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Manual Test Vs. Test Automation: how and why to use.

by: Inmetrics in

| April 17, 2019 at 2:19 pm

The ALM process or software life cycle is formed from the combination of some development, operation and maintenance procedures, activities and tasks with countinuous testing. It can be said that Software Testing is one of the most important disciplines within this cycle. With some test options available in the market, the manual was the most used for a long time. The operation depends exclusively on an analyst – a human – who has the job of performing the test. Today, with the increasing complexity of the applications and the constant need to reduce the lead time, it became impracticable to use the manual test in all cases. Due to this gap in the market, the automated test was created. Its range of advantages is great. From adherence and speed to the precision that humans cannot achieve.

In this post, we will share the main differences and aspects between Manual and Automated tests, showing how and why to use each one of them in order to generate more value for the business.

The automated test is performed through software programmed by a specialist. Unitary or end-to-end, it has high scale and execution speed. It is suitable for back-end, integration, regression and unit testing, and has a reduced additional effort.

However, we will not only address its advantages here. With automated testing, maintenance tends to be fragile and its main disadvantage is the non-representation of the vision of real users in the process. But how can one fill in that gap?

It is at this point that the main assignment of the manual system is found: it brings the vision of real users, which is quite different from the view of an automation machine! But it’s worth remembering that its execution is slow and needs an exponential effort when covering multiple browsers, devices and operating systems.

After all, what is the best test strategy for my company? It depends.

It is necessary to evaluate the characteristics of each project, the budget available and the methodology most appropriate for the established deadlines. Defining which strategy to adopt in a project will also depend on the goals and type of each business. It is up to the project PO to observe whether the system will affect the time distribution among team members. And if the functionality testing coverage will be met.

Generally, the manual system is a viable solution for small teams working in applications with little maturity and stability. For the teams that work within the agile methodology, in most cases, a mixed methodology strategy is used, between manual and automated tests. In any case, for the successful implementation of software testing, three fundamental pillars need to be observed: Test Data Management, the IT Environment, and Service Virtualization.

As for the user experience, is there complementary systems?

Today, QA strategies involve a mix of automated and manual testing and also crowdtesting. According to Gartner, by 2020, the new system will be present in 60% of the mobile testing initiatives, as it allows users to test the application under real working conditions with immediate feedback.

What is, how and why to use CrowdTesting will be published soon here on the Blog. Stay tuned!

The Manual Test is best suited for:

  • Exploratory Testing
  • Usability Testing
  • Ad-hoc Testing

Test Automation is best suited for:

  • Regression Testing
  • Load Testing
  • Performance Testing

 Tests that can be executed either with the Automatic or Manual approach:

  • Integration testing
  • System testing
  • Unit Testing
  • Acceptance Testing

Want to know more about manual and automated testing? Contact us or leave your message here.

Written by Henrique Moura, Head of QA, at Inmetrics.