Roles and Responsibilities of Manual Tester

A software is a collective term that is used for the various kinds of programs used to operate computers and other interwoven devices. Manual testing is an essential part of nearly all softwares and contents. A key step of this process is testing the software for correct behavior prior to release to end-users.

Manual testing is the process of manually testing software for inadequacies. It demands a tester to play the role of an end user whereby they use most of the application’s features to ensure appropriate behavior. To guarantee wholeness of testing, the tester usually follows a written test plan that leads them through a set of significant test cases. The responsibility of a manual tester is different in every organization.

Why is a manual tester still necessary?

Whenever or wherever a software or an application comes into the market, with instability for instance having a bug or certain issues it is bound to cause problems while end-users are using it. To avoid this a manual tester does its job. In order to avoid such problems, a manual tester performs one round of testing to make the application bug free and stable so that a quality product is delivered to the client. Doing this the manual tester ensures that the application is bug free, the end-user will use the application more conveniently.

If the manual test engineer does manual testing, he/she can test the application with an end-user’s perspective and get more familiar with the product, which helps them to write error free test cases of the application and give the quick feedback of the application.

Automated processes are becoming influential across various industries, and software development process has been changed undeniably, thanks to these initiatives. Many teams are devising plans to automate the vast majority of their tests to make sure that repeatable tests are executed while simultaneously giving quality assurance employees time to fulfill other responsibilities.

With all of these benefits, many have asked whether manual testing is still mandatory. The decisive answer is yes. While automation is a substantial asset, we should not be bowing to our computer overlords just yet. There are still various tasks where manual testing has to be used.

What are the responsibilities of a manual tester?

  • writes, analyses and executes test cases to find system bugs and usability issues in a certain software or application
  • has to conduct and manage review meetings within and among the team
  • checks consistency of the program across devices, browsers, and operating systems
  • proofreads all the software related documents and understands what in particular needs to be tested
  • in some cases, also covers test automation tasks
  • improves test cases and prioritizes the various testing activities
  • provides inputs on high-level test scenarios, challenges, risks, resources, test estimates during test planning
  • Carries out reversion tests every single time when some deviations are made to the primary code in order to fix defects that might arise
  • implements all the test cases, reports flaws and also describes rigorousness and importance for each defect
  • analyzes requirements and prepares a query list. In case incomplete requirements a manual tester asks meaningful questions that will yield more information and help perform testing effectively

Even though the above statement sounds simple, a manual tester involves himself/ herself in a number of different activities. Some of the prominent ones being:

Generating test documents: While testing an application, a tester has to firmly adhere to a plan and document the items that need testing and keep track of the items that have already been tested. So a manual tester creates test strategies, Test scenarios, RTM, test cases etc. These documents act as a concrete base for all the future manual testing activities performed by the quality assurance team.

Test case execution: The test cases once devised are executed and the status of each and every test case is conserved

Error reporting: If any test case malfunctions, a manual tester has to log the error with appropriate steps and other information so that developers or other testers can reproduce the defect conveniently.

Regression testing and retesting: Once any bug is corrected, the testing team retest the issues to make sure that they have been rightly fixed. Regression testing is performed to make sure that these bug fixes do not impact any other feature or the software flow.

Apart from these affairs, a manual tester should also take part in requirement grooming calls and release planning to understand the features being developed and to give estimates for the various testing tasks.

What are the skills of a manual tester?

Adapts and utilizes critical thinking and analytical skills to examine bug reports and prioritize necessary tests e.g. what information to include in the daily status reports while simultaneously prioritizing and estimating task execution Is keen to use good communication and teamwork skills to interact with project team members, stake holders and clients as well as work closely with the entire team. Reproduces the reported issue and puts an emphasis on finding a fix for critical bugs, and afterwards also understands how the bug is fixed. Has programming skills that are a plus including coding, basic general knowledge about the field to extract data for tests, web services and general web development skills.

In short a manual tester is somebody who screens each period of the software advancement process to guarantee outline quality, ensuring that the product clings to the guidelines set by the testing teams or the development teams. Programming quality affirmation tester makes sure that new items work properly prior to their being discharged to people in general.

Comparison To Automated Testing

Test automation may be able to lessen or eradicate the price of actual testing. A computer can follow a rote sequence of steps much more quickly than a person doing it practically, and it can run the tests overnight to submit the results in the morning. However, the labor that is conserved in actual testing must be spent instead of authoring the test program. Depending on the kind of application to be tested, and the automation tools that are used and preferred, this may require more labor than a manual technique. In addition to this, some testing tools present an extensive amount of data, potentially creating a time-consuming task of analyzing the results.

Contrariwise, graphical user interfaces whose layout changes frequently are very hard to test automatically. There are certain test frameworks that are for regression testing of user interfaces. They rely on the recording of sequences of keystrokes and mouse movements, then playing them back reversing and observing that the user interface responds in the exact same way every time. Unfortunately, these recordings might not work accurately when a button is relabeled or moved in a subsequent release. An automatic regression test may also be fooled if the program output shows variations significantly.

Manual testing as a career

Manual testing has a very good scope. Depending on an organization’s specific needs and team size; the role of a software tester is viewed and utilized variously. As we can see, software testing roles appear in an extensive range of job titles. Some of them carry out test cases without using any automation tools. Others, having the knowledge of programming languages, write auto tests and create automation frameworks or other testing tools for the team. The testing market is slowly shifting towards a unified role of a testing professional that is capable of automating, developing testing tools and when need be also write production codes.

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