Automated vs. Manual TestingWe’ve all heard the claims: Automated testing always improves the quality of software and that automated testing tools can be used for every project. But the truth is that automated testing still requires a certain amount of skills and training to use them effectively, and manual testing is still needed, especially when dealing with complex applications and functionality.

Why Use Manual Testing for Functional Testing?

A major part of functional testing is to determine whether or not components of a particular system work as they were intended. Testers want to know whether features function as they should and whether users can utilize the system.

Much of functional testing is based on requirements or business processes. These types of tests require test cases to lay out the testing requirements or scenarios. Test cases must be executed manually the first few times to determine whether the above specifications are met. Plus, sometimes functional testing requires exploratory testing to learn more about the product and its functionality.

Finally, manual testing needs to be done throughout the development process because features and functionality can change when the product is being designed. Automated scripts would have to be constantly updated alongside design and functionality changes to determine if everything is working correctly. That would be extremely time-consuming over simply running a manual test.

Is Automated Testing Ever an Option?

Automated testing cannot be done without the manual test cases. Once the manual testing is done, automated scripts could be used if some tests need to be done over and over again. This helps see if the product is consistent over time.

Overall, however, manual testing is preferable when trying to determine product functionality. While it might take more time over automated testing, the testing is more thorough and more likely to produce quality results.

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