Click here to close now.



Welcome!

Wearables Authors: Jayaram Krishnaswamy, Tim Mullahy, Teridion Blog, Dana Gardner, Bob Gourley

Blog Feed Post

Is It Fair to Compare Manual and Automated Test Results?

​The article below was originally published by Rajini Padmanaban on the fantastic QAInfoTech blog.

Manual and automated testing have long co-existed and have contributed significantly in successfully signing off on a product’s quality. Over the years test teams have talked about the value of one over another, how testers need to groom their test automation skills and so on. A tester who really understands software quality and the intricacies it entails, will be one that appreciates the value of both these testing approaches and that one cannot be under or over-estimated over the other. With more organizations embracing the Agile style of development, test automation’s scope has definitely gone up. There is an increasing push for newer areas to be automated, newer test engineers to be trained to take on automation, newer tools to help with the process etc. Test managers and leads are being cautious in doing so, because an unplanned test automation effort can soon become a mammoth suite that is overwhelming to manage and maintain.

This is where an objective comparison between manual and test automation efforts is becoming important to determine their true value and make any adjustments that may be needed to further optimize them for the product’s benefit. You may ask – is it fair to compare the manual and automated test efforts and this is a valid question. Often times, it may not even be an apple to apple comparison. For example, the manual test focus may have been on the UI intensive portions of the application, which have been buggier. As a result, the test team may have reported a lot of valid defects through their manual efforts. On the other hand, test automation’s focus may have been API intensive areas, application’s performance, database level functionality etc. where defects are more difficult to find. It could also be the case, that APIs have been re-used from the past and are very stable that the tester has not reported as many bugs through test automation. Does this mean that the automation was not effective?  

While this argument holds weight, and that manual and automated test results comparison is not always apples to apples, it does not mean they cannot be compared. They need to compared on the right grounds to help the team arrive at the right balance between the two test approaches and also what, when, how and how much to automate. If so, how can they be objectively compared? Here are some tips:

  1. Pick areas that have been currently automated, see what bugs are reported through them and also have some of those areas tested manually, in parallel. Compare the results to see if the automation scenarios need any modification. This can also help add the manual tester’s instinctive creativity into the automated suite
  2. Understand the % of valid defects reported by manual and automated test efforts. This will help understand if automation has a lot of test/data/configuration issues that need to be attended to and fixed  
  3. After an exploratory round of testing or a bug bash, compare manual test results with the corresponding automation that may exist in those areas to see how the test automation suite can further be strengthened
  4. Look at overall numbers to a certain extent. If manual tests are yielding way too many bugs but hardly any are coming in through automation, it may be an indication for further analysis. This may end up being a false alarm, but is at least worth a quick look
  5. Compare the kind of defects reported by the two test approaches. If manual is reporting more UI and functional defects in a certain area, while automation is not catching them, this is a good checkpoint to see how the automation’s can be enhanced
  6. Use automation to also evaluate the manual testing effort’s efficiency. The comparison is not a one sided story. Sometimes the manual testers’ on the team may not be very efficient and may be careless in their test effort. Automation, once tested for its reliability and consistency in results, is a great approach to minimize human errors. So, say for instance a certain regression has been automated and the tester also happens to play around with that area manually, a manager can compare the results to understand the tester’s efficiency and areas of improvement

The above is certainly not an exhaustive list. However, when this mindset is established in the team, they will begin to appreciate the need for such an objective comparison between the manual and automated test approaches. This will be a new category that can be incorporated in the metrics that they use in line with the need of the current day, helping the two test approaches complement each other.

About the author:

Rajini Padmanaban is a Sr. Director of Testing Engagements at QA InfoTech and an active software testing evangelist. She has more than twelve years of professional experience, primarily in the software quality assurance space.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Skytap Blog

Author: Noel Wurst is the managing content editor at Skytap. Skytap provides SaaS-based dev/test environments to the enterprise. Skytap solution removes the inefficiencies and constraints that companies have within their software development lifecycle. As a result, customers release better software faster. In this blog, we publish engaging, thought provoking stories that revolve around agile enterprise applications and cloud-based development and testing.

@ThingsExpo Stories
As enterprises work to take advantage of Big Data technologies, they frequently become distracted by product-level decisions. In most new Big Data builds this approach is completely counter-productive: it presupposes tools that may not be a fit for development teams, forces IT to take on the burden of evaluating and maintaining unfamiliar technology, and represents a major up-front expense. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Warfield, CTO and Co-Founder of Coho Data, will dis...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Fusion, a leading provider of integrated cloud solutions to small, medium and large businesses, is the industry's single source for the cloud. Fusion's advanced, proprietary cloud service platform enables the integration of leading edge solutions in the cloud, including clou...
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
SYS-CON Events announced today that VAI, a leading ERP software provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. VAI (Vormittag Associates, Inc.) is a leading independent mid-market ERP software developer renowned for its flexible solutions and ability to automate critical business functions for the distribution, manufacturing, specialty retail and service sectors. An IBM Premier Business Part...
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, will provide an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profes...
With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, will discuss the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filte...
Fortunately, meaningful and tangible business cases for IoT are plentiful in a broad array of industries and vertical markets. These range from simple warranty cost reduction for capital intensive assets, to minimizing downtime for vital business tools, to creating feedback loops improving product design, to improving and enhancing enterprise customer experiences. All of these business cases, which will be briefly explored in this session, hinge on cost effectively extracting relevant data from ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 ad...
Most people haven’t heard the word, “gamification,” even though they probably, and perhaps unwittingly, participate in it every day. Gamification is “the process of adding games or game-like elements to something (as a task) so as to encourage participation.” Further, gamification is about bringing game mechanics – rules, constructs, processes, and methods – into the real world in an effort to engage people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Endo, owner and engagement manager of Intrepid D...
Eighty percent of a data scientist’s time is spent gathering and cleaning up data, and 80% of all data is unstructured and almost never analyzed. Cognitive computing, in combination with Big Data, is changing the equation by creating data reservoirs and using natural language processing to enable analysis of unstructured data sources. This is impacting every aspect of the analytics profession from how data is mined (and by whom) to how it is delivered. This is not some futuristic vision: it's ha...
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
Learn how IoT, cloud, social networks and last but not least, humans, can be integrated into a seamless integration of cooperative organisms both cybernetic and biological. This has been enabled by recent advances in IoT device capabilities, messaging frameworks, presence and collaboration services, where devices can share information and make independent and human assisted decisions based upon social status from other entities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Heydt, founder of Seamless...
The IoT's basic concept of collecting data from as many sources possible to drive better decision making, create process innovation and realize additional revenue has been in use at large enterprises with deep pockets for decades. So what has changed? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Prasanna Sivaramakrishnan, Solutions Architect at Red Hat, discussed the impact commodity hardware, ubiquitous connectivity, and innovations in open source software are having on the connected universe of people, thi...
WebRTC: together these advances have created a perfect storm of technologies that are disrupting and transforming classic communications models and ecosystems. In his session at WebRTC Summit, Cary Bran, VP of Innovation and New Ventures at Plantronics and PLT Labs, provided an overview of this technological shift, including associated business and consumer communications impacts, and opportunities it may enable, complement or entirely transform.
There are so many tools and techniques for data analytics that even for a data scientist the choices, possible systems, and even the types of data can be daunting. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Harrold, Global CTO for Big Data Solutions for EMC Corporation, showed how to perform a simple, but meaningful analysis of social sentiment data using freely available tools that take only minutes to download and install. Participants received the download information, scripts, and complete end-t...
For manufacturers, the Internet of Things (IoT) represents a jumping-off point for innovation, jobs, and revenue creation. But to adequately seize the opportunity, manufacturers must design devices that are interconnected, can continually sense their environment and process huge amounts of data. As a first step, manufacturers must embrace a new product development ecosystem in order to support these products.
Manufacturing connected IoT versions of traditional products requires more than multiple deep technology skills. It also requires a shift in mindset, to realize that connected, sensor-enabled “things” act more like services than what we usually think of as products. In his session at @ThingsExpo, David Friedman, CEO and co-founder of Ayla Networks, discussed how when sensors start generating detailed real-world data about products and how they’re being used, smart manufacturers can use the dat...
When it comes to IoT in the enterprise, namely the commercial building and hospitality markets, a benefit not getting the attention it deserves is energy efficiency, and IoT’s direct impact on a cleaner, greener environment when installed in smart buildings. Until now clean technology was offered piecemeal and led with point solutions that require significant systems integration to orchestrate and deploy. There didn't exist a 'top down' approach that can manage and monitor the way a Smart Buildi...