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Posted On: 18 July 2022

Do we really need manual testing?" Today, nearly every enterprise technology leader faces this question from all corners. In the age of automation, manual testing is perceived to have lost its charm. The Automation Testing Market size exceeded USD 15 billion in 2020 and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of over 16% from 2021 to 2027.

Many leaders question the ability of manual testing to work effectively for cloud-based application development or product-led development strategies. In addition, many complain about biased test behavior, which paves the way for bugs to creep into production.

However, if you are a wise technology specialist, you will know that manual testing is not a completely obsolete practice. In fact, the role of manual testing in the software development process is still significant, even with end-to-end automation testing strategies already in place.

What is manual testing?


In simple terms, manual testing refers to the practice of validating software for its performance and functionality by human test engineers. It is a practice that has been around ever since software development made its way to the mainstream.

In the initial days, developers themselves played the role of test engineers. However, over time, the importance of quality assurance rose significantly, and dedicated test engineers became a critical part of every software development activity

Why is manual testing important?

Here are the top five reasons manual testing is vital for today's software development initiatives..

The human advantage

We are arguably at a revolutionary point when artificial intelligence and automation have matured into levels that often challenge human cognitive power.

Nevertheless, from a contextual and awareness perspective, the human brain is still one of the most intelligent computing infrastructures known to man.

Software testing, too, can be a use case in this regard. And we can rely on test automation tools and platforms to accelerate testing activities to a great extent.

But there are areas where the human eye for detail can pick out abnormalities or suspicious behavior that software testing tools may miss out on. This is most notable in the case of UI-testing or usability testing and acceptance testing from an end-user perspective.

Bringing onboard automation in acceptance testing will save you time, but there are chances that the tool may not pick up visual issues. Manual testing allows better mimicking of end-user actions. As such, previously undiscovered problems are more likely to be identified this way.

Feasibility of test cases

Not all test cases will be an ideal scenario to rely on automated end-to-end testing. For example, consider the situation of testing features of a mobile app that relies extensively on leveraging the tap motion on the smartphone screen.

There are ways to automate the usability testing of tap functionality on the screen. But only a human touch can confirm whether the app responds to all possible response intensities of the touch scenario.

In addition to such technical complexity, some test cases may be very costly when trying to automate. For smaller projects or initiatives, organizations will not encourage incurring high testing costs.

In such situations, manual testing gains significance owing to easier adaptability and better feasibility for the test case.

Erroneous scripts

Test scripts are ultimately lines of code. There are chances of errors making their way into the test script development activity. Consequently, it may result in scenarios where automated testing reports false positives or false negatives.

In the case of false positives, the test automation tool may report the presence of a bug or defective condition even if it was not present. For false negatives, the opposite happens, and an existing bug may not get reported.

Either way, businesses cannot rely solely on test automation for validating software that handles critical operations. They need an extra layer of surety and assurance.

Manual testing guarantees this second layer of trust. As such, it must be an irreplaceable part of critical enterprise application test strategies.


An enterprise may not always carry out massive application development initiatives. Most of the time, the technology team will be rolling out minor features or small improvements and enhancements.

Since the scope of coverage of the test is minimal, manual testing will be more cost-effective. To that end, it will help enterprises save on their IT budgets annually.

Agile projects require constant rewrites

Today, most enterprises leverage a product-driven approach for their application development initiatives. Applications are built and deployed on the cloud, following agile development philosophies.

However, there will be a constant cycle of feedback incorporation and deployment when working in agile mode. At times, a sprint may include drastic changes in UI or the addition of major functionality. Over the lifecycle of the product, such instances may be numerous.

In such scenarios, automated regression testing and even smaller test automation scripts may require constant changes. This may seriously impact costs and timelines.

Hence considering manual testing options for relatively smaller iterations in an agile development environment makes more sense.

Better problem understanding

It's invariably essential to understand any problem from a technical, emotional, and cognitive perspective. That's because it will prevent such bugs or defects from popping up. Furthermore, it will encourage teams to develop best practices for the development stages.

Favorably, manual testing enables a better understanding of the problem from an end-user perspective. It serves to justify the vitality of human emotions and thought processes for making rather complex decisions.

Why should manual and automation testing co-exist?


In the digital economy, enterprises rely on numerous digital applications for their daily needs. Besides, they follow different development paradigms and leverage diverse infrastructure like the cloud to run their business better.

As a result, relying purely on automation testing may not prove entirely feasible. In other words, a strategic alliance of manual and automated testing must guide the quality assurance for modern digital applications.

Leveraging the best of both worlds' enterprises can guarantee long-term results and ROI on their digital investments. As it stands, for most enterprises, their internal testing teams would be well versed in manual test strategies and execution.

What they need is a powerful end-to-end test automation platform that can empower them to work better and assure the highest standards of quality for all enterprise applications.

What they need is a powerful end-to-end test automation platform that can empower them to work better and assure the highest standards of quality for all enterprise applications.

This is where ACCELQ can help make a difference. Get in touch with us to explore how our continuous test automation platform seamlessly complements your manual testing strategies

Book a free trial today.

Nidhi Achhaa author IMG

Nidhi Achhaa | Content Specialist at ACCELQ

Nidhi specializes in technology-based content and strives to create a unique, customized, and compelling piece with a flavor of SEO. A writer with a love for words and a storyteller at heart.


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