Software testing is an essential component of any project development.
It allows you to check quality, time and cost, as well as several variables. The goal is to provide functionality to the application. It determines if you meet certain requirements. This process is also important to check for any defects. This allows you to take the necessary steps to correct them. This is necessary to ensure the high quality of the final result.
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You have two options for software testing. These are manual testing and automated testing. You may wonder which one is better.
In fact, both have their advantages and disadvantages. In some cases, you will find that one is more applicable than the other. In our article, we will consider these two issues in detail. Let’s dive into the details.
Manual testing vs automated testing
What is the difference between manual and automated testing? First, it is important to understand the difference between them.
1# Manual testing
Manual testing is the process of executing test cases and generating reports manually. The Q&A analyst does everything manually, without using any automation software. The process requires analysts to use different applications in the same way as the end user. It uses predefined test cases to explore UX, functionality and design. This process allows you to capture any errors or deviations that may affect the overall functionality. There are certain steps that the Q&A Analyst must follow. They are:
• Requirements analysis to know all possible scenarios and identify any errors or deviations.
• Create test cases that include all aspects of design elements.
• Error reporting and documentation for quick problem resolution.
2 # Test
Automation Test automation involves the use of appropriate tools to detect defects. The Q&A Analyst uses pre-prepared tests or a set of specific instructions. The goal is to test various characteristics or confirm an expected result.
What are the main differences between manual and automated testing?
We will use different parameters to highlight the key points.
• Execution speed
When it comes to execution speed, it’s hard to compete with automation. Any manual testing will require a lot of time and large human resources.
• Ease of collaboration and feedback
It would be hard to beat the collaboration that can be achieved with automation. Accessing the reports is as easy as logging in. Search information may not be available during manual testing.
Take, for example, the free test automation tool TestProject. You have the choice of cloud or local hosting. This allows remote execution and automated deployment of tests. Everything is in a centralized dashboard providing quick access to team members.
• Cost implications
The reality is that any kind of automation can require a large initial investment. However, in the long run, you will get an excellent ROI that is well worth the money spent. But the investment will only make sense for large volumes of work. Manual testing may not produce as many results in the long run, although you may be able to spend less. However, with a large amount of work, this can become expensive.
• Random and Exploratory Testing
Manual testing has a lot of flexibility. You have the ability to tailor it to any specific requirements you have for a specific need. It’s best if you run a lot of random and exploratory tests.
Automation is precise because it depends on scenarios. Let’s say you need to change something in the user interface. You will also have to make appropriate changes to the test scripts. Selenium, for example, allows you to use multiple languages for scripting. This provides scalability for different operating systems and browsers. In manual testing, small changes may not affect the overall performance.
• Accuracy, reliability and test range
Any manual testing is subject to human error. Repetitive daily tasks can be tiring. Q&A analysts may not see specific issues. Automation eliminates any testing fatigue because you use tools and scripts.
Automated testing will also give better performance tests. Processes such as load, stress, and peak testing can only happen through automation. At the same time, there are several tests that cannot be automated. These include exploratory, ad hoc, and user interface testing. RFT from IBM, for example, allows for regression and functional testing. This minimizes rework for application changes.
You also get the benefit of being able to run in parallel, which saves time. This does not mean that you cannot do the same for manual testing. However, you will spend a lot more because you need to hire enough human resources.
Which option is better?
In truth, it would be difficult to choose one of them. From the differences we have highlighted above, it is clear that each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Test automation saves time and makes it easy to deal with repetitive tasks. It is also ideal for functional testing, performance testing, and load testing. It also provides greater accuracy as it avoids human error.
On the other hand, automated testing can be expensive. It also only makes sense for a large amount of work. However, with all the benefits of automation, you cannot completely replace human input. There are tests in which you cannot rely on machines. Manual testing is not rigid in their applications. You can make changes on the fly as needed. As such, it is ideal for exploratory testing, which is critical in software development. Other things, such as custom testing and usability testing, rely heavily on manual testing feedback.
We’ve covered the main points you should know about manual and automated testing. Both of them find application in software testing. The type and amount of work will determine what to use.
Let’s take an example where you want to test the UX of a website. It makes no sense to invest in automation. Manual testing will give the best results. You also get more flexibility. You can make changes along the way and get immediate feedback. Some of the feedback you’ll need will go beyond automation. Let’s say you want to know the readability of fonts. You can also check the usability or ease of navigation.