Software testing involves the type of tasks that allow us to obtain information about the quality of the tested product.
It represents a complete parallel cycle within software development, and this cycle is called the Software Testing Life Cycle (STLC).
Within the STLC we can find two different types of tests: manual tests and automatic tests. In the case of manual tests, the activity is performed 100% by the tester. And in the case of automatic testing, only a certain proportion of these activities is performed by a tester, while the rest is done by automation tools.
Features of manual testing
Manual testing is the most widespread technique in the history of software development. It is the first to allow the application of tests at different levels: Unit tests, integration tests of components, user interface… But even if any type of test can be applied with manual testing, there are certain disadvantages. Let’s look at the features in detail:
- Manual testing allows any kind of test. In fact, only this category of tests can control quality at the user interface (or usability) level.
- It allows the analysis of more complex scenarios thanks to the ingenuity that the tester can develop during his work.
- The risk of finding a false negative result is very low due to the direct interaction with the system under test.
- The testers do not need to have any technical knowledge to perform the necessary tests.
- The implementation of the tasks is very slow due to the difficulty of some scenarios.
- The tester has to be creative, patient and equipped with initiative to find situations that put the product’s properties to the test.
- Completing tasks takes a lot of time.
- Very tedious due to the manual execution of all steps involved in each of the tests.
- It is difficult to quantify the level of test coverage we have with this type of test.
Implementation in practice
At WATA Factory we can look back on a long series of projectswhere we have implemented manual testing techniques to ensure and guarantee the quality level of our products.
Each project has different characteristics and the implementation of this requires an analysis of resources and requirements, that need to be reviewed. Therefore, the following steps are recommended when starting manual testing:
- System analysis: definition of the functional and non-functional requirements to be tested.
- Analysis of available resources: staff, equipment, time, etc.
- Planning of the manual tests to be developed: types and execution times.
- Carrying out the tests.
- Documentation of the results obtained: Error reports, result reports and analysed requirements.
Many of these steps are common in the STLC process, but in the case of manual tests their application and execution is quite sequential.
This is why we are starting to use automated testing techniques in our projects, which will enable us to reduce the deficits of manual tests and thus increase the quality of our products.