Welcome!

Wearables Authors: Elizabeth White, Carmen Gonzalez, Pat Romanski, Xenia von Wedel, Lori MacVittie

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
Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more business becomes digital the more stakeholders are interested in this data including how it relates to business. Some of these people have never used a monitoring tool before. They have a question on their mind like “How is my application doing” but no id...
@GonzalezCarmen has been ranked the Number One Influencer and @ThingsExpo has been named the Number One Brand in the “M2M 2016: Top 100 Influencers and Brands” by Onalytica. Onalytica analyzed tweets over the last 6 months mentioning the keywords M2M OR “Machine to Machine.” They then identified the top 100 most influential brands and individuals leading the discussion on Twitter.
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
"IoT is going to be a huge industry with a lot of value for end users, for industries, for consumers, for manufacturers. How can we use cloud to effectively manage IoT applications," stated Ian Khan, Innovation & Marketing Manager at Solgeniakhela, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"We're a cybersecurity firm that specializes in engineering security solutions both at the software and hardware level. Security cannot be an after-the-fact afterthought, which is what it's become," stated Richard Blech, Chief Executive Officer at Secure Channels, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Information technology is an industry that has always experienced change, and the dramatic change sweeping across the industry today could not be truthfully described as the first time we've seen such widespread change impacting customer investments. However, the rate of the change, and the potential outcomes from today's digital transformation has the distinct potential to separate the industry into two camps: Organizations that see the change coming, embrace it, and successful leverage it; and...
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
We are always online. We access our data, our finances, work, and various services on the Internet. But we live in a congested world of information in which the roads were built two decades ago. The quest for better, faster Internet routing has been around for a decade, but nobody solved this problem. We’ve seen band-aid approaches like CDNs that attack a niche's slice of static content part of the Internet, but that’s it. It does not address the dynamic services-based Internet of today. It does...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
What happens when the different parts of a vehicle become smarter than the vehicle itself? As we move toward the era of smart everything, hundreds of entities in a vehicle that communicate with each other, the vehicle and external systems create a need for identity orchestration so that all entities work as a conglomerate. Much like an orchestra without a conductor, without the ability to secure, control, and connect the link between a vehicle’s head unit, devices, and systems and to manage the ...
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
Everyone knows that truly innovative companies learn as they go along, pushing boundaries in response to market changes and demands. What's more of a mystery is how to balance innovation on a fresh platform built from scratch with the legacy tech stack, product suite and customers that continue to serve as the business' foundation. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, discussed why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and mor...
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to simplify and streamline our lives by automating routine tasks that distract us from our goals. This promise is based on the ubiquitous deployment of smart, connected devices that link everything from industrial control systems to automobiles to refrigerators. Unfortunately, comparatively few of the devices currently deployed have been developed with an eye toward security, and as the DDoS attacks of late October 2016 have demonstrated, this oversight can ...
"ReadyTalk is an audio and web video conferencing provider. We've really come to embrace WebRTC as the platform for our future of technology," explained Dan Cunningham, CTO of ReadyTalk, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at WebRTC Summit at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
Major trends and emerging technologies – from virtual reality and IoT, to Big Data and algorithms – are helping organizations innovate in the digital era. However, to create real business value, IT must think beyond the ‘what’ of digital transformation to the ‘how’ to harness emerging trends, innovation and disruption. Architecture is the key that underpins and ties all these efforts together. In the digital age, it’s important to invest in architecture, extend the enterprise footprint to the cl...
"Dice has been around for the last 20 years. We have been helping tech professionals find new jobs and career opportunities," explained Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...