Testing is an essential part of all SDLC approaches. Whether you use a waterfall or agile model, there is always space for testing. It helps in identifying and fixing bugs before they become an
issue. To find bugs in applications, most testers use Manual testing or automated testing approach. Testing comprises many different types of testing approaches and processes, but the only few ones that you need to know about are these two. If you are starting your testing journey, it makes more sense to understand the difference between Manual testing and Automated testing
so that you can choose your path correctly.
So let’s start by understanding manual testing.
What is Manual Testing?
Manual testing is the traditional software testing process. In this process, the testers will create test cases and execute them manually without the use of AI or any software. While this type of
testing is slow, it is often used to ensure the coverage of all features of an application. Companies rely on this test’s results to ensure that the developed features and functionalities are working as expected.
Manual testing services cannot be accomplished without testers. Moreover, the testers need to be experienced and knowledgeable about the product they are testing. Product knowledge is
essential because they should know the expected behavior of a feature so that they can spot anomalies and bugs in the features if there are any deviations.
To make your understanding of manual testing much clearer, let’s have a look at how it actually works.
How Does Manual Testing Work?
Someone has created a web application or mobile application that needs to be tested. Once the app is ready for testing, below are the steps that are followed to complete the manual software testing process.
1. The first step is to explain to the tester the entire application and the expected behaviors of the developed features of the app. Once the tester understands this, he can develop the test cases for the app.
2. After developing the test cases for the web application, the tester will open his browser and visit the web app’s URL.
3. Once he has access to the web app, he will manually test all the features of the application.
4. If any bugs are found, they will be reported and explained to the developers so that they can fix them.
5. After the developers fix the bug, the testers can again test the app, and this cycle goes on until no more bugs are left.
After understanding manual testing, it is the right time to explore automated testing now.
What is Automated Testing?
Automated testing is a modern and productive way of testing applications. It is often used to test the security, load, and performance of applications as well as how features work together with
each other. In this type of testing, testers will write automation scripts and execute them on the app that needs to be tested. This makes the testing cost-effective and much faster than the manual testing process. Once the testing code is written, it can be run infinitely, and the results can be collected each time to understand bugs and errors in the application.
Let’s understand how this works in the next section.
How Does Automated Testing Work?
Below are the steps on how automated software testing works.
1. Whenever an app is developed and tested using the automated testing approach, the developers need to explain to testers how the app performs and the internals of the application, like the tech stack used, etc.
2. Once the testers understand application features, they brainstorm to find the best test driver for a specific tech stack, as each tech stack has multiple test drivers that can be used to create automated test scripts.
3. After finalizing a test driver, the testers can start writing automation testing scripts based on the test cases, they have identified for the app. When these scripts are run, they will automate the entire testing process, right from testing the app to creating reports and even raising bugs. Automated testing is used heavily in IoT, and API testing to ensure correct results every time.
Having known about both testing approaches now is the time to find out the differences between these approaches.
Key Differences Between Manual And Automated
One of the most significant differences between automated and manual testing is the speed of testing. As the name suggests, automated testing is way faster than manual testing because, in
automation testing, everything is performed by various scripts that are executed through code. While in manual testing, the tester does testing through his keyboard and mouse for each functionality which obviously takes more time.
Reliability is a point between these testing techniques, which is often debated. Both these testing approaches are reliable in their specific areas. But at a general level, it is accepted that
automated testing can be much more reliable. Once the code is written, it will execute tests in the same way without any deviations, and any new errors will also be reported quickly. On the other hand, there are chances of human errors in the manual testing approach, and finding new errors outside test cases is a challenge. Moreover, when the tester performs the same action repeatedly, he might miss out on something abnormal too.
Both these testing approaches require significant investments, to begin with. In manual testing, you need to have the best testers who are highly experienced in testing applications so that no
bugs are missed out while testing. Moreover, to hire exceptional testers, you need to pay them more which makes your investments significant. Whereas automated testing can be done by testers, who have an understanding of the product and can write better test cases through automation scripts. The upfront investments to enable automation testing is extensive because you have to set up the scripts, find developers who can automate these scripts, or even train your manual testers to write automated test cases.
Testing at a Vast Scale
When testing needs to be done on large products repeatedly, automated testing is the best way forward. Once the automation script is written, it does not matter that your app grows or shrinks
in size; it will perform its operations in the same way as before. Compared to this, testing at a scale is a challenge in manual testing. Being completely manual, it takes significant time and effort to test large applications with manual testing approaches.
If your aim is to test an application & front end and UX, manual testing is a better approach, as manual testers can identify errors in UIs much better than scripts.
At this point, you know everything about automated testing and manual testing. Moreover, you have also understood their differences, so the next time you are asked to take up a testing
process, go through this newly acquired knowledge to decide which testing approach will fit your use cases and then make a choice. If you don’t have reliable testers in your team, you should
surely check out our automated testing services. Get in touch with us!