Benefits of automated testing over manual testing

Archer Benefits of automated testing over manual testing

Software testing is an essential part of the development of a successful software project. But what to choose automated testing or manual? Let's find out whats suits your project.

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The phrase “automated testing” gets thrown around a lot, and if you’re connected with the IT world and familiar with the software testing process, you’re at least know the basic concept. Let’s dig a little deeper, though, and explore the benefits of automated testing presented to developers and consumers alike.

Put simply, automated testing is the automation of routine testing operations, and leads to a development process that is:

  • Faster
  • Cheaper
  • Efficient

Automated vs Manual Testing comparison

When we talk about automating tests, we have in mind the writing of code that makes sure a given system works correctly. It goes without saying that these efforts require more time during the first steps of the development process, though early investment in automated testing ultimately results in more favorable outcomes than less-accurate manual testing.

These positive outcomes come from two main Pros of Automated Testing in comparison to manual testing:

  1. First: Developers see errors more quickly when they use automated tests on each build, and thus are able to fix them earlier and at a lower cost.
  2. Second: Human testers don’t need to check each new feature in an application. Rather, the auto-test makes sure that newly implemented features do not negatively impact features from earlier builds.

As the average size of the web and mobile applications is slowly but surely grows, QA specialists are having to spend more and more time manually testing new code. Unfortunately, many developers are dealing with this problem by running necessary, but expensive tests less frequently. The result is lower-quality products that require high-cost rounds of bug-fixing in the later stages of the development process.

Nowadays, automated testing is an essential part of the development process for many reasons. So how to put forth all the advantages of automation testing?

Automated testing may be the best solution if you:

  • need a highly reliable system (e.g. due to business-critical or life important purposes); 
  • want to reduce the cost of future changes to your system (i.e. planning to develop your system in the future);
  • need to improve an inherited system with a team unfamiliar with the old software, especially in cases when the previous version is grossly outdated.

Read also: The most popular and practice-proven software testing estimation techniques

So How Does Automated Software Testing Work?

1. Most basic of all auto-tests are unit-tests, which are small tests that check functions on the atomic level.

For unit tests we have several testing frameworks and libraries, like JUnit, TestNG, nUnit, PHPUnit, Winsdor, and lots others.

2. Having covered major modules by unit tests, we need to check the interaction of these modules with integration tests.

These tests are usually written by developers with such frameworks as Fit or Citrus, though a number of integration tests are based on unit-test frameworks.

3. Last but not least come UI tests, which simulate user behavior and check the scenarios most likely to occur during use. We use tools like Selenium, CubicTests, and WinRunner for UI tests, which are usually written by test engineers to reflect typical user scenarios.

Test Automation Tools selection

Selecting a tool for automating your tests is a very important step. If the tool features all needed functionality automation can be more telling and be performed with less effort. Let’s list the main points in automation tool selection:

  1. The budget is a decisive factor. There is no sense in researching and proposing tools to a client if its cost exceeds the client's budget.
  2. Automation tool hidden costs: sometimes developers have to pay for add-ons, the support fee, the training fee, and the upgrade fee.
  3. Compatibility with the platform you develop for: if you build an application for iOS and Android, use the automation tool supporting both of them.
  4. Support of technologies and 3rd party controls. List technologies used in your project and check the tools against these technologies' support.
  5. Languages: be sure the tool allows writing tests in a language familiar to developers involved.

Watch this video: Estimating Software Development Projects

Automated Testing Approaches

Selecting the right automation tool is important but it is not everything. Do not forget that only a good manual test case brings real value. If manual test cases are already created, explore them to expand the scope.

You cannot automate all at once, the reasonable order for automation can be:

  • smoke tests
  • acceptance test
  • frequently performed tests
  • time taking tests

And overall, automation is software development, it needs best practices, code reviews, framework, or design patterns to be followed and it also needs constant maintenance.

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