We as a tester always relish on the new things, we always want to discover things.
If we go by definition we have different profiles in IT sector, one of the well-known role is of Quality analyst. She is the person who takes care of the Quality. Lets put it like this she is the guard of our software. As we have guards outside banks who takes care of the money kept inside the bank. Similarly a QAs job is to safeguard software from different areas.
Now we are clear with the role of Functional Tester, let’s get a step closer. There are always various ways to accomplish a single task, and we always find the best and simplest way to do it. In the same manner software testing can be done broadly in two ways, manual testing and automation testing.Its just the perception and ways of working your present company has, also the idea you have while doing your job. As we go far, manual testing mainly focus more on the research and less on implementation of testing. By this I mean, you can try multiple ways to test a single functionality within a software, but you need time to do the job. Along with this you need to do the same testing again when any new functionality over the present software(delta testing), as a part of regression testing. It depends how good you are doing your job, whether you are storing all executed tests or you are sharing knowledge to your fellow members so that you can add more intersting tests above the one you have covered.
Manual testing has a big downfall in IT, and there are various valid factors which I can share. Show-s-topper is the resource replacement, let say, you have one manual tester in a team, and if he fall sick or leave the project, then the hand-over is costly also if he has missed some tests in the test cases sheet then its always risky. Other being it is more time consumuing, requires extra efforts, need more resources, etc.
Now we are moving more towards automation which is a new and trendy one. Product owner can not risk a delievery due to the above factors mentioned above. He focusses more on GO-LIVE call, for this we need more advanced and extra efficient ways of working. Automation is a boon, but it requires more brilliancy as compared to manual testing. In this one needs to do manual testing and prior to it automates the tests by one of the tools present in internet.
If we go more in details then boon is lying on e-commerce and m-commerce areas. And in this rapid growing world we get requirement changes so fast that we can not just rely on traditional ways of working. And stakeholders donot accept NO or Failures, everyone wants fast and working model.
This is how this curve is coming everywhere, be it jobs, big companies, ways of working, etc. But my experience says manual testing can never disappear as one has to start with basic sanity, no matter he/she is manual or automation, it always go side-by-side. I agree to some extend we are trying to lessen down the manual work but it can never vanish.