Manual Software Testing is the process of going in and running each individual program or series of tasks and comparing the results to the expectations, in order to find the defects in the program. Essentially, manual testing is using the program as the user would under all possible scenarios, and making sure all of the features act appropriately.
The process can be rather tedious to select every setting within a software package. For instance, you might be testing global software for 300 countries, so you need to make sure each of the countries aligns with the appropriate currency. To manually test this, you would select a country and look to see that it has the appropriate currency. But if a program might only have a few options, it would be much more manageable to manually run through the selections and the outcomes of each selection.
Usually, when you’re working for a small company with few financial resources, this is going to be your best option. A big advantage of manual testing is the ability to see real user issues. Unlike a robot, when developing software, going through manually allows you to see bugs that a real user could face.
Manual testing also gives you a lot more flexibility. Using automated tools, it’s difficult to change values in the program once you have began testing. When manually testing, you can quickly test the results and it allows you to see which ideas work the best.
In general, automated testing would not make sense for short-term projects because the upfront cost is too high. In addition, if you’re testing for things that require the human touch like usability, it’s better to have a ‘human’ tester. Companies that have little expertise in the area are also recommended to begin with manual testing. Once the team has mastered testing risks and test coverage, they can then move toward automation.
Automated Software Testing
Automated software testing uses automated tools to run tests based on algorithms to compare the developing program’s expected outcomes with the actual outcomes. If the outcomes are aligned, your program is running properly and you are most likely bug free. If the two don’t align, you have to take another look at your code and alter it and continue to run tests until the outcomes align.
Automated testing is best to use when you’re working on a large project, and there are many system users. The biggest advantages of automated testing are its relative quickness and effectiveness. Once your initial test is set up, it’s an easy process to repeat tests, continuously fill out the same information and everything is done for you automatically.
It has not removed the need for the traditional development cycle completely, but much of the validation, particularly for web parts, has been made far easier.”
Automated Testing also keeps developer minds more intrigued. It’s tedious work typing in the same information into the same forms over and over again in manual testing. The process of setting up test cases in automated testing takes a technical mind, and keeps you on your feet. It’s also more applicable to the rest of the team. When using automated tests, any member of the team can automatically see the results published to the testing system. This provides for better team collaboration, and a better overall product.
There are quite a few considerations to make based upon your project when deciding to go with manual or automated testing. Make sure you make an educated and well-informed decision that’s best for your specific project needs.