By: David B. | March 18, 2017

Manual Testing vs Automation Testing: Which one should you use and when?

Are you confused if manual testing is better compared to automation testing? We have an answer for you. When there are two things that are equally important, it is critical that we understand their differences before comparing them and understanding where each can be applied. The same is true for Manual and Automation Testing.

So, let’s start with the differences between Manual & Automation Testing

Software testing is a vast subject but for the sake of convenience we can divide it between manual testing and automation testing.

There is no doubt that testing is extremely important for the success of any software project. It means that both manual and automation testing are important as well. Each one has its own advantages and disadvantages.

The simplest way to understand the difference is that in manual testing test cases are executed manually without using any tool. However, in automation testing, test cases are executed with the help of scripts and tools.

What are the situations when manual testing and automated testing are preferred?

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  • Exploratory Testing: This type of testing is largely dependent on how much experience, knowledge, instinct and analytical skills does the tester have. It is particularly useful in case the specifications are not quite clear or there is a short time for execution. Human involvement is required more in this kind of scenario.
  • Ad-hoc Testing: As the name suggests, this kind of testing happens when a plan is missing. There is no specific approach. It is an unplanned method of testing and the critical factor to decide the success of this type of testing is the understanding and insight of the software tester.
  • Usability Testing: In case of usability testing, human observation is a critical aspect. Only software testers (and not tools) can measure aspects like user-friendliness, resourcefulness, manageability and convenience of the software/product that has been developed.

Automation testing

  • Regression Testing: There is a need, at times, to repeat a set of tests, every time there is an update. Automated testing is useful in such a scenario as manual testing is too time-consuming and complicated.
  • Load Testing: Automated load testing is useful for the following reasons: it reduces the downtime risk and improves deployment quality.
  • Load Testing: Automated load testing is useful for the following reasons: it reduces the downtime risk and improves deployment quality.
  • Performance Testing: Automation testing is also favorable in software projects that require the simulation of thousands of parallel users.

Some experts feel that manual testing is less reliable due to the exposure to human errors. On the other hand, manual testing is also quite beneficial as there is a flexibility in thinking and actual understanding of the user requirements (some intelligence can be used in the testing process). You can consider manual testing to be a sanity test for the automation suite.

Automation testing is known to be expensive in the short-term (as tools can be expensive) but cost-effective in the long run. Manual testing offers more flexibility as you can build in new ideas and test cases even later in the development cycle. At times, automated testing can be time consuming as it may take more time to be set up. While it is totally dependent on the project requirements, but there are some professional software testers who use a combination of both the techniques to enable error-free and efficient software systems.

If you’re searching for a professional software testing company, your search ends here. For a bug free software project within your budget and timeline, you can contact QALab.

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