Manual VS Automated Testing in Software Application Development

Sep 12, 2018, 3:55:56 PM

manual vs automated testing

The software development process has witnessed a paradigm shift over the past few years. From following Agile delivery approach to automating processes with DevOps, there is a continuous strive for efficient, faster, and comprehensive product delivery to client.  

Software Testing is one such (integral) part of software development process that has evolved over the time. Manual Testing and Automated Testing are two different approaches that software development companies follow in order to detect bugs, validate workflow and usability of product for targeted audience.

Manual vs Automated Testing- which one is best suited for your next software application development project? Deciding upon the most suitable mode for testing software depends upon a number of factors, including the size of project, number of releases involved, time frame etc.

Manual Testing:

In manual testing, the Quality Analysts (QA) ensures that applications work for defined test cases. Despite the fact that manual testing involves a lot of human effort, a software application testing is impossible without it. There are a number of tests that cannot be automated and thus require human expertise to validate quality of an application.

Some of the tests that cannot be automated and can only be performed manually includes:

  • Ad Hoc Testing: This testing is performed without test cases. Herein, a Quality Analyst randomly tests the functionality, workflow, features of an application with the aim to be creative, break rigidity, and stumble upon the flaws.
  • Exploratory Testing: This test aims at analyzing a product as an explorer. Therefore, the QA replies upon his personal experience to understand the product, its scope, and functionalities, which further helps him to write test cases for thorough testing in future.
  • UI Testing: User Interface is the heart of an application and cannot be automated. In UI testing, a QA validates the properties, state, and usage of UI elements, which helps in ensuring that the interface compliments the final layout of the software.

While there are a number of components in an app that can be tested with automated scripts (workflow, functionality, bugs), manual testing is an inevitable software testing option as it allows validating app components like UI, usability (according to human psychology), which is not possible with automation testing.   

Automated Testing:

Automated testing includes a set of predefined set of actions that are tested against a software application. Herein, automated scripts are written to check functionality of a software. Involving automated testing into software development project means no risk of human error and improved efficiency (in terms of speed and time).

Depending upon the project requirements, automated testing can be used to testing different components of a software application, including:

  • Unit Testing: This involves testing individual units/components of a software application. Basically, the purpose is to validate that each components of the product functions as designed, or expected in different scenarios.
  • Functional Testing: For testing code accuracy, interoperability, security, and compliance, functional testing is done. This is done with the aim to analyze workflow of the project and ability of an application to render results as designed.
  • Regression Testing: This process validates that any changes in the codebase is not effecting or brining any change already programmed components/functions/features of the software works.  

Automated testing improves efficiency of software development cycle. Where manual testing takes hundreds of hour to validate a product functioning, automated testing can reduce it to only a few and thus is the most relevant choice for scalable project, involving frequent updates.

Manual VS Automated Testing:  Which One Works Best for your Project?

Manual Testing works best for short-term projects. Despite the fact that automated tests saves time and resources, it is important to consider the cost and technical expertise involved to create automated test cases. So, if it is a short-term project having only a few releases, then manual testing is a suitable option for the project. Other than ths, choose manual testing over automated testing when:

  • User interfaces, preferably in their visual aspects (links, images, gestures, font size) is to be tested. Such app components cannot be tested with automated scripts.

  •  Manual testing allow QA analysts to detect bottlenecks during initial stage of development. When the product is in an unstable stage, it is not a good idea to invest in automated testing.

Automated software testing works best scalable projects, on stable stage, and expected to have frequent updates and releases. Other than that, opt for automated testing when:

  • You wish to avoid the effort and time to check entire application over and over again post modifications or updates.

  • When load and performance testing has to be done for thousands of users simultaneously.

  • Since automated testing involves usage of tools and scripts to validate the code with predefined test cases, there are less chances of human errors, making the process more efficient and reliable.

Manual VS Automated Testing- Still confused which software testing option will work best for your project? Contact our expert through our 30-minute free consultation with our expert to know more.

Kartik Kakar

Written by Kartik Kakar

Lead Marketer at Daffodil Software. Inbound Marketer with a passion for technology and cool stuff.