"Some birds aren't meant to be caged, their feathers are just too bright"- Morgan Freeman, Shawshank Redemption. This blog is from one such bird who couldn't be caged by organizations who mandate scripted software testing. Pradeep Soundararajan welcomes you to this blog and wishes you a good time here and even otherwise.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Manual Testing - no more a shit job !

Hi Reader,

Oops , I chose a very controversial topic of whether Manual Testing is a brainy job or a shit job and fortunately or unfortunately as you have started reading this stuff, I reccomend you to go through it completely. ( later think on it if possible )

Note : This post is targetted to 0-3 years of experience readers who still remain naive. Others, this maybe the one you wanted to speak out.

There is a misconception about Manual Testing and as a passionate Tester, here is my effort to make it clear. After reading this if you disagree with me , send me your CV, I shall look for an Automation Testing job for you.

__ Manual Testing no more a shit job ! __

Automation has its own merits and de-merits and so does Manual Testing but people are partially blind and look into De-merits alone. Isn't it a responsiblity of we people who have been into Manual Testing to show them "Its half glass full and not half glass empty alone".

Moreover, you cannot apply automation everywhere ... most of you must be dealing with software that runs on a PC or a similar platform but you should be aware that there are a zillion number of products we use in our daily lives which are not software and also don't run on a PC.

If you look at the sky from the well , you will be able to measure the diameter of sky, count the number of stars in the night and also see the shining sun for a few minutes in the 12 hours that it is available. Hope this post acts as a rope hanging in the well through which you shall climb and ..... ( don't look back at the well )

As I mentioned there are a zillion ( just a big number I cant think of ) products that cannot be automated and I am sure if you are testing something, despite a tool doing it, you are hired because it needs a manual effort. Loadrunner , Winrunner , QTP , Silk , Cotton , Wool .. whatever maybe, it still needs _____ ( fill your name , spelling mistakes are permitted )

What a tool cant do , which you can -
  1. A Tool can have limited intelligence and does execute and report whatever it is programmed to and I am sure the tool will have more limitations than you.
  2. A Tool is not worried about the product it is Testing but I am sure, you are, worried since you want to progress as a Tester.
  3. A Tool doesn't care about its appraisal but I am sure most of us do and we perform or outperform.
  4. A Tool put to work overnight gives you sleep but if it failed midway on a Thursday night, you miss your girlfriend the same weekend.
  5. A Tool is purchased and can be used illegaly too, can you be exploited illegaly ?
  6. A Tool is thrown away if a different project comes up and a new tool is purchased based on requirements, Are you thrown out because a project got over ?
Well the above points are made in order to make the Manual Tester realize that they are an important element for an organization when compared to a tool.

Now for some more gyaan ...

Why is Manual Testing a brainy job ? ( You V/s Tool )
  1. Assume you are Manually Testing a product and parallely an automation framework is executing the same cases as yours , can you tell me who will report the most number of bugs ? can you also tell me who will be able to validate/investigate/reproduce/create new test cases after one cycle of testing. Is it going to be you or the tool. The tool may overtake you in finishing the test cases but tell your manager you are a tortoise and not hare.
  2. You know more about testing than the tool , isnt it true ? then who is a better tester , you or the tool ? Tool is identified by its release number and you by your skills. ( This point should ideally hit those testers who worship tools and ill-treat those who Manually Test )
  3. A tool can always replace a tester who just executes the test cases but can never replace those planning/documenting and analyzing test plan/design/cases.
  4. People obssesed about tools are the person with whom you should not be talking anything about testing, they are like people from the well and they seek for help to come out and in turn pull you inside.
  5. Tools are like aliens , they come in , influence you , evade you and rule you... When are you going to celebrate your Independence Day.
  6. Some decades before Robots and Automatic Machines replaced people at work but I am amazed to look at the software industry where such Automated tools make the company hire more people to work on it. :D cos the so called automated tools require more manual work. ( Some communist party is supporting these tools I guess )
  7. All Automation Testers are Manual Testers but all Manual Testers are not Automation Testers. ( pretty confusing , that's what I wanted )
  8. Say a demon came and told you "I will erase some part of your brain , which do you want to sacrifice - your knowledge about tools or your testing skill?" What would be your choice .. ( of course, the demon will not earase the memories of the girl/guy who rejected you )
__ Manual Testing no more a shit job ! __

Please be aware that I am not against any Automation Testers because I see that they too are Manual Testers but as a matter of fact they may not agree as their pride and ego doesn't permit them to admit. Tools are a vital part but you and your testing skills are more than vital to any project.

I give you two choices -

Choice 1 - No, I was not conviced
{ sorry for wasting your valuable automation testing time and reccomend you to waste 5 more mins looking at this }

Choice 2 - Yes, I was convinced.
{ you should then spend 5 more minutes reading this }

"Respect a Manual Tester , God will gift you free tools"

Pradeep Soundararajan

Disclaimer : [ Intentionally left partially blank to check who is still in the well ]


Anonymous said...

Hey Prad,

Its ironical that the industry doesnt share the same sentiments.

I have seen that most of the Automation testers available in the market (apart frm the one's who develop a frame work)dont actually test but distill the manually executed test cases.( I myself was working on QTP running n testing the already Manually executed test cases for Web Services).

One more point, I am not against automation per se as we testers(Man and Aut) finally want the customer to use a defect free product, But instead of taking up a tool off the shelf and fiddling around with it and try to reach the tech support most of the time, The rookies in QA should be taught the nuances of manual testing and THINKING which goes parallelly and perhaps can be given an elevation if they want to make a career out of testing. It makes sense according to me.

Anonymous said...

Write something interesting maan. You seem to be running short of ideas.

Pradeep Soundararajan said...

@ Anonymous - Me running short of ideas , maybe true but I need to post something like this to make you ppl feel that other posts are really good , jus kiddin !

Anyhow , I too am in learning phase and am thankful that only 10% of my posts have not been good , if you could give me sometime I shall improve ... Quality comes with time , Thanks for Testing my posts

Pradeep Soundararajan said...

@ Sharat - I honestly agree with you , my point too is basically to tell .. both are equally important and there is no meaning in saying that's good and this is bad

Anonymous said...

yes, people here give importance for tools and sometimes i see that all manual testers wants to jumps into automation testing. thanks

Pradeep Soundararajan said...

@ anonymous - huh so you too experienced what I did , I should be thanking you though !

Amol Agare said...

Yes its really a thing that automation tool testing is really on everybody's tongue.
Even anybody not knowing "abcd" of testing says the automation ways..
I am really sick of those ppl, who ask me when they know I m in testing that " Which automation tool u r using?" Ppl just think testing means automation tool.

But still I think (Forget those automation tools) , automating task by ur own using scripting languages is really a gr8 job. I really enjoy it with Perl.

One should also know which task is to automate and which not?

its a OK kind of blog..My tiger come up..something gr8 I expect.

Prashant Kumar R said...

Hey Pradeeep,
Well said maaan ! Manual testing always gives you wat u expect whereas Automation throws (u may relate this word to Exceptions, Fatal errors etc.,) messages when u really dont want. Being a layman in automation I would ask any1 doing automation. "U guys run scripts... ns its obvious tat ur scripts runs even at night sometimes., How do u guys validate this point..."Wats de use(justice to de job) in writing a bug report about an error which has occured at 12 in the midnight when u r physically not present and sometimes dont know y it occured? " Am i makingf any sense? (not non-sense ofcourse..coz Ive asked u to assume I am a layman when it cums to automation )... I would say, Its always a gud practise to have a fix (by any means, a bug report, explaining de issue over a telecon with de client, talking to the developer sitting @ de next cubicle etc.,) for a bug the moment u see it !!! Thats y they call us (me :p) an Tester. Otherwise I would prefer people calling me a Tubelight...

No offence meant :)

Pradeep Soundararajan said...

Ah Prashant,

Seems like you too were irritated about people talking more on tools than testing.. good ! this shows both of us are either in the right track or the wrong one :D

Expressions said...

Hi Pradeep,
Bulls Eye again and thanks for that giving a boost of encouragement...I especially found the--What a tool cant do , which you can ---listing very interesting and thought provoking...

Anonymous said...

An Excellent Job!! The way you have related the testing practices with that to a Real Time Event is simply amazing. Keep Going and do come up with more examples.

Anonymous said...

I say that tools are good, for the simple fact that one time I could discover a defect that appeared only when the script ran in that tool. Believe me a normal manual tester couldn't discover it.
And we can't compare tools and people, is like comparing computers and machines.
So I think the manual testers are good when they create interesting scenarious. The automation testers are good when during their scripting, expand the testing area by creating different scenarious.

Pradeep Soundararajan said...

@ anonymous -

buddy , tools are good but you who experienced the power of tools didnt experience that manual testers are ill treated ?

Ok, let me know why I wrote this post.. One of my fellow tester got in touch with me to let out his worries.. he was being ill treated by his friends for continuing in manual testing. As long as people do such discrimination, I shall keep writing such posts but I respect your views too.

did you have a look at my post - Programmer tester v/s non programmer tester and also Are you a tester or tool smith ? If not, have a look and leave your comment here again.

Anonymous said...

Actually I had a bad view too of the manual testers at the beggining, becuase I met only bad manual testers, those that don't know what a manual tester is or should do. But after an automation job, I had a manual tester job and I had the chance to work with real good manual testers. And of course I don't have anymore the same bad oppinion about manual testers, now as am I am developer:). I do think that manual testers are very important and smart persons and not only in the testing process, but also in the design process.

Pradeep Soundararajan said...


Good to see you realizing the need for good manual testers and I appreciate that you are intending to include manual testers for design reviews too.

spread your thought and validate it to people, let them know why you thought so.

Anonymous said...

hi pradeep
ok i agree with ur idea about manual vs automated testing.but what do think about repititiveness of testing. when we got release by release of same product and we have to test, then is it friutfull to do testing in manual manner or we should use some automated tool.

Pradeep Soundararajan said...

Hi worried anonymous tester,

If you were smart enough to land at this post, I am sure you are smart enough to ensure when to use automation ?

Also, I or any good tester out here, is not against automation, the context I have given here is to ensure that people reading this post make no more fun at Manual testers.

If you think monotonous or repetitive work is not good, watch the movie Behind Enemy Lines ...

Owen Wilson puts up his resignation from the US Navy after arriving at a conclusion that he is doing a repetitive job, his commanding officer, Gene Hackman, grants him one last sortie in F-18 Hornet ... that is the start of the story .. watch the movie for yourself...

The climax of the movie is Owen Wilson says to his commanding officer "Do you still have my resignation letter in your pocket ?"

Its awesome, watch it !

Raj said...

Its very intresting and useful also.Thank you Pradeep.

Sreekala said...

Excellent!!! So so true....Hits the nail on the head to all those who underestimate Manual Testing as donkey's job!
Hats off Pradeep!

Amit said...


I am into manual testing and agree to the fact that Automation is not the replacement. Infact it is complementry to manual testing efforts (Test Cases , reports and other stuff).

But to be honest the points mentioned by you under the heading "What a tool cant do , which you can" (Point # 1 onwards) sounds more emotional then practical


gowtham said...

Hi guys,
I am a fresher and working on web testing(manual). I am feeling like am not learning anything. Please tell me which domain will be better in testing. I mean should I go for BFSI or PAt?

Pradeep Soundararajan said...


You have the answer in your question. You are not learning - that is a problem you got to solve. A domain wont do much of a difference to you if you are not learning.

Try WeekendTesting!

gowtham said...

Weekend testing...?
what is that?

Pradeep Soundararajan said...


What is that?