Manual Testing Versus Test Automation: Everything You Need to Know in 2024

As the world is more becoming digital in 2024, software quality has become of paramount importance. Since organizations across the globe rely heavily on software applications to manage their critical business processes, it is the need of the hour that these software applications operate seamlessly. This is where testing comes in. There are basically two types of testing methodologies – manual testing and test automation. Which software testing approach will work best for you? In this blog, we’ll uncover what manual and test automation is. Which approach is better for you and can help you in achieving business objectives in 2024.

What is manual testing?

In manual testing, testers execute test cases by hand and explore the application’s features to ensure that it behaves as intended. From creating requirements to creation of test cases and test execution, all steps are performed manually. Testers interact with the application’s user interface, input data, and observe the outcomes.

Drawbacks of Manual Testing

  • Manual testing is time consuming. Since all the steps in the testing process are managed manually by testers, manual testing requires a lot of time. A single scenario in manual testing requires multiple clicks, data entry at multiple points and so on.
  • Manual testing is error prone. A perfect use-case to understand this is regression testing. This is a repetitive testing that is performed when a software undergoes any change. Since it is repetitive in nature, there are chances of human errors.
  • Manual testing cannot ensure adequate coverage. Let’s understand this with the help of regression testing. Here, the test suites are selected either by guess work or personal experience of manual testers. Saying otherwise, there is no logical way to select regression suites. This exposes your business to risks.
  • Another downside of manual testing is that it cannot be scaled. The only way to scale it is by deploying more testers.

What is test automation?

In test automation, specialized tools and scripts are used to automate software testing tasks. Automated scripts, also known as test cases, can mimic user interactions with an application, validate expected behaviors, and verify that the software functions as intended. The key components of test automation include:

  • Test Scripts: These are sets of instructions or code written to automate the execution of test cases. Test scripts interact with the application under the test to validate its functionality.
  • Test Automation Tools: The job of the testing tools is to execute test scripts and compare actual outcomes with expected results.

Top benefits of test automation

  • Speed: Automated tests can be executed much faster than manual tests.
  • Accuracy: Repeated steps can be executed with precision every time. Since human involvement is limited, the risk of human errors associated with manual testing is also minimized.
  • Reusability: Test scripts can be reused across different phases of the development lifecycle, saving time and effort.
  • Regression Testing: Automated tests are particularly effective for regression testing, ensuring that new code changes do not negatively impact existing functionalities.
  • Parallel Execution: Many test automation tools allow tests to be run concurrently, accelerating the testing process.

Let’s compile automated testing vs manual testing

Automated TestingManual Testing
FastSlow & time consuming
Reusable testsNot reusable
Can guarantee adequate coverageCannot guarantee adequate coverage
Can be scaledScalability is an issue
Support parallel testingCannot support parallel testing
Can integrate with CI/CDFollow waterfall approach
Robust reportingOpaque testing process

Although the benefits of automated testing are huge, there are some underlying challenges. The first and foremost challenge is to find the right ERP testing tools. ERP systems are complex in nature and finding testing tools can be daunting. We advise you to select the no-code test automation platform as it allows business users to participate in the testing. Business users are a critical part of testing as they are the ones who know business processes best. Their incorporation in testing ensures adequate risk coverage.

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