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SDET Roles and Responsibilities: Making Sense of Professional Position

Software Testing is a Sport like Hunting; it’s Bug Hunting. – Amit Kalantri

The Software Development Life Cycle encompasses various phases and activities which are executed by specific personnel. Under the conventional traditional models of Software Development, each of the phase was kept discreet from each other as there was undue pressure to provide for continuous deployment, integration and delivery.

However, the emergence of the Agile model and the DevOps culture resulted in the need to blur the lines between the development and the testing phases. This provided for shooting the demand for professionals who were at once capable of writing as well as testing codes.

Such expertise and skills, sum up the idea of SDET Roles and Responsibilities. So what are the roles and responsibilities of a Software Development Engineer in Test? How do Senior SDET Roles and Responsibilities help in pushing business growth and productivity? Let us find out.

In this blog, we shall look at the Responsibilities of a Software Development Engineer in Test. Moreover, these activities shall be sought to be discussed under different heads like: Senior SDET Roles and Responsibilities, QA SDET Roles and Responsibilities as well as SDET Lead Roles and Responsibilities.

What is SDET?

SDET or Software Development Engineer in Test can be seen as someone who embodies the skills and expertise of a developer as well as a tester.

Thus, by way of being able to write as well as test codes, they happen to be engaged in the development as well as the testing phases of the SDLC.

In short, they are IT professionals who are competent in Software Development, as also Quality Engineering.

what is sdet

If you wish to acquire a detailed understanding of this professional personnel, do read our blog on SDET Meaning: The Future of Software Testing.

SDET Roles and Responsibilities: An Overview

A generalized view of an SDET’s professional responsibilities

SDETs happen to be involved in data design, product design as well as user interfaces. This is because they embody engineering skills as well.

SDETs should be adept at Automation Testing, in setting up Test Automation Frameworks, in choosing the right kind of Test Automation Tools, in developing suitable Test Cases, and in doing so on multiple application platforms.

SDETs seek to understand the requirement of a product from the perspective of the consumers. Thus, they act as customer spokesperson.

A Software Development Engineer in Test possess coding knowledge and this helps them in writing automated test scripts which helps in conducting different kinds of tests in the software development process.

They are required to have exceptional testing skills as they are involved in test automation tool development, along with building high quality and robust test automation solutions for performance, functional and regression testing.

SDET Roles and Responsibilities
  • SDETs possess the technical skills for building, customizing, deploying and managing test automation framework.
  • SDETs are expected to execute debugging activities with perfection. Thus, they should be able to get at the root cause of a test breakdown, ineffective code, memory leakage and so on.
  • As a link between those who make and those who use the product, SDET are responsible for investigating customer issues and problems which are referred by the technical support team.
  • They work in close collaboration with the deployment team. In such capacity, they coordinate on product design, resolve system issues as well as provide inputs on the testability of functional elements and product design.
  • SDETs help in developing Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Deployment (CD) pipelines. These pipelines entail a lot of testing, with different test suites which are optimized to provide for good test coverage and quick developer feedback. SDETs are competent in creating these optimized testing stages.
  • SDETs are involved in architectural design discussions and help in providing effective feedback.
  • SDETs are responsible for conducting research on test data and test tools including test automation tools, methodologies and trends and accordingly upgrading existing practices.
  • Their technical skills include deep understanding of Behaviour Driven Development.
  • They are countable for managing quality on production release in the software development process.
  • SDETs help prepare test reports.
sdet career pathway

Senior SDET Roles and Responsibilities

The Senior SDET Roles and Responsibilities are manifold. Having considerable work experience at their disposal, they are capable of delivering quality big data, large scale, multi-platform, custom hardware software products.

They are capable of working in a continuous integration environment and actively contribute towards the development of end-to-end tests and automated functional integration tests. They do so through open source test automation frameworks in an Agile environment.

Moreover, professionals in this position exercise considerable discretionary authority.

Having said that, let us look at the Senior SDET Roles and Responsibilities.

  • Building and maintaining automated test cases, executing test suites, as well as diagnosing and reviewing detected bugs.
  • They work in liaison with the engineering team for deriving testing requirements.
  • Proficient in conducting tests for complex mobile, API and web based applications.
  • They are responsible for guaranteeing the overall quality of the system before customer release.
  • Apart from functional automation, these individuals also do assist with Security Testing, Performance Testing, API Testing and Unit testing.
  • They are responsible for building software artefacts in collaboration with the developers, like test cases, test plans, procedures and test reports.
  • Being in a senior position, they help provide training and technical guidance to junior personnel
  • They not only identify and detect problems, but also help to reproduce, resolve and fix them.
  • They participate in analysis framework and performance testing for web service architecture.

Senior SDET Roles and Responsibilities

QA SDET Roles and Responsibilities

Professional activities of a QA SDET

The term SDET has become a catch all phrase for software testers; however, they do differ in certain respects from traditional QA professionals.

As mentioned above, SDETs happen to be concerned with writing codes for testing applications through automation; while QA personnel are more precisely concerned with testing applications manually (conducting manual testing) through traceability matrices and written testing plans.

As part of QA SDET Roles and Responsibilities, you should remember that SDET happen to create automation frameworks which are often readily used by QA professionals for writing tests within.

Given the nature of the skill set at the disposal of SDETs wherein they happen to be competent in software testing as well as programming; they serve as a kind of tech-lead for QA team.

It is important to note that SDETs as well as QA testers happen to be in proficient in testing; however, the point of divergence is that while SDETs have expertise in technical programming, QA personnel are generally proficient in traditional testing habits.

If you wish to read more on the difference between SDET and QA, do read our blog on SDET vs. QA: Digging into the Domain of Software Testing.

SDET Lead Roles and Responsibilities

Professional responsibilities of an SDET Lead

  • They spearhead software requirement meetings and undertake functional analysis of design proposals.
  • They take part in API in SOAP or REST design practices, detecting loopholes in standard adherence, service definition and service lifecycle management.
  • SDET Leads execute the crucial responsibility of leading software testing in iterative/agile software development.
  • Building platform performance and testing and analysis framework for web service architecture encompassing BPM, ESB and other back end applications.
  • Proficient in using collaborative development tools like Jira.
  • They are responsible for managing the Engineering Test Environment with collaboration with the Infrastructure Team.
  • SDET Leads are expected to always remain on their toes, working under pressure and delivering and fulfilling commitments within schedule.
  • They are pivotal in building cohesiveness within the team as well as assigning and delegating responsibilities.
  • Maintenance of existing regression test framework which will be able to address functional and non-functional requirements.
  • SDET Lead serves as mentors and guides for lower level engineering personnel and consequently provide them regular feedback and professional assistance.
  • They are responsible for end-to-end defect analysis from external integration test labs.


The given blog provides a decent elaboration of the SDET Roles and Responsibilities. The professional roles and responsibilities of SDET is a reflection of the way in which the software development model itself has shifted towards the Agile framework.

The need for shorter sprints as well as the urgency of providing for continuous deployment, integration and delivery; logically pushed the case for merging the roles of writing and testing codes. The result of this was the emergence of the position of SDET.

As compared to just a conventional software developer or software tester, SDETs are generally in a comparatively advantageous position. This is because they happen to embody the skills of a developer as well as tester and as such can prove to be an asset for an organization, with their superior competencies.

We, at Syntax Technologies, provide you with the amazing opportunity for developing skills in consonance with that of a Software Development Engineer in Test (SDET). Enrol now for our SDET Training course.

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