Automation experts often claim that automated testing improves the quality of software and that automated testing tools are an excellent solution for every software testing project. Meanwhile, manual testing proponents will point out that nothing beats human intuition when it comes to locating bugs. And this is the crux of the manual versus automation testing decision.
Ultimately the best solution is “both”; automated testing requires specific skills and training to use them effectively, but once set up is very cost effective for iterative checks of existing functionality. Meanwhile, manual testing is best when dealing with complex applications and new functionality.
Why Use Manual Testing
Functional testing determines if components of a particular system work as intended. Testers want to know if software features function as they should and whether users can navigate and use the system effectively.
Much of functional testing focuses on requirements or business processes. These types of tests require test cases to layout testing requirements or scenarios. It is necessary to run manual test cases is in the beginning to ensure compliance with individual specifications. Functional tests also require exploratory testing to learn more about the product and its functionality.
Software development requires continuous manual testing. This helps determine the functionality of various features as they are built and modified. Automated scripts must continuously be updated alongside design and functionality changes to determine if everything is working correctly. The process is time-consuming compared to manual tests.
When to use Automated Testing
Automated testing is impossible without manual test cases. Automated test scripts are most beneficial after manual tests are complete, especially when running multiple tests.
However, manual tests are still the preferred testing method for determining product functionality. Testing manually is a more thorough way to test and is more likely to produce quality results (though it may take more time to complete compared to automated testing).
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