From Manual to Automation: 5 Essential Steps

 Shifting From Manual to Automation Testing: 5 Essential Steps | Katalon

Manual Testing vs. Automation Testing

Being a manual tester is a mentally-taxing career. It is basically part of the job to be stressed out by the number of tests and stretched thin by tight deadlines. In the middle of this chaos, have you ever wondered ”Shouldn’t this huge amount of tests be automated?”

Read More: Manual Testing vs. Automation Testing: A Comparison

How to Switch From Manual to Automation Testing?

Manual testers should weigh on the benefits of test automation over manual testing and start the transition now. To start, see our 5-step guide below.

Download free ebook: Manual to Automated Testing

Step 1: Find Suitable Test Cases to Automate

Test automation exerts its utmost importance in repetitive tests. You can find the list of the most suitable test types to be automated in this table below.

Test typesHow automation helps
Regression tests (including unit and end-to-end tests)Reduce the workload and help increase the confidence level in the application under test after each update.
Acceptance testsShould be automated with a tool that supports cross-browser/platform testing to enhance performance consistency. 
API testsTest automation helps detect bugs earlier by setting off API regression test with every API adjustment.

Step 2: Find the Compatible Tools or Frameworks

Open-source frameworks/libraries have decreased sharply in popularity since teams are adopting commercial tools. The tool selection process requires you to be mindful of your resources and testing goals. Use the list of questions below to help you make the decision.

  • Does it have the required features and support native integration with your pipelines?
  • Is it adaptable for both manual/automated QAs and Devs?
  • Will there be technical support and training when needed?
  • Is it easy to maintain scripts and reuse test assets?
  • Is it compatible with your budget?

Essential tool list: Top 10 Open-source Testing Tools 

Step 3: Manage the Tool Development Process

This step is critical for those who develop their testing tool from an open-source framework/library. A test automation development strategy should include:

  • A vision that keeps you committed to the tool objectives
  • The business values of your automation tool
  • The design, features, and list of automation items of the framework/tool
  • The timeline and process of test scripting and execution

Step 4: Generate-Execute-Report-Maintain

Test typesOpen-source frameworks/librariesCommercial tools
Test generation

Flexible in programming languages

Requires a dedicated development team

Dual-editor interface (low/full-code)

Suitable for manual testers

Test execution
  • Cross-browser/device/platform testing support is a must-have
  • Required a minimum number of tools involved to limit maintenance effort
Test reportingRequires third-party software Built-in report generator, intelligent analytics
Test maintenanceNeeds significant effortPage Object Model design allows object storage in one repository so that update can happen simultaneously. 

Step 5: Monitor the Automation Tool's Effectiveness

To ensure that your tool is beneficial and capable of fulfilling your testing goals, you need some metrics to help you evaluate. See our suggestions below:

  • Has execution time been reduced?
  • How much time did you spend updating/rewriting tests when changes occurred?
  • Has execution time for a specific test lengthened over time?
  • Have you been able to cut down the development time for the testing tools? (for self-built tool only)


With test automation, testers have more time for edge cases, product managers have their deadlines met, and clients have their shiny final product. For manual-going-automation testers, the benefits of test automation are even greater with a suitable tool. Katalon Studio is a low-code, free and scalable automation solution for manual QAs to kick-start the first automation project immediately.
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