A Strategic Balance Between Manual and Automation Testing
- August 31, 2020
- Rubab Kazmi
In a highly complex industry like software development, organizations have to face challenges coming from all the angles. This certainly requires more emphasis on the functionality of software products and applications but wait how can you improve functionality? Well, as the question is simple so is the answer, i.e to perform enough testing. Usually, there’s pressure on software firms to come up with those software products and applications that not just best match the user’s expectations instead blow their minds up with its unique features and easy functionality. But there’s much more pressure on the quality assurance professionals in terms of detecting the issues in the complex and large applications, pressure from upper management to hunt vulnerabilities faster, shorter release cycles, and possibly shrinking teams. Sometimes the pressure gets so intense that they usually make a tradeoff between other software development tasks and software testing.
That is the main reason why organizations rush to implement automation testing by referring to any of the automation testing companies without even realizing their business requirements. Automation is no doubt a good thing to consider to enhance efficiency but trying to do every single thing with automation is also crap and can cause significant harm to the organizations. Introducing automation from scratch and expecting it to provide desired outcomes is also unrealistic to happen. You cannot just stop everything and introduce new tools instead you have to first improve the manual procedures within your organization. You must acquire special talents, and essentially you must start over.
What you need is the ability to improve the efficiency of manual testing effortlessly.
To boost up your testing efforts while maintaining a balance between manual and automated testing procedures, consider the following guidelines for your assistance;
Increase the test coverage – if you do not increase the test range, you will not be able to withstand the increasing pressure. But more importantly, you should aim to enter exploratory testing. Here, the entire software delivery pipeline will benefit from test results, not just production.
Clear communication with developers – Developers cannot tell you what to automate and what should not be, but they can give you vision into the state of the application.
Keep open communication channels with developers and other team members so that you have enough knowledge about what changes have been made in the application during the development cycle. Depending on whether the integration is a minor change to the code, a new feature, or an improved UI, this will make a difference whether the subsequent test belongs to an automation suite or should be manually tested.
Implementation of exploratory testing – Exploratory testing is very much beneficial to check out visually and functionally the new features and changes of the UI. Automation allows you to free up parts that you would normally not have access to, so finding new bugs or testing for other roles is a challenge.
Human observation of the smallest things, curiosity about how it happens and why that happens, and creative abilities are significant to become a tester. Automation can only take you to the point where new errors and vulnerabilities are discovered in a limited period. That’s the reason why manual testing (especially exploratory testing) can not be taken for granted in the assuring quality.
Implementation of visual testing – Visual test (AKA perception difference) is an impressive addition as well as an invention in the field of software testing that can help you easily increase the depth and breadth of manual testing. The technology behind visual testing aids in comparing the screenshots of the recent versions of the application with the screenshots of previous versions. It enables the quality assurance team to test different aspects of the application, such as testing whether the image moves or whether the changes are displayed correctly on the page.
Visual testing consists of special algorithms that enable it to scan the entire page within seconds, hence eliminating the need for manually scanning and navigating large pages. It also helps in increasing the accuracy and efficiency of overall testing processes.
Consolidate your regression kit – The bottom line of automation is to automate repetitive and time-consuming tests, so consider which tests you find yourself performing most often. Consolidating your regression suite will enable you to identify which tests to cover after a change in each integration or code.
Here’s a pro tip; this situation will change over time as your application changes, but it is helpful to have a kit that ensures basic functionality.
Moreover, deciding which environments to test on will lead you to understand which browsers, devices, and operating systems will be included in the regression suite.
Consideration of Return on Investment – Obviously, at the day end, every business counts for what it has gained in exchange with the time, efforts, and finances it invested. There’s no such thing in this world that isn’t following the rule of “give and take”. That’s the reason it has been known as a universal rule for many years.
If you want to gain more while investing not so much effort, time, and resources, manual testing is a good option to go for because automating may take time to analyze, code, and maintain. Because If the time it takes to automate isn’t worth the results that you’d get from the test, it may be something you want to do manually, or not at all.
Since deciding between what to automate and what not automate totally depends upon you, but if you are still confused you can consult a third party automation testing company to better provide you an insight about which tool would be most suitable to your business requirements. Neither using manual testing alone nor automation would help you to achieve the desired testing outcomes. Always try to maintain a balanced strategy that would leave no room for error and bug handling while ensuring a healthy yet best quality software product to users.
Keep on testing but remember to strategize before you start.