Manual vs Automation Testing – What Are The Differences?

The life cycle of software development must include software testing. It makes that the code complies with the functional requirements laid out by the product owner and enables software teams to confidently release the finished product.

Oct 26, 2023 - 16:20
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Manual vs Automation Testing – What Are The Differences?

Manual vs Automation Testing – What Are The Differences?

The life cycle of software development must include software testing. It makes that the code complies with the functional requirements laid out by the product owner and enables software teams to confidently release the finished product. In the end, providing excellent customer service requires software testing. Software testing can be done in one of two ways: manually or automatically. Compare the two approaches.


Testing: Manual vs. Automated

Manual and automated testing are carried out in quite different ways. Both call for particular assets, instruments, and abilities. Both manual and automated testing have advantages and disadvantages, which we'll cover further in this post. Let's define "manual testing" and "automation testing" briefly first.


Manual testing: What is it?

A tester who conducts manual testing creates test cases, runs the tests, and then delivers the results to their manager or team leader. To establish whether the test findings are a "pass" or "fail," a human tester physically runs tests on a piece of software.


What is testing via automation?

Code scripts created by a human tester are executed during automation testing to validate tests. Instead of being completed by humans, the tests are carried out programmatically utilizing a variety of test automation technologies.


Benefits and Drawbacks of Both Approaches

Both human and automated testing have advantages and downsides in terms of time commitment, expense, and other factors. Now let's look more closely at the advantages and disadvantages of manual testing versus automation testing.


Gains from Manual Testing

The fact that manual testing doesn't require any programming knowledge is one of its key advantages, however, this does not imply that everyone can become a manual tester. Specific abilities and traits are necessary for manual and automation testing to succeed (more on this later).


Since tooling can be modest, especially if you're just getting started, manual testing has lower initial costs. In exploratory or random testing, which is possible with manual testing, testers are free to stray from the test cases as they see suitable. To help testers enhance their test coverage, the testing procedure is not restricted to the actions listed in the test case. 


Negative Effects of Manual Testing

Given that each test must be carried out by a human without the aid of automated scripts, manual testing might take a long time. For instance, running just one test case may take many minutes or even hours. Manual testing is subject to human error because it involves humans. This is why it's crucial to work with diligent, experienced testers who are quality-driven.


The benefits of automating testing

Once automation testing is up and going, it takes less time. Running tests can be done very rapidly once the scripts have been built and the tools have been put in place.  Given that there is less possibility for human error with automation testing (as long as the test scripts are designed correctly), it is more likely to be accurate.


Testing with automation has drawbacks

Automation testing's main drawback is that it requires programming knowledge, which raises the entrance barrier and escalates labor expenses. Additionally, setting up the tooling and scripts for automation testing takes extra work in the beginning.


When testing with automation, the test is constrained and limited to the script's own scope. In other words, manual testing does not have the potential for exploratory testing or random testing. Additionally, it means that whenever the user interface changes (even minor ones), the script must be updated. Humans are extremely intelligent and intuitive, and automation testing does not simulate those qualities.


selecting between manual and automated testing

Every test scenario is unique. There is no "one-size-fits-all" strategy because every piece of software is unique, teams operate in unique ways, and businesses have a wide range of needs. Having said that, there are several broad signs you may use to guide your choice between human and automated testing.


Use of Manual Testing when

As was already established in this post, exploratory testing benefits greatly from manual testing. That occurs when a human tester launches the program being tested and starts evaluating it without the aid of any test cases or scripts.


Another excellent manual test is to perform a brief smoke test. Here, the tester chooses a tiny portion of the software to test in order to make sure nothing is faulty that is instantly apparent. Smoke testing is a step that might come before more extensive manual testing or before thorough automation testing.


An application's performance in different browsers or operating systems, beta testing an early release of the software with a group of beta testers, and client acceptance testing are some other situations when manual testing is beneficial. Find out more about the many kinds of manual testing.


Testing Automation: When to Use It

Due to its accuracy and benefits in terms of time savings, automation testing has grown in popularity. However, because manual testing has distinct advantages, it will never completely replace it.


For figuring out how well an application can manage a specific level of demand, automated testing is fantastic. What happens, for instance, if 10,000 people try to log onto your application at once? Automation testing will be able to get to the bottom of that faster than manual testing; in fact, it’s likely impossible to perform a load test like that manually.


In DevOps teams, automated testing is frequently used to validate builds and carry out unit tests. Automation testing is a fantastic option whenever you have repetitive tests.


Test Instruments

Tools are readily available to assist testers in carrying out manual and automated testing.


Tools for Manual Testing

Having a productive means to maintain, update, and report on those tests is essential given the enormous amount of testing documentation required in manual testing. There are several manual testing tools that you can find useful, but it would be obvious to start with a test case management solution like TestLodge.


Tools for Automation Testing

Automation testing is improved with the aid of scripting tools like Selenium and continuous integration frameworks like Travis CI. The tool stack of an automation testing team also has to include API testing tools and load testing tools.


Skills Necessary

Not everyone should engage in software testing. To be a successful tester, one needs to possess a set of specific abilities and traits. A good software tester should, in general, be curious and interested in technology. Excellent writing abilities are also required because software testing includes communicating in so many ways.


Skills for Manual Testing

A manual tester needs to be an excellent communicator, an excellent writer, curious, and able to think creatively. Although having strong technical abilities is preferable, manual testers can also succeed without them. The greatest manual testers are meticulous and pay close attention to the little things.


Automated Testing Techniques

Compared to manual testing, automation testing demands higher technological expertise. The tester is in charge of writing, revising, and executing scripts that programmatically test the product when using automation testing. This necessitates that the tester be knowledgeable about a variety of coding languages and technical platforms.



As you can see, manual and automated testing differ greatly from one another. They differ in terms of how they are carried out, the situations in which they are utilized, and the knowledge and equipment needed.


It's not a good idea to commit to only manual testing or only automation testing. Cutting corners is not an option when it comes to testing. Make sure you have a detailed plan in place to ensure that your entire application and platform receive adequate test coverage. To be able to deliver a high-quality application to your clients, a combination of manual and automation testing is required.

Learn the differences between manual and automated testing with our educational Manual Testing Course. Enrol in our Manual Testing Online Classes to learn more and improve your testing abilities.

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