What software is in demand? Users go for highly functional software that offers a top-notch user experience and doesn’t have any bugs that degrade its usability. For a product to be competitive and profitable, it must be tested at all stages of development. Even minor mistakes can lead to undermining the credibility of a company and losses. A software testing methodology shows you the right path in the direction of a product launch. Manual or automation testing allows developers to detect and eliminate factors that could lead to negative consequences in the future, as well as to find potential problems before they become real. What type of testing should you choose? What are the pros and downsides of manual and automation testing? These issues are covered below.
Manual Testing — What Is It?
Manual testing means testing the proper operation of the software by utilizing test cases, which are adapted to the required goals and objectives. QA analysts manually verify if a software product meets the functional requirements, analyze how it solves the required tasks, identify product problems and errors, and generate error reports.
Types of Manual Testing
Finding bugs in software products differs depending on the end goal and type of project. There are several kinds of this testing, and below we will briefly discuss them.
- Black Box Testing
It is based on working exclusively with the external interfaces of the system under test.
- White Box Testing
This technique has received its name because the program under test is compared with a “transparent box”. The analysis of the internal structure of a component or system is performed.
- Unit Testing
In this case, individual software components are tested. The main goal is to verify that each unit of code is working as expected.
- System Testing
The main goal is to examine the functionality of the system at the stages of building each version of the product, as well as at the stage of software release (involves alpha and beta testing).
- Integration Testing
This method is designed to test the connections between individual components, as well as interactions between different parts of a system.
- Acceptance Testing or Pre-Testing
Pre-testing is carried out to determine if the system meets all the criteria, and the customer decides on whether to accept an application or not.
When to Choose Manual Testing
- Exploratory Testing
This technique is performed to test the capabilities of a program without knowing any requirements.
- Usability Testing
The method is called to confirm the flawless usability of an application for ultimate consumers.
- Ad-hoc Testing
This testing implies testing software randomly without making use of test cases.
Manual Testing: Pros and Cons
Manual testing is used by many QA analysts, and in certain cases, it is highly effective. However, it still has some downsides.
Automation Testing — What Is It?
Automation testing implies the use of special software and scripts to execute tests and check execution results, which helps reduce testing time and simplify the testing process. This technique allows QA analysts to run more test scenarios and work more effectively.
When To Use Automation Testing?
- Regression Testing
This testing type is aimed at finding bugs in already tested areas of the source code. According to PractiTest, 78% of organizations use test automation for functional or regression testing.
- Load Testing
It is used to assess the capabilities of multi-user systems. The principle is as follows: the process of accessing software by multiple users concurrently is simulated to find out how a program operates during normal workload and peak workload.
- Performance Testing
During this testing technique, multiple tests are run to evaluate the application stability, speed, reliability, and robustness under a particular load.
- System Testing
It analyzes how separate components interact in an integrated system. This type of testing ensures the whole system runs smoothly.
- Unit Testing
This method examines certain functions to ensure that they work properly.
Automation Testing: Pros and Cons
When to Use Manual Testing or Automation Testing
Both testing types have their pros and cons, and these testing methods are used depending on the goals and project requirements. Here are some examples of how these techniques can be used.
When You Should Choose Manual Testing Instead of Automation Testing
- For projects in the early development stages and with a short life cycle
- For testing visual aspects of the user interface
- For special testing
When You Should Prefer Automation Testing Over Manual Testing
There are the following cases when you should choose automation testing over manual testing.
- For repetitive and/or time-consuming tasks
- For parallel testing
- For getting more accurate results
- For non-functional testing
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can Automation Testing Replace Manual Testing?
The short answer is “No” because both automation and manual testing techniques have the good and the bad, and each of them can be used by QA analysts, taking into account a project type, its timeline, goals, and budget.
- What are the popular automation testing tools in the market?
Today, there are various testing tools with different sets of functions, but we can point out the most popular ones: Selenium, Katalon Studio, and TestProject.
Thus, software testing saves time and resources needed to maintain the product in the long term, ensures code safety, helps developers write more reliable code, and makes refactoring easier and safer. Depending on the type and purpose of the project, either manual or automation testing can be used. The relevance of a particular method is determined by a quality assurance team.