When developing software applications one of the most critical aspects is testing. Neglect this and it may lead to lack of product quality, followed by customer dissatisfaction and ultimately increasing overall costs.
One of the most common challenges for a business is to decide what type of software testing it needs based on different factors like project requirements, budget, timeline, expertise, and suitability. Since both manual and automated software testing offer advantages and disadvantages, this article will give you a glimpse into which of the two is best suited for your needs.
What is the difference?
Manual software testing means using a program or product as an end user would, making sure that all features work appropriately. It basically means that a tester has to run each individual program and set of tasks to see whether the outcomes are in accordance with the expectations.
Automated software testing uses pre-defined tools to run test cases in order to compare the results to the expected behavior. Once automated tests are created, they can easily be repeated and extended to perform complex tasks, which take longer or are impossible to run through manual testing.
When should you use manual or automated software testing?
When does it make sense to use an automated software testing tool over a manual tool? What can you gain by using automated software testing tools? Here’s a list of arguments that will help you better decide what method works best for your project.
Manual testing usually makes sense when you deal with small projects or have budget limitations. One of the most important advantage of manual testing is that the person performing the testing can pay more attention to details. Unlike a pre-defined script, this option allows the software that is being developed to be used as it would be upon launch, by real users. However, if you’re facing a large scale project, manual testing can turn into a tedious and time consuming process, not to mention budget consuming. In this case, automated testing proves to be both quicker and more effective because it streamlines the process and frees up resources for other core activities.
Manual testing might sound like a great solution cost wise. Nevertheless, while automation tools can be expensive in the short-term, they turn out to be a long-term investment. Not only do they achieve more than a human can in a given amount of time, but they also discover bugs faster. This allows your team to react more quickly, saving you both precious time and money. Moreover, automation provides greater consistency and less errors, which results in a more valuable final product, with less need for customer service.
The main goal in software development processes is a timely release. Manual testing is practical when the test cases are run once or twice and there is no need for frequent repetition. On the other hand, if you need frequent testing, automated tests can be run over and over again at no additional cost and they are much faster than manual tests. Automated software testing can reduce the time to run repetitive tests from days to hours. This time savings translate into cost cuts for your business.
Sometimes, manual testing isn’t enough
Automated tests also allow you to test things that aren’t manually possible. For example, answering a question like ‘what if I had 500 accounts’, or ‘what if I processed ten transactions simultaneously’ can only be answered efficiently by using automated tests.
Both software testing options present pros and cons. Before deciding, make sure that you consider your time, your resources, and the size of your project as well as the quality of the automated tools you’ll be using. Always remember though that combining both methods is an option. In fact, combining the two may be optimal for canceling out the others’ cons and developing the best software possible. For more in depth information on what type of testing is best suited for your project, contact Euro-Testing and we will give you an assessment of your needs and provide the best solutions for your particular situation.