Testing has risen in adoption. One question that this sometimes throws up is whether the rise of test automation inevitably means a decline in the importance of manual testing.
With this rising chorus, it’s perhaps fair to assume that manual testers may cultivate an antagonism towards automated testing. This post is to show why that need not be the case at all – we believe manual testers can, and should get to love automation testing!
First, let’s set one bogey to rest, manual testing will never go away. In fact, with the advent of new technologies, the role of the manual tester is likely to increase. That settled here are a few reasons for manual testers to actually fall in love with automation testing.
Automation is not only about learning a new language
Manual testers who have been working for 2 or more years, sometimes find it difficult to learn a new programming language to automate the test cases. The good news is that today, automation is not only about coding or learning a new programming language. With script-less automation, manual testers can themselves create effective automation using objects or commands based on natural language. This is an opportunity for manual testers to expand their repertoire and to contribute even more to the success of the product.
Automation has great synergies with manual testing
Manual testers now understand that manual testing and test automation are the two different sides of the same coin. Together, they result in a more effective testing process, without any one of them dominating the software testing journey. Manual testers know exactly what “breaks” the product-under-test and this knowledge is key in building the automated testing suite. Manual and automation testing this, complement each other and form the building blocks for a comprehensive, effective automation framework.
Automation is not too fast and manual testing is not too slow
Undoubtedly, automated testing allows quick execution of test cases as compared to manual testing. But, this is not all that is involved. There are other tasks to be completed that take up time, for eg. identifying an object, when the properties are not straight forward. Manual testers sometimes resist automation because of the time pressure of delivering a bug-free software. One key reason for manual testers to start loving automation will come about when they don’t have to change too much to adapt to the pace of automation testing.
Knowledge about the functionality of the software assists in automation
Functional testers enjoy the advantage of knowing the software application in and out. The in-depth knowledge comes in handy when creating automated test scripts. They know the critical features, the most likely user scenarios and use-cases, and the load conditions. This means they know exactly which test case needs automation and which does not. They are also aware of the expected outcome because of the test data. The work experience of a functional tester is extremely useful when creating test scripts that significantly enhance the effectiveness of the automated testing.
Automated testing saves them effort
Automation solutions are capable of handling and performing testing on complex operations. This helps find defects in the software during the early product development phases. It has been well documented that errors found early in the cycle are up to 5 times easier to fix than error found later in the development cycle. The much greater effort needed to fix a defect directly translates into much greater effort involved in testing that fix – all of which can be saved by embracing automated testing. Surely, that’s a reason to love it!
The aim of automating the test scripts is to improve the software quality rather than to push it out faster. Intensive and exhaustive automation ensures broader and deeper code coverage, which helps deliver higher-quality products. Manual testers are just as, if not more, committed to delivering a high-quality product that they would be proud to call their own. A better-quality product reflects well on all those involved in creating it – especially the testing team.
Evolution as a professional
In so many ways, the ever-increasing pace of the releases comes as a boon for the software testing testers. With every new release and every new product iteration, their portfolio of skills, knowledge, and experience is enhanced. To our mind, it is this hunger to learn more, to develop, and to evolve, as a product professional that will make a manual tester fall in true love with automation testing.
The reluctance of manual testers to accept automation testing is often rooted in the myth that automation is costly, very difficult to understand and that it replaces the manual testers. Our view is that to the contrary, it pushes the true professional to push for higher-value tasks to become even more valuable to the entire process of creation of the product. Are you one of these professionals?