When You Should Choose Manual vs. Automated Testing

ibook-software-developmentThe following is a guest post to the uTest Blog by Eli Lopian of Typemock.

QA analysts and IT firms are often confronted with the same question when testing a software project — whether to go with manual software testing options or to try out new automated techniques.

In certain situations, there are clear advantages to working with automated software testing solutions, and other times the automated software technology is too leading-edge and could wind up costing you way more than it’s worth. That’s why it’s essential to weigh the costs and benefits according to each project.

Manual Software Testing 

Manual Software Testing is the process of going in and running each individual program or series of tasks and comparing the results to the expectations, in order to find the defects in the program. Essentially, manual testing is using the program as the user would under all possible scenarios, and making sure all of the features act appropriately.

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Is Scripted Testing Just for the Newbie Tester?

Scripted testing naturally seems like it’s a match made in heaven just for the novice tester.Microsoft Web Test Managment Runner Hub Test Runner Anna Russo

After all, you have steps and directions clearly defined — wouldn’t the inviting structure to the scripted testing compensate for a lack of experience on the part of the tester? Not necessarily, if you ask our uTesters, whom recently approached the topic in a lively Analyze This testing debate in our uTest Forums.

Most of our community members found that while experienced testers may be spending their time creating test cases and junior testers executing them, there were several notable reasons as to why executing these important steps can’t just be left exclusively to the novice.

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Authors in Testing: The ‘Social Tester’ on Passionate Testers and the Power of Social Media

unnamedRob Lambert (aka The Social Tester) is a veteran Engineering Manager building a forward-thinking, creative and awesome team at NewVoiceMedia. His mission is to inspire testers to achieve great things in their careers and to take control of their own learning and self development.

Rob is the author of Remaining Relevant, a book about remaining relevant and employable in today’s testing world. Rob is a serial blogger about all things product testing on his own site, and is also active on Twitter @rob_lambert.

In this uTest interview, Rob discusses what makes a passionate tester, what holds testers back from getting the jobs they want, and the power of social media in the testing world. At the conclusion of the interview, you’ll also receive a link to an exclusive discount for the purchase of his book ‘Remaining Relevant.’

uTest: You recently posted that one of the eight lessons you learned from building and growing a test team was finding ‘people with a passion for testing.’ What is a ‘passionate’ tester to you?

Rob Lambert: I believe passion shows itself in a number of different behaviors. The first behavior to observe is that of a deep curiosity for the work being done and the surrounding environment people are working in. I look for people who wonder what the other testers do. They ask, “How could I do this better?” and “What problem does the software solve?” and “What does this company I work for do?”

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Why Are Testers Uninterested in Upgrading Their Skill Sets?

“The only type of testing that I can do is manual testing.”Distance-Education
“Test automation is very important, but I am too busy now to learn something new.”
“Test automation is useful, but I will learn it when I will need it.”
“I am interested in test automation, but I don’t know any programming and it will take a long time to learn it.”
“I want to learn test automation, but my employer does not have any training programs.”

Have you ever heard any of these stories? I have, and not only once, but many times, about test automation, load testing, and web service testing.

Most of the testers I know say in one way or another that they would like to learn more about their profession but, “not now, maybe later, when the conditions will be better, when they will need the new skills in their job, when their employer will pay for their training, when someone will train them for free, when they will be less busy, etc.” The list goes on.

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Latest Testing in the Pub Podcast Takes on Testing Weekend Europe

Testing in the PubSteve Janaway and team are back for more pub pints over software testing discussion, in the latest Testing in the Pub podcast.

In Episode 13, UK-based software testers Amy Phillips and Neil Studd talk Weekend Testing Europe. Weekend Testing Europe is the European chapter of Weekend Testing and was just relaunched in 2014 by Amy and Neil.

Weekend Testing is a program that aims to facilitate peer-to-peer learning through monthly Skype testing sessions. If you’ll also recall, uTest contributor Michael Larsen is a founding member of the Americas chapter of the program.

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Safety Language in Software Testing: Why It’s Not OK to Deal in Absolutes

Of course this has been tested. This is definitely working as it should be. images

How many times has a tester or developer uttered these words to only have them come back and haunt them? Or worse, lose credibility? As a tester, it seems like a no-brainer to use CYA language in your everyday work. Heck, one just has to look to prolific software tester James Bach’s recent talk at CAST to figure that out (“I’m reluctant to say ‘pass.’ I’d rather say, I don’t see a problem as far as I can tell”).

But is “safety language,” such as ‘it seems to be’ versus ‘it is,’ something that should be a part of every tester’s skillset? Gold-rated tester on paid projects and uTest Forums Moderator Milos Dedijer seems to think so. It was a discussion topic that recently cropped up in the uTest Forums:

Some time ago, I had an argument with my team lead about my use of safety language. I tend to use it in any argument, and I believe that it’s a good practice. I don’t use it in my factual reports, but I do use it frequently in my descriptive reports. For example, if I say that a set of steps has been executed I don’t use safety language to report results, but if I say that a certain feature has been tested I use safety language almost all of the time. Using safety language to preserve uncertainty appears to be one of the skills a tester must have.

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Authors in Testing Q&A With Mobile Tester Daniel Knott

Daniel Knott has been in software development and testing since 2008, working for companies including IBM, Accenture, XING and AOE. He is currently a Software Daniel KnottTest Manager at AOE GmbH in Germany where he is responsible for test management and automation in mobile and Web projects. He is also a frequent speaker at various Agile conferences and now a published author. You can find him over at his blog or on Twitter @dnlkntt.

In this uTest interview, Daniel explains the biggest mobile testing pain points that come up in his user groups, and gives us a preview of recently released book, Hands-On Mobile App Testing. At the conclusion of the interview, you’ll also receive a link to an exclusive discount for the purchase of the book.

uTest: You’ve been involved in software testing in general, but what specifically drew you into mobile testing?

Daniel Knott: Back in 2011 when I was working at XING AG in Hamburg as a software tester for web applications, I had the chance to switch to the XING mobile team to establish the QA processes. Working on this team was a great experience. I had the chance to build up a test automation framework for Android and iOS from scratch and establish a mobile testing process. I was also free to try several things out to find the right tools and workflow for my company and the development environment. This time and experience was just awesome and convinced me to focus on the mobile world.

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Authors in Testing Q&A With Agile Testing Champion Lisa Crispin

Lisa Crispin was voted the Most Influential Agile Testing Professional Person at Agile Testing Days 2012 by her peers, and enjoys working asCrispinDonkey a tester with an awesome agile team. She shares her experiences via writing, presenting, teaching and participating in agile testing communities around the world.

She is also the author and contributor of numerous software testing books, including her latest, released in October and co-authored with Janet Gregory, More Agile Testing: Learning Journeys for the Whole Team. You can learn more about Lisa’s work on her site, and follow her on Twitter @lisacrispin.

In this uTest interview, Lisa explains the reality of agile adoption and suggests ways teams can succeed with agile.

uTest: Where have companies or teams gone most wrong when rolling out agile in their organizations?

Lisa Crispin: Many organizations don’t understand that to succeed at software development, we have to focus on delivering the best possible quality, rather than focusing on speed. Too many think that “agile” means “fast.” You need a big investment in time and training so that teams learn important practices such as TDD, CI, specification by example/behavior-driven development, helping business stakeholders identify the most valuable features, and so on. Teams that don’t nurture a learning culture where failure is tolerated, experiments are supported, and the team has diversity, accumulate too much technical debt and fail.

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Testing the Limits With Testing ‘Rock Star’ Michael Larsen — Part II

In Part II of our latest Testing the Limits interview with Michael Larsen, Michael talks why test team leads should take a “hands-off” approach, and why testers should be taken oumichaellt of their comfort zones.

Get to know Michael on his blog at TESTHEAD and on Twitter at @mkltesthead. Also check out Part I of our interview, if you already haven’t.

uTest: In a recent post from your blog, you talked about the concept of how silence can be powerful, especially when leading teams. Do you think this there isn’t enough of this on testing teams?

Michael Larsen: I think that we often strive to be efficient in our work, and in our efforts. That often causes us to encourage other testers to do things “our way.” As a senior software tester, I can often convince people to do what I suggest, but that presupposes that I actually know the best way to do something. In truth, I may not.

Also, by handing other testers the procedures they need to do, I may unintentionally be encouraging them to disengage, which is the last thing I want them to do. As a Boy Scout leader, I frequently have to go through this process week after week. I finally realized that I was providing too much information, and what I should be doing is stepping back and letting them try to figure out what they should do.

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Four Reasons Software Testing Will Move Even Further Into the Wild by 2017

apple0132Ever since our inception, uTest and our colleagues within Applause have always been a huge proponent of what we like to call ‘In-the-Wild’ Testing.

Our community is made up of 150,000+ testers in 200 countries around the world, the largest of its kind, and our testers have already stretched the definition of what testing ‘in the wild’ can be, by testing countless customers’ apps on their own devices where they live, work and play.

That ‘play’ part of In-the-Wild testing is primed to take up a much larger slice of testers’ time. While we have already seen a taste of it with emerging technologies gradually being introduced into the mobile app mix, there are four major players primed to go mainstream in just a couple of short years. That means you can expect testers to be spending less time pushing buttons testing on mobile apps in their homes and offices…and more time ‘testing’ by jogging and buying socks. Here’s why.

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