Continuing where the previous introductory post left off, we continue to discuss the epic battle between the ruthless testing automation machines and the brave manual testing of the human QA army. To make it fair on both sides and let them wage their battles, let’s see what makes each of them so great and vice versa not that great. Automation goes first.

Testing Automation Pros

  1. Accuracy and rigorousness. Testing automation is extremely accurate and rigorous. Be it counting (try to count to 20,000 out loud and see how far you get without making mistakes or getting tired), mathematical calculations, even the computer’s memory seems much more accurate than our human memory. While a human may skip a detail here and there in a manual test, the automation doesn’t accept any funny business. An FTP connection wasn’t established? Fail the test! The exact test message didn’t appear? Fail the test! Of course as long as the test was written properly, automation is always on full concentration, never gets lazy, and doesn’t miss a thing.
  2. Speed. The automation performs tests faster than a human. It just runs through the tests without caring about any interrupted emails or Facebook messages, easily shuffling between whatever tasks it has to do with a flick of the command line.
  3. Testing 24/7. Theoretically at least, putting aside malfunctions. OK, so maybe it’s more like 20/6, but still, automation can work many more hours than humans can and at times where most humans don’t like to work, like nights, weekends and holidays. It doesn’t need any rest, no lunch breaks since it gets a constant supply of delicious electrons right from the power plug, no paid vacations. It just works as long as it doesn’t break down.
  4. Cheap cheap. An automation and maybe one person to operate and maintain it is cheaper than paying for a small team of testers who would have otherwise had to do the get the same testing done manually. Not much doubt about it. Spend a few thousand bucks for some machines, feed it aircon and electricity, get it maintained by a pro, and that’s it really. So you need more machines and more people to operate the automation? That’s OK, how many testers would you have needed otherwise and how much would they have costed? A whole lot more.
  5. No complaints. It doesn’t matter how dirty, repetitive, boring, or time consuming the testing is. Machines ‘gladly’ go at it (even though they don’t seem to have emotions), without any need for challenges or promotions or conditions or a raise.
  6. No quitting. Your star tester may leave the team in favor of a better paying job at another company. Automation won’t quit on you, at least not by choice, at least not as far as we know. While people come and go, the automation is there to stay and continue doing its job loyally. It may malfunction, then again so do people when they get ill, angry, fall in love, or whatever obstructs them from doing their job.

Did I miss something? Disagree with one of the points? Make sure to comment about it, or forever hold your silence. Do join me next week when the humans strike back after the machines’ emotionless attack as we take a look where manual testing of human QA exceeds automated QA.