

Unit testing lowers the probability of a fatal failure on a new build, but it doesn't cancel it at all.

Funny why the name for these tests:

The phrase smoke test comes from hardware testing. You plug in a new board and turn on the power. If you see smoke coming from the board, turn off the power. You don't have to do any more testing.

Kaner, Bach, and Pettichord. "Lessons Learned in Software Testing".
Wiley Computer Publishing, 2002, p. 95.

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