Test Automation vs. Manual Testing: Finding the Right Balance

Serena Gray
3 min readAug 22, 2023

Manual testing and test automation are two of the most prominent and widely used methods of software testing. Manual testing is conducted manually with the help of manual testers, whereas automation testing does not require any human intervention and instead requires specific automation testing tools for carrying out the testing process. Knowing the strategic differences between test automation vs manual testing will help in knowing the software testing activities in a much better manner. In this article, you will get to know the differences between automation testing and manual testing.

What is manual testing?

It is a testing method wherein the execution of test cases is done manually without using any kind of automated tool. It makes sure that the application’s functions are working as expected as stated in the requirements document. As manual testing is conducted by manual testers, there are no specific tools involved and hence it is repetitive, slow and time-consuming.

Wherever human intervention is required in the software testing process, manual testing is required. For example, user acceptance testing is a kind of manual testing method wherein real users are involved to test the software product or application in a real-time production environment. When the software product or application is tested from a human perspective, manual testing comes into the viewpoint.

The working scenario of manual testing:

For example, a website has been created by a developer and the login functionality needs to be tested. Here the specific behavior would be where a user would enter his/her username and password and then click on the login button so that the credentials can be submitted.

Once the login button has been clicked, the user should be redirected to the homepage when executed. If the user isn’t being redirected to the home page then there is a technical issue and hence the QA will report this issue to the developer.

Following are the steps that are taken into consideration while the test is being executed:

1. A web browser is opened

2. Navigate to the specific URL

3. The login page will be opened

4. Username and password are entered

5. If login is not happening then the bug needs to be reported.

It is much better if the software testing team understands the differences between test automation vs manual testing. Because the differences between the two will help the team to leverage both these testing methods optimally.

What is automation testing?

It is a software testing technique wherein automated tools are used for executing test cases and writing scripts. The test coverage, effectiveness and execution speed are enhanced through this testing method. The bugs can be found quickly and accurately.

The working scenario of automation testing:

Test automation is implemented with the help of frameworks that will have common practices, standards and testing tools. A good automation testing framework includes procedures for storing test results, object repositories, methods for handling test data, standards for coding and details on utilizing external resources. The execution and documentation of tests are done based on the framework.

Following are a few examples that will help you understand:

  • Through data-driven frameworks, scripts are created by testers that are being worked for various data sets and quality coverage is provided with fewer tests
  • Small applications are well-suited for linear scripting framework because there is only a little planning involved for test scripts
  • Coming to modular testing frameworks, small and independent scripts are created by testers so that redundancy can be reduced. But, setting up the environment is considered to be time consuming.

The above mentioned information gives a differential view of test automation vs manual testing in order to better understand both of these testing methods.

Conclusion: If you are looking forward to implementing automation testing or manual testing for your specific project, then do get connected with a top-notch software testing services company that will provide you with a pragmatic testing roadmap that is in line with your project requirements.

--

--

Serena Gray

I work as a Senior Testing Specialist at TestingXperts. I am a testing professional accustomed to working in a complex, project-based environment.