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Is Manual Testing Superior to Automated Testing?

Let's debate: manual vs. automated testing. Is manual testing is more effective in specific scenarios? Manual testing offers human intuition, adaptability, and attention to detail, catching nuanced issues that automated tests might miss. But automated testing brings consistency and efficiency, saving time and effort. What do you think? Discuss!

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Top comments (6)

bradtaniguchi profile image

Automation traditionally takes over the "three Ds"

  • dull
  • dirty
  • dangerous with a fourth added more recently:
  • dear (expensive)

with this in mind, manual testing can be dull and dear. So it fits 50%, most of the time.

kseniiagrvs11 profile image

There is a key difference between manual testing and automation testing. In manual testing, a human performs the tests step by step, without test scripts. In automated testing, tests are executed automatically via test automation frameworks, along with other tools and software. That means automated testing is faster than manual testing.

bmayhew profile image

Depends on how you define manual testing.

If you define manual testing as a big stack of test cases that you execute any time you release a feature, I would argue that should be automated and executed manually.

If you define manual testing as someone critically thinking about the system, it's users, risk, and exploration I would argue manual testing is superior. Both are needed for a well rounded test strategy.

theaccordance profile image
Joe Mainwaring

Manual testing is a bottleneck at scale:

  • It requires a human to execute, where as automated testing can be scheduled
  • You have to manually document that you executed tests and record their results
  • Manual testing can foster tribal knowledge; tribal knowledge is easily lost with turnover.
  • You can't move towards a true continuous deployment environment with manual testing, it's not practical for a human to repeat a suite of tests multiple times a day at scale.
jimerman profile image

I'll bite! To me, it seems we should do both. Automated testing can do things like:

  • Test very quickly
  • Test all the scenarios
  • Repetitively test
  • Test under load

...and so on. However, what it can't do is more "ad-hoc" - more like "I wonder what happens if I click here?" A test case writer would have to anticipate that in order to test that case. A good friend of mine (and fellow exec in our venture) is just such a good tester because he likes to play around - jiggle the mouse, click randomly and drag/drop unexpected combinations. That alone identifies many issues that a test case writer wouldn't imagine to code for.

adaptive-shield-matrix profile image
Adaptive Shield Matrix

why choose between them? take both

  • let users test manually
  • record all user interactions in Playwright
  • replay test case automatically with/in Playwrigth