Software testing is an integral part of the software development process. As the nature of the software has become more complex with increasing requirements from clients, QA testing has also transformed over the years.

There are mainly two QA testing methodologies and approaches i.e. automation testing vs manual testing.

Both of the testing approaches have their own benefits and drawbacks. Depending on the requirements, the QA team chooses either of the approaches.

In most cases, both automation testing and manual testing approaches are used in combination.

In this blog post, we’re going to discuss automation testing and manual testing and how they’re different from each other.

What Is Manual Testing?

In manual testing, QA analysts run every test individually without test scripts to capture defects and issues before deploying software. This kind of testing is commonly considered slower and leads to more human errors.

What Is Automation Testing?

In automation testing, QA testers automate their testing efforts by making use of scripts and tools. QA testers can significantly improve test coverage and run more test cases.

Manual Testing vs. Automation Testing

Automated testing and manual testing are significantly different from each other mainly due to the way they’re executed. Manual testing is executed step by step by manual QA testers without the aid of test scripts. On the other hand, QA automation testing is carried out with the least human involvement with test automation frameworks and other testing tools.

How Manual Testing and Automation Testing Work

How Manual Testing Works How Automated Testing Works
Manual testing is executed by the QA automation engineer from the beginning to the end from creating test cases to executing actual tests. This type of software testing typically requires an experienced manual quality assurance tester. Automation testing mainly involves writing test scripts that will run to execute automation testing process. Therefore, it requires minimum human intervention leading to fewer chances of errors.

Key Differences

  • Manual testing is performed manually and thus requires QA analysts or manual quality assurance tester. However, automation testing is executed by using automate test scripts, tools, and codes by the automation tester.
  • There are higher chances of falling for human errors dues to great dependence on human intervention. But automated software testing is more reliable and accurate as it’s based on automate test scripts, QA automation tools, and codes.
  • Manual testing takes a lot of time, as it’s executed by humans. Automated QA testing is comparatively extremely fast and saves time.
  • Random testing can be done while using a manual testing approach but it’s not allowed in automation testing.

Manual Testing Pros and Cons

Pros of Manual Testing

  • It offers quick and accurate feedback in visual form.
  • It doesn’t require QA automation tools hence saves budget in this sense.
  • It gives room to a human judgment that gives more personalized outcomes.
  • Any small changes can be done very easily in less time without requiring to change the code.

Cons of Manual Testing

  • As executed by humans, it has more chances of human errors making it less reliable.
  • Not using QA automation tools make this testing more time-consuming which increases the cost of the project.
  • Manual tests cannot be reused because they’re not recorded.
  • Some tasks in software testing are difficult that require more time if done manually.

Automated Testing Pros and Cons

Pros of Automated Testing

  • It helps to identify more bugs than a human tester.
  • It’s speedy, accurate, and efficient.
  • You can reuse test cases and other operations, as it allows recording.
  • Automated testing works without a break or tiring as humans.
  • It has greater productivity in lesser time, fostering greater profits
  • It supports several applications that help to scale out testing.
  • Automated testing increases testing coverage, as it never misses any unit.

Cons of Automated Testing

  • It ignores human intervention, so it’s hard to have visual UI feedback like font, colors, sizes, etc.
  • Automated testing increases the project’s cost because automation testing tools are expensive.
  • The scope of automation is limited because of the limitations of the automation tools.
  • The maintenance of tests is expensive in automation testing.
  • Automated software testing has a problem with debugging the test script.

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What’s the Difference Between Manual Testing and Automation Testing?

If we have to put the difference between manual testing and automation testing in one point, we can say that it mainly depends on how/ who executes the test case. Manual testing is executed by manual QA testers (humans) while QA automation testing is executed by tools.

Parameter Automation Testing Manual Testing
Test Execution Performed automatically using automate test scripts and automation tools for QA Manually performed by QA manual tester
Exploratory Testing Random testing is not allowed in automation testing Manual testing allows exploratory testing.
Test Efficiency Enhances efficiency by executing more tests in less time Consumes more time and has less productivity
Test Coverage Automated software testing allows greater test coverage in less time Manual software testing does not ensure sufficient test coverage 
Types of Tasks Most of the tasks are performed automatically. All the tasks are carried out manually
Investment Automated testing has a higher initial investment due to expensive tools. But in the long run, it saves cost due to automated testing and increases ROI. Manual software testing has a relatively lower initial investment due to not having any need for tools. But in the long run, it receives less ROI because it takes more time to perform manual testing.
Reliability Offers great reliability because of high dependability on the testing tools and scripts Doesn’t offer reliability because of high dependability on the human intervention that causes errors.
Cost-effective Cost effective only for high volume regression Cost effective only for low volume regression
Batch testing Multiple Test Scripts can be batched to make the execution fast. Cannot perform batch testing.
Set up The test execution set up in this method is less complex. The test execution set up in this method is quite straightforward.
Ideal approach It’s ideal to use when you have to execute the same set of test cases more frequently. It’s ideal to use when you have to execute the same set of test cases only once or twice.
Framework Frameworks that we use in this method are Data Drive, Keyword, Hybrid, etc. We don’t use frameworks here but may use other things like checklists, guidelines, stringent processes, etc.
Deadlines It has zero risk of delaying the task due to automation. It has higher risk of not meeting the decided deadline due to high dependence on human efforts.
Test Report Visibility Any stakeholder can login into the system and check the execution of the test. Results are not commonly visible to everyone as they are recorded in Word or Excel.
Parallel Execution We can execute this testing on different operating platforms in parallel to minimize test execution time. We can execute this testing on different operating platforms in parallel but with the help of increased human resources that is costly.

Wrapping Up: Manual Testing vs Automation Testing

In this blog post, you’ve learned the difference between automation testing and manual testing. We talked about:

  • How Manual Testing and Automation Testing Work
  • Key Differences
  • Manual Testing Pros and Cons
  • Automated Testing Pros and Cons
  • Difference Between Manual Testing and Automation Testing

If you want to share your thoughts about manual testing vs automation testing, drop your message in the comments section below.

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