Manual Software Testing: The Role in the Age of Automation

Today, the world is becoming increasingly automated, especially with cutting-edge technology and testing. However, advanced science and technology are making manual software testing less necessary with time. Although its importance still prevails.

Therefore, we shall discuss how manual testing can be fused with automation to aid testers in identifying difficult problems, validating user experiences, and handling edge cases that automated scripts may overlook.

Why this blog? What else could you expect from it?

By reading this blog, you will grasp the link between automated and manual software testing, including such benefits as deep comprehension of software quality assurance, risk mitigation, and user satisfaction.

What is the role of manual software testing?

But all said and done, the market of software shall be a realm for automated testing but not grounded on manual testing. The following are the major roles of manual testing:

Exploratory testing

Here, in this test method, the testers creatively explore the program by “acting as a user” in order to find unforeseen problems overlooked by automated tests. Thus, intuitive ad hoc testing is required in order to find flaws.

Usability testing

This entails assessing how user-friendly and intuitive a software can be for its intended audience. Testers offer insightful commentary on the software’s usability, appearance, and feel, as well as its smooth, hassle-free navigation.

Ad hoc testing

In order to find flaws that may not be addressed by predefined test cases, testers carry out impromptu, unplanned testing. This enhances the coverage of tests.

User testing scenario

Simulating real-world usage scenarios that could be difficult to automate is known as user scenario testing. Manual testing aids in confirming how the program behaves in intricate and varied user interactions.

Early testing

Manual testing aids in the validation of fundamental functionalities during the early phases of development when automated test scripts may not be accessible or are not feasible.

How does manual testing differ from the automated one?

Both manual software testing and automated testing play a pivotal role in assuring the quality, durability, and function of the software used.

Manual testing

In manual software testing, because they are intuitive, human testers are able to investigate many situations and identify edge cases and unexpected behaviors that automated tests could overlook. User experience problems can be found by humans interacting with the product, something that automated testing may miss. Unplanned, fast testing can find important problems early in the development process.

Automated testing

Automated testing, unlike manual testing, saves time and effort by confirming that new code modifications haven’t negatively impacted current functionalities. The techniques could be used to simulate thousands of users and, hence, hide performance bottlenecks that are hard or take time to be identified manually. One of them is the use of automated tests to perform routine test cases with great accuracy and reduce the possibility of mistakes made by humans.

What’s more?

However, various testing strategies have their own advantages and disadvantages. For example, manual software testing promotes creativity, intuition, and changeability, thereby being effective for the discovery of unpredictable problems. Nonetheless, it is not the most effective and quick way to perform regular assignments.

However, automated testing is reliable, scalable, and fast. However, it can overlook some issues that need human judgment and flexibility.

Firstly, manual testing can significantly investigate the software, detecting major faults and including some observations. Afterward, automated tests come in at the later stages of the testing process and take repetitive and regression tests, resulting in consistent functioning throughout, saving time.

How are manual testing services performed?

Manual testing services do not involve automated technologies but the testers who interact and see these test cases with their naked eyes.

Test planning

In this stage, the goals, parameters, and materials for the testing are specified. But it is essential and priority number one when we proceed to manual testing.

Test case design

The test case design phase is a process of developing test cases that suit the specification, functionality, and condition. Therefore, these test cases define manual activities needed to validate the software.

Test execution

In manual testing, the third stage is test execution, which involves manually executing the prescribed procedures for test cases, recording pass/fail outcomes for every particular case, etc.

Defect reporting

The fourth stage of manual software testing involves the identification of problems and their detailed recording. As such, these problems include reproduction instructions, screenshots, and other relevant data.

Regression testing

Here comes the last on our list: the regression tests. As a result, testing again after modifications or patches to make sure no new flaws have been created is made with the help of these tests. As a result, these stand to be the most crucial ones in manual testing.

Engaging in manual testing may be overwhelming initially – tens of flows, pages, and functions to verify – but it is an integral part of the error-free software testing process for a bug-less app or website. As such, you require manual testing tools that can automate all of this. A few notable testing tools for manual testing are as follows:

Jira

Although it is frequently used for project management, Jira can also be used for problem tracking, test case management, and reporting while a product is being tested.

Bugzilla or Redmine

Bug tracking tools like Redmine or Bugzilla are helpful for recording and monitoring issues discovered during testing.

Postman

Made especially for testing APIs, Postman enables the performance of manual HTTP queries and the reception of answers.

JMeter

Mostly used for performance testing, JMeter may also be used to evaluate a web application’s functional behavior manually.

Xmind or MindMeister

Tools for mind mapping, such as Xmind or MindMeister, might help organize tests and generate ideas for test scenarios.

Manual software testing continues to evolve in several key ways. But did you know that a mere 5% of companies perform completely automated tests? Two-thirds of software development companies conduct the tests in a 75: 25 to one manual against automation efficiency.

Shift-left and shift-right testing

There’s a rising emphasis on testing both left and right, shifting testing into production (Shift-Right) to continually monitor and improve the software in real-world contexts and moving testing earlier in the development cycle (Shift-Left) to catch issues sooner.

Agile and DevOps integration

Agile methodologies and DevOps principles are harmoniously merging with traditional manual testing. Collaboration between testers and developers has intensified, aiming for increased iterative testing cycles and swifter feedback mechanisms.

AI and machine learning in testing

Nowadays, Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are being utilized excessively and efficiently in testing. These tools help with test case design and predictive analysis and even help in detecting patterns to improve manual testing procedures.

Exploratory and ad hoc testing

The value of exploratory and ad hoc testing in manual software testing is acknowledged as testers apply their knowledge and instincts to find unanticipated problems that automated scripts overlook.

User-centric testing

In manual software testing, the user experience is given more attention. As a result, to make sure that the program satisfies user wants and expectations, testers mimic actual user scenarios.

Conclusion

Now, we shall all agree that despite the control of the automated testing system over software, manual software testing still stands to be an essential part of the software development life cycle as it adds a human element to the automated procedures. The flexibility and inventiveness of human testers in investigating edge circumstances, user viewpoints, and subjective elements continue to be superior to those of automated testing, even with its recent developments.