The debate of man vs. machine is never ending. The history has it then whenever a machine replaces humans, thousands of other opportunities crop up for man. However, this requires the man to be quick at learning new things. For example, think of the time when computers started paving way in offices and replacing traditional process. But, agile professionals who learned the Software and manual software testing overcame the threat of losing a job.
I believe that the forever debate will continue replacing machines with some new technology or other with the man being left to fight. In recent times, mobile application and Software industry has been experiencing some breakthrough technological inventions. This does not imply that developers are not required but that manual work is limited. A person testing one product manually might now be required to use automated means to check a couple of Software. Thus, eliminating the need for multiple manual testers.
On paper and in news, it seems that manual testing might not have a bright future. More and more companies are relying on Software that are way more efficient than humans and can work ten to hundred times faster than us. But, the reality is different. If you open any job portal, there are many job openings for manual testers in companies providing Software testing services.
Present vs. Future
So, is it really that manual testing jobs will perish? I don’t think so. As long as the end users are humans, it is impossible for manual testing to perish. The reason is simple human touch. A gift that we as humans possess. We do not need to be programmed to find a certain type of error. We know what is wrong. For example, eLearning industry employs Lacs of people who create courseware which is tested. The end users are students (humans) so a machine testing that product might miss on important issues that a man can easily catch.
A situation that we all can relate to is the online grammar tools. If you have ever used one of these, you would know what I mean. I would not deny that these tools do catch some errors, but they do not fool proof. At times, they offer suggestions or require edits that are incorrect. This proves the human worth. Automating testing entirely is not what I foresee, but, limiting human involvement to aspects that Software cannot take care of is a possibility.
Companies that make use of Software testing services are well-aware of the shift that they might be required to make in case of business requirements. For now, manual testers should not worry about job loss but focus on re-skilling themselves. This involves learning to use Software or other related technologies.
Companies are required to provide cross-training opportunities to employees so that they can learn what’s trending and benefit the company with minimum investment. This is a result of saving money and effort in hiring individuals from outside. This serves the dual purpose of retaining employees, saving oneself from bad publicity from firing employees, and benefitting from their services with minimum investment.
If you are involved in the testing business, share your thoughts on the future of Manual Software Testing with us.