Should Offshore Software Testing Be Automated or Manual?

offshore software developmentPeople who work at offshore software testing are a vigorous bunch. They like testing, seeing results and retesting all the while waiting for something to break. And when that code breaks, hey, they will test that to see how many ways it can be broken. All of this is good, it’s part of the process of developing a secure and reliable piece of software, a website or a mobile app. Which of course, is the goal of your quality assurance testers.

But there is one debate that has always been ‘in the air’ when it comes to testing anything when it comes to technology, but for our purposes we will keep the debate at just for software, website and mobile applications. The premise of the debate is simple, it starts with the question: Should testing be only automated? Or are there times when manual testing is important? Or is manual testing only a means to an end, simply waiting until an automated test is created to do the same task? And, when Get[Devs] takes it into its realm of the techno-sphere, the question morphs into: Should offshore software testing be automated only? Keeping manual testing in house and not offshore. Would that be more practical?

The debate has merit, if only because it is a question almost all development teams ask at one time or another. Automated testing is fast, you will find the problems much more quickly than you would if you manually tested everything. Actually, with today’s software there would be no way to manually test it all. Automated testing is thorough, it will test each and every condition of your specs without fail. It is cost effective – with only automated testing being done, you would need less QA testers. Then again, automated testing tools are expensive. But the practicality of only having automated testing – whether it is offshore or not – is not feasible at this time, if ever. No one has invented the ‘Do everything you need testing tool’ yet.

For instance, when you do an automated test and the results aren’t exactly what you hoped for, but they didn’t come back telling you the exact problem, just symptoms of a problem. Running some manual test that can be started and stopped at every step will point to a more definitive answer. Without this type of manual test, you may never find the real problem.

When testing using manual methods, you can jump in and do different type of testing as you go, using the results as a map for what may or may not be wrong. It’s flexible like that. Automated testing is not, can take time to set up and run through all the QA tester is looking to get just one answer.

And let’s not forget the human aspect of your software. You know, where your client’s employees use your software and doing some human trick that could make it go KA-BOOM. Manual testing is worth its weight in gold when it comes to keeping your software in one piece after it goes out of the door. And they are also there to help take care of any problem should your client have needs.

So, what is the answer? It is what most software development testers do now, offshore and in-house: You need both. The thing is, you probably always will need both as our tech knowledge grows throughout the ages. Both has their pros and cons. When both automated and manual testing are done correctly, you end up with secure and reliable software or mobile apps.

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