Manual Testing vs Automation: How to Optimize for Your Project & Costs Estimation

Table of Contents hide 1 Manual testing short description 2 Automated testing characteristic 3 Manual & automated testing comparison 3.1 Speed 3.2...

Written by Niel Patel · 3 min read >
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Last few years we regularly face discussions, articles, and events about manual & automated testing. People just strive to find out what is better. However, professionals know exactly that there is no right answer. Each project has its own inputs and requirements. Usually, Solomon’s solution is a combination of manual & automated testing. But sometimes companies don’t need automation at all because of the software they are developing. It could be a simple application and it’s much more suitable to test it manually. In this article, the We explore how to optimize your testing workflow.

Manual testing short description

Manual testing means you verify manually if your software works properly. Manual testing is available for anybody, from pre-seed startups to huge software giants. You don’t need special tools for testing. Also, sometimes you can test manually without a testing budget. You are checking your application by yourself and preparing documentation. 

Lots of companies prefer the manual approach because they find it efficient, flexible, and fast. There is a range of solutions on the market that simplify manual testing workflow. Zebrunner test case management provides you with functionalities for test creation and structuring, monitoring the results, and streamlining the testing process. 

Automated testing characteristic

Automated testing in the QA domain is like artificial intelligence in data analysis. You can achieve much more if you implement it in the right way. Automated testing is an approach in which you check the entire application or one module of this using an automation tool. 

With test automation, you have to create test scripts using a programming language and launch them automatically. Depending on your automation tool capacity you can run your tests in parallel and speed up the testing workflow. This way you don’t need to spend hours checking step by step your application behavior in different environments and conditions. What’s more, you have access to automation reporting. This way you get automatically generated reports with all metrics you team monitor. However, it’s impossible to automate everything, so any way you will need to apply manual testing. 

Manual & automated testing comparison

We consider when you should test manually and when to take advantage of test automation. Let’s compare manual & automated testing on several points.


Both manual and automated testing have advantages there. 

You succeed in speed when you test something manually the first time. You just do it in a matter of minutes. With automation, firstly, you have to write the test script. And secondly, you must launch it and explore the results. 

However, test automation also provides benefits in what concerns testing speed. It works when, for instance, you need to verify browser or operating systems compatibility testing. With manual testing, it is impossible sometimes because of a huge amount of routine cases and project deadlines. With automation, you can execute 1000+ threads in parallel and get results in a matter of minutes. The speed of all execution depends on the longest test in the thread, to be precise. 


You can do almost any testing type manually. Yes, sometimes such tests could be monotonous and extremely time-consuming, but if you want to do it manually, you can. Moreover, manual testing provides an opportunity of changing the testing type immediately. You don’t need to pay more in this case. 

As for test automation, we can’t do any testing type because it’s impossible to automate everything. Furthermore, automation always requires investments. 

Human view 

Sometimes automation technologies can replace a QA engineer, but not always. Even if you prefer automation, you need to check your software manually to ensure its UI & UX. When you add a new feature you check it manually first and just after you can automate it, if you want. 

On the other hand, automation helps people to escape tedious, repetitive, and routine tasks. You create automated scripts for such testing types, launch them, and get fast results. 

One more automation advantage is the insurance against human error. The most attentive-to-detail tester can miss something because of fatigue at the end of the workday. The automated script never gets tired, so you can plan an automation test run on weekends and see the results on Monday. 

Special testing types

There are some testing types that you can do just manually. We have already mentioned UI & UX testing. In addition, exploratory testing verifies the quality of your application when you don’t have a test plan. Experienced manual QA engineers can start exploratory testing immediately and get the first results on the first day of work with a new project. Ad hoc, or intuitive, testing provides an opportunity to check the main features of the software to find non-standard bugs. Such testing types require creative thinking, so it is impossible to automate. 

There are not so many testing types that are impossible to do manually. The most evident is load testing when you need to check how your application operates under high load. 


Manual testing doesn’t require additional investment. You can start it anytime and change your testing workflow without expenses. For manual testing, you pay a salary to your manual QA engineer or engineers. As a rule, these are the main costs for manual QA. Sometimes little companies & startups don’t have QA engineers on a team. They test functionality by themself by sharing testing tasks between all team members. 

Automated testing seems much more expensive in such an approach. When starting to automate, you must invest in a test automation tool and automation QA team creation. Nevertheless, test automation helps save your project budget in some cases. This is very convenient when you have a huge amount of repetitive tests. With automation, you can run them in parallel, save your QA team time, and get fast results. 

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