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It is an undeniable fact that automation testing has greatly improved the efficiency of the software testing process. But that doesn’t imply that automation testing alone is sufficient to achieve maximum quality. Despite being a top-tier automation testing company, we are also experts in delivering the best manual testing services as we believe that manual testing can never be replaced. We feel understanding this fact plays a huge role in helping us deliver comprehensive software testing solutions to our clients. If you feel otherwise, we believe we can make you cross the aisle by the time you finish reading this blog. If you already believe that manual testing is important, then great. We’ll jump straight ahead and explore the various factors that explain Why Manual Testing is Important.
The 8 Reasons Why Manual Testing is Important
- 100% Automation Isn’t Possible
- There is Scope Beyond the Pass and Fail
- The Human Touch
- Automation Isn’t Easy
- Automation Isn’t Inexpensive
- Repeatability Isn’t the Only Ruling Factor
- It is Hard to Keep Up with Changes
- Automation Isn’t the Purpose of Testing
100% Automation isn’t possible
Right off the gate, we want to establish the fact that not all tests can be automated as per the needs. Even before analyzing if it’ll be wise to use automation or not, one must consider if it’ll be possible to automate the test. For example, mobile app test cases can be very much complicated. Even the smallest of issues like excessive touch inputs or an incoming call might disrupt the performance of your app. If you are testing an infotainment system that depends on external hardware to be plugged in, you wouldn’t be able to completely automate that too.
The biggest obstacle would be compatibility across different devices. You might use a tool like Selenium to test your web application in various browsers, but you can’t be sure if your webpages are rendered correctly as per your design. That is why your goal shouldn’t just be to get your automation test to pass.
Beyond the Pass and Fail
Let’s say you can automate most of the tests. Should you do it? Just because you can automate, doesn’t mean that you should implement it immediately. We all know that one of the software testing principles says that “Absence of errors is a fallacy”. Likewise, just because your automation test passes, it doesn’t mean there are no issues. As of now, there is simply no alternative to testing user experience manually.
Apart from that, the functionality might work and still not fulfill its purpose or function effectively. If you check if all the buttons on a webpage are working, your automation script will pass if it simply works. But what if the button is not in a comfortable position for the user to click easily? Or what if the color of the button doesn’t make it easily visible as it blends with the background? The results no longer matter in such scenarios. Even integration and localization issues will easily fly under the radar if you rely solely on automated tests. Since the user experience is a very important criterion that affects the success factor of products, you simply can’t afford to neglect the human touch that manual testing provides.
The Human Touch
If applications have only the bugs that we anticipate, then software testing will become very easy. If you have been a software tester for at least a short period of time, you will know that bugs tend to come in the most unexpected ways. Yes technologies like A.I and machine learning have made automation more effective over the years. But beating the human mind’s analytical thinking, experience in the subject matter, and strategizing would be very hard. That is why techniques like exploratory testing are very critical in unearthing the bugs that can’t be detected easily.
Exploratory Testing in an Agile Environment is also important as it will help you understand the product better with the high-quality data you gather from it. So you’ll be able to keep up with the constantly changing requirements that come in Agile. Even if you’re not in an agile environment, manual testing will definitely help you understand the product a lot better. But you have to make sure to test it from a user’s perspective and not just with the motive to get the tests done.
Automation Isn’t Easy
You also have to understand that Automation testing is not a cakewalk. You have to be clever enough to use it effectively by following the various Automation Testing Best Practices and Tips. Without the right personnel who are capable of handling automation and the right tools that you would have to know to use well, effective automation might become very hard to achieve. So if you start without proper planning and begin to fall behind in every sprint, then automation testing will soon start to become a nightmare for you.
Automation Isn’t Inexpensive
At times the cost of something might outweigh the benefits it brings to the table. Likewise, automation on a large scale will be ideal as it would be better to get a return on your investment. But what if you had a small project at hand? The chances of you getting a return on your investment would be very slim. Automation isn’t done once you’ve written the scripts at first, you have to maintain them as well.
So following a concept called ‘Tripwire Testing’ can be used to get the best return of investment in your automation testing. Tripwire testing is nothing but using the smallest number of automated tests that will be needed for the testers to detect where they will be able to find critical bugs in the system.
The Repeatability Factor
Even if you had to perform tests like smoke tests on a large-scale project, it would be wise of you to automate them. If the tests are not repetitive in nature, then automating will not make much financial sense. Likewise, if there are any bugs that are detected post-release, then manual testing can be employed to quickly recreate the issue and generate a bug report. You can’t be sitting around and writing an automation script for such simple demands.
Though repeatability is important, it isn’t the only factor as variations are also a key aspect. Like how Albert Einstein said that “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” You just can’t keep repeating the tests over and over again.
Hard to keep up with Changes
If you are working in an agile environment, then it is extremely hard to keep up with the various changes that could impact the User Interface, the features, or the product flow. Each change will mean that you would have to make changes or even rewrite automation scripts. Testing at the early stages of software development can definitely help us detect issues at the early stages and solve them with ease. But this is the phase of the software development lifecycle where constant changes keep happening. Updating your automation script for every change will become a cumbersome task that will not yield you much use as early phase scripts don’t last long.
Automation isn’t the purpose
By now you would have understood that automating your tests isn’t the purpose of testing. So if you’re too held up on automating your tests even though it wouldn’t be financially viable or good for your product, then you would be able to focus on delivering quality. There is so much more to testing than just detecting bugs or passing the tests for that matter. You should never lose track of the big picture in the pursuit of automating your tests.
Just because an ingredient makes a dish taste really well doesn’t mean you should use only that ingredient and leave the other required ingredients out. Since it is clear that both manual and automated testing are important ingredients needed to attain quality, you must understand that the purpose of automation shouldn’t be to just make it mimic human behavior. As stated earlier, automation’s purpose should be to enhance the overall product quality. Focus on aspects like quality assurance based on what you’ve learned with the help of manual testing to create a much larger impact.
It can be very easy to forget that software testing is a process of discovery and just focus on automation. Instead, automation must be used to swiftly repeat whatever we know so that we will have enough time and resources to discover what we don’t know. And manual testing is one of the best ways to explore to unknown. So as one of the best QA companies, we are confident that manual testing will not be going away anytime soon. We started by saying that 100% automation isn’t possible and we want to make sure you don’t take it the wrong way and opt-out of automation as soon as there is a challenge. So it would be better to look at it from a different perspective and move forward by saying that 100% of the tests that should be automated to get the maximum quality, should definitely be automated.