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Automation Testing Vs. Manual Testing: What’s the Difference?

Prem KhatriBy: Prem Khatri

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When it comes to testing out a software program, both automatic and manual testing can be performed by a business's engineers. This testing helps to see how the software reacts to various factors and scenarios. Some of the most common types of testing on software include network testing, integration testing, smoke testing, and regression testing.

What Is Manual Testing?

With manual testing, an actual person tests the software program. This testing engineer executes various testing scenarios to see how the software performs and identifies any faults in the software program. Manual testing allows the engineer full control over the execution of every action during the testing process while giving the benefit of human observation for testing the user-friendliness of a software program.

What Is Automatic Testing?

With automatic testing, a series of scripts and tools prepared by the engineer are utilized to test the software in a variety of scenarios. Other than preparing the scripts, this type of testing is mainly hands-on for the engineer. You may hear automatic testing referred to as test automation or QA testing.

Once the automation tools are done testing the software program, the results can be examined. The engineer will have predicted results before running the test automation process. After testing is complete, the engineer will compare their predicted results with those of the actual results from testing.

Pros Of Automatic Testing

One of the biggest benefits that automatic testing holds over manual testing is the ability to eliminate human error. Since the testing is done with automated scripts, the results can be reproduced successfully time and time again. Manual testing is always susceptible to human error, meaning the results are not always reproducible.

Engineers can create suites of tests that can be used over and over again for various software programs. Think of automation testing as the ability to create cookie-cutter instructions that can be used time and time again with every new software program you need to test. Manual testing, on the other hand, requires you to create new scripts each time you want to run a test on a new piece of software.

Software Testing

Running tests is only half of the battle. Getting valuable feedback from those tests so you can act on them is another. With automation testing services, your team can get quick feedback. This expedited feedback loop can allow them to run many tests within just a few hours based on the results of the previous tests.

Most businesses are not operating on just one platform these days. Rather, they use a variety of operating systems and device platforms. For this reason, automatic testing is more superior to manual testing. Automatic testing can be run on various platforms all at once. This means quicker testing and results from all types of platforms and operating systems.

One of the biggest pitfalls with manual testing is that only one engineer can see the results in real-time. They must wait until the testing is over until tangible results can be revealed to the whole testing team. With automatic testing, all team members can sign into the testing system and experience the results first-hand. This can result in better team collaboration and, ultimately, a better end product.

While the cost of automatic testing can be expensive at first, it will pay for itself over the long-term. These savings can be reaped in many different ways. First, your engineers will no longer need to invest in excessive hours of human labor to run manual testing tasks. Second, automation testing allows your team to easily detect defects when they happen. This means a quicker reaction time to fix the problem.

Cons of Automatic Testing

While automatic testing has many awesome benefits, it does have some drawbacks that business owners should know before investing in it. First, automatic testing tools can be expensive. Just like many other digital tools, automatic testing software is a one time purchase, so it will cost a good bit of money.

The setup process will still take some time for your engineers. Unfortunately, you don't just turn it on and have the right testing scenarios pre-prepared. Rather, engineers will have to invest a great deal of time in developing the ideal automated tests for your business. Once set up, the tests can be added to your suite of tools to use in the future.

While it's clear that automatic testing greatly outperforms manual testing on many levels, it does have some slight limitations. Automated testing tools are not designed to test for visual considerations. Things like changes in font size or image color go undetected by an automation tool. These slight alterations can only be detected via manual testing.

Why Use Automatic Over Manual Testing?

While it can be a costly investment of both funds and time, in the beginning, automatic testing can be very beneficial to the long-term success of any business. With the ability to apply pre-programmed tests to any new software, a business can enjoy quick feedback loops and more reliable testing results free of human errors.

This reusable testing format runs faster than any form of manual testing. It eliminates human error from its results and can test multiple platforms at once. This opens up a whole new level of in-depth testing that simply wasn't feasible with manual testing. Tasks that have been labeled as too time-consuming for manual testing can now be easily run with automatic testing to provide more in-depth results about the software's response to different scenarios.

As technology continues to get more and more advanced, businesses are finding it necessary to constantly be on the lookout for tactics that can put them one step ahead of their competitors. Automation testing services are one upgrade that is making a huge splash for businesses. Receiving faster feedback, having the ability to run on multiple platforms, and so forth can allow any business to test software efficiently.


Chetu, Inc. does not affect the opinion of this article. Any mention of specific names for software, companies or individuals does not constitute an endorsement from either party unless otherwise specified. All case studies and blogs are written with the full cooperation, knowledge and participation of the individuals mentioned. This blog should not be construed as legal advice.

Chetu was incorporated in 2000 and is headquartered in Florida. We deliver World-Class Software Development Solutions serving entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 clients. Our services include process and systems design, package implementation, custom development, business intelligence and reporting, systems integration, as well as testing, maintenance and support. Chetu's expertise spans across the entire IT spectrum.

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