We are asking our management for budget to create a new development environment, which will be as similar as possible to the production environment and which purpose will be:

  1. Training newcomers
  2. Workshops with developers and testers
  3. Experimenting with code
  4. Experimenting with the application
  5. Root cause analysis of issues

Commonly, such environments are called sandbox environment. We are searching for a better word (preferably a single adjective to environment) which will not sound so "playful" to the management but still covers all the above mentioned use cases.

And it's not testing environment, that's already used for regular system testing.

  • 4
    "Lab?" Broad enough and relevant I suppose. – Kris Nov 14 '14 at 10:04
  • Let's see if something better comes up meanwhile. – Kris Nov 14 '14 at 10:07


laboratory: (TFD)

2. any place, situation, set of conditions, or the like, conducive to experimentation, investigation, and observation.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 thru' TFD

Also, ibid

2. laboratory - a region resembling a laboratory inasmuch as it offers opportunities for observation and practice and experimentation; "the new nation is a testing ground for socioeconomic theories"; ...
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 thru' TFD


I would call this a 'staging environment'.

Whilst I can't find any concrete references to back this up, it's a term I often use to describe a 'sandbox' website that is under development. I think it really calls on several uses of the word;

from TFD

Staging - any temporary structure used in the process of building, esp the horizontal platforms supported by scaffolding

Whilst I appreciate this definition refers to physical stages and platforms, you are essentially putting in the support structures for software, rather than a physical building.

from TFD

Staging area - Any place serving as a point of assembly or preparation.

Most commonly used by the military to describe a temporary base where troops and equipment are based and deployed from.

I appreciate the references are a little tenuous but if you tell someone "this is our 'staging environment' I think they would understand that it's a safe area where things are built and prepared, prior to deployment.

  • An interesting suggestion, thanks! However, I feel the word staging in IT too connected with a "staging tables", the place to store some (interim) data coming from import, before they are processed and put to the regular tables. And if you have a look at our use cases, the word does not correspond with them properly. – Honza Zidek Nov 14 '14 at 10:49

I work in IT, and we have 4 different named environments.

  1. Development
  2. Test/QA
  3. Training
  4. Production

We also refer to these environments as regions. i.e. Development region, etc.

Each of these regions has a specific purpose. Development is where new things are being worked on. Only developers have access to this region. Test/QA is similar to development, but the code is more stable. This is where changes to the system are tested by either quality assurance, developers, or users. Training is used for training purposes and usually is a copy of production. The only difference is that it doesn't access production data so you don't have to worry about changing the wrong thing. Production is where the stable build is and it is tightly controlled. This is where the users actually perform all of their day-to-day work.

  • My answer is development region. – Jason Hutchinson Nov 14 '14 at 14:51
  • No, I am not talking about development environment. It has a diferrent purpose. – Honza Zidek Nov 14 '14 at 14:54
  • @HonzaZidek sorry, I misunderstood your question. Lab would probably be the most appropriate. – Jason Hutchinson Nov 14 '14 at 15:02

Prototyping Lab. Because you are recreating the big environment on a smaller scale, so you can test all aspects of it.

If you want to sell it to management, you could call it 'success prototyping laboratory'. Or successbox.

Prototyping has also the benefit of saving costly mistakes by identifying problems early, as you know... a concept that will be popular with management when justifying the budget...

It could be called a 'business success lab'. 'Business success booster' or any kind of groovy name like that. 😊

Success staging lab. Business optimisation lab. (Management would probably looove to show their colleagues around thaaat...)

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