General testingQa

What is the difference between Manual and Automation testing

3 Mins read

What really is the difference between manual and automation testing and why should it matter? Generally, testing involves a lot of repetitive tasks since the same modules need pass same quality checks before each release. This not only takes a lot of time and effort but may increase the possibility of human error if the checks are being done manually — to err is to human 🙂

What is covered

  • Difference between manual and automated testing
  • When is automated testing preferred over manual testing
  • Will automated testing replace manual testing?
  • What tools are used in automation testing?
  • How do you choose?
  • Conclusion

What’s the difference between manual and automation testing?

Manual quality assurance — is a process of employing human testers to go through an application’s functionality and identify product defects for fixing before an application is finally launched to the live environment. Manual testing is often good when either testing small bits of the software or when the software is relatively small and can be tested in a short period of time.

Automation testing — refers to the process of writing code or employing tools that do the testing on the application for you and then provide the required results. Automated testing is good to use when the project is large and requires a lot of resources when testing it in full before it is released.

As much as manual and automation testing have the same goal in mind, it is important to know when to employ one mode of testing as compared to the other.

Manual Testing

Sometimes unreliable as human error is likely to occur at any point of the process

useful in cases where the tests involve user experience or processes that involve vision

Suitable if the same tests are not run frequently.

Human resources are required to perform the manual testing – thus may prove to be more expensive.

More time consuming

Automated Testing

More reliable since programmed scripts are used to run the tests

Cannot guarantee subjective user related experiences.

Better for tests that are repetitive and structured

Consumes less time – as a script is fairly much more fast than a human. (test re-usability) – and usage in regression testing.

Less time consuming due to the above factors

What specific instance is automation testing better?

  • Regression testing – Regression tests are repetitive tests that run covering specific functionality of an application to ensure that those functions are working as expected. Regression tests are important to ensure new changes do not affect the previously exisiting functionality.
  • Load Testing – Load tests ensure the application can handle the certain amounts of requests in real life situations with given amount of users.
  • Performance testing – Tests the speed, scalability and performance of an application

Will automation testing replace manual testing?

Well, you might be wondering – since automation testing sounds so good – will it replace manual testing in the near future? – and the answer is no. Manual and automation testing work hand in hand and complete each other like peas in a pod. This is because the strengths that manual testing provides(listed above), still cannot be replaced by automation testing. At least for now.

What tools are used in automation testing?

There are many tools available in the market today – that can aid in automation testing. Below are just a few – however, it is important to note that there are numerous tools that are being developed daily.

  • Selenium webdriver – this is a driver that can run browser based tests in a script.
  • Jmeter – A performance test tool that can run tests on many different server types – like, HTTP, HTTPS, SOAP, Database via JDBC, LDAP, JMS, Mail – POP3 etc
  • Postman – Mainly used in API testing, postman API automation testing is easy to use and has a free tier
  • Spock – A testing framework for Java/Groovy applications
  • Capybara – effective wrapper for different testing frameworks – used in ruby
  • Esspreso – Used for android UI tests
  • Appium – Opensource application used for native app testing
  • Kaspresso –  Based on Espresso and UI Automator – used for UI testing
  • Rspec – ruby BDD testing framework

How do you choose?

Based on the factors above and according to your company requirements, it becomes easy to decide on how to set up a quality team. Most often – combining both manual and automation testing proves to be a very efficient way of testing a software in totality.

“Don’t just fix the bugs; fix whatever permitted the bugs in the first place.”



It is important to note that neither manual or automation testing is “better” – It all depends on what works for the particular application at that moment in time.

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