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QA Engineer: Manual Testing vs Automation Testing – which is better?

QA Manual vs QA Automation

IT industry experts suppose that in 2023 and over the next 5-10 years, the demand for QA specialists will increase by 25 percent. It is a popular profession where QA automation together with QA manuals work to produce a high-quality digital product.

What Is a QA Engineer? These are specialists who test software features at all stages of development. For the tester, it’s important to understand and see the development system as a whole, where changes in one part of the system will inevitably affect the work of other features. Without the tester, the product will be overwhelmingly full of bugs that developers couldn’t predict.

What does an IT Tester do? 

They test all possible software scripts from the specification phase. In other words, the QA engineer knows the design of all the components, which allows him to test them efficiantly. They create various scenarios not foreseen during the development and find bugs and problems in the functionality of the software that might show up during the operating process.

In the IT marketplace, you may find vacancies for QA Manual and QA Automation. Manual testing and Automated testing are two areas of software development that fullfill each other. First, the testing is performing manually, then Automated QA writes tests that automate the predicted actions of the user. During developing the project, the manual worker won’t need to check these actions again, automatic tests will check it for him.

What does a software tester job look like in both manual and automatic?

What does Manual QA Engineer do

A Manual Tester is a specialist whose job is to analyze and find bugs in software without using the additional software. They simulate and imitate the possible actions of users, including errors, which will interact with the end product. Errors or «bugs» are detected in the design, functionality, and consistent logic of work with software. The results are recorded in the test report (bug report) for developers who will fix those bugs.

Manual QA responsibilities:

  • Examination of software development documentation and requirements.
  • Test planning – types, scope of work, methods
  • Development of test cases (algorithms), checklists
  • Testing, creating reports
  • Retesting fixes
  • Creating test report.

Things you need to know about working as a manual tester:

  • Basics of testing: classification, methods, scenarios and tools
  • Knowledge of programming basics, HTML and CSS
  • Understanding the operation of databases and version control systems

How can a manual tester grow?

To avoid stagnation in professional development, you have to choose the right path. The good news is that the tester is also familiar with business and development. A separate development line from the Senior Manual QA is Management and QA analysis. Lead also has Management tasks, but you can build a career as a Project Manager, Product Manager, Resource Manager, or any other manager. An experienced QA analyst is in demand in 2023.

Who Is a Quality Assurance Analyst?

QA analyst is the most skillful tester, who can easilly set severity and priority balances so that developers focus on really important things at every moment of system debugging. At this stage, QA analytics is required, first of all, to be able to see the picture in general, not in particular.

QA analyst responsibilities:

  • QA analysts, unlike testers, take part in the discussion of requirements and assess the impact of new requirements on the already-finished system
  • He/she is very close to the system, and works with it every day, so it is easier for him/her to write documentation
  • QA analysts can create mockups according to new requirements or prescribe use scenarios for which testing and acceptance of finished results will be carried out.

Who can be a quality analyst? The QA analyst profession is for you if:

  • You like to communicate with people, you know how to deal with conflict situations, and are able to negotiate at a high level
  • You flat out the paperwork
  • You have worked as a tester for more than 2 years, has a wealth of knowledge and experience, and look for new branches of development

How to start developing from Manual Tester in QA-Analytics? Work on the projects takes part in its analysis, communication with the client, and drafting technical documentation.

QA Automation Engineer: Responsibilities

Autotester creates tests using scripts, which allows automation of the testing process.

Responsibilities of QA Automation:

  • Test Scenario Planning
  • Creating Automatic Tests
  • Testing
  • Analysis of test results
  • Update scripts and autotest code
  • Creating a Bug Report
  • Rechecking

The things QA Automation needs to know:

  • Knowledge of the theory and practice of testing with writing test cases
  • Using Java Toolkit for Readable and Supported Code
  • Knowledge of test automation frameworks
  • Knowledge of interface automation tools
  • programming (API) and user interfaces (UI)

Trainee QA Engineer can be hired with minimal experience and given easy tasks. For example, create tests on a finished sample or fix ready-made. And what should Middle QA Automation know, for example? This is a mid-level specialist with approximately 3 years of experience, creates test scenarios and maintains technical documentation, reads logs, owns version control systems, independently conducts project testing, including databases, and trains Trainees. The higher qualification, the more technical challenges.

Does a Software Tester Need to Know Programming?

The Manual Tester from scratch may not know the programming languages, but it is desirable that it at least understand the basics of application programming. At the same time, the auto tester spends around 75-80% of its time writing codes. For a beginner, it is enough to know English to write a script using ready-made methods. But advanced Software Test Automation Engineer requires in-depth knowledge of testing and programming automation. Because in the work they use frameworks, Java libraries, SQL, etc. It is necessary to know one programming language, and if a specialist knows several programming languages – its value increases significantly in the eyes of the employer.

What is the demand for a QA Tester in 2023

According to recent studies, the demand for QA specialists is growing and in this pay niche, automated testers are leading. This is because automated testing reduces the cost (financial and temporary) of testing and increases productivity. But manual testing is always interesting for applicants due to the low entry threshold in the IT sphere. In addition, it is a good start to become test automation and move to the career scale.

How can you start a QA career?

Without testing experience, you can apply to the company for the position of the manual tester. This is a good start for those who plan to develop in this direction and want to develop an in-depth technical background for the expansion of hard skills and writing automatic tests.

Your advantages on interview will be: 

  • Theoretical base developed independently
  • Completion of structured courses
  • Tester Tool Knowledge
  • Experience on real projects

The Trainee position may be taken without a university degree, but with examples of work-test cases. To do this, you can take any sites and applications, test and competently describe them.

No less important and soft skills. It is a plus if the candidate has such skills:

  • Communication skills
  • Interest in learning and mastering new technologies
  • Discipline and attention to detail
  • Analytic and critical thinking
  • Ability to schedule your time and meet deadlines
  • Stress-resistance

Conclusions

QA engineers and testers are one of the most popular and fast-growing professions in the global IT field.

Without knowledge of programming languages, you can start your career as a Manual tester, and, along with learning the basics of testing, learn programming languages. This element in the CV can increase the expected salary and the chances of obtaining a 20-25% job compared to a manual tester with the same experience.

The constant development of both hard and soft skills will allow you to improve your expertise, move up the career ladder and choose complex and interesting projects for self-realization.