Manual vs. Automation – Let the Battle Begin

Testing is like a stage production showcasing the standard of work for an organization in the market. It is a vast, and generally overlooked, part of the software development process which can be considered  a change agent who highlights risk early to provide efficiencies in the way that we develop and deploy our software. It is broadly categorized into two methods: Manual and Automated Testing.

With more organizations understanding the essential role testing plays in quality software production, they are still discovering the best way to examine the quality of their software.

So what is the difference between Manual and Automated Testing?

Both manual testing and automation have their own benefits and setbacks and its worth knowing when to use which type of an improved outcome.

Manual testing reflects its definition and usage.  Testing is conducted by humans while with automation, the tester needs the support of tools to perform the tests. Both the methods cover all testing methods like black box, white box, load testing, etc. Among these methods, some case better performed manually while others work best in automation, it all depends on the situation or the requirement of the software. Trends show that organizations are keeping eye on automation but that doesn’t mean manual is going anywhere anytime soon.

advantages-disadvantages-test-automation

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons  each:

Automation Testing Track up’s

Automation has advantages over manual in that it is fast test execution reliable, repeatable, and programmable etc. In automated testing, test execution speed is faster – like a racing car – which reduces manpower, time, and efforts deployed during the testing process. It also plays an important role in long-term projects and is suitable for regression testing purposes. Let’s use the example of filling in the same registration forms manually and repeatedly. In different cycles or iterations, this becomes inefficient since manual testing does not offer code reusability. Thus, the complete code needs to be re-written in the case of a change in resources. If we compare this with automation, any team member can use the test case anytime. Additionally, the cost of tools with fewer resources is less expensive than having a large team for the manual testing process required to complete the same tasks. The aspect of automation is not just to reduce testing, but it’s also productive and results-oriented.

Manual Testing Track up’s

So does this mean the end of manual testing? Does it have a future?

There are still stacks of technologies which require manual testing where automation fails. Applications which are based on touch technologies, such as Kindle, iPad, Tablets etc. still require manual testing. GUI testing proves manual testing is preferable over automation. In the GUI, layout changes are difficult to test through automation because when you playback the recorded scripts any gestures or buttons which were available at the time of recording that were not found may cause the test scripts to not function properly. Also, with manual testing, a person can perform random testing that allows for the finding possible bugs.

Below is a chart of the differences.

Manual Testing

Automation Testing

Test run by a person Test runs through tools
The initial phase of testing without it automation would not possible Continuous part of manual testing
All the STLC phases like test planning, Executions, bug tracking, etc. is done successfully by human Hands In automation, we can do using various open source and licensed tools like Bugzilla, HP ALM, JIRA, etc.
Lower cost Higher cost
Time-consuming Takes less time
Difficult to do regression testing Regression testing simple with the help
of tools
More resources required to execute
test cases manually
Need fewer resources as testing is
done with the help of tools
Random testing can be performed to
track bugs
Can only test according to automated scripts
No programming skills are required –
a non-technical person can also do
manual testing
Programming skills are needed. Testers can program the complex tests to find
the bugs
Considered to be less reliable Considered to be more reliable
Low accuracy results High accuracy results
Difficult to do non-functional tests in manual testing Non-functional tests are effortless with
the help of tools

 

Who wins the battle?

So which is better Manual or Automation? They both have their benefits, so it depends on what testing approach is the best for the situation. Choosing the right approach gives you the right direction to achieve your goals as well as saving you time, result and efforts. The entire outcome of these tests comes when the right type of testing is applied in the right environment. Both testing approaches have their own benefits and drawbacks, but for software testing quality, you need to utilize both methods sensibly.

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