While change is imminent, normal, and healthy, manual testing isn’t going anywhere. It will be around for as long as the end user-your customers-are human.
Whenever any new feature is added or modified in the application, it raises the chances of breakage in the existing functionality, which might create bad user experience. To verify the application from end user’s perspective, it’s always better to have the application manually tested by domain experts who are able to imagine and execute complex business-specific scenarios (Click to Tweet). This sort of rigorous, critical thinking is uniquely human, and it cannot (yet) be replicated by test scripts.
How else does manual testing add value to your product and organization? Let’s have a look:
- Increases test coverage. It’s nearly impossible to get 100% test coverage using automation testing because there will always be a few scenarios that cannot be automated, or would add to the cost of testing due to tool limitations or other complexities. For these scenarios, manual testing is the best bet.
- Reduces costs. Thinking about automating testing at the initial stage of development? This could add to the cost of your testing, because teams will need to learn the product and build the automation framework. It's recommended that you rely on manual testing for verifying new features until the product is in a stable enough state for automation. It’s a move that will save you both money and time!
- Steer clear of last-minute bugs. There will be times when the release date is drawing near, and a new bug jumps into the mix-most likely due to the hotfix of another bug. Instead of letting this be a show-stopper, a manual tester can help find a quick workaround which helps keep the release on schedule. This is impossible with automated testing, because it relies on scripts and pre-defined behavior.
- Test in real time. Some test simulations cannot be achieved using automation testing, as there are cases where test scenarios (like tracking the location of any object) need to be executed in a real time environment, which can only be accomplished with manual testing.
- Test with passion. Humans have passion. Computers and test scripts, try as they might, do not. You can get more quality work if manual testing is involved and performed by passionate manual testers who continue learning new testing practices and take ownership over their work. After all, it’s their craft, their career, and their livelihood!
No one can deny that automation testing is adding a ton of value to release cycles everywhere. But automation is best for speeding up the testing of existing features. For new features, manual testing is still your best bet. And paired with a thorough automation suite, it can help you deliver a solid, high-quality product every time!