Automated and manual testing are equally important because they address different aspects of the software testing process and complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Using both methods in a well-rounded testing strategy helps ensure that the software is thoroughly tested, delivering a high-quality and reliable product to end-users.
Manual testing is a process in which a tester manually evaluates a software application’s functionality by executing test cases without using any automated tools or scripts. The tester acts as an end-user and checks various aspects of the software, such as its user interface, functionality, and overall user experience, to ensure it meets the specified requirements and behaves as expected.
Manual testing should be used in the following scenarios:
Exploratory Testing: When the application is in the early stages of development, and the requirements are not fully understood or defined, manual testing allows the tester to explore the software and discover potential issues or areas for improvement.
Usability Testing: To assess the application’s user-friendliness, manual testing is crucial, as it allows the tester to put themselves in the shoes of the user and evaluate the overall user experience, including the design, layout, navigation, and ease of use.
Ad-hoc Testing: Manual testing is suitable for ad-hoc testing, where the tester performs unstructured and impromptu tests without any specific test cases or plans. This approach can help identify defects that may not be discovered through formal testing methods.
UI Testing: For applications with complex and frequently changing user interfaces, manual testing is often more effective, as it enables testers to evaluate the visual and interactive aspects of the software, such as colors, font sizes, button placements, and screen layouts.
Test Case Validation: When new test cases are created or updated, manual testing helps to validate their accuracy and effectiveness before incorporating them into an automated test suite.
In summary, manual testing should be used when it is essential to evaluate the software from the perspective of a real user, in situations where the application is in the early stages of development, or when requirements are not yet fully defined.
Automated testing is a process in which specialized tools, frameworks, or scripts are used to execute test cases automatically, without human intervention. Automated testing helps to ensure consistent results, reduce the time and effort required for testing, and increase test coverage, especially in large and complex software applications.
Automated testing should be used in the following scenarios:
Regression Testing: When software undergoes frequent updates or modifications, automated testing is essential for verifying that existing functionality remains unaffected. Automating regression tests ensures that previously working features continue to function as expected after each update.
Load and Performance Testing: Automated testing is useful for simulating multiple users accessing the application simultaneously or performing stress tests to assess the application’s performance under heavy loads. It helps identify performance bottlenecks and ensure that the application can handle the expected user traffic.
Repetitive Tasks: If a particular set of test cases need to be executed repeatedly or across multiple platforms and configurations, automated testing can save time and effort by running those tests consistently without the need for manual intervention.
Data-driven Testing: When an application requires validation with a large volume of input data, automated testing can be employed to generate and input the required data sets, making the testing process more efficient and less error-prone compared to manual testing.
Smoke and Sanity Testing: Automated testing is useful for conducting smoke and sanity tests during the build and deployment process. It allows for quick verification of critical functionality and ensures that the application is stable enough for further testing.
In summary, automated testing particularly beneficial for regression, load, performance, data-driven, and smoke/sanity testing, as well as for repetitive tasks and testing across multiple platforms or configurations. Automated testing can help improve software quality and reduce the time and effort required for manual testing.