Based on answers I have received here and then confirmed in some authoritative sources (not ISTQB which seems to be too vague), there are 3 activities:

  • Static analysis
  • Dynamic analysis
  • Testing

But is there any reason why we cannot combine all of that as "testing"? I mean, even a dynamic analysis review of a program to look for memory leaks is a kind of testing, right?


2 Answers 2


Because I am just working on a book covering these topics I can provide you my insight.

The main problem is the choice of a standard/approach to follow.

For example I believe - and so do many authors - that testing is an implicitly dynamic process and hence static testing is an improper name (I.S.T.Q.B. is using it to cover all static techniques but personally I'm not a fan of it).

To answer your question:

  1. Testing - an actual execution of the program to exercise it by many methods (boundary analysis etc.)
  2. Dynamic analysis - analyzing the memory, performance, etc. during run-time
  3. Static analysis - reviews, static analysis tools, inspection

Also the other activities are useful when evaluating the quality of the product and are complementary to testing, related to it. But they are not testing in the true sense.

However, all can be regarded as part of quality assurance and quality control.


But is there any reason why we cannot all that testing?

Well you could call it testing ... or cheese-making, or anything else that takes your fancy ... but that wouldn't help you to communicate with other computer professionals.

I mean even reviewing of dynamic analysis of program looking for memory leaks is a kind of testing..or not?

In my opinion memory leak detection is qualitatively different from what we normally mean by testing.

However, that's not really relevant. What is relevant is that most software engineers wouldn't normally refer to that as "testing". And if you want to communicate effectively, you need to use the same terminology (and meanings) that other people expect to hear.

Now if you want to convince everyone to change what they way that they classify these things, feel free to try. But you are going to have to provide some persuasive arguments.

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