Manual vs. Automated Testing: Which Should You Use?

Software testing is a huge domain that can be broadly divided in two: manual and automated testing.

Each type of testing method offers benefits and disadvantages. It’s important to know the difference, and when to use one or the other for best results.

When You Should Choose Manual vs Automated Testing?

QA specialists and software development companies are often confronted with the same question when testing a software project: “Should we manually test applications or should we implement automated tests?”. Almost all development companies get to a point where they have to decide on a test strategy.

When comparing the two areas there are clear advantages to working with automated software testing solutions, and other times the automated software technology is too leading-edge and could wind up costing you way more than it’s worth.

For a better understanding of the difference between this two types of testing here’s a brief comparison of each type:

Manual testing gives you a lot more flexibility

This type of testing is using the program as the user would under all possible scenarios, and making sure all of the features act appropriately. The human observation may be more useful if the goal is user-friendliness or improved user experience. This enables you to find extra bugs that automated tests would never find.

Manual testing is slower than automated

Time-consuming is one of the drawbacks of manual testing. This type of testing is only practical when the test cases are run once or twice, and frequent repetition is not required.

Also, the manual testing is not accurate at all times due to human error, hence it is less reliable.

Automated testing is best to use when you’re working on a large project

The biggest advantages of automated testing are its relative quickness and effectiveness. It’s executed by software tools, so it is significantly faster than a manual approach.

Automated testing was originally designed to reduce costs on repetitive test cases that needed to be run many times. It is best to use this form of testing when you’re working on a large project, and there are many system users or where code changes frequently.

This type of testing can also be done on different machine with different OS platform combination, concurrently.

If you need a more reliable approach for your test, this is the way to go.

Automated testing – not that reliable on User Experience

Automated testing does not entail human observation and cannot guarantee user-friendliness or positive customer experience. Also you have to have in mind the fact that an automated script can only check what you tell it to check.

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