The existence of both manual and automation testing gives the illusion of choice.
Technically, you can view them as interchangeable, that one is the faster version of the other. Once you understand how each QA testing approach operates, its strengths and weaknesses, you find there is no choice. Instead, the idea is to know when to apply them, not if you should choose one over the other.
Knowing when to use manual and automation testing is really just an understanding of your product. If you know the parameters and scope of the QA process ahead of you, then knowing when to deploy each method becomes obvious.
We have put together a quick guide to understanding each approach that should help you identify the approach that best suits the components of your testing process.
When to Use Manual and Automation Testing
You can access the relative strengths of automation and manual testing only if you have a comprehensive understanding of your product. Every QA process begins with a scoping study, selecting the right framework, and employing the right metrics. You have to understand where it is possible and practical to apply each testing approach before making decisions related to ROI.
With that groundwork in place, you are ready to maximize the strengths of manual and automation testing.
When to Use Manual Testing
Manual testing is the best way to get the impressions, demands, and reactions of human beings. Even when your test scripts are written by domain experts, the process falls short of the human engineer’s ability to see through bugs into fixes, or to realize the difference between what is functional and what is optimal. Manual testing is best when simulating the user experience. As long as your end-users are humans, there is an advantage to using human QA engineers.
The same mental gymnastics a human engineer can perform while standing in the user’s shoes can also be brought to bear on the security aspects of the QA process. It is recommended that the majority of your cybersecurity simulations, from DDoS attacks to penetration
Essentially, manual testing is a preference
User Interface Testing
User Acceptance Testing
The conclusion to understanding when to use manual and automation testing is acknowledging that your QA process is stronger when you use both.
When to Use Automated Testing
Automation puts more power in the hands of your developers and QA engineers. It is proven to increase the accuracy and coverage of your test
It sounds perfect, but there is a catch. Automation cannot be applied to every test case or to every test phase. Automation trails manual testing in user acceptance, interface, and usability testing.
There is still a way to use automation to produce ROI quickly. You just have to know when it should be applied. Automation can reduce testing time by up to 95% when used to analyze huge quantities of data. It is built for scale and speed, and the more information you can feed, the more efficiencies you create.
As such, automation is best for the following test phases:
Repetitive smoke tests;
Build acceptance testing: Tests that
needto be run with every build of the application, which will save a great deal of time if automated (e.g., smoke tests, sanity tests);
Frequent testing areas: Areas that
needfrequent testing (e.g., smoke, sanity, and regression tests) are best automated. This leads to faster feedback and shortened release cycles;
High business-relevance tests: Regression Tests with high business relevance should be targeted for automation. Tests that target revenue areas (i.e., payments, transactions, etc.);
API and DB automation: Automating API and DB tests would increase product robustness and reliability;
Failure-prone areas: Areas that have
highprobability of failures should be automated, as should those which will get heavy use;
Time-consuming areas: Automation of
time-consumingtests, such as those that require bulk data generation;
Data-driven tests: Automate tests that
needto be run identically on differentsets of data. That will reduce the risk of failures from human error;
Precision-testing: Tests requiring a great deal of precision should be automated and will also reduce the risk of mistakes (e.g.
All customer-reported defects also need to be automated on priority to avoid any future occurrence; and
Any test cases across multiple configurations need to be automated on priority, as this leads to
Theoretically, you can apply automation testing to any phase of your QA process, especially if you have skilled QA engineers who can write successful test scripts. However, you are unlikely to achieve 100% test coverage. To meet that goal, you need manual testing as well.
Combining the Strengths of Manual and Automation Testing
Knowing when to use manual and automation testing together is at the core of your QA process. Essentially, the approaches split on a qualitative versus quantitative basis.
You want to use automation testing on those aspects of your product that require repetitive testing of large quantities of data. It works release cycle wonders in functionality and core stability testing.
Manual testing, on the other hand, is best deployed when your engineers can simulate the user experience. You do not have to wait until the GUI phase to implement it either. Human engineers can make a valued contribution by catching bugs as early as possible.
Every QA process includes phases that favor one or the other test approach. The trick is to have the support and talent on hand to implement each when needed.QASource’s engineers are experts in both automation and manual testing. With more than 1,000 years of collective experience, our engineers can show you how to optimize your QA process by utilizing the strengths of each approach. Contact us today for a free quote: Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +1.925.271.5555 to get started.