Manual Testing vs Automation Testing

Manual Testing vs Automation Testing


In this article I'll write about the difference between manual testing and automation testing.

Manual Testing

Manual Testing is a type of software testing in which test cases are executed manually by a tester without using any automated tools. The purpose of Manual Testing is to identify the bugs, issues, and defects in the software application.

When to use Manual Testing?

Manual Testing prevails when cognitive and behavioral abilities are required to test the software.

It mainly works well for testing :

  • Functionalities
  • User Interface (UI)
  • User Experience (UX)
  • Website & App Behavior
  • Features
  • User Acceptance

Automation Testing

Automation testing uses frameworks to run tests. Each framework is scripted with the rules of automation pertaining to the software to be tested.

When to use Automation Testing?

The key advantages of Automation Testing over Manual Testing are

  • cost efficiency,
  • easily perform testing at large scale,
  • faster turnaround time, and
  • better accuracy.

With these benefits of Automation Testing, it is mostly preferred when the scale of testing is large, where the development cycle is shorter and one needs to repeatedly execute codes that have a higher frequency of iterations.

Manual vs Automation Testing: The Final Face-Off

CriteriaManual TestingAutomation Testing
AccuracyManual Testing shows lower accuracy due to the higher possibilities of human errors.Automation Testing depicts a higher accuracy due to computer-based testing eliminating the chances of errors
Testing at ScaleManual Testing needs time when testing is needed at a large scale.Automation Testing easily performs testing at a large scale with the utmost efficiency.
Turnaround timeManual Testing takes more time to complete a cycle of testing, and thus the turnaround time is higher.Automation Testing completes a cycle of testing within record time and thus the turnaround time is much lower.
Cost EfficiencyManual Testing needs more cost as it involves the hiring of expert professionals to perform testing.Automation Testing saves costs incurred as once the software infrastructure is integrated, it works for a long time.
User ExperienceManual Testing ensures a high-end User Experience to the end user of the software, as it requires human observation and cognitive abilities.Automation Testing cannot guarantee a good User Experience since the machine lacks human observation and cognitive abilities.
Areas of SpecializationManual Testing should be used to perform Exploratory Testing, Usability Testing and Ad-hoc Testing to exhibit the best results.Automation Testing should be used to perform Regression Testing, Load Testing, Performance Testing and Repeated Execution for best results.
User SkillsUsers must have the ability to mimic user behavior and build test plans to cover all the scenarios.Users must be highly skilled at programming and scripting to build test cases and automate as many scenarios as possible.


Testing is a huge domain and Manual Testing is still as important as Automation. There are many types of testing where the Automation tool can’t help us and we need to choose Manual Testing. A the end of the day, tool scripts are designed manually, tools do not require human intervention but it requires the command which is given by a human.

Any machine or software is only capable of doing the things which were asked to do and this is the limitation (or sometimes advantage as it can not act smarter than us). Automation tools also have some limitations but eventually, they will evolve and will become smarter.

Both Manual and Automation Testing have pros and cons, and choosing between these two depends on the project requirements, time and most importantly budget. Finally, we can say that when we require skilled testers we can go with manual testing and where we need to automate the test case, we should choose Automation.

I'm an automation testing engineer but I think manual testing is also important and sometimes is irreplaceable. What are your opinions?

Thank you for reading. Let me know your answers in the comment section below.