“Are you a manual or automation tester?”
That’s a typical question any recruiter or colleague could ask you, forcing you to make a choice.
If you say “I’m a manual tester”, you convey the idea (I don’t know where it comes from) that you’re old school and you like registering cases. Some may even think that coding isn’t your thing.
In contrast, if you say “I’m an automation tester”, the (again, implicit) message is that you are not old school, you like coding and therefore, you get along much better with developers because you code yourself.
The truth is that automating the entire testing process of an application isn’t possible, and conversely, you cannot execute too many tests manually. We will now outline a few characteristics of each type of testing.
- Interacting with the software in “user mode” allows the analyst to provide ongoing feedback on the product’s status. By evaluating the product as a user, they can detect not only functional but also UI errors, and even suggest improvements in the user experience. It’s through manual interaction that you can better understand the application.
- Since no coding is necessary, changes can be implemented faster in the product, which also enables exploratory testing. It’s kind of more “immediate” because it’s right at your fingertips.
- Human skills such as observation, analysis and attention to detail are put to the test, and these are abilities that no machine has been able to replace so far. That also means that in manual testing we look for the most accurate way to reproduce a test case.
- It’s more technically-oriented when it comes to detecting and reporting errors, which allows the programmer to find out exactly where the application failed.
- Many of the tests can be reused, which leads to better efficiency in time management, especially for cases that demand more human effort.
- It’s also possible to execute other types of technical tests, for example, when you need to simulate a large number of users. If those tests were done manually, they would require more time and effort from QAs.
This is a more detailed comparison of both types of testing:
Next time someone asks you what kind of QA you are, you can say that manual and automation testing are complementary. Neither one nor the other is better. The best thing to do instead is to set up a team including analysts from both types of testing.
We promote and believe in:
- QAs who are capable of understanding basic algorithms, write repetitive and high-volume tests, and execute manual tests in order to understand the application from the user’s side.
- QAs who are capable of understanding and running other types of tests based on the project’s needs, such as performance and load tests.
- QAs who are continuously learning and working to improve processes.
If you agree to all of this, consider joining our QAs school. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org.