Software testing or testing is fundamental in any project. So establishing a strategic methodology to carry it out is something that should never be overlooked. Only in this way will we approach the excellence of quality standards required by the client; this is obtained by providing objective results.

When discussing tests in general terms, the different professionals in this field, both QA (Quality Assurance) analysts and testers themselves, refer to two main approaches. And, on numerous occasions the boundaries between the two are  blurred resulting in, tension, doubts and different ways of interpreting the benefits and handicaps of both perspectives.

The advantages offered by manual tests vs. automatic tests are compared constantly in the search for efficiency and quality in software development.  Both can (and should) coexist to achieve effective results in the detection of incidents and in its prevention. In fact we could say that one should not be conceived without the other. In this regard, it should be emphasized that automated testing is of vital importance to streamline quality control processes and reduce costs.


What are the basic characteristics of
manual testing vs automated testing?


In a very generic and schematic way we could say that:

  • Manual testing: is the testing method in which human intervention is of vital importance.
    The QA analyst creates and executes the test cases by adopting the role of the final recipient and identifying various cases.
  • Automatic testing: is the method of running a test without the prominence of human intervention. Test cases are programmed and executed using a specific automation tool.

What results are obtained
with each of the tests?

With the automatic tests we obtain:

  • Specifications: it validates that the functionality that had to be found is effectively present. It is even possible to specify new functionalities based on test cases.
  • Very fast feedback: in a matter of minutes we can verify if a large number of of tests  are validated or not.
  • Regression: once a test has been programmed it can be reused as many times as desired with insignificant costs.
  • Granularity: allows you to test  very specific parts of the software which you are working on.
  • Avoid manual errors: In those  tests that result repetitive and heavy for a person, for example, comparison of data, repetitive checks, etc.

With manual tests we obtain:

  • Guide: Proides  knowledge and understanding of what the software is for. What problems it solves,  which it does not and what will be the answer in terms of usability.
  • Comprehension: Provides an understanding of the future users experience.
  • Create models: Allows the mapping of some real world situations to the software being developed.
  • Coincidence: a human being testing software will always find unexpected and surprising situations.

Pros and Cons of
manual testing vs automated testing


Pros Cons
  • Useful when a test is being run once or twice.
  • Effective in usability analysis, since it is based on human observationa nd human reactions.
  • It results very inefficient when running repetitive tests.
  • Human intervention implies the probability of human errors, reducing the reliability of the results.
Pros Cons
  • Very useful when running repetitive tests, since their results are significantly much faster than those carried out with a manual approach.
  • Especially recommended for tests that require high levels of reliability: automated testing allows programming that captures  errors that the human eye can miss.
  • A lot of time and dedication is required to program automatic systems.  So it is not recommended if you are not going to run several tests.
  • It is not particularly suitable for analyzing usability factors (user experience).


The amount and type of information obtained with manual testing is therefore different from that obtained with automated testing. But both complement each other and practically feed off each other in diverse situations. So the choice of one or the other must respond to an appropriate and professional analysis,  depending on the results that need to be obtained in the testing process.

What is clear is that automated testing is a real revolution when it comes to accelerating  processes and obtaining effectiveness, efficiency and contributing to the reduction of costs in software processes.   Automated tests detect many more errors or bugs than manual tests, since they do not depend on the human intervention. Automated tests allow us to obtain beneficial results based on speed, reliability, repeated execution or repetition. They are programmable with varying levels of sophistication and are also reusable. Therefore,  contributing positively in increasing the productivity of a company; in its relation with the economization of software solutions.


Do you have doubts about what automated testing processes can do for you and your project?

Do you need more information about the advantages and disadvantages of manual testing vs. automated testing?

At SIPSA we will be happy to answer all your questions about this fascinating topic. Write to us!