August 13, 2019

Manual Testing vs. Automated Testing vs. Continuous Testing

Continuous Testing

Web and mobile applications need to be error-free. That’s why software testing is so essential to DevOps. Here, we cover 3 key types of testing:

  • Manual testing
  • Automated testing
  • Continuous testing

And we compare the differences of automated testing vs. manual testing vs. continuous testing.

Manual vs. Automation Testing: What's the Difference?

The biggest difference between automation and manual testing is who executes the test case. In manual testing, the human tester does it. In automation testing, the tool does it.

Manual testing is very hands-on. It requires analysts and QA engineers to be highly involved in everything from test case creation to actual test execution. 

Automation testing involves testers writing test scripts that automate test execution. (A test script is a set of instructions to be performed on target platforms to validate a feature or expected outcome.)

[Related Blog: What Is Test Automation?]

What Is Manual Testing?

Manual testing is the process in which QA analysts execute tests one-by-one in an individual manner. The purpose of manual testing is to catch bugs and feature issues before a software application goes live.

When manually testing, the tester validates the key features of a software application. Analysts execute test cases and develop summary error reports without specialized automation tools. When comparing manual vs. automation testing, manual takes longer. Automated testing is more efficient.

Why Use Automation Testing Over Manual Testing?

More Testing in Less Time

The biggest pro of automation testing over manual testing is that it allows you to do more testing in less time. It increases productivity and expands how much you can test.

Automated testing was developed because of the main drawback of manual testing: time.

Manual testing is very time-consuming. As software engineering demands have grown, automated testing became a necessity to keep up with the pressure and go-to-market needs.

[Related Blog: 7 Test Automation Benefits]

Fewer Manual Tasks

Automated testing reduces repetitive manual tasks during the testing phase. However, automated testing does require some manual work during the implementation stage. Testers need to manually create the baseline testing scripts. 

Test scripts are written in code like Java, JavaScript, Python, or C#. Writing test scripts can be complex, so in automated testing, specialized tools help testers develop code and test scripts. 

Plus, test scripts can be reused. This adds efficiency further down the line.

More Automation

Test automation tools have come a long way. They can now automate even highly-advanced tests, thanks to real user simulation technology.

This includes:

  • Face ID
  • Location mocking
  • Fingerprint testing
  • Network virtualization
  • Image and voice-related testing

More Test Coverage

Another pro of automated testing vs. manual testing is increased test coverage.

Automation testing can actually deliver better results because of its ability for increased test coverage.

Manual testing can only cover a certain number of device and OS permutations. But automated testing can cover many more. This leads to better error detection.

[Related Resource: Test Automation Basics]

Why Use Manual Testing Over Automated?

A biggest pro of manual testing over automation or continuous testing is its focused attention. When a tester is manually creating and executing tests, there is more ability to handle complex and nuanced test scenarios.

While automated testing has advanced dramatically in its ability to handle sophisticated testing, sometimes only manual testing can be used. In manual testing, there is lower risk for false negatives. (More false negatives can create extra work for DevOps teams to validate whether a reported error is true or false.)

So, manual testing is still important. But adding automated testing makes your manual tests more efficient.

Continuous Testing vs. Test Automation

Continuous testing and test automation are not the same. Continuous testing is an evolution of test automation. It leverages automated tests to ensure that testing happens continuously.

Continuous testing focuses on testing based on minimizing business risk. Software functionality and quality is now inextricably linked to customer experience. When software does not perform for customers, businesses risk of losing a competitive advantage and loyal customer base. 

Test automation makes use of specialized software to control the execution of tests and their results. 

Why Use Continuous Testing?

The main biggest pro of continuous testing is to protect your brand’s reputation and the user experience — without sacrificing delivery. Releasing sub-standard software is a risk to a business’s bottom line.

Automated testing dramatically improves upon the results of manual testing. But continuous testing takes software testing to the ultimate finish line.

If you can implement continuous testing in a stable and scalable manner, you will get:

  • Faster feedback
  • Quick release turnaround
  • High customer satisfaction and loyalty

Fast-Track Your Testing Efforts

The journey from manual testing to fully-functional continuous testing takes intention, strategy, and time. Luckily there are modern solutions that can help you overcome testing challenges. One of those solutions is Perfecto.

Perfecto empowers you to do continuous testing and utilize test automation. With our continuous testing platform, you'll have everything you need to deliver better user experiences. This includes:

See for yourself how Perfecto will take your testing to the next level. Try Perfecto for free today.

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