03/09/2021

Manual testing vs. automated testing

Author: Sebastian

Quality assurance is a broadly understood concept. We can divide QA into performance tests, security tests, and functional tests. Going further, we distinguish unit tests, integration tests, system tests, regression tests, etc. This series of articles will focus on the division of tests into manual tests and automated tests.

The main purpose of tests

There are many differences between manual and automated testing, but both techniques have one purpose - finding bugs. Which tests will be the best fit for your project? Which technique to choose to optimize costs and increase your product’s quality? What is the best solution for your project? In these articles we will try to answer those questions.

Manual testing

In manual Testing the tester performs software tests manually. Testers attempt to detect errors in the software. In manual testing, the tester checks all the relevant features of the application or software. In this process, software testers execute test cases and generate test reports without automation software testing tools. Is that all? Good manual testers bring much more to the project with their work and experience than just time-consuming web browsing. It all depends on the company's work model and the tester's commitment. However, we can list a few additional aspects of the manual tester's work.

Interface tests

No automatic script can check the correctness of the graphics on the page as well as a highly qualified tester. The tester will check if the photos, icons, buttons are in the right places and if the page loads correctly. It is essential when testing on physical mobile devices.

Ad hoc and exploratory tests

These are tests related to the tester's experience and knowledge of the ecommerce product. For example, testers experienced in testing online stores will accurately check the path from selecting the product through the "cart" to the payment gateway. In this way, he/she will verify the most critical part of the store’s operation without prior knowledge of this particular product.

Integration tests

In manual tests, these tests are based on the relations between individual parts of the store: between the store front-end and the back-end, as well as between the back-end and the application supporting the warehouse. In this way, testers can check the systems’ interoperability from ordering the product to receiving the purchase confirmation. They should also test many dependencies.

Emergency reports

In many companies, testers are the first point of contact with reported problems. Their task is to locate the error, estimate the risk and provide the developer with as much information as possible (error codes, logs, path to reproduce the error). Such an investigation complements the applicant’s information (client) and facilitates/speeds up repairs. Thanks to this, we save programmers’ time and thus reduce repair costs.

Analysis of the progress

Analysis of the progress of work related to product performance. It is a meticulous collection of analyses and information with the help of programming tools (ex. page speed, lighthouse) Thanks to this, the tester can confirm or deny that the introduced changes significantly influenced the product’s development and speed. Such an analysis can be used to develop the work further or change the approach to the product if development is insufficient.

As you can see, a manual tester’s work does not focus only on simple page browsing. Of course, these are just a few examples of a manual tester’s many duties. In a future article, we will introduce the second testing technique: automated tests. What are automated tests? When is the best time to use them? How do they differ from manual tests?

See you then...

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