Manual vs Automation Testing: Let the Battle Begin

QATestLab
4 min readMar 10, 2023

Manual testing or automated tests for better QA? Or maybe both? How to make the right choice for your project? Those are the questions for our new article.

We wanted this material to be helpful, informative, and close to the realities of nowadays market. To prepare it, we consulted with our QA automation specialists, project managers, biz devs and used our clients’ successful (and not very successful) stories. So let’s spend the next 7 minutes with the maximum output.

Test Automation is a New Black?

Automated software testing is the use of software tools and developed code to execute tests. Its concept is based on comparing actual outcomes against predicted outcomes. Automation aims to increase efficiency, reduce costs, and improve the quality of the software.

QAs create automated tests that can be started at any time and repeated numerous times. These tests are launched and executed quickly and accurately.

And right now, it’s definitely a trend. Why? Because in the past few years, the proliferation of open-source and low-cost tools has made it more accessible for projects.

Wow, so many advantages. Some even say it is an excellent alternative to manual testing. Fast, efficient, reliable — what else to ask?

When automation is made by pros and on the basis of good manual background, it brings only benefits like in the following case.

But here are some pitfalls you need to consider before:

  • Automation should be based on test cases. So meticulous manual testing is still a must-have if you want not just to automate but to make it really effective.
  • Some tests just cannot be automated
  • It takes time to develop and implement
  • And it takes outstanding specialists to start it and control it (QA with programming skills)
  • It is a bad idea when requirements change frequently

So, Maybe Just Manual Testing Then?

Manual testing checks software or programs for errors, defects, and vulnerabilities by hand. During manual testing, QA engineers check whether the system operates according to specified requirements without any failures.

The reality of modern software development is that most tests are performed manually. The reasons vary from one company to another. The one we know for sure — this approach is more transparent for the IT market today. Yet, let’s review the advantages:

The pitfalls of manual testing are:

  • Human errors and inconsistency
  • Expensive for large projects or when the project requires unique skills and experience
  • It is a time-consuming process
  • Not good for some types of testing (like load, performance)

Guys, You Are Not Helping. I Am More Confused Now. What to Choose?

Depending on what’s being tested, at which stage, and for what purpose. There are various testing types, some of which perform better with automation, while others get desirable results with manual testing.

If a test will be repeated, and it will save time to automate it and/or improve the quality of the app, it is a good candidate for automation testing.

For simple projects, it is better to use manual testing; however, when the project size is large, long-term automation can save time, coverage, and even money.

It also depends on the investment a lot. The graphic below helps to understand the relations simply:

As experts in both with 15+ years of experience in QA, we see that the best way for software development companies is to combine manual and automated testing specialists, divide test tasks between them wisely, and make the best of both methods.

So, If you ask us: “Manual or Automated?”, we definitely answer: “Both!”. Just use an intelligent combination. In return, you get cost- and time-effective automation implemented effectively. At the same time, you stay confident about positive user experience and complicated test cases that will be performed manually.

If you are still not quite sure what kind of testing processes to choose from, we are always here to help. Just tell us about your project, and we will provide you with a free estimation. No risks, only benefits!

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QATestLab

QATestLab is an international provider of independent QA and testing services with 15 years of cross-industry experience. https://qatestlab.com/