With its nearly 40 years of existence, speckle interferometry (SI) has become a complete technique, widely used in many branches of experimental mechanics. It is thus a challenging task to try to summarise in a couple of pages its principal characteristics from both theoretical and practical points of view. Admittedly, even though this goal is not met here, it appeared worth attempting to provide the photomechanics community with a discussion of the ins and outs of the technique. The necessity of a vocabulary free of ambiguity was a prerequisite, and hence the first section is a plea for a clearer definition of the discipline. Moreover, this section offers the opportunity to re-examine the basic aspects of SI. Then, the main features of the method are briefly considered following a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis. Endowed with a lot of specific advantages, compared with other whole-field methods, SI can play an increasing role in photomechanics.