People used to set manual testing against automated. The both ways of software verification have benefits and drawbacks.
Main benefits of automation – speed and absence of human error - made it widely used. Furthermore, automation is applied to more and more tasks. It seems that it can fully supersede work of manual testers in the nearest future.
But experts in web site testing, desktop testing and mobile testing claim that it will never happen because in some aspects no tool is better than a test engineer.
Aspects in Which Manual Software Testing is Better Than Automated Are:
- testers can decide to check areas or perform tests that are not included in the automated ones and this way increase the test coverage and find errors that the tool would not notice;
- testers see defects that are not predicted by those, who created automated tests; it is impossible to predict everything, test engineers can improvise, tools cannot do it;
- tools are unable to feel like the end-users, they cannot rely on the previous experience, intuition like people do; only people can fully evaluate a program, a tool just determines whether the tests pass or fail.
Tools are helpful for many activities, they allow to save much time during regression testing, module testing, load testing, etc. But not everything can be programmed and run automatically.