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At several companies the term "game day" is used to mean testing functionality of a product in a production (or similar) environment. Specifically, testing a that an intended mechanism works as expected.

An example would be shutting down a master database and see that the replica database is being used instead.

But why is this called "game day"? Is it a sports analogy? Neither of the words make sense to me in isolation: it rarely takes a day, and it's no more game-like than anything else at work.

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    @Downvoters - this isn't opinion based, it is a well known term with a defined meaning...
    – Robbie Dee
    Oct 2, 2019 at 13:16
  • @RobbieDee your own comment under the answer seems to suggest that opinions on that may differ
    – gnat
    Oct 2, 2019 at 14:34
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    @RobbieDee - But it's also not on-topic, and arguably isn't about software engineering - it's basically a question about an arbitrary business practice and the phraseology of "game day". Oct 2, 2019 at 14:34
  • @gnat The meaning of game day is clearly defined - QED. That isn't to say there isn't another name for it. Also - QED.
    – Robbie Dee
    Oct 2, 2019 at 14:43
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    @RobbieDee - Yes, but it's something company-specific, and not particularly relevant in terms of software engineering or the accompanying development practices. It's more of a chat question. Oct 2, 2019 at 14:54

1 Answer 1

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It's a sports analogy. "Game day"1 is defined as:

The day on which a particular sports event, especially a football game, takes place.

For a sports team is the day when teams have to put all their training to the test and see if all that training paid off. It's the time when a team either triumphs or fails. There's no going back, no extra time. It's do or die.

Your production push / testing is largely the same. It's time to see if all your preparation has paid off and things work out. It's probably a term chosen because whoever is using it is familiar with sports and it's a roughly equivalent thing.


1 from https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/game_day. Apparently its an American term as well.

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    As it stands, this answer is just stating an opinion. Do you have evidence to back it up, please?
    – David Arno
    Oct 2, 2019 at 11:55
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    @DavidArno Um.. English is my native language. That's what the term means. I can go try to cite Miriam Webster if that would help.
    – Becuzz
    Oct 2, 2019 at 11:56
  • English is my native language too, and I've never heard the term before. Perhaps it's an American, rather than English, term therefore?
    – David Arno
    Oct 2, 2019 at 11:58
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    @DavidArno Must be. As an American, we use that all the time. Mostly in the context of American football (now that I think about it), but we do use it with other sports too.
    – Becuzz
    Oct 2, 2019 at 12:00
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    @DavidArno Google turned up this (from a site that claims it's powered by Oxford https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/game_day
    – Becuzz
    Oct 2, 2019 at 12:02

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