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? We will try to answer those questions in these articles.

Manual testing

Manual Testing is software testing where the tester performs the tests manually. Testers perform 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 good as a highly qualified tester. The tester will check if the photos, icons, buttons are placed in the right places and 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 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 basic on relations between individual parts of the store. Between the store front-end and back-end, as well as between back-end and the application supporting the warehouse. In this way, the tester can check the systems’ interoperability from ordering the product to receiving the purchase confirmation. In this kind of test, testers should test many dependencies.

Emergency reports

In many companies, testers are the first to contact 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 analyzes 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 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 working spectrum. 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 they differ from manual tests.

See you then...

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