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Differences Between Manual Testing and Automation Testing

Software testing is an integral part of any successful software development project. The purpose of testing is to ensure the final product is up to code and can work flawlessly without reporting any bugs. It can be done in two ways: manual testing and automation testing.

Differences Between Manual Testing and Automation Testing

So, which is the better approach?

Both manual and automated testing have their own share of benefits and drawbacks. It’s important to know their differences and when to use each for the best results.

This article will explore the differences between manual and automated testing and advise on the best approach for you. Let’s start with the basics.

What Is Manual Testing?

As the name suggests, manual testing is a software testing approach, where all tests are executed manually by Quality Assurance (QA) analysts.

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In manual testing, QA analysts execute tests one by one in an individual manner. Then, the tester executes the tasks and generates the test reports without the help of any automation software or testing tools.

Manual testing is ideal when cognitive and behavioral abilities are required to test the software. It works best for testing:

  • User acceptance
  • Functionalities
  • User experience (UX)
  • User interface (UI)
  • Features

The goal of manual testing is to discover bugs and feature issues before a software application goes live.

What Is Automation Testing?

Automation testing (also known as automated testing) is when testers write code/test scripts to automate the test execution. In automated testing, testers use appropriate automation tools to write scripts and evaluate the software.

The goal of automation testing is to complete test execution in the shortest time possible. Since automated testing relies on pre-scripted tests which run automatically, it’s easier to deploy and also saves time.

Hence, its key advantages are faster turnaround time and ease of use. With these benefits, automated testing prevails where the scale of testing is large.

So, if you have a project that requires test cases repeatedly run over a long period, automation testing may be the better option for you.

In this case, a website automation testing tool that offers seamless collaboration and automatic deployment of your tests can come in handy.

Differences Between Manual Testing and Automation Testing

Both manual and automation testing are important in the development cycle of the product. But they differ in many aspects. We’ll break down the key differences between the two approaches in this section.

1. Framework

Manual testing doesn’t use a framework. However, it may use checklists, guidelines, and stringent procedures for specific test cases. On the other hand, automation testing uses frameworks like Keyword, Data Drive, and Hybrid to speed up the automation process.

2. Accuracy & Reliability

Manual testing is not accurate at all due to human errors, hence less reliable. But with automated testing, there is no testing fatigue. Moreover, since it leverages software tools and scripts, automated testing is considered more accurate and reliable.

3. Speed of Execution

Manual testing is slow and time-consuming since it leverages human resources. On the other hand, automated testing is executed by software tools, so it’s faster and more efficient. It would be hard to compete with technology when it comes to speed of execution.

4. Test Reports

Manual testing allows for human observation, which may be more useful if the goal is improved customer experience and user-friendliness. However, there is no human observation with automated testing; hence it cannot guarantee positive customer feedback or user-friendliness.

5. Performance Testing

Performance testing is not feasible in a manual testing environment. With automated testing, performance tests, like Spike Testing, Stress Testing, Load Testing, etc., have to be tested with an automation testing tool.

Which Is the Better Approach for You?

Well, it depends on your particular circumstances.

Manual testing is best suited for usability testing, exploratory testing, and ad-hoc testing.

On the other hand, automated testing may be the better option for you if your project requires performance testing, regression testing, load testing, or repeated execution.

Keeping these testing scenarios in mind, you can find the best approach in any given situation.


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