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If you aspire to excel in software development, testing is a crucial step that can open up numerous job opportunities in the industry. Generally, there are two types of testing involved: manual testing and automation testing. However, there are significant differences between these two methods, so it’s important to understand those variances.

In this blog, we will provide you with information about manual testing vs automation testing by knowing their benefits and drawbacks and highlighting their differences. 

What is Manual Testing?

Manual testing is the testing process where businesses use the manual efforts of human testers who make the test cases for coding purposes to test the software and applications. Also, they provide the final report about that software after completing the testing phase. Undoubtedly, it is a time-consuming process, and there are higher chances of human errors. 

When to Perform Manual Testing Process?

It is the tester’s choice to manually test the software according to convenience, but there are some technically ideal situations in which it would be better to perform manual tests.

1. When Short-Term Projects are Involved

It is not recommended to invest more effort and money in short-term projects that focus on minor features because setup requires huge amounts of money and effort for small projects. 

2. When Flexibility Is Required

When flexibility is required in an organization, manual testing is the ideal method for testing software applications because quality assurance experts can provide quick feedback by testing speedily and efficiently.

3. While Testing the End-User Usability

When businesses want to test end-user usability, they should hire manual testers because they can use their human sensibilities to understand application behavior and offer a better user journey. No automated machine or tool can perform this task like human testers.

After knowing the situations where manual testing is required, you should also learn about the benefits of using manual testing processes in businesses. 

Manual Testing Benefits

There are several manual testing benefits, and some of the benefits are mentioned below.

1. Human Touch and Creativity

To find flaws that automated tests could overlook, particularly those pertaining to usability and user interface, testers rely on their intuition, inventiveness, and expertise.

2. Adaptability

For exploratory testing, in particular, manual testing makes it simple for testers to make last-minute changes to test cases based on the testing situation.

3. Quick Feedback

Testers may give timely input on how the application behaves and looks, which makes changes and enhancements more quickly accomplished.

4. Cost-Saving Method for Short-term Projects

Manual testing may be more economical for small-scale initiatives with tight budgets and deadlines than building up automated infrastructure.

5. Understanding of User Experience

By viewing the program from the viewpoint of the user, manual testers are able to spot possible problems with user navigation and workflows that automated tests could miss.

There are not only pros of manual testing, there are also some drawbacks of this process which we have explained in the next section. 

Drawbacks of Manual Testing

Some of the significant limitations of manual testing are written as follows:

1. Not all errors get detected

In the manual testing process, there is no guarantee that the test coverage will show defect-free results because, due to mistakes, some errors cannot be detected. 

2. Requirement of High Expertise

In manual cases, testers try their best to find bugs in the software, but in several instances in which complexity is involved, higher expertise is required.

3. Testing Cannot be Recorded

It is a fact that manual testing cannot be recorded, so there is the least possibility of reusing the test cases. 

4. Time Taking Procedure

There is no doubt in saying that manual testing is an extensive activity because it takes a longer time to develop the test cases manually to test all the functionalities. 

5. Less Reliability

This testing type is less reliable because humans conduct it, and there are higher chances of making a mistake during the testing phase. Also, these test cases are designed by manual testers, so there is a possibility of human error in them.

Now that you are aware of the concepts of manual testing, it is the right time for you to have in-depth knowledge and brief insights about automation testing because only then will you understand the difference between these two. 

What is Automation Testing?

Automation testing is a kind of testing where the testing is done with the assistance of automation testing tools. It uses some automated techniques, and this process is quicker than manual testing. Human errors are not possible in this testing type. The tester can assess whether or not the application operates as intended with the aid of automation testing. Also, manual labour is needed to write the initial testing scripts for automation.

When to Perform Automation Testing Process?

There are some ideal situations where automation testing can be performed effectively to run the software applications smoothly. 

1. When human resources are limited: 

It is the best option for executing the test cases before the deadline when there are only a limited number of manual testers in an organization. 

2. When repetitive tasks are required:

It is better to opt for the automated testing process where repetitive tests are needed. For example, regression testing must be performed periodically while ensuring that newly added code will not disrupt the existing functionality of software applications. 

Automation Testing Benefits

The following are the significant benefits of automation testing:

1. Enhanced Speed and Efficiency

Automation testing greatly decreases the time needed to complete tests, especially for lengthy test suites and repetitive operations.

2. Higher Accuracy

The possibility of human error is removed by automated testing, guaranteeing more consistent and trustworthy outcomes.

3. Offer Test Reports

Automation tools offer comprehensive logs and data that make it easier to analyze test results and spot problems.

4. Enhanced Coverage of Tests

Automation makes testing more thorough by facilitating the execution of more tests in a broader range of scenarios and configurations.

5. Script Reusability for Tests

Test scripts can be applied to different iterations of the application, increasing testing consistency and efficiency.

Drawbacks of Automation Testing

These are the limitations of using an automated testing process:

1. Difficulty in inspecting visual elements

In automated tests, it is challenging to gain insight into visual elements such as color, font size, font type, and button sizes, as there is no human intervention.

2. High cost

Implementing automation tests can be expensive as it requires specific tools for testing, adding to the project budget.

3. Costly test maintenance

Test maintenance in automation tests can be expensive.

4. Not foolproof

Automation tests also have limitations, and errors in automated tests can lead to mistakes and omissions.

5. Trained employees required

Conducting automated tests requires employees who are trained in programming languages and possess testing knowledge of programming languages and testing knowledge are needed.

Manual testing is the process of manually executing test cases without the assistance of automated tools, with an emphasis on user experience and interface issues. Automation testing use scripts and tools to execute repetitive activities and large-scale regression testing, thereby increasing efficiency and consistency. There are several differences between these testing types which are explained below. 

Difference between Manual and Automation Testing

We have differentiated both manual testing vs automation testing in a tabular manner to facilitate comparisons. 

Basis of DifferenceManual TestingAutomation Testing
DefinitionManual Testing is the process where test cases get executed by the testers.In the automation testing process, modern automation tools are responsible for executing the test cases. 
Time PeriodIt uses automation frameworks like data-driven and Keyword driven framework.It is usually faster than the manual testing. 
Resources RequiredHuman resources (Testers or QA experts) are required.It is a time-consuming process. 
Framework RequirementNo frameworks are required in the manual testing.Test results are recorded in the Excel sheet, so results are not readily available in this testing type.
Exploratory TestingThere is a possibility to perform exploratory testing in a manual process. It is not possible to execute exploratory testing in this process.
InvestmentDecent Investment is required in this process for human resources.Huge investment is required for using the automated tools and hiring the QA engineers.
Reliability It is less reliable because there are high chances of human errors. It is more reliable because this process involves automated scripts and tools. 
Availability of Test ResultsIt allows human interference because this whole process gets operated manually.Test results are available for all the stakeholders in the dashboard.
Human InterferenceIt does not require much human interference because most of the work has been done by automated tools, only few experts are needed to use these tools.Documentations works as a training resource in automation testing for new joiners.
Batch TestingIt is not possible to perform batch testing. Multiple batch testing is possible in the automation testing for fast execution. 
Performance TestingPerformance testing is not possible in this testing process. It executes performance testing like stress testing, spike testing, load testing, etc. 
Programming KnowledgeProgramming knowledge is not necessary for manual testers. Programming knowledge is mandatory in the case of automation testing because using these automated tools requires expertise. 
When to use?It is optimally used for the Adhoc testing, Usability testing and Exploratory testing. Automated testing is usable for load testing, performance testing and regression testing. 
DocumentationIt does not require much human interference because most of the work has been done by automated tools, only a few experts are needed to use these tools.Documentations works as a training resource in automation testing for new joinees.
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Final Word

Both automation and manual testing have their capabilities and strengths when it gets used appropriately. Manual testing is majorly used for its flexibility and human touch, while automation testing is known for its efficiency and modern features.

Manual testing specializes in user experience and exploratory tasks, whereas automation testing excels in speed, precision, and repetitive testing. The best approach is to combine them based on project requirements to achieve optimal software quality.

Shrey Sharma

Shrey Sharma

The youngest Salesforce MVP in the world in 2019, is a successful serial entrepreneur and CEO of Cyntexa - a prominent global Salesforce Consulting and Implementation Partner. He's also the driving force behind Salesforce Hulk, a popular YouTube channel providing valuable insights to Salesforce enthusiasts. As a thought leader in the Salesforce ecosystem, Shrey is committed to driving business growth through technology.

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