DevOps terms: 10 advanced concepts to know

Are you moving farther down the path with DevOps and tripping on the lingo? Experts explain key DevOps terms and phrases that teams should understand
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Do you have the basics of  DevOps down? Can you explain what it is in one or two sentences, tops? Have you deciphered the essential acronyms, from CD to SDLC? If not, check out DevOps terms: 10 essential concepts, explained – a good jumping off point for those new to the practice. But if you are ready to dive into the deeper end of DevOps, you will need a few advanced definitions.

10 next-level DevOps terms, explained

Don’t let the lingo trip you up. Below we share 10 more DevOps terms to help you sail into the next phase of your DevOps journey with ease. As we get into the nitty-gritty, you’ll notice that many of these advanced terms are related to testing – a hallmark of DevOps that leads to continuous improvement and innovation.

[ Want to create a more agile culture? Get the digital transformation eBook: Teaching an elephant to dance. ]

Take a look at our advanced DevOps terminology below, and let us know in the comments if there are other important terms DevOps teams should know.

1. Scrum

“Scrum is the most popular agile framework. Scrum was conceived by Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber in 1995 as an integration concept they had been pioneering since the early 1990s. Scrum is a lightweight software development process that is characterized by a set of roles, ceremonies, and artifacts. The Scrum framework creates the environment where teams can become agile.” –Alan Zucker, founding principal, Project Management Essentials

[ Learn more about agile project management and its related terms in our article: Agile project management, explained ]

2. DevOps engineer

“A DevOps engineer is a person that is capable of building and setting up the architecture and infrastructure of the project. They are the person capable of integrating instruments for continuous delivery and monitoring, and also the ‘first point to interact’ in case of any product software issues.” - Yury Slepianok, development team lead, FORTVISION

[ Do we even need this title? Read up on the The great “DevOps engineer” title debate. ]

We covered continuous delivery, continuous deployment, and continuous integration in our first primer on DevOps terms. Let’s continue, shall we?

3. Continuous testing

Continuous testing executes automated test cases as part of the build process. The software development team is immediately alerted to potential issues so they are able to address them before it gets out into production. With the widespread adoption of automated builds and deployments, the window from development to release has decreased significantly. Testing can’t keep up the pace unless it too is an automated part of the build pipeline. Continuous testing also becomes more critical as architectures grow more complex in the cloud.” – Mark Runyon, principal consultant, Improving

Here are a couple more testing-related terms and acronyms you may hear.

4. Test driven development (TDD)

“TTD is a practice in which developers do small tests to verify how a piece of code behaves. Initially these tests fail, but the goal is to to then add code to make it work.” - Chris Jann, president and CEO, Medicus IT

5. Regression testing

Regression testing is end-to-end testing of the application to ensure that any modifications have not negatively impacted its functionality.” - Chris Jann, president and CEO, Medicus IT

Of course, DevOps teams aren’t only testing for working code and functionality. They are also testing the security of their applications and software. “Application security describes the measures used to detect and remediate potential vulnerabilities in an application throughout its software development life cycle (SDLC) and post-release,” explains Matt Rose, global director application security for Checkmarx. “By carefully examining an application prior to release, it is possible to identify weaknesses in the software that could be exploited by hackers and other external threats, and mitigate these weaknesses prior to the software release.”

Rose shared three related terms you should know about application security testing:


I think Regression testing, SAST, IAST, DAST make up a new role DevSecOps, which itself a term.