Thursday, May 23, 2013

The goals of manual QA are not the same as test automation QA

The goal of manual (non-test-automation) QA is not necessarily the same as test automation QA.

The goal of the manual QA tester is to test as much of the product as possible, and, hopefully, find as many bugs as possible.

Test Automation is an internal corporate product solely to assist the manual QA tester in expanding their code coverage and feature testing so they can eventually focus on finding the exception case bugs (where most bugs occur - this is especially true in mobile applications). Most of these test cases are product features where test automation code is not recommended for a variety of reasons (asynchronous behavior, high maintenance costs, etc).

If your test automation test code is covering 100% testing of smoke test cases, then your company is in a great position to free up the manual tester to have the time and creativity to attack these exception test cases and hopefully find any bugs that real users will experience.

The goal of the manual QA tester is to find as many bugs as possible in the product. 

The goal of test automation QA is to assist the manual QA person to expand and cover their testing of the product to the greatest possible extent without the physical use of their time. It is a tool to assist the manual QA person (who should be considered the subject matter expert and have greatest knowledge of test cases, steps to execute the test cases, and acceptance criteria) to allow for basic smoke testing and eventually, in time, expanded testing, so that the manual QA person can execute corner/exception cases which, as expected, will uncover and find most of the bugs in an application, web or mobile.

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