Test Automation Can't Replace Manual Testing
You can't expect test automation to perform all the work done by a tester. It's the responsibility of a good tester to find areas that can't be automated and find issues.
Join the DZone community and get the full member experience.Join For Free
Test automation has received much attention recently. A lot of developers and testers in today’s world prefer to seek the assistance of test automation to make their lives easy. However, test automation does not have the ability to fully replace manual testing. Therefore, we cannot assume that test automation is stealing the job of software testers out there in the world.
Test automation can be considered as a perfect solution available for someone who doesn’t come from a technical background. One of the primary reasons for automated testing that has tempted software engineers is its ability to save time. The automated process can do some tasks for you and helps you keep peace of mind. If you don’t want to deal with the hassle associated with more frequent and long running processes, test automation would be a perfect solution available to you. However, you cannot expect test automation to perform all the work done manually by a tester.
The testing process of a new software application can be divided into two major phases. The testing process involved with the new version of an app can also be taken into this category. First of all, you need to run a regression test in order to test all the existing functionalities and the new functionalities added to make sure they work fine. Usually, regression tests take a long period of time to be completed. On the other hand, you will need to perform regression tests more often as well. Therefore, it is possible for a software tester to automate regression testing. Also, a separate test needs to be conducted in order to make sure that newly introduced functionality meets specification. Even though this is a one-time test, it can be considered as a part of regression testing. Therefore, you can think about automating it as well.
Recently, An engineer explains why their company spent $71 million and four years developing a high-tech hair dryer and aluminum bifold doors using manual testing in their prototype phase. Thus making it evident how necessary manual testing is during the development phase.
Now, you might think that it is possible for you to automate end-to-end testing without going through any hassle. However, we missed a crucial step. The newly introduced functionalities to an application could interact with existing functionalities in unforeseen ways. Test automation is not advanced enough to capture all these unforeseen conditions. That’s because it is practically impossible to tell where two versions of code would interact to give unexpected results. In order to overcome this hassle, a concept called exploratory testing has been introduced during the recent past.
When it comes to exploratory testing, the software tester will have to use his or her creativity throughout the process. In addition, the tester will have to put experience and analytic skills into work in order to learn about the application and figure out all the unforeseen instances mentioned above. When the tester has a clear understanding of the application, he or she can proceed with exploring all the possible areas of finding issues. This is an extremely cognitive process that requires intuition as well as original human thinking capabilities. Therefore, it cannot be automated under any circumstances.
You can find a lot of other related situations in which test automation cannot replace manual testing. The test areas associated with feelings of human beings hold a prominent place out of them. It is the responsibility of a good tester in order to figure out the areas that cannot be automated and look for issues. At the end of the day, software applications are being made for human beings who have particular thoughts and feelings. Therefore, the software testers have the ability to test accordingly based on human thoughts. You cannot expect this to be done from the computer and test automation process.
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.