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What is the importance of Manual testing, and do we still need it?

Human language:

Software testing is divided into two categories, manual and automation testing. In today's world, we hear more and more about automation, and it may seem that manual testing is becoming an outdated approach and losing its relevance, but this is not entirely true. Manual testing is an important part of software quality assurance, where a human tester proceeds with a quality check without using any automation tools.

But why it is so important? The first and one of the most important aspects is the User's perspective This is probably the biggest reason why manual testing is important. When it comes not just to functionality, but also to first impressions, there’s no replacement for the human eye. For end-users, an app’s visual aesthetics are as essential as the correct functioning of its features. Even the most advanced automated test scripts can’t detect what the human tester’s eye can see from a customer’s perspective and understand the problem on an emotional level. Automated tests do not have human senses. After all, it is the computer that is running tests and checks values. Only humans are creative and analytical.

The second aspect of importance is Time and Costs After manual tests of the documented functionality are done, test scenarios are written. To test functionality objectively, defects have to be fixed first. Only after that, automated tests can be created. For making automation testing you have to select test cases, write scripts for them into the automated tool and then run the tests, and also take into account the additional costs of maintenance and management, scripting and rewriting, and setup and processing time. So this flow is too expensive for small projects where with manual testing, you can just quickly test features, that are faster to be tested manually and see the results. For example, If you need to test a small change. When one of your brilliant thoughts comes to you, something that could change the course of the project, you want to be able to work on it immediately. With automated testing, this is difficult.

The third aspect of importance is Some scenarios are not technically feasible to automate Almost all applications are complex, they contain lots of components, modules, and third-party resources, and you do not always have the opportunity to write an automatic test for this, due to the cost of time and money, the lack of necessary access, and the complexity of the implementation itself. For example, If you have a mobile product, and you need to validate how it works on many different devices/screen sizes/OS versions/manufacturers – it’s not practical to automate that, and many older phones don’t support automation.

Other aspects of why manual testing is so important are - Exploratory testing and usability testing. Automated tests only perform the actions that you tell them to.

Exploratory testing (or ad hoc testing) gives us the opportunity to answer questions like, “What happens if I do this?” It enables us to carve our own path throughout the test with little to no boundaries.

Usability testing mainly focuses on the user’s ease of using the application, the flexibility of the application to handle controls, and the ability of the application to meet its objectives. Usability testing - verify how easy and user-friendly a software application is, while automated test scripts don’t pick up these visual issues. Automation is just one of the various testing tools, but not a panacea for approaching quality goals.

One more aspect of why manual testing is so important is - Automated tests can contain еrrors. Just like any software code can contain bugs in it, automation scripts are not immune to them either. It means that testing results may have a wrong pass or fail result.


So, if you are asked at an interview: Do you believe manual testing is important and why? In addition to the information from the article, we can say that: Both manual and automation testing are important and go hand in hand with software development. Many teams are exploring how to automate the vast majority of their tests to ensure that repeatable tests are executed while giving quality assurance employees time to complete other tasks, but even if automation testing detected no bugs, manual quality assurance can help to identify general design and usability defects, as well as unlogical navigation and customer paths.


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