Manual and Automation Testing Challenges

Software Testing has a lot of challenges both in a Manual as well as in Automation.

Generally in Manual Testing scenario developers through the build to test team assuming the responsible test team or tester will pick the build and will come to ask what the build is about? This is the case in organizations not following so-called ‘Processes'.

Tester is the middleman between developing a team and the customers, handling the pressure from both sides. And I assume most of our readers are smart enough to handle this pressure. Aren't you?

Manual and Automation Testing Challenges

This is not the case always. Sometimes testers may add complications in a testing process due to their unskilled way of working. In this post I have added most of the testing challenges created due to testing staff, developing staff, testing processes and wrong management decisions.

So here we go with the Top Challenges:

#1) Testing the complete application
Is it possible? I think impossible. There are millions of test combinations. It’s not possible to test each and every combination both in the Manual as well as in Automation Testing. If you try all these combinations you will never ship the product ;-)

#2) Misunderstanding of company processes
Sometimes you just don't pay proper attention to what the company-defined processes are and these are for what purposes. There are some myths in testers that they should only go with company processes even these processes are not applicable for their current testing scenario. This results in incomplete and inappropriate Application Testing.

#3) Relationship with Developers
Big challenge. Requires very skilled tester to handle this relation positively and even by completing the work in testers way. There are simply hundreds of excuses developers or testers can make when they do not agree with some points. For this tester also requires Good Communication, Troubleshooting and analyzing skill.

#4) Regression Testing
When a project goes on expanding the regression testing work simply becomes uncontrolled. The pressure to handle the current functionality changes, previous working functionality checks, and bug tracking.

#5) Lack of Skilled Testers
I will call this a ‘wrong management decision’ while selecting or training testers for their project task in hand. These unskilled fellows may add more chaos than simplifying the testing work. This results in incomplete, insufficient and ad-hoc testing throughout the Testing Life Cycle.

#6) Testing always under Time Constraint
Hey tester, we want to ship this product by this weekend, are you ready for completion? When this order comes from the boss, tester simply focuses on task completion and not on the test coverage and quality of work. There is a huge list of tasks that you need to complete within the specified time. This includes writing, executing, automating and reviewing the test cases.

#7) Which Tests to execute first?
If you are facing the challenge stated in point no 6, then how will you make a decision which test cases should be executed and with what priority? Which tests are important over others? This requires a good experience to work under pressure.

#8 ) Understanding the Requirements
Sometimes testers are responsible for communicating with customers for understanding the requirements. What if tester fails to understand the requirements? Will he be able to test the application properly? Definitely No! Testers require good listening and understanding capabilities.

#9) Automation Testing
Many sub-challenges – Should automate the testing work? Till what level automation should be done? Do you have sufficient and skilled resources for Automation? Is time permissible for automating the test cases? The decision of Automation or Manual Testing will need to address the pros and cons of each process.

#10) The decision to stop the Testing
When to stop testing? Very difficult decision. Requires core judgment of testing processes and the importance of each process. Also requires ‘on the fly’ decision ability.

#11) One test team under multiple projects
Challenging to keep track of each task. Communication challenges. Many times results in failure of one or both the projects.

#12) Reuse of Test scripts
Application development methods are changing rapidly, making it difficult to manage the test tools and test scripts. Test script migration or reuse is very essential but difficult task.

#13) Testers focusing on finding easy bugs
If the organization is rewarding testers based on a number of bugs (very bad approach to judging Testers Performance) then some testers only concentrate on finding easy bugs those don't require deep understanding and testing. A hard or subtle bug remains unnoticed in such a testing approach.

#14) To cope with attrition
Increasing salaries and benefits making many employees leave the company at very short career intervals. Management is facing hard problems to cope with the attrition rate. Challenges – New testers require project training from the beginning, complex projects are difficult to understand, delay in shipping date!

These are some top Software Testing challenges we face daily. Project success or failure depends largely on how you address these basic issues.

For further reference and detailed solutions to these challenges refer to book “Surviving the Top Ten Challenges of Software Testing” written by William E. Perry and Randall W. Rice.

Over to you
Many of you are working on the Manual and/or Automation Testing field. Though I have addressed many of above challenges in our previous articles, I want your views on handling these Software Testing challenges.  Feel free to express your views in the comment section below.

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148 thoughts on “Manual and Automation Testing Challenges”

  1. Hi

    This is really a wonderful articel. I have recently joined this sector i m enjoying alot.

    But I have one hesitation that I was in Travel industry and now I m doing software testing course can i use my travel experience here plz advice.

    Ahmer Hussain

  2. Hi Rahini,

    I have Mentioned Software metrics as given below:


    Metrics are the means by which the software quality can be measured; they give you confidence in the product. You may consider these product management indicators, which can be either quantitative or qualitative. They are typically the providers of the visibility you need.


    Metrics usually fall into a few categories: project management (which includes process efficiency) and process improvement. People are often confused about what metrics they should be using. You may use different metrics for different purposes. For example, you may have a set of metrics that you use to evaluate the output of your test team. One such metric may be the project management measure of the number of bugs found. Others may be an efficiency measure of the number of test cases written, or the number of tests executed in a given period of time.

    The goal is to choose metrics that will help you understand the state of your product.

    Ultimately, when you consider the value of a metric, you need to ask if it provides visibility into the software product’s quality. Metrics are only useful if they help you to make sound business decisions in a timely manner. If the relevancy or integrity of a metric cannot be justified, don’t use it. Consider, for example, how management analysis and control makes use of financial reports such as profit/loss, cash flow, ratios, job costing, etc. These reports help you navigate your business in a timely manner. Engineering metrics are analogous, providing data to help perform analyses and control the development process. However, your engineers may not be the right people to give you the metrics you need to help in making business decisions, because they are not trained financial analysts. As an executive, you need to determine what metrics you want and tell your staff to provide them.

    For example, coverage metrics are essential for your team. Coverage is the measure of some amount of testing. You could have requirements coverage metrics, platform coverage metrics, path coverage metrics, scenario coverage metrics, or even test plan coverage metrics, to name a few. Cem Kaner lists over 100 types of coverage measures in his paper “Negligence and Testing Coverage.” Before the project starts, it is important to come to agreement on how you will measure test coverage. Obviously, the more coverage of a certain type, the less risk associated with that type.

    The goal is to choose metrics that will help you understand the state of your product. Wisely choose a handful of these metrics specific to your type of project and use them to give you visibility into how close the product is to release. The test group needs to be providing you plenty of useful information with these metrics.


    The metrics provided by testing offer a major benefit to executives: visibility into the maturity and readiness for release or production, and visibility into the quality of the software product under development. This enables effective management of the software development process, by allowing clear measurement of the quality and completeness of the product.

  3. Hi Vijay/Suresh/Tiger2K ,
    I am regular visitor of this site.I have one major concern for that i need ur assistance.
    Whats the use of unix as well as shell Scrpiting(PERL) in sw Testing Prospective?
    As we all are familiar QTP is used to validate UI Validation .Load Runner is used to Check Virtual User and all .So i could understand where QTP/Manual/Load Runner fits in software Testing World.
    But i am still dont know where unix as well as shell Scrpiting(PERL) find its place in testing world? Could any1 assist me to understand this very clearly ?
    So please help me understand this with how and where it finds its place in Software Testing


  4. Hi Friends,

    Currently i am working in Non-IT field and planned to switch my career to testing.I had learned the basics of testing,and now i am very eager to learn testing practically with real time projects.
    If any one interested to teach testing personally with real time projects , i will be more grateful, or else show me the right place in chennai.
    Thanks & regards

  5. Hi All,

    Really its a very gre8 article.


    by Reading this document now i am able to understand that all automation stuffs

  6. Hi Rahul,

    It all depends on your Application/Testing Environment

    Suppose, your application has lots of files into a particular directory and you want to check for a particular string which is present in each and every file
    without actually opening all the files ,check for the string present and increment the count )

    You can write an automated perl script which opens all the files,search for the string and display the result which can save your lot of effort.

    Perl Testing: A Developer’s Notebook can resolve all of you question . if you can find one. :)


  7. Hi , i read the all your comments, it is really nice, Currently i am working software testing in hyderabad,
    Actually i am a tamilian, my native place is chennai,

    My qualification is BCA only, Now i am searching software testing job in chennai,
    i am fresher also, i do know how can i search software testing jobs.

    Can you tell me anybody for the correct way to search software testing job and also tell me the any software testing institiute in chennai place.

  8. hello frnds ,

    i have some questions for u just send me the answers
    1, when do we stop testing
    2, when do start testing
    3, how do we evalute schedule variance

    • This is Murty Peri
      1) stop testing: This is also called Exit strategy. This is really management decision. Also called enough is enough. Based on project cost, time lines, this will be arrived. Wish full list is generated and short listed for functional performance and winded – in my opinion.
      2) When to start: Once BRS and SRS is ready given to testing and development manager – it is wise to start testing. By that time, web design and data base should be ready – enough for generating scripts. All elements ids or locators are stored in Page Object Model and if needed can be changed easily.
      3) Question is not clear to me.
      I am Ph.D., chemistry, hydrocarbon polymer health care research background and Selenium Automation skill. Right now I am in Visakhapatnam, AP India but lives USA.

  9. Excelent article…Though there are some challenges which are not exactly related to Testing but they are somehow related to it…

    I would like to share my experiences –

    1. QC Manager – I joined my current comapny in May 2006 which was a CMMi Level 3 (??). My manager is very ambisious and some how I managed to impress him with my initial work. He left me with the team to handle all the activities and he himself was involved in higher level management decisions. I was never given a walkthrough on the company process. Whatever I could get was through word of mouth. Everything was going smooth till yesterday when a customer reported that the she is not going to test the application using the test cases as they are no in the way she is going to test (She has approved the earlier version of same test cases). Now I have been asked that how can we send the system test cases to customer, which I do agree that we should send only UAT test cases which will be a subset of system cases. But this was the practice I have been following since last 2 years as I learned from the processes of the company.
    Lesson Learned –
    1. You will not receive the heat till customer is happy.
    2. Never believe Managers,

  10. its very interesting article. I m searching job in software testing and this article has added my knowledge in this field. I’ve got lots of new thing from this article. I want to know more about automation testing and its tools.

  11. hi this is very useful for every body who are going to face projects and helpfull how to interact with the developers and wt qualities should tester have.
    if anything pls dend to me thank you.

  12. Hi Everyone,

    This is Ragu, i have 2 years of experience in software testing. Now am looking for change, i don’t know interviewer how to ask question. Because till know i didn’t attend single interview. Am getting job this company as a trainee, now 2 years completed . i have done 3 projects in testing. Is this possible i get a job. Then how to prepare interview. Please any one help me..
    Am expecting your reply..
    thanking You

  13. Hi;
    I was really pleased to atlast find a website as this one that does not make me go round the bush and make me realise that i have wasted my time.
    I would really like to appreciate your efforts.

  14. After studying the requirement specifications, testers job is to start writing the test cases with respect to the functional specification given to you by the client

  15. Hi mahesh,
    There is no destination time to stop the testing. it is stoped when the build meets the client requirements without any bugs in the build.

    When the functional specification doc. is given to you, then you start writing the test cases with respect to the doc. ans once the developed build comes to the testing environment then testers start executing the test cases and the bugs which u get will be locked in the DTT , which is used by ur company.

  16. I am a manual tester with over 12 years of experience but I really want to learn how to use test automation tools. I am not a programmer… Which programming language should I learn to prepare me for working with test automation tools such as QTP or WinRunner… Thanks for your advise in advance

  17. Hi,
    Is really the results from automation testing is fruitful than Manual Testing.
    I feel complete satisfication of testing comes from manual testing. I didnt get in automation.
    pls share your views regarding this…

  18. Hi,
    Is really wonderful doc. its very helpful in myself. If those doc are in .pdf then reading easily. I also involved in IT industry (Testing )

  19. i had read urs manual about testing challenges.
    it realy covers all aspects related 2 s/w testing challenges.really it is best effort

  20. can any1 tell me how 2prepare 4Apti?? der r so many questions frm ver to start? i hav RS Agrawal book …n in how many days u can cover the necessary study 4Apti….Plzzzz ….help

  21. Hello, i have a question. Does anybody know how to do security testing on a web base application using QTP?. If so can you pls e-mail me or contact me. I really do need to know about the security testing and how i go about it. e-mail:


  22. Dear Sir,

    This post is very useful. We faced all 14 points in daily testing life.

    Thanks a lot

    Mehul Fozdar
    QC Analyst

  23. Idon’t know if I am too late in this series of posting comments . Would like to tell abt my self . I was into development for 4 years in .NET C# and have moved into testing ,(Automation , for Selenim -Python) . I basically made this decision coz of my intrest in Process. But when i came into my new company for Testing ,I found they don’t follow as such any process. So i am not happy with this . Not geeting gud learning hear , in terms of process. What should i Do.

  24. Hi,

    I am very new in testing field
    This is very useful article for every tester

    Why we use automation testing?
    What is the main roll of tester in the company?

    Please give me guidance regarding that

  25. I think organization should reward not basis on number of bugs he/she found,but on the minor and minimum number of bugs missed after project is deployed.

  26. Hello all,
    I am into Manual Testing for quite sometime now. I have a complicated task infront of me. I have to test the load of an ASP.NET application using the VSTS 2008. I went around the VSTS and had some success in creating small web tests, but couldn’t proceed further. I was also informed that the tests need some coding to be done. Coding and me are poles apart. My questions are:
    1. Any suggestions on sites / articles to handle the basic errors encountered in the VSTS web tests?
    2. Can anyone suggest any sites / articles, apart from the MSDN, for the basic coding practices?

  27. i am working as a test engineer , i want to test the performance of the website using loadrunner. i have loadrunner 9.10 version
    in the start recording option i have given the site url
    after giving ok
    the browser is not opening the site for recording.
    what i should do to record the site

  28. How can we perform an integration testing when there are 10 modules and some modules (module 4 and module 8) are not available while integration testing???

  29. Hello guys,
    well this article is very informative but i have a question related to automation testing, can we perform automation testing on dynamic objects? like report grid which has different number of records each time it is loaded. Or dropdowns with dynamic values integrated with any other report. I worked on Aap Perfect but didnt get sloution for dis. Do let me know if u guys can resolve this querry. :)

  30. Well, its not like this that Tester has no importance in SDLC. Testing is one of the core steps in SDLC. Its the responsibility of the Tester to carry on a fruitful test.Developers should not worry too much , if the product is bugfree.

  31. hello every body,
    i want help.
    as i m thinking to do software testing course,
    will anybody guide me
    from where to do,
    manual or automation.
    i hav completed my B-tech. and i m not getting job because i am having less than 60 in 10th 12th, but having 64 % in degree.
    is this a right option to do.

  32. This article was really enriching in terms of giving an insight into real-time scenarios faced by us at sometimes in our carrier.Initially it was difficult to cope with such situations, but gradually with experience everything came under control.In my organisation the testing department was newly introduced a few months back. As a result everything had to be started from scratch when I joined the organisation.Though I myself didn’t have much experience at that time, but luckily I was aware of some of the blocks that a project/test-team has to face.But with great patience and co-operation from my team we have covered up most of the initial hazards, leading to successful installation of our product at many client places.
    Thanx to this site, for reminding us again that with patience, time and experience every obstacle can be overcome very easily.

  33. Hi All,

    I am working in BPO field for the last 3 years. Now I want to move to the Testing field. Which one do you people suggest (Manual or Automated) testing.

    How do I prepare to complish my goal to join as a tester?


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