Automation Testing is the process of creation and execution of test scripts with the help of a tool and verifying the results against the expected behavior. It has become popular and inevitable in most of the organization due to the ease and advantages it provides over the manual tests.
Automation tests increases the scope and depth of testing resulting in increased test coverage. It helps to overcome human error. Automation tests are more reliable, and can be executed much quicker than the manual tests.
Manual and automation tests have specific benefits and disadvantages. It is important to understand the difference and select the tests appropriately to maximize the returns. The important factors that define testing considerations are budget, requirements, timeline, etc., The main goal of testing is to provide the quality outcome.
The complete knowledge of manual and automated tests will allow us to choose the most suitable type of tests for a particular scenario. If requirement specifications are not clear, exploratory tests can help. If the test approach is not clear, ad-hoc testing can be done. If tests need to measure user experience, and other look and feel of the product, usability testing will help. In all the above cases manual tests will be the best choice.
On the other hand, in scenarios where there are lot of tests that are to be executed repeatedly, it is best to be automated, which saves a lot of time and effort. Automation tests also helps in cases where there are a number of test data combinations to be tested. This is also helpful in some non-performance tests. Automation testing involves creation of test scripts, framework design, etc., which can be time consuming. A proof of Concept(PoC), calculation of return on investment will be useful for estimation and budgeting of automation tests.
Be it manual or automation, both has its own pros and cons. As a test architect, it is important to analyze the scenario of the project and to choose the right type of testing and resources. Quality is a serious business!