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Monkey testing

Glossary of Software QA/Testing

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Monkey testing

Monkey testing is random testing performed by automated testing tools (after the latter are developed by humans). These automated testing tools are considered "monkeys", if they work at random. We call them "monkeys" because it is widely believed that if we allow six monkeys to pound on six typewriters at random, for a million years, they will recreate all the works of Isaac Asimov.
There are "smart monkeys" and "dumb monkeys". "Smart monkeys" are valuable for load and stress testing; they will find a significant number of bugs, but are also very expensive to develop. "Dumb monkeys", on the other hand, are inexpensive to develop, are able to do some basic testing, but they will find few bugs. However, the bugs "dumb monkeys" do find will be hangs and crashes, i.e. the bugs you least want to have in your software product. "Monkey testing" can be valuable, but they should not be your only testing.

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