What is Automation Testing & Manual Testing? : Core Differences


The testing world is expansive and consists of an array of different types and categories; nonetheless, two primary divisions are manual and automation tests.

In this article, let’s uncover what manual and automation testing mean – along with their respective benefits – as well as when each tactic should be utilized. The differences between them will also be thoroughly discussed here.

Ready for a closer look? Let’s dive in!

What Is Manual Testing?

Manual Testing is a method of testing software applications and systems to identify bugs, errors, inconsistencies, or other defects. It requires a tester to manually run tests on the application/system under test and compare expected results with actual outcomes. This type of testing does not require any automation tools or scripts but instead relies solely on the knowledge and skills of the tester.

Benefits of Manual Testing:

The following are some of the benefits manual testing:

  1. Prompt visual feedback: Manual Testing is an efficient way of obtaining accurate and prompt visual feedback.
  2. Cost-effective solution: Manual Testing is a cost-effective solution as it eliminates the need for expensive automation tools and processes.
  3. Use of human brain power to detect errors: Manual testing provides testers with the opportunity to take advantage of their superior cognitive abilities and uncover software errors that automated tests may overlook.
  4. Accurately replicates a user’s experience: Manual testing grants testers the autonomy to use their knowledge and skills to authentically simulate a user’s experience.

What Is Automation Testing?

Automation testing is an automated way of testing software. Automated tests are designed to quickly and efficiently test the functionality and usability of a given application or system. Automation testing leverages frameworks for streamlining the test execution process.

They involve writing scripts and programs that carry out pre-defined actions, verify results, and generate detailed reports on their performance.

Benefits of Automation Testing:

The following are some of the benefits automation testing:

  1. Increased Test Coverage – Automation testing enables an organization to test more areas of a product within a shorter time frame. Tests can be run in multiple environments and across different platforms, allowing for comprehensive coverage with minimal effort.
  2. Cost Savings – Automation testing does not require human resources, saving organizations money on staffing costs. Additionally, automated tests can be reused for future products and updates, helping to further reduce costs.
  3. Reduced Manual Testing Time – Automation testing allows manual testers to focus on more complex scenarios that require a human’s attention. This process reduces the amount of time required for manual testing by allowing automated tests to run in parallel with manual tests.
  4. Improved Accuracy – Since automation testing is based on predefined conditions, it can check for errors more reliably than manual testing. Additionally, automation testing reduces the potential of human error, helping to ensure that all tests are accurate and repeatable.
  5. Easier Debugging – Automation tests keep track of all test results in an organized way which makes debugging much easier. This allows developers to quickly identify the cause of an issue and fix it without wasting time manually testing every line of code.

When to Use Manual Testing?

Manual testing is best when a test involves complex processes that require manual intervention. It is also useful for exploratory testing and usability tests, as it allows testers to interact with the system in real-time and assess its functionality. 

Manual testing is especially effective when you need to evaluate how the user interface works and how users interact with your system. In situations that require cognitive and behavioral skills to evaluate software, Manual Testing is the go-to solution.

Manual testing is also ideal for ensuring the correct functionality of a system or application. This type of testing ensures that all requirements have been met and that no unintended features have been created in the development process. When there are fewer data sets or when a more exploratory approach to software testing is needed, manual testing may be a better option. 

When to Use Automation Testing?

Automation testing should be used in scenarios where large amounts of data need to be tested quickly and accurately. Automated tests are also helpful for running regression tests when there is a change or update to existing code. 

Additionally, automation testing can help improve the accuracy of results by eliminating potential human error from manual testing. Automation testing is a great choice for testing complex, frequently changing applications or processes.

Automation testing is an effective technique that allows software developers to quickly and efficiently test their applications for functionality, usability, and performance. It can be used at any stage of the development process, from initial prototyping to final product delivery. 

Automation testing can also be used to generate test data, allowing developers to quickly create scenarios that are otherwise difficult or time-consuming to achieve manually.

Core Differences between Manual Testing vs Automation Testing

Aspect Manual Testing Automation Testing
Test Cases Executor A human tester is the main executor of test cases. Automation tools execute test cases with minimal human involvement.
Time to Process More time consuming Less Time Consuming
Batch testing Possible Not Possible
Test Coverage Limited Test Coverage Greater Test Coverage
Programming language proficiency Programming language proficiency is not required Programming language proficiency is an absolute necessity
Exploratory Testing Possible Not Possible
Performance Testing Performance Testing is impossible to carry out manually. Utilizing an automation tool is a must when conducting Performance Tests.
Testing Fatigue Possible Not Possible
Structure  Automation testing employs frameworks to quicken the automation process. Manual Testing requires efficient protocols, guidelines, and processes to build accurate test cases.
Test Efficiency Less efficient More efficient
User Experience Through Manual Testing, users of the software are guaranteed a high-quality User Experience. Automation Testing alone cannot assure a truly satisfying User Experience.
Initial Capital Investment Initial Capital Investment is significantly lower. The initial capital investment is substantially higher.


The aforementioned list is in no way exhaustive, leaving plenty of room to explore more when it comes to manual testing vs automation testing.


Manual testing and automation testing are two different approaches to software testing. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to choose the right approach for each specific project. Automation testing is more efficient and can cover a greater test area, but it requires more programming skills. Manual testing is more time-consuming but can be more easily adapted to changing conditions. 

For those interested in further exploring the different testing types, consider pursuing SDET training.

A comprehensive SDET training program or course can be pivotal in helping build the skills needed to properly utilize a variety of testing tools, identify which test is best fitted for any given project, and gain greater insights into software development cycles.

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