The Pros and Cons of Automated and Manual Testing | Hacker Noon

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@gkmitGKMIT

We are an IT outsourcing company specialized in product development and technical consulting.

In building an IT product, software testing plays an important role.

Why do we do software testing?

To detect bugs and errors that negatively affect user experience. For quality analysts, the two terms of testing are automated and manual testing.

We explained it in our previous blog, a Quick Guide on Manual vs Automation Testing by GKMIT.

This article will discuss the pros and cons of both and the advantages of automated testing over manual testing. Before we start, let us clarify two terms. 

What is Software Testing?

Software testing is a process to determine whether the developed software met the specific requirements and identifies the defects, and ensures the product is bug-free / defect-free to produce a quality product. During the journey of product development, software testing plays an integral part. We divide software testing into two parts, named automated and manual testing.  

What is Automated and Manual Testing?

Manual testing is finding bugs and defects manually. A QA ensures that applications run correctly, as per the written conditions in test cases. Manual testing is still important, as we cannot test some functionality automatically. E.g. mobile devices and wearables require field testing in a physical environment. Mobile apps often require ‘monkey tests’ that detect bottlenecks during stressful conditions. E.g. What happens if a user forgets the mobile device in their pocket with the application running and taps on the screen unintentionally? Possibilities are they might crash the app! In these scenarios, only manual testing works.

In manual testing, testers should have the end user’s perspective to ensure all functionalities are working properly, as mentioned in the requirement document. 

Automated testing is the process of finding defects using automation tools. It relies on a pre-scripted test and runs automatically. The main function is to compare actual results with expected results. Through this method, QA can determine whether an application is performing as expected.

Automated testing performs repetitive tasks and regression tests to analyse the bugs and checks the application’s performance. 

Some popular automation testing tools: 

Pros and Cons of Manual Testing

Advantages:

  • QA can perform manual testing on all types of applications.
  • For short life cycle products, it is best.
  • Manual testing of newly designed test cases.  
  • It is best where requirements change regularly and where GUI changes constantly.
  • As compared to automated testing, it is cheaper.
  • It requires less time and cost.
  • Testers can perform adhoc testing.
  • Not compulsory for testers to know automation tools. 

Disadvantages:

  • It is time-consuming, especially in the case of regression testing.
  • Less reliable as compared to manual testing, as humans conduct it, and thus it is always prone to errors and mistakes.
  • In the long run, it proves expensive over automation.
  • Manual testing cannot be reused as the process can’t be recorded.  

Pros and Cons of Automation Testing 

Advantages:

  • Faster in execution Cheaper as compared to manual testing in the long run
  • More reliable 
  • More powerful and versatile
  • Reusable as automation process can be recorded
  • No human intervention required
  • Test scripts can be run unattended
  • It helps increase test coverage. 

Disadvantages:

  • Recommended only for stable products
  • It is expensive in the initial stage.
  • Automation tools are expensive. 
  • It comes with some limitations like handling captcha, visual aspects of UI such as fonts, color, size, etc.
  • In the case of repeated change, it requires huge maintenance.
  • Not every tool supports all types of testing.   

Conclusion

Here through this blog, we discussed the pros and cons of both types of testing. With the application of the right type of testing in the right environment, we can understand the real value of automation and manual testing.

Both testing methods are great!

We can’t rely on a single method in a software testing process. Both have their specific specialities when it comes to bug testing and software vulnerabilities.

We hope you will find our post informative, and it will clear your doubts about manual and automated testing. If you think we have overlooked some points, feel free to share them in the comments. We will include and update our blog pros and cons of automated and manual testing.

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