Over the past 5 years, we have seen a strong tendency among software companies to switch to automated testing, as it has lots of benefits over manual one. Some even say that soon automation tools will fully replace manual testing as it is a relic of the past, but it can never be. Moreover, such an approach can ruin any company’s efforts towards CI/CD process, and in this article we will give you 10 reasons why you can't write off manual testing, but rather effectively combine it with QA automation tools. Here we go:
1. Humans Better Understand Each Other Than Machines Do
Manual testers perform better than any algorithm when it comes to uncovering user motivations and behavioral patterns that show why some functions are performing and others aren’t. People can quickly understand what processes and operations customers need and why, what app elements they’re drawn to or where they get stuck and overwhelmed.
2. Manual Scripts Go Beyond the Automated Pass-fail Checking
As soon as automated software testing is up and running, engineers start to let things slide, getting a false sense of assurance that the pass-fail results are enough to get the complete analyses of tests execution. This is a common picture for both startups and enterprises, but at the same time it’s one of their weak points that ruins the whole strategy. What is the manual testing advantage here? It allows you to see the big picture and combined with automation scripts get the highest possible percentage of the project test coverage.
3. People Are Much Better at Evaluating the Interface of an App
Speaking about manual testing advantages and disadvantages, the human's ability to estimate the aesthetic components of an app is definitely one of its strongest sides. Only people can determine whether a certain color matches the client parameters or for example a page looks the same across all mobile screens, browsers and operating systems. Such nuances of design as color, size, contrast, font or button length, can’t be truly estimated by any algorithm.
4. IoT Applications Can Be Too Sophisticated to Be Tested Automatically
Such applications are built with the help of integrated systems, each having a big number of components talking to each other in real time. There is no such complex automated script that could successfully test all these dissimilar components used in printers, smart watches, cloud services, etc. at once.
5. Manual Testers Better Reproduce Customer-caught Errors
In the majority of cases customers aren’t concerned with what happens under the hood, they rather want to be sure that the app is working smoothly. Automated testing can help to check all the app components, but only manual testing can give the general impression of its functionality without prior exposure to its inner mechanics.
6. Minor Bugs Are Easier to Detect Manually
A bunch of small changes in UI, ID or a class of a button, don’t impede the performance of a manual tester and can be done right between the tasks. In automation testing even minor modifications in the app items require supplement changes in the code, which can be too time-consuming.
7. Automated Testing Scripts Need to Be Timely Rewritten in Agile
Working with feedback in an agile environment means constant changes to the product features and UI as well as rewriting of automated scripts for each next sprint, which is quite time-consuming. With manual scripts engineers can continue to work at their comfortable pace as a big part of their tests are random and don't need constant updates. At the same time numerous challenges of manual testing described in this article slow down the release cycles, so it’s better to combine both manual and automated methods to get the best result.
8. No Programming Skill Is Needed for Manual Testing
A lot of high-qualified testers working with DevOps and agile frameworks don’t know how to code, but their proficiencies are very much in demand, as they have great analytical skills and critical thinking to uncover defects and find where bugs are hiding. Besides, they can see the big picture when prioritizing risk, which is a great advantage compared to automated scripts. Having these engineers on board together with the QA automation tools you can get a 100% test coverage of any application.
9. With Manual Testing You Find Bugs Where Least Expected
QA automation tools are developed to find bugs at certain parts of the code, but they can’t go beyond their algorithms, while manual testers easily find bugs at the places they weren’t necessarily looking for.
10. Some Tests Just Can’t Be Automated
Automation tools just can't cover some tests where human inspection is a must, f.e. in testing of UI components, because only humans themselves can really estimate the convenience and design of the application. Even with the use of AI algorithms and machine learning, automation testing still can't be evenly effective here as manual.
Thus, we can expect that in the coming years the process of testing automation will proceed with the use of more sophisticated patterns as humans’ emotions and thought algorithms. But they will never act as a complete alternative for manual scripts because no AI robot or tool can fully substitute human scrutiny. Instead, manual and automated testing will coexist to supplement each other for the best possible result. If you want to know more about striking the right balance between these two methods, feel free to read our related blog post. And feel free to try our codeless testing platform!