What to choose: manual or automated testing?

In the new article, we will talk about the key features of these approaches, their pros, and cons.

Everyone knows that a theater begins with a hanger, but where does software testing begin? From forming a team of QA engineers, creating a fleet of devices, writing test documentation? We dare to assume that one of the first steps towards ensuring the quality of a software product is to choose a testing method.

According to the degree of use of additional software, testing can be:

  • manual
  • automated.

Both approaches can exist within the framework of one project if required by the set business tasks. But different experts are responsible for conducting such inspections, as a rule.

So who should one go to study: a manual tester or an automated? This question is often faced by those who seek to immerse themselves in a new area but have no idea about the intricacies of working in QA. Today we will talk about all the pros and cons of these types of checks, as well as the knowledge that will be useful to a novice tester in the selected area.

Manual testing

This type of verification allows the engineer to directly interact with the product and simulate the actions of the end-user. And this makes it possible to explore the UX aspects of the product. Manual testing helps to find errors in business logic and design, provide real user feedback.

The main task of manual testing is to verify the functionality is functional when all actions are performed according to the planned scenario. Manual checks may seem like thoughtless keystrokes, but this is an erroneous statement. Although a novice specialist in this field does not require a deep understanding of QA processes or the ability to write code, a tester will have to come up with methods for checking the product’s performance under a variety of conditions.

Manual testing remains the fundamental type of software quality testing due to its advantages.

Benefits

  • Speed. Manual checks are often accessed after the introduction of new functionalities, when it is necessary to precisely and quickly check the operability of new options.
  • Research aspect. Testers will have to look for possible bugs even in non-obvious areas of the software or apply unexpected product usage scenarios.
  • The number of projects. Manual testing is the basic method of assessing quality, so many on the market are aimed specifically at manual verification of projects.
  • User point of view. As part of manual testing, a QA engineer can not only evaluate the correctness and accuracy of the code, but also identify errors in the design or layout. Such a custom feedback forms a more accurate picture of product issues.

But it is worth mentioning the weaknesses of manual testing.

Disadvantages

  • Limitations in load modeling. Manual testing is a one-on-one interaction between software and a person, which does not allow studying the program’s behavior under large or expected loads.
  • Human factor. Yes, people tend to make mistakes, and therefore, when conducting manual checks, some bugs can elude the eyes of testers.
  • Duration. Although some spot checks manual testing allows you to carry out quite quickly, the process of manual testing is quite long and time-consuming.

So, companies often turn to manual testing, because it allows you to quickly and accurately carry out checks. To become a manual software tester, it is enough to undergo training in courses where, at the start, students do not need special technical knowledge. And what is characterized by a different type of checks?

Test Automation

This approach is distinguished by the involvement of specialized software. The basis of automation is programming. Yes, the tester writes scripts that replace manual testing. Software product verification is carried out automatically according to a pre-written script.

Test automation is widely used when working on complex and multicomponent projects that have developed functionality. Not outside projects need automation, so there are not so many vacancies for automation in comparison with manual engineers. This is compensated by the complexity and interestingness of the tasks because the automation will not only have to come up with methods for checking the quality of software but also write tests.

Benefits

  • Stress tests. Since automation allows you to simulate user behavior, this approach allows you to simulate significant system loads.
  • Check time. Manual testing is carried out by experts during working hours, but auto-tests can be transferred to evening or night hours when the load on the server decreases. And this reduces the total inspection time.
  • Retesting. Autotests can be carried out several times, which is useful when introducing new functionality.

Disadvantages

  • Speed. Direct auto testing is faster than manual verification. But preparing for test automation and writing scripts takes a lot of time.
  • Degree of coverage. Autotests are aimed at checking certain options of a software product, therefore they cannot detect defects beyond the boundaries indicated by the tester.
  • User experience. Autotests do not pay attention to inaccuracies and UX errors. And this means that without additional checks the product will not be ready to enter the market.

Test automation is a complex and interesting process that allows you to evaluate the quality of software on more complex and larger projects. You can also immerse yourself in this profession in courses. But it is expected that the applicant will have some technical knowledge before starting classes, for example, a basic understanding of the Java programming language.

By the way, testing automation costs companies more, because testers perform more difficult work. But the juniors in this area can count on a higher salary even without experience.

Let’s summarize

Manual testing and automated are widely used on a variety of projects. Their properties are mutually complementary, which makes it possible to apply these approaches within the framework of one project for greater effectiveness.

To start a career in manual testing, the applicant is required to complete courses in which training does not require special technical knowledge. Manual workers are very in demand, so they can easily find a job. But the salary of such a novice specialist is not too high. Manual testing allows you to work on a variety of projects, but this type of test involves the same type of test.

Automation requires testers with deeper technical knowledge because in the framework of this typescripts are written in the programming language. The automation system can count on a higher salary at the start, but not all companies are in search of such specialists. Automation allows for more complex checks, such as stress tests.

Both automation and manual testing have their pros and cons. After weighing them, you can choose the best software testing course of study at our QA Academy.

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