The Future of Manual Testing
With the advancement of technology and more companies turning their focus towards devising software for mobile devices, you may have begun to believe that automation is the only way forward!
While you may not be completely wrong in believing that, there is always scope for effective manual processes. With regards to the field of testing, you may have heard about several test automation tools being used in organizations. So, does this mean that manual testers are no longer required? What lies ahead as far as manual testing is concerned?
Let’s try to get some answers to these queries about the future of manual testing.
The Story So Far
If you check the trends in IT companies over the last couple of decades, you will observe that there was a high demand for manual testers, professionals who were proficient in executing test procedures manually. No specific testing skills or IT skills were expected of them and it was easy for companies to groom employees to handle manual testing.
A manual testing professional was only required to possess good soft skills (decent communication, learning aptitude, and attention to detail) in order to be able to carry out his role effectively. In the last few years, many companies have shown an inclination towards automated test frameworks and tools.
However, this does not mean that IT firms have simply moved ahead without any manual testing requirements. You will find that demand for manual testing is still present and co-exists along with the demand for test automation expertise.
Need for Multi-Tasking
If you check with IT recruiters, they will be the first ones to confirm that manual testing vacancies do arise, but the roles demand more out of candidates to beat the fierce competition.
So, a manual tester with just good soft skills may find it a little difficult to find a job these days. As IT developers are expected to stay updated with new programming languages, manual testers are now expected to add some automated testing skills and technical expertise to their repertoire.
In fact, if you are a cross-functional software tester, you can get good job offers from several companies.To have a bright future in the field of manual testing, you definitely need to know your job well and keep learning new things about automation test frameworks, as well as some programming language. This will help you stay ahead in the rat race.
Manual Testing for Mobiles
With the entire world turning towards mobile phones and the internet, you may have feared an early end to your potential career in manual testing.
However, this is definitely not the case. People that have worked with mobile companies such as Samsung and LG will tell you that there is still plenty of scope for manual testing to handle a variety of hardware and software features.
A major reason is the rising trend of usage of touch and gesture-control devices across the globe. It is difficult to test such devices without manual data input as automating such tests would be a major challenge.
With a large number of new mobile phones being released every year with different hardware configurations and software, the demand for manual testing is again increasing.
So, it is clear that even though some test processes may be automated, manual testing still forms an integral part of the IT development lifecycle.
Manual Testing To Simulate End User Actions
Manual testing is growing in importance and relevance as far as usability and accessibility testing processes are concerned. For such test procedures, it is necessary to simulate the actions of the end users and doing so via automated tests is not always possible. For example, consider the need to verify if the alt text of an image has been entered correctly. This can only be done through a manual tester.
Constant Need for Manual Intervention
A company has to spend a significant amount in order to get its automation test framework and tools in place. The automated test process helps save costs in the long run, but not every small project will be able to sustain the initial expenses.
Moreover, it takes time to establish an automated test process. Your company may not always have enough time or the budget for automated testing at every juncture. During emergencies and low budget IT projects, you will be expected to manually test plenty of programs, software, or hardware without any formal test plans.
If you check the current automated test tools, you will realize that they are more suited to regression test cases (that can be repeatedly tested until the results are positive). However, testing new software or new functionalities for the very first time requires more manual intervention and intelligence. Thus, the need for manual testing will always remain as technology evolves constantly.
In a way, the time saved by the project or your company through automated regression tests provides more time to manual testers to dig deeper for issues or bugs found during some tests and help developers. Therefore, testing involves teamwork between manual testers, automated test frameworks, and the developers.
To sum it up, even with the emergence of cloud computing, big data, mobile apps and similar technology advancements, you need not worry about the future of manual testing. It will always be required to provide intelligence, assist software developers closely as well as sort out the technology limitations faced by automated testing.
Is your organization employing automated testing frameworks? If you are a manual tester, how has that affected your work? Let us know in the comments below, and thanks for reading!