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Manual vs Automation Testing - Your Complete Guide!


Software is a broad term used to describe the various kinds of programs that are used to operate various computers and other related devices. It can be called a collection of instructions that empower the user to act together with a computer and its hardware to perform the desired tasks. Without software, most computers would be of no use. Therefore, when a software is developed it is carefully seen that if it is working properly or not. Because unless the software yields the desired results, it is of no use.

Therefore, when the software is developed, it is carefully seen if it is working properly or not. Because unless the software yields the desired results, it is of no use. Thus, software testing comes into the picture. And in this article, we will discuss the famous manual vs automation testing battle, in detail!

The article is divided into the following sections-

  • What is software testing?
  • Why do we need software testing?
  • What is manual testing?
  • What are the advantages of manual testing?
  • What is automation testing?
  • What are the advantages of automation testing?
  • What is the difference between automation testing and manual testing? 

What is software testing?

Software testing is the activity which is aimed at evaluating the capability of a program or system and determining that it meets its expected results. Software Testing is a process of executing a program or system with the aim of finding errors or mistakes. The problem in software testing stems from the complexity of the software; we cannot wholly test a program with mild complexity. Software Testing is something more than just debugging. The purpose of software testing can be quality assurance, reliability estimation or verification and validation.

Software is like other physical processes where inputs are received and outputs are produced. But unlike physical systems, most of the defects in software are design errors and not manufacturing defects. Once the software is shipped, the design defects will be buried in and remain concealed until activation. Therefore, software testing becomes an integral part of removing any of the bugs that may have appeared.

Why do we need software testing?

Software testing is broadly dispersed in every phase of the software development cycle. More than 50% percent of the development time is spent in its testing.

need of software testing

Software testing is needed in software development for the following purposes:

Read: Various Career Oriented Testing Certification
  • For Reliability Estimation - Software reliability has important relations with many aspects of the software, including the structure and the amount of testing it has been subjected to. Based on an operational profile, testing can serve as a statistical sampling method to gain failure data for reliability estimation.
  • To improve quality - As computers and software are used in critical applications, the outcome of a bug can be severe. Bugs in critical systems have caused airplane crashes, halted trading on the stock market, and even worse. Bugs can cause huge disasters. Quality means the conformance to the specified design requirement. Being correct, the minimum requirement of quality means performing as required under specified circumstances. Debugging is a narrow view of software testing, and is performed heavily to find out design defects by the programmer.
  • For verification and validation - Verification and validation are other important purposes of software testing. Testers make claims based on interpretations of the testing results, which either the product works under certain situations, or it doesn't. We can also compare the quality of different products under the same specification based on results from the same test. Good software testing provides measures for all relevant factors.

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What is manual testing?

Manual Testing is a procedure done to discover the imperfections in software that have been developed. In this type of testing, the tester assumes a major part of end client and checks all the highlights and features of the given application, program and software to guarantee the proper conduct of that application, program or software. Manual Testing is an essential kind of testing, which finds the bugs and defects in the application under test. It is a type of preparatory testing and must be completed before the beginning of automation of the various experiments and additionally needs to check the probability of mechanized testing. 

What are the advantages of manual testing?

Here are a few advantages that you have while you opt for manual testing- 

advantage of software testing

  • Cost-effective in short-term scenarios: Buying software automation tools can turn out to be very expensive. With the help of manual testing, you won’t have to invest an insanely huge amount of money on testing.
  • Bugs related to user-handling are caught more easily: Automated tests are quite literally robotic. They fail to act as a real end-user would. Manual testing, on the other hand, permits the developing program to be tested and used as it would be used on its launch or final delivery. Any bugs and defects that may pop up as soon as a user handles the given software in a certain way are more likely to be wedged with the help of manual testing.
  • Manual testing is adaptable: In manual testing, you can swiftly test and see the outcomes. Automatic tests take more time to set up and adjust to the change, which doesn’t allow you to test ideas swiftly and conveniently.

Read More: Manual Testing Interview Questions & Answers

What is Automation testing?

Automation Testing is a type of testing, which is performed with the help of an automation tool to write and then execute a tester's test scripts and test cases. The key purpose of Automation Testing is to lessen the number of test cases to be run by manual testers, but not discarding Manual Testing all in all.

If the software’s intended expectations and outcomes align with each other then it is understood that your project is behaving as it should, and your program is most likely bug-free. If the two are not in consonance that clearly indicates that there is an issue that needs to be addressed. You’ll have to take a good look at your code, change it, and continue to run the necessary tests until the actual results align with the expected results.

Read: Load Testing Tutorial Guide for Beginner
What are the advantages of automation testing?

Before you go on picking sides with the type of testing it is better that you take a look at the advantages of automation testing too. 

advantages of automation testing

  • Instantaneous and Cogent: It is true that the initial setup of the testing does take time, but once it is done; there are no delays after that. Everything is as quick as it could be. You will not be required to continuously fill out the same repeated information or remember to run certain particular tests. Everything is taken care for you already.
  • Cost-effective in the long run: While the automation tools can seem to be exorbitant initially, they do end up saving you a good amount of money in the long-term. They surely do a lot more than a human tester can in a given amount of time and additionally they also find defects faster.
  • More fascinating: You can never get bored while conducting automation testing as the setting up test cases take a coding brain and thought, which keeps the best of your technical minds engrossed and dedicated to the process.
  • The results are public: In the cases of manual testing, the rest of the team involved is not able to see the results while the tests are being run. With automated tests, though, people can simply sign into the testing system and see the yielded results. This puts a good base for superior team cooperation and eventually a better final product. 

Read More: Automation Testing Interview Questions & Answers

As we have covered what is manual testing and automation testing completely, let’s move on to the difference between manual and automation testing!

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What is the difference between automation testing and manual testing?

You can definitely test software through both the techniques, automated as well manual testing, but which one you ultimately choose boils down to various factors such as the associated costs of your project and the benefits it would yield with respect to a particular project. So, let’s discuss the difference between manual and automation testing. You can then see and weigh the pros and cons of both types of testing and decide the best one for your project.

Manual testing vs automation testing:Difference Between Manual Testing and Automation Testing In the above screenshot, you can clearly see the difference between manual testing and automation testing with respect to various aspects of the testing such as accuracy, the time consumed in testing, investment, the frequency of the tests conducted, etc.

Read: Software Tester Career Path: Role & Job Responsibilities

Test cases - Manual testing vs Automation testing:

Test cases

To help you understand the difference between manual testing and automation testing better, here are a few scenarios to explain the usability of either of the testings in different test cases.

  • Exploratory Testing: In this type of testing there is a need for testing there is a need of the tester’s consciousness experience, interpretive/rational aptitudes, ingenuity, and intuition. You need the human abilities to accomplish the testing process in this scenario and therefore should conduct manual testing.
  • Usability Testing: This is one area in which you need to see and test as to how user-friendly, effective, or suitable the software is ultimately for the end-users. Here, human opinion is the utmost significant factor, so a manual method is a better choice.
  • Ad-hoc Testing: In this test case scenario, there is no definite approach that is which is used. It is a completely haphazard method of testing where the indulgence and acumen of the tester is the only central factor. Therefore, manual testing can be preferred.
  • Regression Testing: In this scenario, automated testing is considered suitable because of recurrent changes required in the code and the capability to run the regressions in a timely manner is required.
  • Load Testing: Automated testing is also the best-suited method to complete this kind of testing competently when it comes to load testing.
  • Repeated Execution:Testing which needs the repeated implementation of a task is best automated.
  • Performance Testing: Likewise, testing which needs the replication of numerous concurrent users definitely needs automation.

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Testing is an essential part of any fruitful software project. The type of testing that you wish to conduct (manual or automated) is surely contingent on various factors, that include a project’s wants, the budget that is given, schedule, expertise that your team has, and appropriateness. Three significant factors of any project are however three Cs ie course time, course cost, and course quality. We hope that we have settled the manual vs automation testing battle once and for all and that you have learned about what is manual testing and automation testing and the difference between manual and automation testing. Assess your project on various parameters already mentioned. Make the right choice!

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