Automated vs. Manual Testing, what’s Best for You?
Testing is a critical part of the software development process, as it helps to identify the defects or errors made during the development phases and paves the way for improving the quality of a product which results in greater customer satisfaction.
However, when it comes to testing, most of us become baffled of whether to perform the job manually or make it automated. Both these types of testing have their own pros and cons and so an ideal solution should be based on your needs.
But we know it’s not easy to decide between the two types, so we have put together a comparison based on five parameters to simplify your decision and help you evaluate how they stand up against each other based on each parameter. Let’s take a look at these.
According to John Overbaugh, President of InfoSecure which is an information security consulting firm, manual testing could be difficult to perform when you need to simulate hundreds of thousands of concurrent users, such as in performance testing.
Overbaugh also said that if you need to perform tests a lot of times, such as in a continuous-integration project, where build verification tests (BVTs) need to be run throughout the day, automated testing could prove to be very useful.
So, it is evident that you first need to identify how frequently the tests need to be performed and then, based on that, you should make a call.
The testing method you should choose also depends on the duration of the project. If the project is short-term, then the time and expenses involved to create, maintain and run automated testing could prove to be costly to your organization. In such a case, manual testing may be a better choice.
Yet, automated testing is pretty useful for larger projects.
“Reviewing the rewards of cost, time and quality is again very important to look at for the creation of manual tests.” said John Scarpino, Sr.QA Manager, Management Science Associates, Inc.
Automated testing is more accurate than manual testing, but manual processes allow you to have more flexibility in your operations.
Automated testing is very useful for repeated cases, where the same codes and scripts are leveraged every time.
However, it requires establishing test cases, programming the automation tool and then running the test which, all together, can take quite a while. On the other hand, in manual testing you can run the test and see the results quickly.
The success of an application largely depends on its usability and it requires a human touch to evaluate how well end users will be able to navigate the program.
Automated tests can help you find the errors in the code, but it cannot tell you how well the users would be able to interact with a certain feature or the program.
After all, any action performed by a computer is programmed and do not have an original thought. It can never provide the type of feedback that a human user could while using the app.
“If you are testing for something that is inherently a human-perceived quality, such as usability, you need humans in the picture.” said John Overbaugh.
One of the key parameters for the success of a product is team collaboration. The greater collaboration your team has, the better the final product will be and for this automated testing works best.
It allows people to simply sign into the testing system and see the results, enabling others to give feedback to make the product better.
But, with manual testing, only the tester can see the results and the entire team is not involved which is a setback.
Here is a quick comparison of both testing types to help you better understand the differences in the two types of testing.
Well, no matter which software testing you decide to go for, make sure you make an educated and well-informed decision that satisfies your specific project’s needs. Therefore, it is advisable that you acquire the help from a specialist.
If you decide to go for manual testing, a specialist can only advise you whether it really fits your requirements or whether you are on the wrong path, after doing a proper analysis of your requirements.
Also, if you think automated testing suits your needs best, then you must first ensure that your team is very familiar with the testing. Your team should be good at managing test coverage and risks and at applying the right testing techniques to ensure they are testing the right things. Needless to say, you can easily cut down your time and expenses here by consulting with a specialist.
“I often don’t think automation makes sense if you aren’t first good at testing. I see a lot of teams focus on automation, as a cost-lowering technique, when they really need to focus first on testing the right things.” said Michael Kelly, Managing Partner, DeveloperTown.
So which one are you planning to go for? Have you implemented any of these yet? If yes, what was your experience? Please feel free to leave your comments below and thanks for reading!