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Automation Testing vs Manual Testing : How to Strike the Perfect Balance?

Are you pitting Automation Testing vs Manual Testing to find out which to use where? Read our blog to make a more educated decision.

Automation Testing vs Manual Testing How to Strike the Perfect Balance - Blog

Some still believe that the need for manual testing can be completely eliminated by automating all the test cases. However, in reality, you simply can’t eradicate manual testing as it plays an extremely important role in covering some edge cases from the user’s perspective. Since it is apparent that there is a need for both automation and manual testing, it is up to us to choose between the two and strike a perfect balance. So let’s pit Automation Testing vs Manual Testing and explore how it is possible to balance them both in the software delivery life cycle.

Stable Automated Tests

Stable test automation scripts help your team provide quick feedback at regular intervals. Automated tests boost your team’s confidence levels and help certify if the build is release-able or not. If you have a good talent pool to create robust automated scripts, then your testers can concentrate on other problem-solving activities (Exploratory & Usability Testing) which add value to the software.

Quarantined Automation Test Suites

Flaky automated tests kill the productivity of QA testers with their false positives and negatives. But you can’t just ignore the unstable automated test scripts as your team would have invested a lot of time & effort in developing the scripts. The workaround here is to quarantine the unstable automated test scripts instead of executing both the stable and unstable scripts in the delivery pipeline. So stabilizing & moving the quarantined test scripts to the delivery pipeline is also a problem-solving activity. As a leading automation testing company, we strongly recommend avoiding flaky automation test scripts from the very beginning. You can make that possible by following the best practices to create robust automated test scripts.

Tips to stabilize the unstable scripts
  • Trouble-shoot and fix the script failures immediately instead of delaying them.
  • Train the team to easily identify the web elements and mobile elements.
  • Avoid boilerplate codes.
  • Implement design patterns to minimize script maintenance.
  • Execute the scripts as much as possible to understand the repetitive failures.
  • Run batch by batch instead of running everything in one test suite.
  • Make the automated test report visible to everyone in the team.
  • If your team is not able to understand the test results, then you need to make the reports more readable.

Exploratory Testing

Test automation frees testers from repetitive scripted testing. Scripted automated testing does enable fast feedback loops, but your team will be able to unearth new product features & bugs, and identity additional test scenarios when performing exploratory testing.

Benefits of Exploratory Testing (ET)
  • Scripted testing provides confidence, but ET helps your team to understand whether the new features make sense from the end user’s standpoint.
  • ET is usually performed by testers who have good product knowledge. Every feedback from ET is also an input for your automated test suites.
  • Some test cases cannot be automated. So you can allocate those test cases in ET sessions.
  • ET helps you to create additional tests which are not covered in automated test suites.

Usability Testing

Usability testing is an experiment to identify and rectify usability issues that exist in the product. Let’s say a functional tester is testing the product check-out scenario of an e-commerce app. Here, the tester has good knowledge about the product and knows where the important buttons (Add to Cart & Proceed to Checkout) are placed on the app. However, in real-time, if the end-users struggle to find these buttons, they will definitely have second thoughts about using your app again. So it is clearly evident that functional UI tests can’t help you identify usability issues.

Usability Testing Steps

1. Prepare the research questions and test objectives

2. Identity participants who represent the end-users

3. Setup an actual work environment

4. Interview the participants about the app experience

5. Prepare test reports with recommendations

Conclusion

We hope you’re able to understand that using any one of the two types of testing will only lead to the creation of surface-level solutions. For robust solutions, you should use both manual and automation testing to test the features which are released continuously in the delivery pipeline. So compare Automation Testing vs Manual Testing and use the one that is more apt for the requirement. Testers should be performing exploratory testing continuously against the latest builds that come out of Continuous Integration. Whereas, scripted testing should be taken care of by automation.

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Some still believe that the need for manual testing can be completely eliminated by automating all the test cases. However, in reality, you simply can’t eradicate manual testing as it plays an extremely important role in covering some edge cases from the user’s perspective. Since it is apparent that there is a need for both automation and manual testing, it is up to us to choose between the two and strike a perfect balance. So let’s pit Automation Testing vs Manual Testing and explore how it is possible to balance them both in the software delivery life cycle.

Stable Automated Tests

Stable test automation scripts help your team provide quick feedback at regular intervals. Automated tests boost your team’s confidence levels and help certify if the build is release-able or not. If you have a good talent pool to create robust automated scripts, then your testers can concentrate on other problem-solving activities (Exploratory & Usability Testing) which add value to the software.

Quarantined Automation Test Suites

Flaky automated tests kill the productivity of QA testers with their false positives and negatives. But you can’t just ignore the unstable automated test scripts as your team would have invested a lot of time & effort in developing the scripts. The workaround here is to quarantine the unstable automated test scripts instead of executing both the stable and unstable scripts in the delivery pipeline. So stabilizing & moving the quarantined test scripts to the delivery pipeline is also a problem-solving activity. As a leading automation testing company, we strongly recommend avoiding flaky automation test scripts from the very beginning. You can make that possible by following the best practices to create robust automated test scripts.

Tips to stabilize the unstable scripts
  • Trouble-shoot and fix the script failures immediately instead of delaying them.
  • Train the team to easily identify the web elements and mobile elements.
  • Avoid boilerplate codes.
  • Implement design patterns to minimize script maintenance.
  • Execute the scripts as much as possible to understand the repetitive failures.
  • Run batch by batch instead of running everything in one test suite.
  • Make the automated test report visible to everyone in the team.
  • If your team is not able to understand the test results, then you need to make the reports more readable.

Exploratory Testing

Test automation frees testers from repetitive scripted testing. Scripted automated testing does enable fast feedback loops, but your team will be able to unearth new product features & bugs, and identity additional test scenarios when performing exploratory testing.

Benefits of Exploratory Testing (ET)
  • Scripted testing provides confidence, but ET helps your team to understand whether the new features make sense from the end user’s standpoint.
  • ET is usually performed by testers who have good product knowledge. Every feedback from ET is also an input for your automated test suites.
  • Some test cases cannot be automated. So you can allocate those test cases in ET sessions.
  • ET helps you to create additional tests which are not covered in automated test suites.

Usability Testing

Usability testing is an experiment to identify and rectify usability issues that exist in the product. Let’s say a functional tester is testing the product check-out scenario of an e-commerce app. Here, the tester has good knowledge about the product and knows where the important buttons (Add to Cart & Proceed to Checkout) are placed on the app. However, in real-time, if the end-users struggle to find these buttons, they will definitely have second thoughts about using your app again. So it is clearly evident that functional UI tests can’t help you identify usability issues.

Usability Testing Steps

1. Prepare the research questions and test objectives

2. Identity participants who represent the end-users

3. Setup an actual work environment

4. Interview the participants about the app experience

5. Prepare test reports with recommendations

Conclusion

We hope you’re able to understand that using any one of the two types of testing will only lead to the creation of surface-level solutions. For robust solutions, you should use both manual and automation testing to test the features which are released continuously in the delivery pipeline. So compare Automation Testing vs Manual Testing and use the one that is more apt for the requirement. Testers should be performing exploratory testing continuously against the latest builds that come out of Continuous Integration. Whereas, scripted testing should be taken care of by automation.