Getting Started with Manual & Live Testing

What Is Manual Testing?

The process of manually testing an application is called live testing or manual testing in software development. This implies that the test is carried out by a real human tester in order to verify functionality, user experience, and other factors.

Testing by hand differs from testing by computer. Automated testing involves using frameworks and tools to write and run scripts that can be executed at any time to assess an application’s functioning without requiring human intervention.

Manual testing is still a useful tactic in many situations, even if automation testing has many clear benefits. We will examine why and how manual testing makes sense below, and then we will compare manual and automated testing in more detail.

When Is Live Testing Appropriate to Use?

As this post’s introduction noted, live testing is helpful in a range of situations. Let’s examine a few of these situations in more detail.

Infrequently tested, low-risk functionality

When it comes to testing functionality that won’t require recurrent testing, manual testing makes a lot of sense. A 100% automated test coverage is neither realistic nor necessary. Therefore, manual testing can be a more effective and efficient method for low-risk functionality that needs to be tested occasionally. The program does not depend on this kind of functionality, and it does not change frequently enough to warrant the creation of an automated test script. 

A Thanksgiving-themed banner that appears at the top of a website would be an illustration of this. All essential program features would continue to function as intended even if this didn’t show up. Furthermore, automating this probably isn’t worth the work.

Functionality that is evolving quickly

Manual testing is usually appropriate for functionality that is changing rapidly (e.g., UI testing early in the development lifecycle when the design may be changing often). This is due to the likelihood that creating an automated test to verify such functionality won’t be beneficial because it will almost certainly need to be altered several times before the capability is fully working.

Evaluation of user experience

Another useful tool for assessing elements of an application that can be difficult to assess automatically is live testing. This covers an application’s usability in relation to the user experience. For instance, a program might function as intended, yet the design might have innate problems that make using it awkward. In this case, an automated test script wouldn’t fail, but a manual tester might be able to spot this flaw. Stated differently, it is imperative to have a human undertake the review when test results are more subjective. A satisfying user experience can be guaranteed in this way.

Exploratory testing

Lastly, exploratory testing of an application can be effectively accomplished through the use of manual testing. Testers can browse the application, learn about its functionality and flow, and then test its functionality in an unscripted way by using exploratory testing. Exploratory testing has to be done manually due to its unstructured nature. This kind of testing gives testers more freedom in how they evaluate the functionality of the application, which occasionally leads to chances for them to apply their skill set to find new test cases that they had not previously thought about. It offers a method for identifying troublesome edge cases that might have slipped into production unnoticed in this fashion.

How to Conduct Manual Examination

The following steps can be used to undertake manual testing, though there may be some differences.

1. Analysis of test cases and script creation

Finding the test cases required to verify the functionality you want to test is the first step. This necessitates a thorough comprehension of the specifications behind this feature. Subsequently, a tester should be guided through the testing of every test case by means of detailed instructions.

2. Execution of tests

Test execution comes next. Manual test scripts are run manually, as was previously indicated. This means that the tester must manually complete each stage of the test script and record the results, following the instructions step-by-step.

3. Verification of the outcomes

For every manual test script, there will be a predicted result. The tester must confirm that the script’s execution produced the desired results once it has been run. The application passes the test if they do. In the event that is not, a possible problem will need to be reported.

4. Results Reporting

It’s time to report the findings of the tests that did not produce the desired result once all of the tests have been run. This entails supplying the steps required to replicate the unsuccessful tests in addition to the real test findings and the anticipated behavior.

Comparing Automation and Live Testing

The benefits and drawbacks of automated testing vs live testing vary. Let’s examine these two tactics’ comparison in more detail.

Execution method: running tests automatically versus manually

Using automated testing frameworks and technologies, automated tests are carried out automatically. Manual tests are carried out by hand. This implies that a human tester conducts the exam in accordance with a set of instructions provided in a script. Each step is manually carried out by the human tester, who then compares the outcomes to the predicted result.

Error risk in manual testing as opposed to automated testing

Errors in the testing process are more likely to occur while testing manually. This is so because manual tests are carried out by people. 

There is a higher chance of human error because of this human participation (missing steps, incorrectly interpreted results, etc.).

Software automation tools, on the other hand, carry out automated tests. An automated test script can be counted on to operate exactly the same way with every execution once it has been built to fulfill requirements. This eliminates the possibility of human error and guarantees accuracy during each iteration.

Some Application Testing Types Are Better Suitable for Both Approaches

User experience, exploratory testing, and low-risk functionality that doesn’t need frequent testing are all good candidates for manual testing.

On the other side, automated testing is practically required for effectively carrying out unit and integration tests, which are usually carried out very frequently. As an application develops, these kinds of testing become increasingly important for software development teams to guarantee application quality. It would take far too long and use development and QA resources inefficiently to repeatedly run these tests by hand.

Furthermore, load and performance testing requires automated testing. It is very challenging to use manual testing in these situations.

Staff skill sets needed for manual testing as opposed to automated testing

Employing people with specialized skill sets is necessary for firms doing both automated and manual testing. For example, manual testers need to be able to read and comprehend application requirements, follow instructions, exercise critical thinking, and identify issue scenarios in an application quickly. They must also be able to successfully communicate the findings of their testing to the relevant personnel.

Programming-savvy engineers are necessary for companies looking to automate the testing of their applications. They must be conversant with the automated testing technologies used by the company, if not expert with them, and knowledgeable about contemporary development methodologies (such as Agile, CI/CD, etc.).

Conclusion:

Manual testing in software testing offers the accuracy, clarity, and fine-grained control needed for software testing. It is false to say that manual testing is out of date. Both automated and human testing have benefits. There is little doubt that Testing in manual testing will never completely replace it. For the greatest return on investment, QA testers must combine human and automated testing. This does not imply, however, that manual testers should give up on automation testing; rather, they should concentrate on the tools and technologies that are making their way onto the market and attempt to integrate them, as these will lessen the amount of repetitive work they have to do, saving the company money, time, and other resources!

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