Manual vs Automation Testing, which one should you use?

Manual and Automated testing play a crucial part of every technology company today. Whether it is a mobile or web app they are building and even websites, code testing plays an important role. Proper planning of which and when to use is important in terms of time and money saved.

Your company may focus its efforts on one or sometimes even two or three (regression testing). Regression testing is important to make sure that new changes in big and heavy applications do not break down the functionality of the old functionalities that had already been deployed.

All of these code testing methods have their advantages and disadvantages. Read through each to understand which one fits in your project plans better.

MANUAL TESTING

Before even understanding if manual testing will be a good fit for your company, make a foolproof plan of your application or website life cycle.

  • Do you plan on bringing a lot of changes in the future?
  • Do you plan on adding additional features in the future?
  • Do you plan to revamp the app or website somewhere down the line in the future?
  • These and a lot more factors add to the life cycle of your product

Manual testing can be quite time consuming and sluggish. It saves a lot of money in the short term sense. Since the cost is only associated with only the code tester and not for the automation tools.

Manual testing can be seen as a professional code tester directly interacting with the software to find bugs. It’s basic real-time feedback.

Through manual testing, the code tester may be able to provide some feedback which otherwise would not be possible through automated computerized testing. Like she may understand that a certain design section the color pallet given is not the one which actually designs said.

In other words, by directly interacting with the application the tester can directly compare expectations the team had for the app vs the actual outcomes that is desired. Aesthetic and Visual appearances are also something a manual tester can make recommendations about.

UI feedback is something that automated testing is yet to provide services for. If you have a QA team, then manual testing will not be a problem.

MANUAL TESTING PROS

  1. User Feedback

Since all of the feedbacks is given by a manual tester is out of interaction with the software, it can be considered as feedback that a potential user would provide.

2. UI feedback

In this day and age where UI plays a big role in the overall UX of the software, UI feedback can only be provided through manual testing.

3. Cheaper

Over the short term, manual testing is something that can be a much cheaper solution rather than pay for automation testing tools.

4. Real-time Testing

Small changes can be tested in the software itself, without writing code and testing it afterward.

5. Exploratory Testing

Exploratory testing is testing on discoverability. Cases are not created pre-hand but the testing is done on the fly.

MANUAL TESTING CONS

  1. Human Error

Even though UI feedbacks etc can only be efficiently provided by a human code tester, humans are always prone to inefficiencies. Some code can slip through the cracks without the code testers notice.

2. Not reusable.

In the future, if changes are brought into the application, then the manual testing should be done all over again. Which is not the same case in automated testing. The code written for testing can be run again in the future.

3. Number of Simulations

Simulations for a large number of users cannot be achieved through manual testing.

AUTOMATED TESTING

Automated testing is code driven. A code tester writes code which compares user stories of expected scenarios of how a user will interact with the software. The code will see if there are any discrepancies between the expected scenario and how the code is currently running now. The code then points out to the parts where the discrepancies are so that it can be fixed. Automated testing plays an important role in applications which are big, loaded with features or are heavy.

The code tester writes scripts which will run through every page of software running the user stories constantly, looking out for discrepancies from the expected result.

AUTOMATED TESTING PROS

  1. Simulation of large number of users

Simulations of a large number of users are possible in automated testing. This saves a lot of development time.

2. Time Constraint

If after months of coding the software, the team might find it as a hard task to manually test the application all over again. It can also be time constraining.

3. Reusability

The script that is written by the code testers can be used again in the future when the application is updated or more features are brought in, instead of testing the whole application all over again.

AUTOMATED TESTING CONS

  1. Expensive

The tools used for running code testing can be quite expensive for short term but can be quite a deal over the long term. Training costs are also considerable in automated testing.

2. UI feedback

Automated testing cannot provide you with UI feedback which is quite important in the overall UX.

3. Humanising

The fact that a human is missing and thus the chance that the machine misses out on bugs which can only be spotted by a human is a drawback that automated testing has.

Conclusion

Both of these code testing techniques has its own pro’s and con’s. That being said a combination of both is the ideal way to get the best out of them.

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