Monday, October 4, 2021

Why Manual Testing For Software Development Is an Important Aspect


Thousands of businesses across the world use various types of software applications, and without using these, they simply cannot function. However, developing software applications is not exactly a cakewalk. The process involves various steps, and developers have to check the applications for various parameters before they can deliver them to the clients. While there are automated tools that are used for checking software quality, the importance of manual testing in the software development sector has not diminished. Any top software development company would not overlook its importance.

Manual software testing in present times

Manual testing in the software Development sector is of utmost significance, even in 2021. While automated software testing solutions are deployed widely, these firms also resort to manual testing to ensure there are no glitches or bugs in the final product. The manual testing methods are deployed to find out small or hidden anomalies in software applications, and these issues are then rectified. 

Variations of manual software testing

  1. Black box testing- This denotes a type of manual software testing in which developers conduct manual testing but do not check its internal code structure. This test is required to figure out if the software application meets the user specifications and requirements or not. So, the testers focus on application inputs and output without analyzing the internal structure.
  2. White Box Testing- This is the exact opposite of the earlier method. For this, testers need to be well-versed in the codebase, internal design, the structure of the application. Its purpose is to augment the application’s design and usability and boost the security level too.
  3. Exploratory Testing- In this manual testing method, developers do not resort to setting up test cases beforehand. It is handy for agile software development. Through this method, testers can evade predefined test procedure models. 

A top offshore software outsourcing company may use one or all of these methods based on the situation and project requirements. 

Understanding why Manual Testing still matters in Software Development

  • Automation Is Not 100% reliable and accurate- On the surface level, using automated software testing seems a convenient and more practical choice. It does help in saving time, but that is not the only thing that matters. It is important to remember that the widely used automated testing tools are not 100% accurate at all times. These testing tools are also applications that are not 100% fail-proof! These can also malfunction, and that defeats the purpose of testing. 
  • Validating User Interface- The Automated testing tools are handy for testing responsive UI elements. However, their shortcomings become prominent when user interface testing has to be done on an extensive level. This can be done better by human testers than these automated testing tools. 
  • Typical scenarios- In some situations, the limitations of specific technology and platform make it hard for a developer to use automation testing tools. The testing scenarios can be too complex for running automated testing tools. So, using manual testing is the only option left for developers.
  • Initial Extended Cycle Times- Setting up a functional automated software testing pipeline is not always easy. It takes some time too. In the early stage, it is not practical to indulge in it. Sometimes, setting up the required testing setup proves to be more tedious and time-intensive than performing manual testing. When the team needs to develop a software application within tight deadlines, they can actually save time by testing it manually. 
  • Cost- Not every software development firm, especially the small ones, can afford to buy automated testing tools. It takes time to obtain the cost-saving advantages of deploying automated testing tools. 

When do your projects require manual testing?

The top offshore software developers resort to both automated and manual testing methods based on project requirements. However, it is necessary to know under which situations manual testing is a better choice. 

  • User Experience Testing- A software application has to be user-friendly and can be analyzed by using UI testing. So, human testers need to check the application interface to figure out how suitable it is. It is applicable for both web and mobile application development. 
  • Ensuring there is no loophole- The present generation of automated software testing tools is quite advanced, and they are used extensively in agile development methods. However, there are some clients who are particular about the software attributes. To ensure the application meets the client's requirements in terms of suability, security, and customization, performing additional testing can be necessary. In such cases, manual testing can be used on top of automated testing to augment the scope of test coverage.
  • For small-sized projects- There is no denying the fact the automated testing tools do not come for free. These have allied management and maintenance costs, too. So, for executing small-scale projects, using manual testing remains the more practical choice. When the project budget is not high, using automated testing is not advisable. 
  • For projects requiring human analysis- Not all software projects are the same in terms of complexity. Not everything involved in software testing can be resolved by using the binary approach of automation testing tools. The finesse and complex analytical skills of a human mind are required, and that is where manual testing comes into the picture. 

Picking the right tool for executing manual software testing

Nowadays, custom software development agencies make use of various tools to execute software manual testing. There are popular testing tools like Mantis, TestLink, Firebug, browser Dev and Postman. These tools are used to test various aspects of software applications such as API, debugging, security, etc. Some tools are available in online versions as well. Not all testing tools may be required in each project, as it is. 

Summing it up

There are inherent advantages of using automated software testing tools, and they are being used widely by a lot of software development firms. Yet, the importance of using manual testing methods has not diminished. Based on the project type and variables like budget, client requirements, project timeline, etc., these firms have to use one or both testing methodologies. When used in alliance, using both methods can be beneficial for an agency. 

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