There are many differences between manual testing and automated testing.
Manual testing is less reliable as there can be human error as opposed to automated testing that is performed by scripts and tools. Manual testing also needs a bigger team and investment than automated testing which is executed by software tools and is faster. Automated testing is a better choice in
- Regression testing – Suitable because of frequent code changes that trigger the need to run the regressions on time
- Load testing – Automated testing brings a lot of efficiency into the load testing process
- Repeated tests – Repeated tasks are best automated to save time and effort
- Performance testing – testing which requires the simulation of thousands of concurrent users requires automation
The shift to automated testing is largely dependent on designing ‘good’ test automation. Here are some steps that can be taken towards a full-proof test automation framework.
- Remove repetition: There is a lot of repetition in manual testing, and scripts & utilities can be developed for small parts in the testing process. For example: a script to import test data and a utility to check resource availability and so on
- Store the common scripts and utilities: Find a central location to store the scripts and utilities that have been created so that they can be accessed by the entire testing community
- Include functional testers in the automation process: The quality of automated tests and their development speed are higher when those writing tests also gain the expertise in the functional testing areas
- Collaborate with the developer teams: The guaranteed way in which you can gain organizational acceptance for the automation framework, is to ensure developers are okay with the bugs detected. Every test needs to have clarity on the feature that is tested, the inputs and the expected & actual results.
- Link everything: Now that the tests are stable, running and accepted by everyone, the test system can be connected to the build system and the build can run on simple clicks every time you build a product.
There are pros and cons to both manual and automated testing but overall, automated testing helps in increasing the efficiency and accuracy of the application. Although it requires a higher upfront investment the returns are better and it delivers higher productivity.