— Jerry Weinberg
The question often arises in testers’ minds is which is the most efficient, quick, and cost-effective way to perform software testing. Is it manual or automated testing? How to support QA activities in the project or business more productively?
We discuss in this article which approach works best for software testing.
When software testing is performed by human testers and evaluates software applications manually, without using automated testing tools or scripts, it is manual software testing.
It plays a significant role throughout the software development life cycle (SDLC). Testers verify that each development phase, from requirements gathering to deployment, aligns with the desired quality standards. Here is a beginner’s guide to manual testing.
Significance of Manual Testing
Human Judgment and Creativity: Manual testers bring a unique perspective to the testing process. They can apply their judgment, creativity, and domain knowledge to uncover subtle defects, edge cases, and usability issues that automated tests may overlook. This human element adds a layer of depth to quality assurance efforts.
Early-Stage Testing: It often begins in the early stages of development when automated test scripts may not be available or practical to create. This allows for immediate feedback, enabling developers to identify and rectify issues early in the development cycle.
User-Centric Assessment: Puts the software in the hands of real users, mimicking their interactions and expectations. This user-centric approach ensures that the software meets the needs and preferences of its intended audience, contributing to higher customer satisfaction.
Cost-Effective for Small Projects: It can be cost-effective for smaller projects with limited budgets or tight timelines. Automated testing requires an initial investment in test script development and infrastructure, which may not be justified for short-term or one-time projects.
Exploratory Testing: Human testers interact with the software as end-users would, exploring different aspects of the application to identify unexpected issues, usability problems, and potential areas of concern. This intuitive approach often leads to discovering defects and glitches that automated tests might miss. Human testers can leverage their domain knowledge and creativity to uncover critical issues.
User Experience and Usability Testing: It is instrumental in assessing software applications’ user experience (UX) and user interface (UI). Testers evaluate the software’s design, aesthetics, and functionality to ensure that it aligns with user expectations and preferences. This subjective assessment of the software’s look and feel is vital for delivering a user-friendly product that resonates with its target audience.
Ad-Hoc Testing: In situations where there are time constraints or urgent issues that need immediate attention, manual testing is invaluable. Testers can quickly perform ad-hoc testing to address specific problems, verify quick fixes, and validate real-time changes. This flexibility allows for rapid responses to emerging issues.
Complex Test Scenarios: Certain test scenarios are inherently complex and challenging to automate. For example, tests that require human judgment, visual verification, or precise timing are better suited to manual testing. These complex scenarios often exist in domains such as healthcare, finance, and gaming, where human expertise is indispensable
However, it’s important to note that manual testing can be time-consuming, especially for repetitive test cases and is subject to human error and bias.
Automation testing is a software testing technique that uses automated tools, scripts, and frameworks to perform test cases and verify a software application’s functionality, performance, and quality. The primary goal of automation testing is to increase efficiency, repeatability, and accuracy in the testing process.
Read an informative blog on Manual Testing vs Automation Testing.
Significance of Automation Testing
Efficiency and Reproducibility: Automation testing is prized for its efficiency. Automated tests can be executed repeatedly without fatigue or variation, ensuring consistent and reproducible results. This is particularly valuable for regression testing, where test cases are rerun to verify that new changes haven’t introduced defects.
Faster Feedback: Tests can be executed quickly, allowing developers to identify and address issues early in development. This accelerates the software development life cycle and shortens time-to-market.
Large Test Suites: Automation is indispensable for software applications with extensive functionality and complex test scenarios. Automated testing can handle large test suites, execute numerous test cases, and process vast data efficiently, tasks that would be impractical and time-consuming if done manually.
Increased Test Coverage: Allows for comprehensive test coverage, including edge cases and scenarios that might be impractical to test manually.
Improved Reporting and Documentation: Automation testing tools often generate detailed test reports and documentation, making it easier to track test results, defects, and progress over time.
Parallel Testing: Can execute tests in parallel across multiple environments, devices, and browsers. This capability is crucial for simultaneously assessing the compatibility of the software across diverse platforms.
Data-Driven Testing: Enables data-driven testing, where the same test script can be executed with multiple data sets. This is valuable for verifying various scenarios and ensuring that the software can handle different input data effectively.
Performance Testing: It is well-suited for performance testing, load testing, and stress testing, where the application’s behavior under different conditions, such as heavy user loads, is evaluated systematically.
CI/CD: Automation is a cornerstone of CI/CD (Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment) pipelines. These tests are integrated into the development process, ensuring that code changes are automatically tested before being deployed to production, minimizing the risk of defects in production.
Artificial Intelligence in QA
Today, no domain is untouched by artificial intelligence, and it is a powerful driving force in software testing. Natural Language Processing(NLP), Machine Learning, Neural Networks, and generative AI have supercharged the global QA processes. If you have an existing Selenium framework, leverage Selenium AI techniques to empower it.
Significance of AI in Software Testing
Intelligent AI-driven test automation tools such as testRigor have smart capabilities to reduce the effort, time, and cost drastically while enhancing the quality and coverage. Below are a few of those AI-powered features that support testing activities without hassle:
Manual Testers can Build Automation: Smart automation tools like testRigor do not work on CSS or XPath locators and do not require any scripting knowledge. These features enable manual testers to build automation quickly in plain English without engaging in any learning curve.
Test Creation in Seconds: Create tests using testRigor’s generative AI feature; just provide the test case title and testRigor’s generative AI engine will automatically generate the test steps within seconds.
Import Existing Test Cases: In plain English, you can import and refine your manual test cases with reusable steps (subroutines). You can link your existing test cases to test case management tools such as TestRail using seamless integration.
No Code Involved: testRigor eliminates the need for programming language knowledge by converting English test scripts into actual code internally using advanced Natural Language Processing (NLP). You can also use our test recorder to record UI actions and create the test case easily in plain English, meaning learning to code is unnecessary.
Everyone in Team Tests: Product managers can review test cases; testers and your business analysts, sales, and marketing teams can write and execute test cases using testRigor.
Shift Left Testing: Leverage the power and advantages of shift left testing with testRigor. Create test cases early, even before engineers start working on code.
Super Easy Maintenance: There is no maintenance nightmare because there is no reliance on implementation details. This lack of XPath and CSS dependency ensures ultra-stable tests that are easy to maintain.
Know in-depth about AI in software testing.
More Efficient Way Ahead
While automated testing has revolutionized the software testing landscape by providing efficiency and repeatability, manual testing remains a vital and indispensable aspect of quality assurance. Its ability to perform exploratory testing, assess user experience, handle complex scenarios, and provide early-stage feedback is invaluable in delivering high-quality software products. Read this guide to learn software application testing.
A more coherent way to perform software testing is to introduce AI in your QA activities together with manual and automation testing. The power of AI can revolutionize testing almost dramatically with the intelligent features these automation tools provide.
click "Cart" check that page contains "Cart Is Empty" enter "TV" into "Search" enter enter click "TV" click "Add To Cart" check that page contains "Item Added To Cart" check that page contains "Cart (1)"
There is no dependency on CSS/XPath locators. Even if the attributes of the element change, the UI text will likely remain the same. UI changes are incorporated automatically by testRigor using self-healing, saving enormous maintenance effort, time, and associated costs.
testRigor helps you achieve your testing goals with minimum effort and provides more coverage faster and within budget. Read here testRigor’s top features.
Manual testing complements automated testing, and both have unique strengths, making them essential components of a comprehensive testing strategy. Organizations should recognize the enduring significance and right mix of manual/automation testing with AI in software development to achieve software excellence.
Subsequently, choosing the right automation tools, such as testRigor, encompassing AI capabilities, is the cherry on the cake. These tools propel your test automation activities to be completed on time and optimized with minimum effort and cost.