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List The 4 Important Skills Of A Software Development Engineer In Test

By Author: Diya Jones
Total Articles: 29

The quality of software seems to have become the final arbiter to ensure user satisfaction. It is the driving force that helps a business to remain competitive. The realization of the importance of QA has finally dawned upon businesses leading to an increase in their QA budgets. The test scenarios too have undergone drastic changes with the advent of new tools, frameworks and paradigms. The traditional waterfall model has given way to Agile and DevOps where QA is not a distinct factor in the overall SDLC. On the contrary, it is a process that runs concurrently with development.

The requirement of continuous integration and testing with DevOps means that a code is tested alongside development across devices, networks, operating systems, frameworks, browsers and platforms. The growing complexity of technologies and the need to achieve an accelerated time to market have brought to fore the importance of SDETs. The faster deployment of product in the market to beat the competition requires the software developer to play the role of the tester as well. Thus, software development and testing are no longer treated as separate processes, but a singular continuum in the SDLC. The principle behind engaging software development engineers in test is to ensure a better coherence in QA. This is achieved by involving experts that are adept at both development and testing.

What functions do SDETs perform?

The software development engineers in test are specialized developers who are also experts in testing. They develop test automation codes, frameworks, environments and tools, and ensure that the codes developed by them pass the muster during testing as well. They are able to create test variables and check the codes against pre-defined outcomes. They should be capable of carrying out test automation in real as well as virtualized environments while ensuring the end to end integration.

In a nutshell, the functions of SDETs are:

• Writing test automation scripts to test the code written by developers.

• Creating test frameworks, tools or environments.

• Overseeing the quality management across functions, processes and geographies.

• Performing white box testing wherein the internal structures of an application are tested by designing suitable test cases.

• Performing black box testing to validate the functionalities of the software.

• Developing robust test automation solutions to carry out functional, regression and performance testing.

• Suitably modifying the software development and test architecture by keeping in view the end user requirements.

Given the requirements of testing the quality of software in a dynamic technological environment, the software development engineers in testing should possess certain skills. Let’s discuss the four of them in some detail.

#1 Knowledge of the test environment: The requirements of QA needs the setting up of a robust, consistent and scalable test environment. The environment consists of the software to be tested, the test automation script and the hardware platform. The entire test architecture should encompass the server operating system, client operating system, database, browser, cloud set up, and many other software and hardware components needed to test the code. The development engineer in test should be adept at creating the test environment and perform various types of testing in it. He or she should know about the architecture of various test tools like Selenium, Robotium, etc.

#2 Knowledge of the latest technologies: The software of today is multi-dimensional and has interfaces with the latest technologies such as the cloud, IoT, predictive analysis, and even AI. A development engineer in test should have the knowhow of the latest technologies and platforms. The engineer should be able to write robust, consistent and scalable test automation codes that can seamlessly work on various platforms, operating systems, devices, and networks.

#3 Adept in white box and black box testing: The validation of a software in terms of quality should identify and eliminate the glitches at the designing and development stages. The development engineer in test should have the skills to perform both white and black box testing. During these types of testing, the test engineer should be able to test the functionality and internal coding of the software.

#4 Perform debugging: Even though test automation is the need of the hour, given the adoption of DevOps, a development test engineer should be capable of doing manual testing as well. This will enhance the scope of understanding the test environment and other test requirements.


With cost and time considerations, engaging businesses to remain competitive, hiring software development engineers in testing is the way out. The experts can assume the roles of both the developer and tester resulting in time and cost savings.

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