Can Test Automation Replace Manual Testing?

Apr 8


William Hruska

William Hruska

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High-quality software is the need of every business and therefore to achieve it businesses test their product. There are two ways of testing the software namely manual and automated. Though manual testing is slow, limited in coverage and scope, and prone to human errors, it is important and cannot be omitted.


What is manual testing?

It is a way of manually testing the software and in this technique tester manually detects the defects in the software. In this test,Can Test Automation Replace Manual Testing? Articles testers first create a test plan, write test cases and scripts and execute the test. Once the test is complete testers manually prepare the test report. Usually, this form of testing has less coverage and scope and is more prone to human errors.

What is test automation?

It is a software testing technique in which automated tools, frameworks are used to test the software. Unlike the manual software testing method, this approach of testing makes the testing process fast, reliable, and more accurate. It eliminates the chances of human-prone errors and increases test coverage. This form of testing is very different from manual testing. In manual testing, a human being is responsible for full testing of software whereas in automated tests automated tools are used that helps in eliminating the chances of errors.

Can test automation replace manual testing?

Though automation testing has gained much prominence in recent times and some teams blindly jump to automation testing, a perfect balance of manual and test automation is needed to achieve a high-quality product. Since manual testing is still required to test some areas of software, thus manual testing can never be fully replaced by manual testing techniques.

Below mentioned are some of the cons of automation testing which shifts focus towards manual testing and makes it necessary in software testing:

  • Automation tools are expensive- Testing tools are quite expensive which increases the upfront costs of software testing teams. Also, it is hard for testers to decide which test automation tool is best suited for business.
  • 100% automation is not possible - 100% automation is a myth and testers find it difficult to decide how much test automation is needed. Therefore a little help from human testers is always required
  • Robotic skills cannot replace human skills- The human brain and thoughts are irreplaceable. The way a tester thinks and tests the product cannot be exactly copied by a robot. Thus, automation testing is limited in creativity

Here are some benefits of manual testing that are not possible with test automation:

  • Gives human perspective: With the help of manual testing method, businesses can test the product with real users in real-environment
  • Short-term cost is lower: Manual testing does not have high-upfront costs as it does not require purchasing expensive tools and licenses
  • Flexible: Manually testing gives flexibility to testers to test an idea quickly but automated testing tools requires setting up of test cases, programs first which are time-consuming, and testers cannot test any random idea quickly
  • Find real-time user: This testing method involves testing the product with real users and involves business stakeholders throughout the testing process which helps testers to test and improve the quality of the product to enhance UX
  • Exploratory tests and smoke tests are performed manually: Some tests cannot be automated such as smoke tests and exploratory tests. In smoke testing, the main idea is to check if the software build is stable enough to conduct the test. Using automation tools just to check the build of the software is not feasible as it is just a minor test, therefore testers prefer to test it manually. The same is the case with the exploratory test where testers check the software manually as this test by nature is manual and cannot be automated.

Conclusion: Automation testing is fast, secure, reliable, and accurate. There is competition in the market to adopt the best test automation tools and techniques. But businesses should not forget that manual testing plays an equally important role. Some points have been mentioned in this article that will help you to understand why manual testing cannot be replaced by test automation. Businesses should ensure a proper mix and perfect balance between manual testing and test automation to achieve high-quality software. Leverage manual testing and automation testing from a next-gen QA and software testing services provider to achieve high-quality software and to deliver seamless UX.

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