If you have a basic understanding of what Software Testing is, you will know that it can be done either by using automation or by manual efforts. Testing is commonly misunderstood and assumed to be just checking. But in reality, testing is so much more than what it seems on paper. So be it manual testing or automation testing, one should be equipped with the appropriate skills and should use the best practices to achieve the goal. With the growth of automation in the domain, it is very common to feel that manual testing is in the past and that it is no longer necessary. As a leading manual QA testing company, we understand that manual testing is still a vital part of software testing. So in this manual testing guide, we will be going through the basics you have to know to get started with manual testing.
An Introduction to Manual Testing
The ultimate goal of software testing is to verify the actual behavior of the software against a predefined set of expectations. People always tend to look at manual testing as an option only when they are unable to automate the scenario. Though automation plays an integral part in helping us meet the software needs of today, it shouldn’t always be the first choice for all scenarios. We have covered this exact same topic in another one of our blogs, so make sure to read that to find out how to strike the perfect balance between manual testing and automation testing.
To give you a gist of it, manual testing is usually preferred to perform exploratory testing and usability testing. The reason here is that manual testing helps us get deeper insights about the product from the end user’s perspective. This is a vital aspect that we simply cannot achieve through automation.
Types of Manual Testing
We will not be exploring all the types of manual testing that there is in this manual testing guide. Instead, we would briefly take a look at the 3 basic types of testing. They are namely white box testing, black-box testing, and grey-box testing. If the QA team is aware of the internal code that is used, then it is white box testing. But if the team is unaware of the internal code and performs the tests purely based on the interaction of the software, then it is black-box testing. A combination of both of these types is what makes grey-box testing.
Stages of Manual Testing
Let’s now focus on the different stages of manual testing in the software development lifecycle. We know that the software is built from the ground up. So each block that makes the software work will be developed one by one. These blocks or modules should work together as a system to be used by the end-user. So let’s take a look at the different types of testing that will happen in all these stages.
In this stage, we would integrate the multiple units that we have already tested to see how well they work with each other. If we take an e-commerce app as an example, then a good way to explain would be clubbing the ‘Add the Cart’ portion and the payment gateway. Both these modules have to work well together for a customer to complete the purchase without any hassle. So it would spell trouble for your business even if one of these modules has any issues.
We have to consider the functional aspects and non-functional aspects like performance, reliability, and stability here. So it is not just about verifying if these modules work, we have to make sure they are on par with the defined expectations in terms of performance and so on.
As the name suggests, in this stage of testing we would be testing the system on the whole as one product. Eventually, the software will be used by end-users and so at this stage, we will be performing end-to-end testing that covers everything from functional aspects & non-functional aspects to the expectations & experience of an end-user. So there will be a lot of regression tests performed to verify that the recent changes made to the code have no adverse effects on the parts of the software that were working fine. Stress testing should also be a part as the software could be used by power users as well. By performing stress testing we can ensure that the software can handle usage that is more than expected. On the whole, all critical business requirements will be tested in this stage.
The final leg of testing is verifying how well the software performs in real-world conditions. Acceptance testing is actually performed both internally and externally. The people who are testing the application from within the organization are the alpha testers. The external testing will be done through beta testing programs that involve having actual end-users use the product to see how well it works.
This manual testing guide is more of a walk-through of the basics you should know. There are so many more aspects of manual testing that you should focus on to get better at it. As one of the best manual software testing companies, we have years of experience in the software testing arena that have helped us master both manual and automation testing in an optimal manner. Once you have a better understanding of software testing, you will definitely understand the importance of manual testing as well.