Manual Testing v/s Automation Testing

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The most arduously debated topic in software testing industry is What is better, Manual testing or Automation testing. Although Automation testing is most talked about buzzword, and is slowly dominating the testing domain, importance of manual testing cannot be ignored. Human instinct can any day or any time, cannot be replaced by a machine (atleast not till we make some real headway in AI). In this article, we shall give both debating side some fuel for discussion. We are gonna dive a little on deeper differences between manual testing and automation testing.

Time Consumption and Cost to the Company

  • It reduces the number of resources required.
  • Multiple type of similar test case scenarios can be executed simultaneously with a single script.
  • For a large project, the estimated budget is sufficient enough to afford the set up and maintenance of an automated testing tool.

However, in small projects where the testing phase runs for only a few weeks, Manual testing is more preferable since

  • Resources do not have enough time to get trained in the tools and start testing.
  • Maintenance and installation is time consuming and costly.
  • There is less need of simultaneous execution of multiple test cases of similar nature.

User Acceptance Testing

During User Acceptance testing, the instinct of a manual tester is very important. An experienced tester can observe any object or element that looks misaligned or does not matches the requirement.

Accuracy of Results

Automation testing involves execution of scripts that perform repeated testing of the application over and over again. Since machine does not get monotonous, if the script is properly written, there is no chance of missing a defect when the test is executed over and over again.

Regression Testing

  • There are high chances of error since human eye often misses small changes while observing the same thing repeatedly.
  • In case of a large application, it takes a number of testers to perform these repeated tasks.

When automation testing is used

  • Regression testing tools speed up the process by repeated execution of test cases.
  • Multiple test case scenarios can be simultaneously executed.
  • Saves up time by parallel execution along with other test cases.

Nature of the Application

For a banking application, a number of scenarios require testing. Like,

  • Validation during user login.
  • Security protocols during banking operations.
  • Security testing for fraudulent activities during transactions.

For these kinds of scenarios, testing is completed much faster when a well written script is executed. Since most of the testing involves repetitive operations of the same scenario but with different entities. Hence, manual testing is better.

For a small web application like a personal blog page or the page of a small business like a restaurant, the look and feel of the application along with user experience is important. In this scenario, testing is needed to be done based on human instinct. Tester should think from the perspective of an end user and test the application to find out bugs or defects that may hamper user experience. Since no automated testing tools are not yet discovered that can replace human instinct, Manual testing is more preferable for this scenario.

Automation programs can swiftly execute multiple test cases. Organizations are depending more on automated testing and manual testing is often framed as wastage of manpower and time. However, it is the base of testing and for writing automated testing scripts, an experience manual tester is required. Scenarios may often arise in a project when human evaluation becomes the only path to maintain the quality of a product. Hence, although automated testing is more preferred for load testing or regression testing, for user acceptance testing or exploratory testing, manual testing is still going to prevail.

Originally published at LambdaTest

Written by Arnab Roy Chowdhury

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Written by

Product Growth at @lambdatesting (

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