Why should we care about manual testing when we have automated tests?

Question

We discuss manual testing here. The actions are repetitive and mechanical so it seems that this is a strong candidate for automation. What is the value to manually testing?

Answer

When we’re testing a piece of software (anything really) we’re basing our analyses off of a specification, spec for short, of the expected behavior. Some initial manual testing based on the spec is helpful in focusing the types of automated tests we would like to perform and can highlight other aspects of the software that should be explored in automated tests which are not explicitly stated in the spec. This happens fairly often. Furthermore, once automated tests are in place, manual testing is helpful when exploring a failed automated test more carefully.

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