Automated or Manual Software Testing – Which One to Opt For?

Automated or Manual Software Testing – Which One to Opt For?
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by Sanjeev Kapoor 16 Dec 2015

Software clients and their service providers often find it difficult to choose between automated and manual software testing. The dilemma is more pronounced for clients who begin to wonder if their providers really need to spend time deciding which method to use while testing. Instead of engaging in black or white thinking, it is beneficial for both clients and vendors to understand that there are shades of grey, when it comes to software testing.

Automated testing

Automated testing of a software program repeatedly looks for errors, bugs and problems within a program. If any issues are found, they can immediately be rectified. Automated testing is particularly useful to ward out common issues with respect to software programs and also to identify expected issues, if there are any.

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Manual testing

When software engineers manually test software programs for bugs, issues and compatibility using their professional knowledge and technical tools, the results can be impressive. It is often assumed that manual testing is limited to smaller tasks and short term projects but this is not so. Manual testing can be employed where individual attention to problems within software programs is required.

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Clearly, there are advantages and disadvantages to both automated and manual testing. Ideally, there should be a synthesis between the two methods and service providers must run software programs on automated tools to check for common issues and then, look for individual issues with the help of manual testing.

For short term and small projects, manual testing may work but for long term and extensive projects, using automated testing becomes a necessity. Both the methods will need to be used as and when required. Service providers must offer both the methods if they want to offer competitive services.

Looking forward

Increased automation has encouraged service providers to ignore the benefits and importance of manual testing. This is a development that should be looked at warily and one must realize that both the methods come with their pros and cons. Successful software testing depends on the ability of the service providers to customize solutions based on project requirements.

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