Basically, manual testing requires human intervention, while automation testing uses machines to execute test cases automatically. Any type of application can be tested manually, but manual testing is especially suitable for assessing user interfaces and user experience, and for ad-hoc or exploratory testing.
Automation testing is recommended only for stable systems which are likely to have fewer bugs, and is mostly used for regression testing and performance testing. Testing tools like JMeter and Selenium are commonly used.
The cons of manual testing
Manual testing is undeniably more time-consuming than automation, which means the testing process is slower and can sometimes be more costly. It also requires a large number of human resources, with testers requiring high analytical and creative skills.
2. Not always suitable
Certain types of testing, such as performance and load testing, are not suited to manual methods. For example, humans cannot simulate a large number of users for a performance test in the way a machine could. Large amounts of test data, too, are more efficiently handled by automation.
3. Potential for error
This is the flipside to #1 in the “pros” column. Humans are smarter than machines in many ways, but they’re also prone to human error. Since manual testing is repetitive and boring, it’s possible for testers to lose concentration and miss something.
4. Not reusable
As the manual testing process can’t be recorded, manual tests are not reusable—you’ll need to develop separate test cases for each new application. It’s much easier to do this in automated testing where the scripts are reusable.
Types of manual testing
Manual testing has many variations, with different types suited to different software and environments. Let’s take a look at some of the most commonly-used manual testing techniques.
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