In this article we are going to talk about advantages of Automation Testing over Manual testing.
What is Manual Testing and Automation Testing?
Manual testing is performed by hand. Quality Assurance (QA) specialists ensure that applications work properly by following conditions written in test cases. Despite its primitive nature, manual testing is still important, as certain functionality simply cannot be automatically tested. For example, wearables and mobile devices can require field testing in a physical environment. Mobile applications often undergo ‘monkey tests’ that detect bottlenecks during unpredicted stressful conditions. For instance, what happens if a user forgets a mobile device in their pocket with an application running and they tap the screen unintentionally? Is it possible that they’ll crash the app? Only manual testing can account for these scenarios.
Automation testing is a Software testing technique to test and compare the actual outcome with the expected outcome. This can be achieved by writing test scripts or using any automation testing tool. Test automation is used to automate repetitive tasks and other testing tasks which are difficult to perform manually
Now let’s discuss automated and manual testing in detail.
As per Industry standards and specialization our QA team automates the following types of testing:
Unit Testing is a level of software testing where individual units/ components of the software are tested. The purpose is to validate that each unit of the software performs as designed. A unit is the smallest testable part of any software. It usually has one or a few inputs and usually a single output.
Functional Testing is Software testing performed in order to detect the actual performance of an application’s functional requirements. Functional testing usually considers accuracy, interoperability, compliance, security, and suitability.
Regression Testing is defined as a type of software testing to confirm that a recent program or code change has not adversely affected existing features. Regression Testing is nothing but a full or partial selection of already executed test cases which are re-executed to ensure existing functionalities work fine
Graphical user interface (GUI) testing of software interfaces to check if the GUI meets all requirements.
These are the most common types of testing that we automate. Manual testing requires people and time, while automated testing reduces the demand on both resources. Also, automatic tests eliminate the risk of human error, making code more reliable. Now let’s see what tasks we can solve by automated testing.
Why you need automated testing?
Automated Testing Saves Time and Money
Software tests have to be repeated often during development cycles to ensure quality. Every time source code is modified software tests should be repeated. Automated software testing can reduce the time to run repetitive tests from days to hours.
To handle repetitive tasks. If you're constantly adding the same features or executing the same operations in a project, then the flexible nature of automated tests can be a great time saver.
To eliminate human error. Since automated tests are powered by tools and scripts, the chance of missing a bug or a defect decrease. This makes the testing process more reliable and time efficient.
For advanced GUI testing. Automated GUI tests detect and record differences in behavior between platforms — for example, across different web browsers or operating systems. Also, automated GUI testing effectively finds regression errors.
To test load and performance. There’s essentially no manual alternative for testing load and performance. Automated tests simulate hundreds and thousands of simultaneous users.
Why do you need Manual Testing?
Despite the seemingly broad coverage of automated testing, manual testing shouldn’t be underestimated. In fact, you have to test software manually before you run automated testing. Even though manual testing requires much effort, without it you cannot be sure that automation is possible. One of the key testing principles is that 100% testing automation is impossible. Manual testing is still necessary.
Let’s see which tests cannot be automated (or would take too much effort to automate):
Ad hoc testing is executed without preparation and writing test cases. During ad hoc testing, a QA specialist randomly tests the functionality of the system; his aim is to be creative, “break” the system and discover flaws.
Exploratory testing is defined as simultaneous learning, test design, and test execution. It is an approach to testing that values the tester as an integral part of the test process and shares the same values as the Agile Manifesto: Individuals and interactions over processes and tools. That’s how exploratory testing differs from ad hoc testing: in exploratory testing, you rely on your personal experience and design test cases in the testing process. An ad hoc testing can be done by any person without preparation.
User interface testing - By executing user interface tests, a QA specialist validates the properties and states of interface elements. Also, the QA team ensures that design elements in the interface match elements in the final layout.
As we can see, some tests should be performed manually. This especially relates to tests that focus on user interfaces and usability. Although we could automate basically everything, manual testing still provides an effective and quality check of bugs and improprieties.
The cases where manual testing has no comparison
UI Acceptance- Manual testing comes in handy when you test user interfaces, especially their visual aspects. Automated tests simply cannot detect colors of images or links, font sizes, gestures, and highlighting. Imagine that your application has a bug that causes a link to be so tiny that you can barely see it. Manual testers will immediately detect this bug, but automated tests are not able to notice the defect.
Initial development stage- Manual testing helps testers to detect bottlenecks during the initial development stage which results in less time and resources being spent on fixing bugs. Sometimes it’s not rational to invest money and human resources in automated testing during an unstable phase of a product’s development. However, in some approaches to software development, automated testing is a part of the process at any stage.
Short-term projects-Even though automated tests are aimed at saving time and resources, it takes time and resources to design and maintain them. In some cases, such as building a small promotional website, it can be much more efficient to rely on manual testing.
Non-automatable cases-Some tests cannot be automated; this especially concerns hardware-related tests. Writing scripts for automated checks of sensors, touchpads, and screens are almost impossible and rarely viable. Also, some data can be tested only manually. For example, you can automatically test if printer prints, but checking the quality and content of printed images is best done manually.
Automated and manual testing each have their strengths and weaknesses. What we want to stress is that no matter how great automated tests are, you cannot automate everything. Manual tests play an important role in software development and come in handy whenever you cannot automate the process.