You Still Need Manual Tests

This blog has numerous examples of why unit, integrationand contracttesting is essential. However you still need manual tests. It is foolish to believe that all testing can be covered by automated tests despite the bias in this area.

Why?

  • Manual tests can catch anything you may have missed at an automation level.
  • Manual tests can be unique. Use exploratory testing to try different scenarios.
  • Manual tests that fail become automated tests, so they can never regress.
  • Manual tests exercise the full stack. Many areas such as DI conventions, logging, and other framework related configuration are better suited to manual verification.
  • UI changes require visual verification - automation is near impossible here.

More Than Just Functionality

Over the years, manual testing has caught numerous bugs, issues or things I've just plain missed. When you are deep in a problem it can be hard to see the wood for the tress. A second party manually testing provides an unbiased check of your code for a second time.

The key with manual tests is to ensure any issue is converted into an automated test. This offsets the fact that manual testing is expensive both in terms of time and cost. By doing so any regressions will be prevented.

QA includes more than functional testing. Security, performance and usability to name a few are equally important. Do not avoid the manual test step. Automated tests are only as good as the tests themselves. Embrace manual and automated testing for the best of both worlds.