The recent decade has witnessed an enormous shift in the Software Engineering and Software testing practices from manual to automated in most of the areas. With the advent of AI, machine learning and the rise of different automation tools, some people think, manual testing will get completely wiped-off by automation. Let’s unveil some myths surrounding the future of manual testing and debunk them with facts.
MYTH: Automation can completely wipe off the need for manual expertise.
REALITY: The common myth is that technicians believe this shift to be applicable ubiquitously, but this is not the reality. Automation can never ever substitute manual methods to the fullest extent. There are always certain critical areas which require manual expertise or supervision. Both the methods come along with their pros and cons so selection of the right method depends upon the size and type of software to be tested.
Where Manual Testing can’t be replaced:
Here are a few points where Manual Testing can’t be substituted by automation:
- Good for small projects: The initial cost of installation of automated testing system is considerably high as compared to traditional methods of manual testing. So incurring huge installation costs for small projects is a waste of money, hence manual testing stands more useful in that case.
- Standing in the shoes of users: A man can better understand another man. Expert manual testers put themselves in the shoes of users and then analyze the software according to their needs and demands, which results in higher UX. This is not possible in the case of automated testing where all software is tested in a standardised format.
- Going into minute details: Automation works on fixed predetermined procedures of testing which can not be customized. Though the results are quicker but minute defects may get ignored. So manual testing is mandatory to wipe off tiny worms that may be neglected during automation.
- Personalised application of techniques: Not all software need to be tested in the same manner or through the same technique. Every organization requires personalised application if testing techniques according to the type and size of software. So expertise of software testers is mandatory where there are regular changes in software requirements.
- Can be used on all types of software or applications: There are a few restrictions as to the applications of automated testing techniques but manual testing techniques can be modified to test any and every kind of software.
- High maintenance cost of automation: Automation may fall out of the budget of some of the small organisation. They must prefer manual testing to escape high expenses or maintenance cost of automated methods.
Where Manual Testing should be replaced:
Here are a few points where manual testing falls short of requirements of ideal testing, so these points preferably need substitution by automated techniques
- For repetitive steps: There are certain steps in the testing process that are repetitive and do not necessarily require manual expertise or supervision. Just give a command once, and you are good to go. So automation should be adopted to save time and effort in such cases.
- Saving Time: You do not need to reframe the testing parameters every time you check a part or whole of a software. The mechanisms are reusable, hence they save time and reduce the chances of any delay in releasing of the software due to testing processes.
- Reducing Human Errors: Artificial intelligence is more powerful than human intelligence, so it prevents any human errors in the testing of software, hence making it a more reliable method.
- More accuracy: This is an implication of the above point. Reduced human errors in testing means greater accuracy in testing reports and efficient analysis.
- Works on complicated coding: Automated methods are designed to work on all kinds of coding and programs, including complicated ones. Manual methods may prove to be less useful when coding is complicated or new to the testers.
Both of the methods have their own merits and demerits and they can never be a substitute for each other to the fullest extent. It is undoubtedly true that most of the leading testing agencies or expert testers are adopting automation in many spheres but still MANUAL TESTING CAN NEVER DIE COMPLETELY due to its certain advantages mentioned above. So a proper balance needs to be maintained at every point.