Test automation has become immensely popular among testers in recent times. What drives this popularity? Customer demands are constantly changing in today’s fluid software development environment. So, software companies need to ensure they deliver high-quality software solutions in minimal time to keep their customers satisfied. The recent COVID-19 pandemic only accelerated this process. Since test automation is an integral part of DevOps, Agile teams worldwide started rapidly embracing test automation to accelerate the entire software testing life cycle. That brings us to the most crucial question: Will test automation replace manual testing?
Before answering this question, let’s understand what manual testing is, what automation testing is, and the differences between automated and manual testing.
What is Manual testing?
As the name suggests, manual testing is a software testing process executed by a software tester without using automated tools. The different types of manual testing include white box testing, black-box testing, and grey-box testing.
What is (no code) Test automation?
Test automation is the software testing process where a testing professional uses a software tool to run test cases. No-code test automation is gaining popularity these days as one need not write a single line of code to carry out testing. No-code test automation helps scale-up automation quickly, lowers the maintenance cost, and can be used as an all-in-one solution for automation needs across an organization.
While automated testing might seem like a straightforward option to stick to, manual testing has its advantages. And if you ask if manual testing going to be dead? The answer is NO. Here’s why.
Why Manual Testing is Here to Stay
Usability Testing Still Needs Human Intervention
There is no doubt that automation testing has many benefits. But when it comes to usability testing, manual testing is the only way forward. That’s because we still don’t have a tool that can identify ‘good’ usability vs. ‘bad’ usability. Manual testing plays a critical role when it comes to usability testing.
Manual Testing Tests The Unpredictable
Automated testing works best when the outcome is predictable. It works best when the test coverage is vast but not deep. Automated testing works best in regression testing, primarily when QA engineers work with minimum resources. But when you need to test an unpredictable outcome, manual testing is your best bet.
Exploratory Testers Cannot be Automated
The success of software testing depends on how well the application is tested based on users’ perspectives and not how the developer wants the functionality delivered. So, if you’re going to validate from the lens of a user, you need manual testing. Automated testing is not ideal for conducting exploratory testing.
Not all Tests can be Automated
Finally, there can be technical challenges to automating a test simply because of its complexity. In such cases, manual testing is the savior.
Although the agile approach is constantly demanding a shift towards automated testing, the truth is that both manual testing and test automation are here to stay. Each of these testing processes has its applications. Manual testing offers flexibility and helps to explore different test angles. In contrast, automated testing saves time and cost, and it accelerates your software development life cycle, especially when you need to do a large number of tests in a short time. It’s incumbent upon testing teams and QA engineers to analyze their testing requirements and choose the testing method that works best for them.
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