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by : Zahwah Jameel
April 2nd 2023
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Since we started our schooling, we’ve been given tests to evaluate our progress academically, professionally, or personally. Tests have proven as a measurable tool to evaluate knowledge, skills, and expertise in any particular area.

Similarly, the software also goes through tests to evaluate its performance and quality and look for compliance issues before rolling it out to the public. It is the process of analyzing a software application or product to find errors, bugs, defects, and other issues and it is a crucial part of the software development cycle that cannot be overlooked.

Software testing is divided into two broad categories: automated testing and manual testing. In this blog, we will uncover the software testing facts by comparing automated testing vs manual testing and help you understand which would be a better option for your business.

Let’s get started!

What is Automated Testing?

Automated testing is a software testing technique that involves executing test cases and verifying the results of software applications using automation tools and test scripts. It is the practice of carrying out tests automatically with the aid of scripts and specialized software to determine whether or not they passed or failed in comparison to predetermined standards.

The global automation testing market size is about 20 billion USD and Global Market Trends has predicted that it will have a CAGR of 15% between 2023-32.

Automated testing is a more effective and dependable method of testing software applications since it decreases the amount of time and effort necessary to test the program while increasing the correctness and consistency of the test findings. As it helps the automation testing team to conduct tests rapidly and repeatedly without the chance of human error, it is very helpful for testing big, complicated, and frequently tested systems.

Automated testing is useful for a wide range of tests, including

Functional testing

Functional testing determines whether the software satisfies functional specifications or requirements is known as functional testing.

Repetitive testing

If the testing involves a repetitive task or several repetitive tasks that need to be completed regularly, automated testing can be a viable solution since it reduces testing time and improves accuracy.

Performance Testing

Performance Testing looks at how well the software works in different situations, such as when there is a lot of traffic or a lot of work to do.

Large-scale testing

When the testing involves a large number of test cases or a complex app, automated testing can ensure that all test cases are completed fully and efficiently since it can cover different situations, data sets, and settings.

Security Testing

Security testing assesses the security features of the software to ensure that they fulfill the appropriate standards.

Regression testing

Regression testing checks the application’s functioning after updates. Automated testing saves effort and time since this testing is time-consuming and requires testing of various scenarios.

Compatibility Testing

Compatibility testing assesses the software’s compatibility with various operating systems, browsers, and hardware.

It is crucial to note, however, that not all testing can or should be automated, and human testing may still be necessary for certain types of testing.

What is Manual Testing?

Manual testing is a type of software testing that is carried out by hand, typically by human testers. The goal of manual testing is to find bugs and other problems in the software by running through test cases and scenarios.

Manual testing involves the tester going through the software application step by step to check that it fulfills the quality and performance standards. To guarantee that the software meets the functional and non-functional requirements, the tester uses numerous testing methodologies such as exploratory testing, regression testing, and user acceptability testing (UAT).

Manual testing requires knowledge of the software’s functionality. The tester must identify and report difficulties, errors, and defects to the development team. Manual testers utilize the SRS document to create detailed test cases for each module or feature. They then go over the test cases with the project owner before running them one by one to check that the feature or module fits the specifications.

This procedure assures that the software system is bug-free and fulfills the quality requirements specified in the SRS document. Small projects with limited testing requirements and a low budget often use manual testing. It can also be used in complex projects that require human judgment to spot flaws.

While manual testing is an effective testing method, it is time-consuming, repetitive, and prone to human error. As a result, many firms are shifting to automated testing, which can assist enhance testing productivity and accuracy.

Here are a few types of manual testing:

Exploratory Testing

Exploratory testing is a method of testing in which the tester explores the software program to uncover faults and other issues.

Regression Testing

Regression testing is a type of testing that is done after making modifications to the software to ensure that the changes do not affect the software’s existing functioning.

Ad hoc testing

Testing the application without a plan or script is ad hoc testing. Manual testing is better for ad hoc testing since it lets the tester explore the program and find defects or issues, not in the test plan.

User Acceptance Testing (UAT)

UAT is a sort of testing that assesses the usability of software and whether it meets the needs of its intended users.

Automated Testing vs Manual Testing: What is the difference?

Here’s how automated testing and manual testing are distinct from each other.

Execution

Manual testing involves a human intervention to conduct test cases, whereas automated testing executes test cases using software tools and scripts. Also, in manual testing involves testers performing test cases step by step and manually documenting the results, whereas automated testing involves test scripts being conducted automatically and results being created.

Examples of manual testing include exploratory testing and usability testing, whereas automated testing examples include regression testing, load testing, and API testing.

Speed

Because it can perform test cases at a considerably faster rate, automated testing is faster than manual testing. Automated testing can run a huge number of test cases in a short period, but manual testing can take longer.

For example, if there are 100 test cases, automated testing can finish them in a matter of hours, whereas manual testing can take several days.

Accuracy

Because it eliminates human errors and inconsistencies, automated testing gives greater accuracy and precision. Because human testers can make mistakes, neglect specific areas, or interpret results differently, manual testing is more prone to errors and inconsistencies.

For example, results in automated testing are derived by comparing actual and expected outcomes, whereas results in manual testing are susceptible to human judgment and interpretation.

Scope

Because it can manage high test volumes, automated testing is ideally suited for repetitive and routine tests such as regression testing or load testing.

Manual testing is ideal for complicated and exploratory tests that involve human intuition, inventiveness, and critical thinking. Automated testing, for example, is used to test mobile applications, whereas manual testing is utilized to test gaming applications.

Cost

Automated testing can be costly to set up and maintain at first, but it can be more cost-effective in the long run because it saves time and effort by eliminating the need for manual testing. Manual testing may be less expensive at first, but it requires more resources, time, and effort to complete, making it more expensive in the long term.

For example, automated testing necessitates the purchase of testing instruments, whereas manual testing necessitates the purchase of human resources.

Parameters Automated Testing Manual Testing
Execution Performed using automated tools and scripts Performed manually by human testers
Speed Automated testing is faster than manual testing since they are executed quicker Slower than automated testing
Accuracy Automated testing is more accurate than manual testing Less accuracy in comparison to automated testing
Scope Automated testing can cover a wider range of tests and scenarios Manual testing is limited by the available time and resources.
Cost Automated testing can be more expensive than manual testing Fewer resources are needed compared to automated testing
Repeatability Can be easily repeated Manual tests require significant effort to be repeated

What are the Advantages of Automated Testing?

automated testing

Here are the advantages of automated testing:

Faster Execution

Because automated testing does not require human intervention, it can be completed significantly faster than manual tests. This can help to shorten the overall testing time and accelerate the release cycle.

You can also conduct the test execution of automated tests on numerous platforms and multiple devices at the same time, speeding up the testing process even more.

Enhanced Accuracy

Because they are free of human errors and inconsistencies, automated tests are more trustworthy and accurate than manual testing. Automated tests can be conducted often and consistently, ensuring that any flaws are identified and corrected before they affect end users.

Because automated tests can be run whenever a new build is deployed, they help reduce the possibility of regression issues.

Expanded Coverage

Manual tests cannot cover as many tests and scenarios as automated tests. This increases the overall quality of the product by ensuring that all important and edge cases are tested. Automated tests can also be done on a wide range of configurations and situations, ensuring that the program is adequately tested across all potential circumstances.

Reusability

Once you’ve established automated test scripts, you can reuse them across different software builds and versions. If you have a software program that is frequently updated and released, for example, you may utilize automated testing to verify that the software is tested consistently across different versions.

Scalability

Depending on the testing requirements, automated testing can be simply scaled up or down. You can, for example, employ automated testing to mimic thousands of virtual users accessing a website to assess its scalability and performance under high-traffic conditions.

What are the Disadvantages of Automated Testing?

Here are some disadvantages of leveraging automation testing.

High Initial Investment

An automated testing infrastructure might be expensive to set up at first because it necessitates investments in tools, technology, and experience. This can be a substantial impediment for small and medium-sized businesses.
The expense of maintaining and upgrading automated tests can also add up over time, especially if the software is updated frequently.

Limited Flexibility

Automated tests are less versatile than manual tests since they are meant to examine certain scenarios. This can make exploratory testing or testing new features or functions that were not covered in the initial test plan challenging.

Automated tests also necessitate a high level of technical competence, making participation in the testing process challenging for non-technical team members.

Negatives and False Positives

Automated testing can generate false positives and negatives, which can be deceptive and necessitate extra effort to detect and remedy the problems. False positives arise when a test fails despite the absence of a software problem.
False negatives arise when a test passes despite a flaw in the software. Both can be time-consuming and annoying for the automation testing team, and they can undermine trust in the automated testing process.

Read more: Why an Investment in DevOps is Worth it?

What are the Advantages of Manual Testing?

manual testing

Here are some advantages of leveraging manual testing.

Early fault detection

Consider a development team creating an online shopping web app. The manual testers discover a bug in the application’s shopping cart that allows users to add more products than inventory.

Early detection of this flaw can help the development team correct it before the application goes into production, avoiding costly rework and delays.

Flexibility and adaptability

Imagine a team developing a complex app. Manual testers discover that some test cases are irrelevant or unnecessary. The manual tester can prioritize more important test cases to optimize the testing process for the project.

Enhanced collaboration

Consider a financial application development team working on sophisticated computations and operations. Manual testers can collaborate with the development team to fix bugs and provide application behavior comments. This collaboration can assist guarantee the application satisfies needs and specifications, improving product quality and development efficiency.

Improved usability

Consider an e-commerce website development team. The product description font size is too small, making it hard to read, according to manual testing. Early detection can assist the development team fix the issue and improve user experience, increasing customer happiness.

Cost-Effective

Manual testing involves little tools and infrastructure, making it cost-effective for small projects. To save money and launch faster, a business may select manual testing over automated testing.

What are the Disadvantages of Manual Testing?

Here are a few drawbacks of leveraging manual software testing.

Labor-intensive and time-consuming

Manual testing involves running and analyzing test cases. Testing complicated or large-scale applications can be laborious and time-consuming. Manual testing takes more time and resources per release, making it hard to scale.

Risk-based or exploratory testing can prioritize key test cases and enhance testing efficiency, mitigating this disadvantage. Test case management systems automate test case execution and analysis, saving time and effort.

Error-prone

Human judgment, intuition, and experience make manual testing error-prone. Testing errors missed faults, and inconsistent feedback can lower application quality.

A thorough testing procedure, comprising test case design, execution, and analysis, helps reduce error risk. Testers can also work with developers and stakeholders to ensure the app meets requirements.

Low scalability

Large-scale or complicated applications might make manual testing difficult. Manual testing makes it hard to thoroughly test each release. This causes application delays, bottlenecks, and quality concerns.

Automated testing can offset this drawback. Automated testing lets testers test the software more often, thoroughly, and efficiently. Testers can manage and prioritize test cases using test case management solutions to optimize the testing process for the project.

Automated Testing vs Manual Testing: What to Choose?

choosing between automated testing vs manual testing

Here are the factors you should consider before deciding whether automated or manual testing is better suited for your business.

Test Type

Take into account the kind of testing needed. Some tests are better suited for manual testing than others for automated testing. Exploratory and usability testing, for example, may be more effective when performed manually, although regression and load testing can be automated.

Test Coverage

Evaluate the required level of test coverage. automated testing is likely to be more effective if the application involves testing across different platforms, configurations, and data types. Manual testing, on the other hand, may be sufficient if the testing requirements are modest.

Time Restriction

Evaluate the project timeframe and the testing time available. Automated testing may run tests more quickly and efficiently, making it an excellent choice when time is of the essence. Manual testing, on the other hand, takes longer to complete but provides more detailed input.

Budget Restriction

Assess the amount of money available for testing. Automated testing necessitates a larger initial investment in tools, infrastructure, and staff. Yet, once the initial setup is complete, it may be less expensive in the long run. Manual testing, on the other hand, could be more costly in terms of both personnel and time.

Test Maintenance

Take into account the continuing upkeep needed for the tests. As the application changes and the tests need to be updated, automated tests may demand extra upkeep. Manual tests, on the other hand, may necessitate less maintenance but must be performed more regularly.

Skills and Expertise

Take into account the testing team’s qualifications and experience. Automated testing necessitates expertise in scripting, programming, and automated technologies. Manual testing, on the other hand, may necessitate more subject knowledge and analytical abilities.

Risks and Complexity

Take into account the application’s hazards and the testing needs’ complexity. Automated testing is excellent for testing complicated and high-risk systems, whereas manual testing is better for discovering edge situations and nuanced flaws.

Here’s a good read: Start Your First Application with Agile Project Management

Various Automation Testing Tools for Web and Mobile Applications

automation testing tools

Here are some popular automated testing tools that you can use for testing your web and mobile apps.

Selenium

Selenium is a popular automated testing tool for web applications. It provides a robust collection of APIs for automating browser tasks like clicking, typing, choosing, and more. It’s a flexible testing tool because it works with many different languages, including Java, Python, C#, and more.

Selenium automation testing enables running tests on a variety of browsers and platforms, including Windows, Mac, Linux, and mobile devices. You can reach us for our leading Selenium Automation Testing services.

Cypress

Cypress is a free and open-source end-to-end testing tool for online applications. It stimulates the production set to ensure a quick, dependable, and user-friendly testing experience. Cypress also includes a robust set of APIs for simulating user behaviors, network traffic, and more.

Appium

Appium is a popular mobile application automated testing tool. It’s cross-platform, meaning you can use it on your Android or iOS device, and it lets you write tests in languages like Java, Ruby, Python, and more.
Appium provides APIs for replicating mobile device user activities like touch, swipe, and more.

Katalon Studio

Katalon Studio is a free web and mobile application testing automated solution. The intuitive user interface aids in the rapid development of test scenarios. Katalon Studio supports multiple scripting languages, such as Groovy, Java, and more. This makes it easy for testers to write automated scripts.

Espresso

Espresso is an automated testing tool for Android application testing. It offers APIs for emulating user activities on Android devices, such as touch and swipe. By providing support for Java and Kotlin, Espresso makes it simple for Android programmers to create automated scripts.

TestComplete

TestComplete is a commercial automated testing tool for web and desktop applications. It has a record and playback function that allows testers to quickly develop automated tests without having to write any code.
Scripting languages are also supported by TestComplete, so testers can use tools like Python, JavaScript, and VBScript to build more sophisticated test scenarios.

Robot Framework

Robot Framework is an open-source automated testing solution for online and mobile apps. It provides a keyword-driven approach for developing test cases and works with a wide range of pro languages. Robot Framework features a robust ecosystem of modules and plugins for extending its functionality.

XCUITest

XCUITest is an automated testing tool for iOS applications. It includes APIs for imitating iOS device user behaviors such as touch, swipe, and more. Because of XCUITest’s compatibility with languages like Swift and Objective-C, creating automated scripts for iOS is a breeze.

Real-World Examples of How Automated Testing has Benefited Businesses

Here are a few real-world examples of businesses that have successfully utilized automated testing:

Amazon

Amazon is one of the world’s top e-commerce enterprises, and it has substantially invested in automated testing to increase the quality of its software. To test its web and mobile applications, the organization employs a vast array of technologies and methodologies for automated testing.

Amazon has its testing platform called AWS Device Farm, where developers can test their mobile apps on numerous real devices.

Google

Google is another industry giant that has poured resources into automating test cases. To test its web and mobile applications, the company employs a diverse set of automated testing tools and approaches.

Google has also created its testing framework, Espresso for testing Android apps. The company also employs Selenium automated testing for testing its online apps.

Netflix

Netflix, the world’s largest streaming service, uses automated testing to ensure the quality of its web and mobile apps. The company tests its web applications with a wide range of automated testing tools and methods, such as Selenium automated testing.

To ensure the security and reliability of its online services, Netflix built an internal testing system it calls Simian Army.

Facebook

When it comes to the quality assurance of its web and mobile applications, Facebook, the largest global social networking platform relies heavily on automated testing.

With automation testing tools like WebDriverAgent for iOS and UIAutomator for Android, the Facebook testing team utilizes both automated and manual testing to guarantee the reliability of the platform’s software.

Spotify

Spotify, a popular music streaming platform leverages automation testing and manual testing to maintain the quality of its apps. The company has also created its automation testing tool, Detox, which is used to test its iOS and Android applications.

Best Practices for Automated Testing

Here are some best practices for automated testing:

Establish clear goals

Define the goals and objectives explicitly before beginning the automated testing process. This will assist in identifying areas that require automated testing as well as ensuring that the testing methodology is aligned with the business goals.

Choose the most appropriate automation tool

You have options to choose from numerous automated testing tools on the market. Select the best automation tool for your project’s demands, technical requirements, and finances.

Develop an effective testing framework

To guarantee that the automated testing process is dependable and consistent, it is critical to developing a robust testing framework that contains a set of principles and standards.

Design and prioritize test cases

Design and prioritize test cases to ensure the proper testing of your application’s most critical sections. This procedure will minimize the probability of bugs and guarantee that the application works as planned. You can also hire a human tester to fulfill your requirements.

Keep code quality high

The quality of the code used for automated testing is crucial to the testing process’s success. Make sure the code is well-documented, comprehensible, and easy to maintain.

Perform code reviews regularly

Frequent code reviews can help uncover potential issues and enhance the quality of automated testing code.

Leverage version control

To manage changes to the code used for automated testing, utilize a version control system. This will make it easier to track changes, work with team members, and keep the code up to date.

Carry out continuous testing

Ongoing testing is required to guarantee that the application functions properly throughout the development lifecycle. This includes performing automated tests regularly, reviewing results, and swiftly resolving errors.

Combine with other tools

Tools such as bug tracking, project management, and continuous integration, should be connected with automated testing technologies. This will aid in streamlining the testing process and increasing efficiency.

Update and maintain tests regularly

Update and maintain the automated tests regularly to ensure that they are relevant and up to date with the latest changes in the application. This will help to increase the testing process’s accuracy and dependability.

Common Mistakes to Avoid when Using Automated testing

Here are some common mistakes to avoid when using automated testing:

Inadequate planning

One of the most typical errors is to begin automated testing without adequate planning. It is critical to specify specific goals, identify areas that require automated testing, and design the testing process accordingly.

Using the incorrect automation tools

Using the incorrect automated testing tool can result in a variety of issues, including inadequate test coverage, expensive maintenance costs, and inaccurate results. Make sure to investigate and select the best tool for your project’s demands and technical requirements.

Failure to maintain the test script

Test scripts must be updated frequently to reflect the most recent changes in the application. Failure to keep the scripts up to date can lead to false-positive or false-negative findings.

Overuse of Test Automation

Automated testing should not completely replace the manual testing process. To ensure proper testing of your application, utilize a combination of manual and automated testing.

Communication breakdown

A lack of communication among team members can lead to problems and errors during the testing process. Verify that the developer, QA tester, manual tester, and stakeholder are communicating clearly.

Ignoring problems with the test automation environment

Issues with the test environment can have an impact on the accuracy and dependability of the automated testing process. Ensure that you set up the test environment correctly and consistently throughout the testing process.

Not taking accessibility and localization into account

In automated testing, accessibility, and localization testing are frequently disregarded. Use these considerations in the testing process to guarantee that the program is accessible and usable by all users.

Concentrating on incorrect test automation cases

While selecting test cases for automated testing, it is vital to focus on the most critical aspects of the application. Choosing the wrong test cases might lead to insufficient coverage and inaccurate results.

Incompatibility with other tools

You should integrate other tools, such as bug tracking, project management, and continuous integration automated testing technologies. This will aid in streamlining the testing process and increasing efficiency.

Failure to analyze test results

Evaluating the test result is critical for identifying problems and improving the testing process. Establish a habit of periodically analyzing the test result and taking action to address any issues that appear.

Start Automated Testing With OnGraph

OnGraph is a web and mobile app development company that provides comprehensive unit testing and automated testing solutions. Our developers hold expertise in various automation testing tools like Selenium, Cypress, Katalon, and so on.

We also have an in-house team of QA testers and manual testers to ensure that your software is bug-free and provides a seamless user experience.

Hire a QA tester from OnGraph to get complete testing solutions from automated software testing and stress testing to regression test and manual test with an innovative testing technique and industry-leading expertise.

To know more about our manual testing process and automated testing services, contact us for a free consultation.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Zahwah Jameel

A software engineer with a deep interest in writing blogs and web content on various tech stacks.

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