Manual Testing vs Automation Testing Which One is Right for You

Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. What is manual testing
  3. The advantages of manual testing
  4. The disadvantages of manual testing
  5. What is automation testing
  6. The advantages of automation testing
  7. The disadvantages of automation testing
  8. Manual testing versus automation testing: a comprehensive comparison
  9. When to choose manual testing
  10. When to choose automation testing
  11. Popular tools for manual and automation testing
  12. Conclusion

1. Introduction

In the ever-changing world of technology and software development, software testing is a crucial phase that ensures your applications are bug-free and ready to be delivered to your users. Manual and automation testing are the two significant software testing approaches available today. Choosing between manual testing or automation testing is a common dilemma everyone faces. In this article, we will explore manual and automation testing techniques and highlight their differences, advantages, and when to use them.

2. What is ManualTesting?

Manual testing is essential in ensuring software quality in scenarios where human judgement and creativity are required. Human testers, also known as quality assurance testers, execute test cases without the assistance of automatic tool scripts to test applications and software for potential bugs and errors. While manual testing can be time-consuming, it allows quality assurance testers to interact personally with software to judge the end-user experience. Below are a few attributes of manual software testing.

  1. Test Case Execution: Manual testers follow predefined test cases, test scripts, or test plans to execute specific test scenarios. They record their observations and results during this phase.
  2. Explanatory Testing: With manual testing, testers can use their creativity and domain knowledge to identify potential issues and defects in software.
  3. User-centric Testing: Testers replicate real-user interactions with software to help evaluate overall user experience.
  4. Disability Testing: Manual testing assesses the software user interface and how well it aligns with user expectations and requirements.
  5. Ad-Hoc Testing: Manual testing is beneficial for testing, which involves structure, testing to discover, and uses without predefined test cases.
  6. Early Testing Stages: Manual testing is mainly used in the early testing stages of software development, when automationtest cases may not be readily available.

3. What are the Advantages of manual testing?

  1. Original and Creative:Manual testing approaches would allow you to use your creativity and domain knowledge to identify unique bugs.
  2. Adaptability: It is suited for explanatory testing and usability evaluation.
  3. Initial Stages:It is ideal during the initial stages of software development when your software isn't stable, and there is a lack of predefined test cases.

4. What are the disadvantages of manual testing?

  1. Time-consuming:Conducting repetitive tests can be tiring and time-consuming.
  2. Inconsistent: The possibility of errors can result in conflicting test outcomes.
  3. Limited Scalability: This approach might not be inappropriate for large-scale regression testing.

5. What is automation testing?

Automation software testing is a technique that allows you to leverage special tools and scripts to execute test cases, verify software functionality, and identify bugs without manual intervention. Automation testing makes testing software faster, more efficient, and more repeatable. It is mainly preferred for regression testing, where new changes do not introduce unexpected issues, and when running large-scale projects where manual testing will be exhaustive. Automation testing is accurate and saves time, ensuring you deliver reliable and bug-free applications and software.

6. What are the advantages of automation testing?

  1. Speed and Efficiency:Automation testing can help you save tremendous time and effort.
  2. Repeatability:It allows you to run the same test multiple times and ensure consistent results.
  3. Scalability:Best suited when you want to run regression testing and large software projects.

7. What are the disadvantages of automation testing?

  1. Initial investment: Setting up automation testing can be time-consuming, expensive, and inefficient if you do not have the right coding skills.
  2. Low human intervention: While automation testing is fast and efficient, it will miss out on specific errors only you can identify.
  3. High Maintenance: Predefined test cases must be constantly updated with the latest evolving software trends.

8. Manual testing vs. automation testing: A quick comparison between the two.

The table below is designed to give you a birds-eye comparison on choosing what’s best for you, based on crucial aspects.


Manual Testing

Automation Testing

Human Involvement



Speed and Efficiency

Slow and time-consuming

Fast and efficient

Initial Setup

Low initial setup

Moderate to High


Low and less consistent

High and very consistent



Ideal for large scale

Suitable For

Exploratory testing, early development and evaluation

Regression testing, repetitive tasks.



9. When to choose manual testing?

    Manual testing would become your preferred choice when:

  1. You are developing software which is in its early development stages.
  2. You need to perform exploratory testing to uncover unforeseen issues.
  3. It can be used where your insight and creativity are critical to the testing process.

10. When to choose automation testing?

Automation testing would become your preferred choice when:

  1. The software is stable and needs frequent regression testing.
  2. You have a large project with repetitive test cases.
  3. Speed, efficiency, and consistency rank high on your list of priorities.

11. Here are the top 5, mostly popular tools for manual testing:

  1. LoadRunner: It's your go-to tool for performance testing, which will help you identify and troubleshoot performance issues by providing comprehensive performance test data and compatibility with various development tools.
  2. JIRA: JIRA will help you seamlessly connect with code development environments. It's your solution for tracking various issues and offers JIRA Query Language for quick filter creation and customizable processes.
  3. NUnit:It's an open-source C# tool supporting data-driven tests and various platforms, making it adaptable for a broad user base. They are primarily used in the case of unit testing.
  4. ZAP (Zed Attack Proxy): If you need web application security testing, ZAP is a free and open-source solution. It's your dynamic application security testing (DAST) tool, working across different operating systems and offering a plugin-based architecture.
  5. Bugzilla: When tracking issues, Bugzilla is a versatile choice with a powerful search mechanism, email notifications, and customization for issue alerts.

12. Here are the top 5, mostly popular tools for automation testing:

  1. Selenium: Selenium gives you the advantage of cross-browser testing and seamless integration with CI/CD tools for comprehensive web testing and efficient automation.
  2. Appium: Appium allows you to test mobile applications while supporting Android and iOS platforms, making it a versatile choice for your mobile test automation needs.
  3. TestComplete: TestComplete excels in UI testing, offering a broad control library and integrations, making it easy to automate desktop, mobile, and web applications.
  4. Cypress: Cypress provides developer-friendly end-to-end web testing, offering native access to elements and snapshots for effective debugging.
  5. Ranorex Studio: Ranorex Studio's low-code automation and GUI testing capabilities make it user-friendly, whether you're a beginner or an experienced tester working with web, mobile, or desktop applications.

13. Conclusion

The choice between manual and automation testing depends on your project's requirements, budget, and timeline. To make a well-informed decision, consider the stage of your project, your testing objectives, and the resources at your disposal. Both approaches have their pros and cons in the software development process, and the right choice will depend on your needs.

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