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SDET Meaning: The Future of Software Testing

Software never was perfect and won’t get perfect. But is that a license to create garbage? The missing ingredient is our reluctance to quantify quality. – Boris Beizer

The final release of software products into the market is preceded by an elaborate process which is referred to as the Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC). Software Development and Software Testing are two crucial phases of SDLC and conventionally they have been thought of as two watertight compartments.

However, the need for automation, the evolving need for rapid release of products as well as in order to increase efficiency and reliability; a new professional position came to the forefront which reflects the intermingling of the role of a tester as well as a developer.

This forms the crux of the idea of ?SDET Meaning? and the answer to the question of what is the meaning of SDET Automation Engineer/ Software Development Engineer in Test.

In this blog, we shall look at the meaning of SDET by way of considering the different aspects of this professional position. Additionally, we shall also try to sharpen our understanding of SDET Meaning by evaluating the differences between an SDET and a TESTER.

Furthermore, the SDET Full Meaning shall be sought to be explained through a detailed exposition of the skills as well as roles and responsibilities of an SDET.

SDET Meaning: Who is an SDET?

The meaning of SDET can be gauged from the expanded form of the term which stands for Software Development/Design Engineer in Test. SDETs are essentially professionals who remain involved in the development as well as testing phase of the SDLC.

They are IT experts who occupy an intermediate position between a purely developer role and a purely tester role. SDETs develop and write test scripts, are involved in test automation tool development as well as help in fixing bugs as a part of the testing process.

Thus, as you seek to understand what is the meaning of SDET Automation Engineer; you should see it as someone who happens to be skilled in Software Development as well as Quality Engineering.

what is sdet

Need for Software Development Engineer in Test

The soaring demand for SDETs in organizations can be explained in terms of one single assertion: companies want to accomplish more work with less people. Business enterprises want to cut down on their costs and at the same time, are required to be responsive to the rapidly changing needs of the market.

In order to understand this, try to think of the Software Development Life Cycle. When a software product is being tested and before its release into the market, there are some fundamental features which must be in working condition for every product.

These fundamental features are constant and some additional ones are added in every sprint. This implies that it would be important to test the fundamental features along with the additional ones, over and over again.

Given the shift towards the Agile methodology which happens to be fast paced; testers often find themselves unable to test everything manually. But then, this is a trade off.

Because if testers are not skilled to write automated checks; manual testing will become indispensable, resulting in unnecessary delay. Thus, involving SDETs in the workforce can help in overcoming this problem as they help in automating different scenarios as they build test automation tools and institute test automation frameworks.


It is evident that SDETs do bring in several advantages to the organization concerned. If you wish to read more on the topic of how to initiate your career as an SDET, do refer to our blog on ?How to Become a SDET?

As you try to understand the SDET Meaning, you should be aware of the advantages which SDETs bring to organizations.

Let us look at some of these benefits.

  • SDETs are capable of developing, managing, deploying and running applications individually
  • The answer to the question of what is the meaning of SDET Automation Engineer, is clear from the understanding that SDETs are able to automate tests by exploiting their coding skills
  • They are capable of directly dealing with the customers; while inside the organization, they are involved within the development team, the design team, the management team as well as the testing team

Meaning: SDET vs. TESTER

It is difficult to understand the meaning of SDET without comprehending the difference between SDET and Tester. Since an SDET is positioned in between a developer and a tester; there is every chance of some kind of an intersection of roles between an SDET and a Manual Tester. However, in order to make sense of SDET full meaning, let us look at the dissimilarities between the two roles.


What is the meaning of SDET Automation Engineer: Roles and Responsibilities of this Professional

In the capacity of an SDET, a professional is expected to serve as a linking channel between the makers of the software product and its end users. They make an effort to understand the product requirement from the standpoint of customers and can thus be said to act as their spokesperson.

SDETs happen to play the role of developers as well as testers. Thus, they are skilled in testing as well as in engineering and are involved in product design, data design and user interface.

The SDET Meaning cannot be fully comprehended without understanding the broad scope of testing that SDETs are expected to undertake. They are responsible for conducting functional as well as non-functional testing. While functionality testing is important in checking the appropriate functioning of a software application; testing the non-functional aspects of the product, like security of the product, should be equally paid attention to.

The answer to the question of what is the meaning of SDET Automation Engineer, can well be understood in terms of building robust and high quality test automation solutions for regression, functional and performance testing.

SDETs happen to be a part of architectural design discussions and provide relevant feedback.

If you wish to know in detail about the roles and responsibilities of this professional; check out our blog on “SDET Roles and Responsibilities

become a successful sdet

Skills of an SDET

The SDET Full Meaning can be systemically understood only after one takes into account the kind of expertise and competencies that SDETs are expected to nurture.

Let us have a look at some of these technical as well as non-technical skills.

Technical/Hard Skills

  • Ability to work with ?AGILE + DevOps? process management methodology
  • Knowledge of programming languages like Java, .NET, C# and others
  • Ability to identify thresholds and bottlenecks with the help of automation tools
  • Proficiency in handling different Test Automation Tools
  • Knowledge of Object-Oriented Design
  • Understanding of Behavior Driven Development (BDD)
Technical skills of a SDET

Non-Technical/Soft Skills

  • Communications Skills: An SDET operates as an all-rounder and as such are not simply responsible for executing tests, but also in developing test strategies and generating bug reports. All of these responsibilities require that they should possess excellent verbal and written communication skills which make themselves understandable to others.
  • Open Mindset: SDETs should be adaptive. They should be ambitious enough to keep themselves abreast with all the latest developments within the technological world. Moreover, they should be open to learning new programming languages and tools.
  • Time Management and Organizations Skills: High productivity and efficiency is what is demanded of an SDET job. Consequently, they are required to always be on their toes and be adept in managing their workload with ease.
  • Ability to Think Out of the Box: This implies that SDETs should have an exploratory aptitude. Since the ultimate aim of any business organization is to reduce cost by diminishing effort and enhancing output; SDETs should be competent in thinking of newer ways for automating scenarios and augmenting efficiency.
Non-technical skills of a SDET

SDET Career

The SDET Career Path can be thought of as roughly proceeding along a given route.

Junior SDET (Fresher ? 3 years)

They write test scripts, participate in bug analysis and create automation test scripts.

Senior SDET (3-7 years)

They work with different test data and test automation frameworks, participate in software architectural design, supervise juniors, ensure product scalability, make an effort towards optimum software performance and so on.

SDET Manager (7-10 years)

They work in liaison with Senior SDETs, the managing team and other departments.

Test Architect (10-15 years)

They design software architecture, collaborate with clients, along with supervising development and test teams.

Managing Director (15 years onwards)

They regulate business operation, provide guidance and mentorship to the management team, as well as help the business organization in accomplishing its targets.

An SDET Job can as such guarantee you a handsome remuneration package. Since they command diverse skills, they are capable of performing the role of a tester as well as a developer. This implies that they are assets for business organizations.

The average SDET salary in the U.S.A is $117,000. Thus, the range is usually from $90,000 to $140,000. Additionally, educational qualification, competencies, certifications and years of experience, are also bound to have an impact on the final package that a person receives.

Given the spiralling demand for SDETs in companies cutting across industries, there has been an increasing trend of IT personnel seeking to make a shift from their position as Quality Analysts to that of SDETs. If you do wish to know more on this, do read our blog on ?How to Move from being QA to SDET?

why transform your career to sdet


The SDET Meaning cannot be comprehensively understood without trying to look at the position of an SDET against the backdrop of a shift towards the Agile process methodology.

The need to maintain steady market responsiveness has underlined the importance of Automation Testing. Consequently, SDET Automation Engineers have emerged as priceless boon to business enterprises.

It is evident that an SDET Job is one of the most in-demand career prospects within the tech industry in contemporary times. The Meaning of SDET refer to highly skilled individuals who have domain knowledge, participate in software designing, have experience in coding and are customer advocates who are receptive to the expectations of the end-users.

We, at Syntax Technologies, provide you with the unparalleled opportunity of evolving as an SDET expert. Enrol now for our SDET Training course.

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