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Automation vs. manual testing in Agile: Which is recommended?

We have read and heard about the value of automated testing in Agile environments. We also hear a lot about the importance of exploratory testing, a technique that is purely manual, in Agile environments. Are these two recommendations in conflict with one another?

Most experts agree that both automated and manual testing are important, but depending on the type of testing you’re doing, one type may be the better choice. In Agile Testing, written by SSQ’s Agile expert Lisa Crispin along with co-author Janet Gregory, four quadrants of testing are described.

Quadrant one encompasses the automated test efforts including unit tests and component tests. These are typically done by the developer, perhaps using test-driven development (TDD) even before the code is written.

Quadrant two is testing that may be automated or may be manually done by developers and testers. This includes functional tests, examples, story tests, prototypes and simulations.

Quadrant three contains manual tests including exploratory testing, usability testing, user acceptance testing and alpha/beta testing.

Quadrant four includes speciality testing that is typically done with tools such as performance testing and load testing.

Steffan Surdek will be covering more about the use of automation in testing and throughout the application lifecycle in our upcoming free virtual trade show, Beating Key ALM Challenges to be held April 27th.

For related articles from SearchSoftwareQuality, see:

Manual testing vs. automated testing: A decision point

Test automation for your team: How to begin

Is automated testing replacing the software tester?

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