Can Automated Testing Completely Replace the Manual Testing Process

Can Automated Testing Completely Replace the Manual Testing Process?

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Software testing is a fundamental software development process that involves evaluating and verifying the software product. The process can either be automation or manual testing. You need both processes in your software testing for various reasons.

Automation testing is used for handling simpler processes that are repetitive during the testing process. On the other hand, manual testing manages complex test cases. Both manual and automated testings have their benefits and disadvantages. Automated testing techniques for instance simplify the testing process for specialists and reduce the time of spending on tests, while manually testing requires specialists’ participation and knowledge of IT. However, some tests need a specific approach that cannot be done via automated testing. That said, automation testing can’t completely replace manual testing. Here are the various reasons why automation testing cannot replace the manual testing process.

Actual usability execution can’t be automated

With different automation testing techniques, most of the activities in the setup, analysis stages, and teardown in usability can be automated. Some of the tools used for automated usability testing include Usabilla, Feedback Army, and TryMyUI. But the actual usability execution has to be done manually due to a lot of processes involved.

Usability testing requires a significant commitment by all participants in the testing process. That’s because the data can be fairly complex and time-consuming to analyze. For instance, you cannot train a computer to identify “bad” and “good” usability.

Or perhaps you think that this process can be skipped. At no point should you ever commit such a mistake. It will result in a tremendous amount of risk. This process is beneficial as it ensures that you are confident in your product. That’s because you have met all their requirements.

Automation testing tests what’s predictable

In the software testing process, several processes can be predicted, while others are unpredictable. Automation testing is only used for predictable processes.

That’s why it’s often referred to as the “happy path.” As a result, you are assured of what to expect at the end. Failure to do this, the process is declared wrong. In that case, you are testing functionality that already exists.

Of course, it covers a lot of activities, but it’s not as deep as manual testing, which tests unpredictable processes. Some highly automated tests include regression tests, which are incredible when resources are limited. Consequently, some holes and failures might be introduced into your testing process.

Rewriting test scripts in agile

Rewriting scripts in agile is something you cannot afford to automate. You have to do it line-by-line describing all necessary actions on different levels. The expected result should accompany each of the steps written.

Test scripts are created and edited using the text editor. You have to attach images, text files, verification text, and comments. Constant feedback in the agile environment means that fluid changes have to be performed on the product flow, features, and even the User Interface.

And every time there is a change, you have to rewrite your automated test scripts for the next sprint. The new changes made during the constant feedback process affect the regression testing. That implies that even classic automation will need a lot of updates in an agile environment.

Automation is expensive for small projects

Imagine paying a lot of money to carry out processes that can be done manually at half the price! That’s what automation for small projects means in the software testing process. Not only will you pay for the software but also maintenance costs and the management.

In this case, you have to write test scripts and rewrite them again in case of agile. It’s a time-consuming process that’s very costly for the organization, and that’s why most businesses prefer manual testing.

For long-term projects, the higher costs can be worth it. That’s because the efficiency of most of the applications is increased and the speed too. But for the small projects, it’s just a monumental waste of time and money. So, if you are planning to use automation for small projects, you have to calculate the possible ROI price and the workforce cost.

Tendency to lag behind sprints

Unless automation is tightly managed, it tends to lag behind sprints. That brings the reality between what you hope the automation technology to do for you and the fact of what you can do with it. The delay in automation testing is caused by application unavailability, limited time due to short release cycles, and changing requirements.

At the end of the process, you won’t be able to release or deliver the features of the improvements you were making. It’s even worthless testing fixes that are no longer current. Successful automation testing should start early and never lag more than one sprint behind.

This implies that automation testing cannot fully replace manual testing. If the organization doesn’t have enough money to cater to these issues, it’s better to stay away from automation. It should only plan for automation testing when dealing with long-term investment projects.


Whether you are going to use manual or automation testing, what matters is the processes you will carry out and their duration. Here, you have to think about the choice of the tools, the benefits they will provide to you, and their costs. So, is automation testing replacing manual testing? Of course, no. There is a need, space, and time for both of them. It’s upon you to determine where you will use each of them.

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