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The Top 10 Common Questions (And Answers) About Manual Testing

by Thijs Kok, on November 23, 2021

hands-typing-on-laptopWhen it comes to software development, there is no debate about the role of testing in delivering a successful project. 

However, as new testing methodologies emerge, questions have started swirling around the internet and within developer circles about the different forms of software testing. Namely, if the benefits of manual testing still apply in a world focused on automation.

This article will walk you through some of the most common manual testing questions and answers and show you where to go to learn more: 

1. What is the value of manual testing?

The purpose of manual testing is to identify the bugs, issues, and defects in a software application, with an emphasis on the end user’s perspective. Because these tests are conducted by an individual—often with a lot of experience in designing and running tests—organizations can feel more confident that the product will perform as expected.

Manual testing is required before any software can be tested with an automated tool for this reason, ensuring the end-user experience meets expectations as much as the elements that are evaluated automatically. 

2. Is manual testing still relevant?

Yes! Although automated testing has come a long way, manual testing still offers a wide range of software testing at key points throughout the software development lifecycle (SDLC). Automated testing can only perform these specific tests with a great deal of preparation.  Manual testing can also more easily confirm that the user will have the intended experience.

3. Can you blend manual and automated testing?

Of course! When an application is closer to its release or during follow-up regression testing, automated testing can be performed alongside or after manual testing to confirm the performance of key functions and the desired end-user experience.

4. Is automated testing more powerful than manual testing?

Although it is true that, once set up, automated testing can be performed faster and with less staff than manual testing, the scope of when and where it applies is more narrow. There are also important nuances in the end-user experience that can be hard to quantify in a “yes or no” manner.

5. Is manual testing more difficult?

With the right tools, plans, and preparation, manual testing can not only be a manageable and powerful way to confirm system functionality, but also a way for organizations to streamline processes with templates, test case libraries, automated dashboards, and comprehensive reports.

6. When can you perform manual testing?

Generally, automated testing is more effective for testing parts of systems and not end-to-end workflows, as there aren’t as many variables and test cases that need to be designed, coded, and executed.

Unlike automated testing, manual testing can be performed at any stage of the SDLC for whatever duration is required, making it much more agile. 

7. What tools are available to help with manual testing?

The software testing industry evolves quickly, so adapting the latest best practices and tools into your methodology can be a massive advantage for your organization.

Some resources to ensure you stay up to date include:

8. How does manual testing compare to automated testing?

With manual testing, testers can evaluate not only the functionality of a system, but also its usability. Are the options, configurations, menus, and other interactive features easy to find, modify, and use to achieve the desired outcome?

These questions are easier to answer with manual testing. Every potential combination of user selections needs to be evaluated, and it can be hard to code “ease of use” using the typical binary “yes or no” results provided by automated tests.

9. Is it hard to get started with manual testing?

Nowadays, no! Fortunately, there are many resources, walkthroughs, and tools specifically designed to organize and perform manual testing from end to end. And with the right software testing management tool, your organization can manage multiple tests at once.

10. What is the biggest strength of manual testing?

A lot of effort goes into the development of software, and for good reason. It can define how your customers view your brand and set you apart from the competition. Although a lot of that perspective comes from the ability to deliver necessary features and functions, determining the ultimate “value” of a piece of software can be a bit more subjective. 

Evaluating and confirming your software’s ability to hit those necessary marks is where manual testing shines. 

Elevate your manual testing experience.

Testing is an essential part of software development, and there are many factors you need to balance when choosing your strategy, including quality, speed, and effectiveness. 

Although every testing scenario will be different, knowing the facts—including the strengths and benefits of each type of test—can help your team make the best decision for your needs.

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