Software testing is the process of evaluating and verifying the software application meets  all of the defined criteria and detects bugs to deliver a quality product. Testing in general is critical  for any project that can be divided into two main categories: manual testing and automation testing.

Both manual and automated testing have their benefits and limitations, but it's important to understand the differences of both practices. Thus in this article, we will discuss the characteristics and applications of these two types of testing.


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What is Manual Testing?

Manual testing means tests are executed manually by a QA Tester. For this reason, manual testing relies heavily on the QA Analyst’s abilities, knowledge, and experience.

In manual testing, the tester verifies all of the application's or software's critical features. Without the assistance of any automated software testing tools, software testers execute test cases and create test reports. It is a traditional approach for all forms of testing and aids in discovering faults in software systems. It is often undertaken by an experienced tester to complete the software testing process.

What is Automated Testing?

Automation Testing, or Test Automation, is the process of performing test cases using automation technologies. This is a form of testing for which tests are created using scripting and other programming methods.

During automated software testing, testers write code to automate test execution. They use suitable automation tools to design test scripts and verify their products. The objective is to finish test execution in the shortest period possible.

Automated testing is entirely reliant on pre-scripted tests that are executed automatically to compare actual and anticipated outcomes. This information assists the tester in determining if an application runs as intended.

Test automation has several advantages. It enables testers to carry out repetitive tasks and regression tests without involving a human tester. While all operations are automated, initial testing scripts must be created manually.

Selenium, QTP, and UFT are a few of the most-used automation tools by experienced QA engineers. But, UIlicious is, by far, the easiest way to start automating tests. People who don't have much experience with test automation can use this automation tool to start automating their most repetitive tests in a snap. This all-in-one tool is powerful and flexible so it allows anyone to create any automated test they can imagine without much effort.

Comparison between manual testing and test automation

Factors Manual Testing Test Automation
Execution
Involves the manual execution of test scenarios.
Tools are used to perform test scenarios.
Reliability Reliability is low. Reliability is much greater.
Affordability It is less expensive, but the expense is associated with humans. While the setup cost is higher, it is more affordable than manual testing in the long term.
Time factor It requires more time to give more test coverage. Since it is a machine, it executes cases more quickly and on schedule.
Error probability Since humans make errors, their precision is limited. Machines rarely make errors (except when it has been asked to do so).
Usability Since it requires human involvement, it is advantageous to examine the application's accessibility. It doesn't have the capacity to test for usability or accessibility.
Operating systems Manual testing may make it harder to test the application across several operating systems unless we provide the tester with a variety of devices. We can easily test the application on a variety of operating systems with the help of automation testing.
Test coverage Occasionally, it becomes difficult to run all test cases, resulting in reduced test coverage. We can accomplish the test coverage goal with automation testing.
Browser Manual testers may have difficulty testing the application across many browsers. Automation enables you to test your application across a variety of browsers. UIlicious allows us to test our application across a variety of browsers.
Documentation You are required to create reports on your own throughout testing. Here, the tool will create a report on the execution of the test cases. You can generate reports using UIlicious.

Why and when do you use automation in your testing process?

As we just saw, manual testing has several drawbacks because it often requires repeated testing, and performing repetitive tasks may be tedious. You may get irritated while testing with valid and incorrect inputs. To err is human, and we cannot afford to cut corners when it comes to quality.

For instance, testing software with negative inputs may be time costly. The primary restriction on any software development process is cost. Automation is introduced to address all of the concerns above.

These are the cases in which automation testing should be considered:

  • Tests on stable sections of the application.
  • Areas where we are required to do regular testing. For instance, if you're required to test certain sections after each development.
  • Test cases that have the potential for human error.
  • Test cases that need testing with a different set of data or a big volume of data.
  • Test cases for high-risk functionality in the software.
  • Test scenarios that are impossible to execute manually.
  • Test cases that need testing across many browsers and environments.

When to stick to manual testing?

Even if it is time-consuming, there are various advantages of manual testing. In the following cases, we recommend manual testing over automated testing.

  • During the beginning stages of the development of the project.
  • If the project is short-term, building scripts will be more time-consuming than manual testing.
  • When exploratory or ad hoc testing is necessary.
  • If the test case cannot be automated. For example when there is a Captcha.
  • Automation should be avoided in areas of application that change often.
  • Never consider automating a freshly developed test or one that has not been completed manually yet.
  • I would add ADA Compliance testing since some tests require visual and voice over testing.

We've included some manual testing examples below:

Exploratory Testing: This is the form of testing required by professional testers since the requirement specification document is unclear. The tester must utilize his skills and expertise to conduct the tests.

Usability Testing: The tester must think like an end-user and assess the application's usability when doing usability testing. Indeed, a tool cannot understand in the same way as a human person. This is considered as one of the disadvantages of automation testing.

Ad-hoc Testing: Since the term "ad-hoc" implies that it is unexpected, a tester plays a vital role.

Testing types that can be either done manually or automated

There are scenarios in which both manual and automated testing can be performed on specific test cases; however, there are certain cases in which both manual and automated testing can be performed. It is up to the team to choose what they believe is best for their project. We have discussed some of the testing types below:

  • Black box testing: This is a type of testing in which we just need to verify functionality. It does not require any coding skills since it is not visible to the quality assurance/testing personnel.
  • White box testing: This is the form of testing in which we examine an application's internal structure. Additionally, it is referred to as "Glass box testing." It requires an understanding of the coding structure, branches, pathways, and circumstances.
  • Integration Testing: This is a kind of testing in which we connect several modules and run tests to determine how they operate together.
  • System Testing: This type of testing verifies that the application is functioning correctly.
  • Unit Testing: We test a single module to detect a fault early in this testing. If we can identify a flaw early on, we can almost certainly correct it. Developers are the ones who perform it.
  • Acceptance Testing: This is the form of testing in which we must consider the end-users acceptance. The end-user will accept the program only if it meets the criteria.
  • ADA Compliance Testing: ADA Compliance testing is essential in ensuring the website or software meets all standards for Accessibility.

Conclusion

As we have just seen, manual and automated testing have their benefits and limitations. It is important to consider both testing methodologies when developing your quality assurance strategy. Since both testing approaches play an important role increasing a successful product, QA ensures that the project launches without major defects , and receives the best feedback possible on how well the app or website performs in a production environment..

Moreover, test management solutions play an important role when it comes to speeding up the testing process. They're also necessary for keeping the entire cost of testing under control.

UIlicious is one of the greatest test management solutions for experienced and novice software testers, QA engineers, analysts, developers, and product managers because it makes it quite simple to begin automating any of your websites.  Try UIlicious for free for seven days by signing up today!


Photo by Jesse Chan