How to choose between manual and automated testing?
Software testing is a prerequisite for the success of any application, but the choice between types of testing is quite complicated. In this article, we'll highlight the pros and cons and add our QA expert's opinion.
Testing is essentially like the process of creating a sculpture, where the result is as close ideal as possible. The entire process is divided into iterations, each of which works to ensure a higher level of quality, stability, and safety. There are dozens of types of testing, but the main ones are manual and automated testing.
Manual testing: description, pros and cons
Manual testing is the process of manually reviewing and testing software or an application for bugs, defects, and vulnerabilities. The product is manually tested from the user's point of view without special tools. Typically, the tester runs the application on different devices (cell phones, tablets, laptops, or computers), examines all functionality, and finds weaknesses in the user interface.
When is manual testing better?
- The QA engineer gives the feedback as a potential user and can offer ideas for the UX; - Helps detect bugs that affect system functionality, ease of navigation and use; - It's cheaper because there is no cost for additional tools and automation process; - QA specialists can test new features as soon as developers add them.
If a project requires domain knowledge, you should not automate testing.
What are the problems in manual testing?
- The attention of QA engineers can decrease while performing the same type of tasks; - If the team consists of experienced testers, a large budget is required; - Less reliable testing method because there can be errors and inaccuracies due to human error; - The process cannot be fixed, so reusing the same test is not possible.
Testing automation: description, pros and cons
Processes are pre-programmed and run with little or no intervention from the test engineer. Automated testing focuses on finding deviations from expected results. It works on the basis of a script written by experts, which is used to make decisions about the correctness of the application being tested.
Automated testing is used for tests that are time-consuming or impossible to perform manually.
Why choose testing automation over manual testing?
- Accurately performs tasks involving large amounts of data and finds errors in a short time; - The automation process can be recorded, allowing the same test activities to be reused and executed; - It is possible to simulate a large load on the application to test how it will perform under such conditions; - Test coverage increases as even the smallest element is tested.
What are the disadvantages of automated testing?
- Automation tools have no value without scripts. A specialist in automated testing must write a competent process script; - Once running, the automation will work until the application it is testing is updated. - User interface changes that do not match the test script can lead to erroneous results; - Running a set of automated tools is expensive; - Without an expert, it is difficult to gain insight into the visual aspects of the user interface, such as colors, fonts, sizes, contrast, or button sizes; - Test maintenance is costly.
When do you use manual testing and automated testing?
"Based on my personal experience, I can note that it is better to choose the type of testing based on the characteristics and size of the project. On small projects it is better to use manual testing. For long-term projects, the cost of automated testing is justified"
– Ilya Tseliatsitski, QA engineer at SolveIt.