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How Significant Is The Contribution Of An Sdet In Software Qa?

By Author: Diya Jones
Total Articles: 40

The challenge before businesses is not only about delivering quality products ahead of their competitors, but also providing a comprehensive customer service throughout the product’s lifecycle as well. If earlier, the SDLC was all about developers building a product and testers validating its quality, the present times guided by Agile and DevOps seem to have changed all that.

Now, enterprises are on the lookout for professionals who do not belong exclusively to either of the two disciplines (developers and testers) but rather combine their functionalities. Thus, enter the Software Development Engineers in Test or SDETs who are both developers as well as testers. In other words, they are testers or QA engineers who are also proficient in writing codes. The profile of SDETs entails writing codes, testing them, and rewriting the same after finding bugs. They go a step ahead of the automation testers who write test scripts on frameworks like Selenium, Appium, Jenkins, QTP etc., in a particular programming language. The step ahead is of writing unit tests and executing parts of white box testing.

Do the above mentioned functions of Software Development Engineers in Testing sound similar to QA engineers? Let us find out.

How QA engineers differ from SDETs?

QA engineers may or may not be proficient in writing codes. Their scope of work does not include writing codes but only testing them. And once they find out the bugs the erroneous codes are sent back to the development sprint for rewriting.

Development and test engineers, on the other hand, are entrusted with writing codes followed by testing them. Their requirement has come about due to the advent of Agile and DevOps methodologies used in the SDLC. In view of the industry’s need to come out with quick verifiable codes, the traditional model of writing a code and then testing it by different individuals has its limitations. Simply put, when a piece of code shuffles between two sets of individuals, the turnaround time often takes a hit.

Key values Software Development Engineers in Test bring for software testing and assurance:-

Overview of project management: In the general scheme of things, the project detail follows the hierarchy of an organization. Here, the developer does not have an insight into the finer aspects of project management. He or she does not have the entire picture of the project save the coding part. This can often be a handicap as the developer takes the time and tested route instead of trying something new. On the other hand, a development test engineer by virtue of being a part of the project management can conceive a suitable design and chart an out of the box coding methodology.

Facilitate end to end automation: With test automation becoming a part of the software development testing process, there is an increased demand to apply it across the SDLC. To validate the quality of a software application, it should be tested in areas of functional, performance, regression, usability and security. And what better way to test in the above mentioned areas than by executing end to end test automation. This is where the expertise of an SDET fits in with his or her overall view of the project not to speak of the knowledge of latest tools, methodologies, and best practices.

Ensuring the unit test coverage area: Adept in the knowledge of test automation and having a deep insight of the project objectives, a development test engineer will take a holistic view of testing. He or she will apply it by extending the test coverage area as opposed to its curtailment in the manual way of testing.

Other benefits: A test engineer ensures the scalability of the product, maintains the automation code, prepares test reports, and builds, manages, customizes, and deploys the test environment.


With user experience driving the competitiveness of a product in the market, a software test engineer is arguably the best person to develop the code, test, find bugs, and get it market ready. He or she cuts down the product development lifecycle effectively leading to customer delight and realization of ROI.

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