A line from the new movie Hidden Figures reminds me of an adage that we’ve developed. When the question is: “Should we do this or that?” The right answer is usually, “Yes, do this and that.”.
The same is true for automated tests or manual tests. Unless a project is completely a one time use, throw away, it will almost certainly benefit from developing some tests that are repeatable and executed automatically. On the flip side, any project that has real humans as users should have real humans making sure it works.
The line from the movie was from John Glenn, “You know you can’t trust something that you can’t look in the eyes”. He was asking Katherine Johnson to double check the calculations that came from the computer. The computers did the math faster and with more accuracy than the humans, yet it still takes a smart human to make sure its right.