Are Testers Losing Their Grip Over Testing Due to Automation?

Amid Automation, Testers at the Verge of Becoming Automation Test Developers:

In this digital world, automation has become the core for businesses to grow and expand. Automation has revolutionized the way organizations operate their businesses.

The pace of advancement in technology has been on a continual increase for the last decade and lead us to a new automation age. The impact of automation is quite evident in distinct industries, including the Software industry itself.

Are Testers Losing Their Grip Over Testing Because of Automation

manual testers and automation testing

An Overview of the Landscape of the Software Industry

The software industry is comprised of companies and organizations which develop software to make jobs easy in other industries such as healthcare, insurance, retail etc.

Software companies develop software with an intent to solve a business problem of any organization or to make it as an accelerator to bolster any organization’s business.

The Power of Automation in the Software Industry

Automation is acting too fast in the software industry as compared to other industries. Adoption of Technological advancements such as DevOps, Analytics, and Cloud is already in full swing, leading to job loss.

As per Cognizant’s global survey, 25 to 40% survey participants have already automated their workflows. Companies are inclined towards automation as it is driving them to greater savings. Most of the IT majors, who have automated their workflows, are able to cut down costs on productivity, infrastructure, and resources.

Automation replacing humans

According to HFS Research, the IT industry will face 1.4 million jobs’ loss across countries like the Philippines, the United Kingdom, and the United States by 2021.

Impact of Automation on Overlooked Software Testing

Through the process of Software Testing, Software companies ensure that the developed software is as per the requirement. Software Testing consists of steps which are followed to find defects in a software; where defect can be anything which deviates the software from what it intends to.

Software Testing acts as a pillar for the Software Industry, empowering us to deliver Quality Software to clientele across industries.

The following points shed light on why Software Testing is so important:

  • Software Testing is mandatory to ensure the Quality of the Software which will be delivered to help businesses.
  • This is necessary to identify whether the application meets the Customer’s reliability and satisfaction.
  • It is important to ensure against failures before the software is put into the market, else it can put down the company’s brand.

Previously, Software Testing was considered a thankless job and people used to overlook it but the scenario has changed gradually. Software Testing has its importance in the Software industry now. Companies have started to allocate budget to Software Testing and have maintained a team of testers.

With the emergence of AGILE, Software Testing has become repetitive; and regression testing has become the need of the hour.

Manual regression testing consumes a lot of time and effort, and companies are not ready to afford both- time and cost. So, automation has become a boon and consequently, automation testing and automation testing tools have emerged. Thus, affecting the jobs of manual testers and opening doors for automation test engineers who are more or less developers.

The buzz “Faster Time to Market” pushed to adopt automation testing

Faster Time to Market

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Certain skills of testers such as cognitive and creative, which makes a tester a value-added tester are overlooked now.

In the race of “Faster Time to Market”, Automation testing has become the tool to achieve it. If the actual skill of tester is lost, then the real-world QA feedback will be lost. This is because when the Software undergoes automation testing, it will be a testing process of executing test scripts developed by automation test engineers which are more towards covering positive test scenarios because an automation engineer thinks like a developer. Covering overall negative test cases will be a challenge.

Testers might lose their grip over testing due to automation

Automation test engineers leverage automation testing tools and their technical skills to create automation test scripts but they lack actual domain knowledge and testing skills which are the most essential elements for quality software delivery.

Real testers who are passionate about testing and who are adept at testing, utilize all their domain knowledge to identify all possible test scenarios which address critical business scenarios. Moreover, they are well experienced and capable enough to create effective test cases to surround all the identified test scenarios.

Testers implement Test Design methods on which they hold the knowledge to ensure maximum functional test coverage for an “Application under Test”.

The most important aspect of a real tester is that they understand customer’s expectations and behavior apart from application testing.

For example, if one product is deployed to different clients and each client has his own set of expectations, a real tester will put himself in the client’s shoe and do the testing to meet the client’s expectations. A real tester always aims for customer satisfaction.

With the rise of automation and job loss scenario of manual testers, most of the testers are in a dilemma if they will keep up with their jobs or not and they are attempting to become automation test engineers by learning Selenium or UFP or other automation testing tools which prevail in the market. They might end up becoming automation testers who focus more on coding than on actual testing.

Recommended read => Getting started with Manual Testing – A Real Project

Doing Automation Testing without scripting and technical knowledge

Instead of letting testers become automation test engineers, what if they are empowered to do automation testing?  Script-less functional test automation tools can help testers to do automation testing and it can also help organizations who know that testers’ domain knowledge and testing skills are essential for quality software delivery.

Functional accuracy for an application can be assured only when it is tested by those testers who not only have knowledge on the line of business that application represents but also understand the functionality of the application to the core. This is an asset they have gleaned over the years working as a tester.

Automation testing tools, which can act as an accelerator to do automation testing without coding or scripting really, help testers to stick to their core skills.

About the Author: Pavan carries 17 years of experience working with start-ups and enterprises and brings broad technology experience and expertise in building multiple software products. Specialized in strategic management, IT product development and software quality assurance, Business Operations and Cloud Infrastructure Management.

What is your opinion? Let us know in the comments.

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32 thoughts on “Are Testers Losing Their Grip Over Testing Due to Automation?”

  1. Hi Pavan,

    There is no chance for losing manual testing jobs because of automation. For every application the startup manual testing efforts are requires to stable the application. Once the application got stable then it comes automation for continuous integration or regression testing and also it depends on budget to choose automation tools with respect to your business.
    So my final conclusion guys don’t worry about losing manual testing jobs.

    • Agree with Mohan.
      Automation depends on manual testers. This article sounds like a scare tactic into getting a business to but a “scriptless” automation toolset. Which is usually more than anyone ever needs. Furthermore, putting a test tool like that in the hands of a manual team is bad news. High learning curves and brittle tests abound.

  2. Automation tester s are the back Bones to the software industry.everyone should agree.being an automation test engineer yes,we really loose our domain knowledge.but it makes the life cycle fast

    We should adopt automation.

  3. Manual testing and automation testing goes hand in hand, automation is inevitable but we shouldn’t loose the domain knowledge and it acts an foundation to test an application better and to ensure better quality.

    Leveraging domain knowledge and test automation yields to achieve faster time to market with improvement in application quality.

  4. As per the growth of automation in market, soon the manual testing will replace completely by automation. Because it saves money as well as time. Also in market now days tools are coming without coding, so non technical person also can do the automation testing without prior knowledge of it. Agreed with the Article.

    • Hi swapnil,

      Iam Krishna, working as manual tester. Can went through u r article. Can u please let me know any automation tool that doesn’t require scripting r coding. Iam very poor in coding.

  5. Agreed upon the article. If both manual and automation go in parallel then the product will become more stable and bug free. Manual testing in initial phase and then automation once the build is stable. In my opinion manual testers are very much needed.

  6. Great article! Thanks for sharing such a good information.The most simple yet complete and explaining the purity and main point behind the topic.Do keep sharing these kind of posts,they are really helpful in making our mind to good thinking and apply our thought.

  7. In simple words

    Product oriented company / For large product :- Go for Manual + Automation

    Service oriented company :- if company don’t own maintenance or enhancement of application go for Manual testing , don’t waste your time in automation testing.

  8. Automation testing can not completely replace manual testing. Automation comes into play once the manual testing cycle is over, that is when we go for regression testing. Even if companies want to use automation in initial phase, it will still need manual testers to write the test cases which can then be executed through automation. Automation tools does not have domain knowledge so there will always be requirement of QA that has domain knowlwdge.

  9. I would like to share our team’s experience. We have been using our own UI testing tool, Screenster, to test ours and our customers’ web apps. It has proven itself to be a helpful alternative to Selenium for visual/CSS testing tasks.
    Screenster is a test automation tool which performs screenshot-based comparison of different versions of your web pages. First it creates a visual baseline for a page, taking a screenshot for each user action. During the next run it takes a new screenshot at each step, compares it with the one from baseline and highlights differences.

  10. I agree with your article, however, salaries are getting limited for manual testers these day. After 5 or 6 year of experience at particular package it is hard to get job after that salary package.

  11. Test design automation is now available. Conformiq, MaTeLo. Model based testing addresses the automation needed on design. Testing is there but now have power tools enabled.

  12. Hi Pavan, yes it is the role of testers to prove the project is promoted as a product. Else others in the team can confirm the quality and durability of the project. yet we have to prove in the area of RESEARCH also to prove the roles of the testing engineers are vital in development.

  13. very good article , and every bit of it is true ,

    I am facing same issue in my project , we have one automation tester already in project, Being an manual tester i work as end user but other tester works as developer .

    So at the end we both want to work in different way , which is creating disturbance in team .. test manager struggling to understand what is happening .

    probably i forward this wonderfully written article.

  14. Its good read! Because of automation testing, manual testers are losing their jobs but automation has become the vital tool for time to market and cost saving; however, I agree with the writer, manual testers’ core skills are essential for your product quality, and it’s a good initiate to empower manual testers for doing automation testing but there aren’t tools that are complete code-less, at some or the other area there is a need of coding. In search of such kind of tool, I have come across ClicTest, who claim to have a product ClicAutomate which helps in creating automation test cases without coding. I have seen the demo, it looks promising, as per the demo there isn’t any coding involved. Yet to take trial access, feeling excited to try it out!!

  15. Nice article but I’m strongly agreed with Mohan.

  16. Manual testing coupled with automation testing is an analogy for quality with productivity. Both are the inevitable weapons of Quality Assuarance

  17. I agree with all the points mentioned in this article.
    But Manual or Automation testers should have gain experience in domain level knowledge (Like SME) based on project assigned in working company. And taking training by organization (If company provides) on project domain that would-be value added to the both Manual and Automation teams. Coming to script less tool, better to choose such kind of tool to automate (Ex: ClicTest) then automation team can easily put more focus on business scenarios along with regular deliverables, so in this way good prospects for Manual and Automation testing teams and customers/clients also would get happy if receives quality deliverables on time to the market using such kind of tools.

  18. Hi Pavan,

    I like to add one more point.

    The kind of Automation frameworks are being developed these days are majorly focused on covering the business cases, where negative and some micro scenarios are overlooked.

    These Micro and negative scenarios are only being covered if the Manuel Tester itseld write a good Automation Suite, so eventually it will cover major functional part of the AUT.

    These days manuel tester should also adopt Automation skills, as it will make them A++ from A.

    Thanks for Such a informative Article.

  19. Thanks for the comment Rushikesh.
    Manual testers have that real skill to create test cases or perform testing in all possible scenarios, including negative scenarios. They have this mindset to test an application functionality in all combinations to ensure utmost functional stability, where end users will not face any defect irrespective of their usage.
    Having an understanding of the importance of negative scenarios, we have developed our product “ClicAutomate” with an option to create both positive and negative automation test case along with UI validation, functional, and boundaries. These options will give the leverage for manual testers to create effective automation test suites.
    Empowering manual testers to do automation testing with the need of learning programming is what ClicAutomate does; helping manual testers to become A++ from A.

  20. Hi krishna,
    Learn TOSCA it requires less coding knwledge that to For Loops and TOSCA is becoming a mostly used Automation tool in the coming 6 months

  21. hi, can sombody tell me which automation tool is good for Product information management system (pim)?

  22. testautomation is writing code just like any other program my concern is who test that code?
    too many times i hear you write the automation code alone, what happened to propper code peer review. a tester is human just like any developper and bound to make mistakes.

  23. Hello Pavan,

    Thanks for sharing this post it’s such a informative article. i really appreciate for this post.

    Now a days growth of automation in market, soon the manual testing will replace completely by automation. Automated testing is significantly faster than a manual approach. Manual Testing helps you to get fast and accurate visual feedback. Automated testing helps you to find more bugs compare to a human tester.

  24. Hi guys, actually automation testing is comming fast, but it is just a supplement to the manual tests. It is an improvement of the testing technology and it is useful to be applied, but having mind as an extra to manual tests or as an extra to the developers unit tests. Practically thanks to the automation tests we can provide load and stress tests, which is unthinkable manually.

  25. The increase in automation is inevitable. This is not a problem for manual testers. The problem for manual testers is coding. The trend in code generation automation tools will help. Tools like the new version of Selenium IDE allow any tester to create automation tests fast. This tool is much better than the old version. Code can be added to these tests such as variables to store values (no hard coding), If statements and loops. Java JUnit code can be exported and run in WebDriver. These tests can be easily edited. Fallback element locators solve the flaky test problem. This limited code approach bridges the gap between manual testers and automation.

  26. Guys, you seem to be missing the point. All of the comments that I have read in this thread are based upon the premise that we are testing the software after it is built rather than before.
    Adopting a test first approach, i.e. dispensing with the requirements phase and moving directly to developing the test cases to serve as the business requirements removes the need to verify That development has met a set of business requirements, and moves the paradigm to where software developers are no longer trying to develop software that meets requirements – They are simply developing software that passes tests.
    If any of us think that a human being can examine software more efficiently than a computer can examine the software, we’re delusional.

  27. 100% Agree with this article

  28. thank you for sharing this informative guide on tester core skills required, as I am my self a tester and with surety can share that this is worth a read!!!

  29. I’ve been a software tester for 20 years now. The last 10 or so years I have split my time between manual and automated tests. Automation is a great way of doing regression test and free up more time for manual/exploratory test.

    Most testers I work with are keen on learning test automation, and all of us are enjoying it.
    The problem for us with automation being so popular now is that more and more companies (including my employer)
    are starting to see automation as a part of the developers work. Managers go directly to the developers for automation and
    we are left on the outside. Another effect is that managers put so much confidence in the automation that they
    more or less stopped hiring more testers even though the number of developers keep increasing.

    This means more work for the testers left and also stops them from working/learning more with/about automation.

    Anyone else with the same experience?


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