“Manual Testing”

I have an issue with the word “Manual Testing”. Say we compare a “Manual Tester”, an “Automatic Tester” and a “Developer”. When a developer builds a tool that helps them program it is not called “Automatic Programming”, it might be called a “Compiler” or some other new word. Developers do manually write code with their hands but it’s not called “Manual Development”, they use the tools and resources that are available to get the job done. Testing is the same; we use the tools and resources available to help get the job done. “Automatic Testers” manually write scripts with their hands, why are they different from “Manual Testers”? We test with our minds just like developers create with their minds. I’m a tester first and foremost; my goal is to find issues in software. What are your views?

(As a side note, this rant is heavily influenced by James Bach)

1 comment

  1. Great to hear you speak out Sammy.

    I feel more than anything this post is more feedback for people like me who continue to misuse the term manual tester and mislay the importance of the skill in an evermore Agile and automated world.

    You are sooo correct. The bit I need probably better communicate is the output of manual discovery should ideally always end up in automated suites that can be re-executed when need be. We don’t want to ever be manually executing tests that could be automated as this does not scale as the application grows.

    Going forward I hope at least in my messages I will be sure to talk correctly to the invaluable task of “finding issues in applications”


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