Without any doubt, software testing is a part of software development. Software testing is a way to check and verify whether the product is working as per expectations or not. Usually, software testing is of two kinds. It is either manual or automated. Selenium and Java testing is also done but mostly within the cucumber framework. 


Both manual and automation testing are equally good in their respective spheres but have some major differences between them. But to make use of them, companies and people must know the differences between them to figure out when to use one or the other. 


Be it any successful software project, testing always remains its integral part and cannot be skipped in any manner. But whether to do manual or automated testing depends on a multitude of factors such as budget, timeline, expertise, suitability, and many more things. 


Consequently, let us figure out some crucial things concerning the manual and automation testing to make the software project a successful one. 


Manual Testing 


As the name indicates, manual testing refers to the process of testing the software manually. By manually, we mean using the human resources to test whether the software is functioning as planned or not. 


As manual testing is done by the people, the skills, expertise, and knowledge of the testers tend to play an important role in its success. 


Reasons to Choose Manual Testing 


One foremost reason for choosing manual testing is focused attention. It is an obvious thing that when the software tester manually does all the tests, then the outcome is bound to result well. Besides this, some of the reasons to choose manual testing over automated testing are: 


  • Complex test scenarios 
  • Test scenarios are validated once 
  • UX and exploratory testing 


Automation Testing 


When you carry out the software testing with the help of some tools, then it is known as automation testing. Some popular examples of automation tools include selenium, QTP, UFT, and others. 


Consequently, the person carrying the automation testing should have detailed knowledge about these tools to make them work. 


Reasons to Choose Automation Testing? 


When asked between manual and automation testing, the majority of the people choose automation testing only. It is because manual testing involves doing repetitive tasks frequently which can get boring sometimes. 


Consequently, people prefer to use the tools for the software check. Here are some of the reasons which specify why people prefer using automation testing to manual one. 


  • Allows to carry on the software check in multiple browsers 
  • Does not need human intervention 
  • Increase test coverage 
  • Record and replay test cases
  • The product happens to be of good quality 
  • Saves time 


Differences between Manual vs Automation Testing 


There are some crucial differences between manual and automation testing that software testers should know. Let’s have a sneak peek into some of its major differences. 




The first major difference between both kinds of testing is reliability. The reliability tends to be more in the case of automated testing than the manual one. It is because the results will be better for sure when conducted with the help of the tools but not when carried by a person himself. 




In terms of cost, manual automation is economical and won’t cost you much. It is because human resources are cheap. But as far as automated testing is concerned, then this makes use of the tools which shoot up its cost. 




Software testing is always time taking but which one consumes more time is a question point. It is manual testing that happens to consume more time due to the involvement of human resources. But automated testing is carried out with the help of the tool, so it gets done in less time only. 




The most significant difference between manual and automation testing is that of accuracy. The accuracy tends to be more in automated testing than the manual one. It is because human resources are more prone to committing errors but tools do not. Consequently, one should always choose automated testing for accuracy reasons. 




The next major difference between manual and automated testing is the difficulty. Manual testing can get difficult sometimes because of the diverse operating system. But automation testing can be easily carried out on the different operating systems and the difficulty is also less. 




In terms of convenience, Automated testing is more convenient than manual testing. In manual testing, you need to sit in front of the system and carry on with the testing because it includes human intervention. But the case with automated testing is a bit different. 




Before deciding between manual and automated testing, you should know about its usability and accessibility. Due to the human resources, it is crucial and beneficial for the software tester to figure out its ease of use. But you cannot check the accessibility of automated testing as it uses tools. 


Use of automation testing 


Many software testers struggle with figuring out the scenarios where automation testing can turn out to be beneficial. Consequently, here we have mentioned some of the cases where automation testing will be best. 


Set up 


Both manual and automation testing also differ in their setup. In automation testing, there is a simple test execution setup. But the setup differs in manual testing. In manual testing, the test setup is quite simpler as compared to automation testing. 




The next significant difference between manual and automation testing is speed. Usually, the automation testing requires more speed to process due to this, it uses the frameworks such as keyword, data-driven, and hybrid. Contrary to it, manual testing does not require such frameworks but it makes use of standards, checklists, and strict methods to create test cases. 




Another point of distinction between manual and automation testing is the documentation. As far as automation testing is concerned, it acts as a teaching tool, especially for automated unit test cases. It is easy for the fresh developer to comprehend the codebase by merely looking at the base. On the contrary, there is no training benefit in the case of manual testing. 


Appropriate use cases 


Automation testing is particularly useful for performance testing, regression testing, load testing, and repeatable functional test cases. But the use cases in manual testing are different. One should use manual testing for exploratory, usability, and Adhoc testing. You can also make use of manual testing in situations like AUT. 


Benefits of Manual Testing 


Besides the differences between manual and automation testing, you must know the pros and cons of manual and automation testing. Here are some of the amazing benefits of manual testing. 


Accurate feedback: The foremost benefit of manual testing is that it gives you the most accurate and immediate feedback. It is the human resources, their mindset which is responsible for the most accurate feedback for manual testing. 


Economical: As compared to automated testing, manual testing is less costly as there is no need for you to invest money in periods be it technologies or processes. 


Offers multiple benefits: The benefits that manual testing offers are enormous and result in better outcomes. Much of the benefits result from human judgment and intuition. 


Less time consuming: Manual testing does not consume much time and is often done in minimum time. If you want to, you can test manually on the fly. But as far as automation testing is concerned, then you require code for the same which might result in more time. 


Drawbacks of Manual Testing 


As the coin has two sides, so does manual software testing. Along with the benefits, it has certain drawbacks also. Let us know some major drawbacks of manual software testing. 


Prone to errors: As manual testing is done by human resources, this fact makes it more dependable and prone to errors. The more humans you involve in the process, the more chances of blunders increase as the procedure is less dependable. 


Cannot be reused: Another major drawback of manual testing is that it cannot be reused. It is because the manual testing method cannot be documented. 


More time consuming: Usually, it occupies less time but certain activities can consume much time of yours as they are difficult to accomplish manually in the testing approach. 


Benefits of Automation Testing 


In addition to manual testing, it is crucial to learn about the pros and cons of automation software testing. Here are some of the advantages of automation testing.


Identifies more flaws: It is crucial to identify the flaws in the software before it goes live and fortunately, automation testing is the one for you. Automation testing helps you identify flaws in the system when compared to human resources. 


Quick and efficient: Since the majority of the testing process is automated, you may have a quick and efficient process. 


Recording possible: The best thing about the automation testing is that there is a provision for recording in this. The recording in turn enables you to reuse and run the same testing activities over and over. 


Utilizes software tools: Compared to manual testing, automation testing is carried out with the help of software tools. Consequently, by way of software testing, it does not wear or tire away from the tester. 


Boosts productivity: The one-stop solution for boosting productivity is choosing automation testing over manual testing. As it gives precise and quick testing results, it can go a long way in boosting productivity. 


Expanded testing coverage: There is a provision to expand the testing coverage in automation testing because of the testing tools. With the help of automation testing, you can test even the tiniest unit. 


Drawbacks of Automation Testing 


There are certain drawbacks of automation testing which are crucial to know for all the software testers. Consequently, let us know some major drawbacks of automation testing to decide which one is better than the two. 


No insight into visual features: With automation testing, there is no insight into the visual features of the UI such as sizes, contrast, colors, button sizes, and many others. Only human resources can get an insight into all these visual elements. 


Costly: The next drawback of automation testing is that it is costly. The huge cost of the automation testing might be on account of the testing tools which are responsible for increasing the cost of the project. 


Debugging the script: Automation testing asks you regarding debugging the test script due to which, the expense of the test maintenance goes on high. 


Not foolproof: The tools which the software testers have been using so far in automation testing are not entirely foolproof and cannot be trusted. Be it any tool or technology you use, each one has its own set of restrictions that limit the scope of automation testing. 


Suitable Testing Types for Manual and Automation Testing 


There is some testing that goes with both manual and automation testing. Let’s have a look at the same in the sections mentioned below: 


Black box testing: Black box testing refers to such testing where the functionality matters. There is no need for you to have the coding knowledge as it is the least visible to QA testers. 


Integration testing: The next comes integration testing. Integration testing is for linking diverse modules and tests to figure out if it works together or not. 


White box testing: When one is dealing with the internal structure of the application, then it is known as white box testing. Some testers and people also refer to it as glass box testing. Doing this requires great know-how of paths, conditions, code systems, and branches. 


Unit testing: A single module is tested in the unit testing which makes it easier to find the defect at the earlier stage only. Finding the defect at the earliest makes it easy for the testers to fix it accordingly. Usually, this task is performed by the developers. 


System testing: Whether the application is working fine or not is checked in software testing. The developers do check this before the application or software goes live. 


Acceptance testing: As the name indicates, it is the kind of testing where the user’s acceptance is considered which is done by the end-user. If the product justifies the requirements, only then, the end-user will accept the software. 




Both manual and automation testing are critical and hold a lot of significance. There comes situations where manual testing can be of great help but automation testing fails to bring desired results. Apart from these, there is API testing also which forms another crucial part of software testing. Consequently, both are good in their respective spheres. The software you choose depends upon your requirements and the outcome you are expecting.