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Manual testing in test automation?

July 9, 2024

As a test automator, your role consists of more than just writing and running automated scripts. Manual testing remains an important part of your job as a test automation engineer.

Learn to understand the application

Writing a script for a test automation tool always starts with manual testing. By testing manually yourself, you will begin to understand more about functionalities, user interaction and use cases. This helps when writing an automated script.

An example of manual testing as a means of learning more about an applications is exploratory testing. Through this methodology, you learn about the application in a nonscripted way. This increases your chances of finding bugs that an automated script might miss.

New features and changes

Whether you use SaaS or on-premises applications, you regularly have to deal with releases, changes and new functionality. In doing so, it is necessary to manually test whether everything works as promised in the release notes.

For significant changes, it is recommended that an initial manual regression test be performed to ensure that the application is and remains stable.

The human hand

Sometimes it is necessary to test fixes or changes on the fly. When it comes to usability and user experience of an application, a human hand is still needed. A test automation tool is not going to do this for you.

Test coverage

Testing is about reducing risk and the likelihood of error. That's why you want the highest possible test coverage. To achieve this, manual or automated testing alone is not enough.

Not every test case is suitable for test automation because of complexity or cost. By both manual and automated testing, you fill in these types of gaps in your test coverage. In addition, manual testing is much more practical for one-time and/or short-term projects.

Validation and human understanding

Manually validating test results ensures higher accuracy. The fact is, human aspects such as visual understanding, ease of use and experience simply cannot be provided by an automated test script.  


Testautomation provides an efficient way of testing and increases your test coverage. It helps with boring regression testing work on stable components. Manual testing will always be necessary to understand and ensure software quality.

A balanced approach between automated and manual testing is essential for solidly guaranteeing the quality of your applications.

Those who see test automation as a solution with the goal of saving money and time are going to be deceived.

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