“A Software Tester becomes All in One while Testing – A Designer, A Coder, A Tester, A Quality Engineer and An Implementation Engineer”
The business model has shifted towards a consumer centric one. This implies that the idea that the customer is the king is being given prime importance. Hence, customer satisfaction is a criterion which cannot be ignored by business enterprises. In order to guarantee this satisfaction, Software Testing in the process of Software Development, has become a vital requirement.
Moreover, the shift towards the Agile model and the need to fasten market responsiveness, have only pushed for the emergence of new professional roles within the Testing domain. This has also resulted in confusion and substitution of different professionals. However, the issue of SDET vs QA or a SDET vs. QA Engineer (QE), is very much a real one.
This implies that the difference between Software Development Engineer in Test and Quality Assurance Engineer, is something which should be accounted for.
In this blog, we shall try to delve into the issue of QA vs SDET. The topic of a Software QA Analyst vs SDET or that of a QA Engineer vs SDET will be sought to be dealt with primarily, in terms of their roles and responsibilities in professional capacity.
If you wish to read more on the topic of SDET vs Tester, do read our blog on “Difference between SDET and Tester”
Who is a Quality Analyst (QA)?
As the name suggest, a QA is responsible for assuring the quality of a software product. The term is assumed to be a substitute for tester and refers to someone who is responsible for monitoring and ensuring that the processes of the SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle) in software development, comply with the quality assurance standards.
Even though, the term, Quality Analyst is blindly associated with Manual Testing alone. However, these individuals might happen to conduct Automated Testing too.
Who is a Quality Engineer (QE)?
As the name suggests, this individual is responsible for utilizing his expertise in applying engineering practices to different aspects of the SDLC, in order to improve quality. The emphasis on quality, will hint at the fact that the role of a Quality Analyst and that of Quality Engineer is quite close.
However, the role of a QE goes beyond that of a QA, as the former needs to draft a blueprint of a quality plan, generate incident reports, conduct code reviews, be a part of different kinds of software testing processes, make use of CI test environments, as well as use tools and methodologies exploited by developers.
Who is an SDET?
SDET is the acronym for Software Development/Design Engineer in Test. The position refers to an IT professional who happens to remain engaged, both in the development as well as testing of the software.
These are professionals who are skilled in Software Development as well as Quality Engineering. They not only participate in developing and writing test scripts, but SDETs are also proficient in software testing which helps in fixing bugs as part of the process. Thus, they help in replacing repetitive manual testing with test automation.
SDET vs QA/SDET vs. QA Engineer: An Evaluation of Skills
Since all three professionals, Quality Analyst (QA), Quality Engineer (QE) as well as a Software Development Engineer in Test (SDET), happens to be associated in some way or the other, with the testing phase of the SDLC; many business organizations tend to address them as synonymously.
However, the difference in the degree of the professional abilities and competencies is an important factor which shows the difference between SDET and QA as well as addresses the issues of a QA Engineers vs SDET.
Skills of a Quality Analyst (QA)
- Technical Knowledge of Software Engineering such as Basic Programming, SQL Overflow and so on
- Proficiency in conducting Bug Ticketing, Tracking and Testing process
- Proficiency in conducting Manual as well as Automation Testing, using different Software Test Tools
- Ability to put forth appropriate Queries, be Responsive as well as possess Excellent Communication and Time Management Skills
Skills of a Quality Engineer (QE)
- Familiarity with different Kinds of Testing process and Test scenarios, including Performance Testing, Security Testing and others
- Ability to Integrate Checks in a CI/CD scheme
- Knowledge of Infrastructural Operations as well as, those of Platforms and Servers
- Be Receptive to Quality
- Ability to conduct Automation Testing at various levels: Protocol, API or UI Level
- Proficiency in handling various Test Tools
Skills of an SDET
- Knowledge of Programming Languages
- Understanding of the different Test Cases, Test Methods and Tools (Manual as well as Automation Testing Tools)
- Ability to work with “AGILE + DevOps” Process Management Methodology
- Ability to identify and detect Thresholds and Bottlenecks with the aid of test automation tools
- Understanding of Behavior Driven Development
- Knowledge of Object-Oriented Design
It is evident that the scope of skills and competencies across the three professionals is certainly different. This certainly solidifies the case for SDET vs QA as well as SDET vs QA Engineer.
In addition to these hard/technical skills; there are certain soft/non-technical skills which are common across the three personnel. These are:
- Excellent Communication Skills
- Leadership Qualities
- Precision and Empathy
- Emotional Intelligence
- Responsive and Adaptive
- Fast Learner
QA vs SDET/QA Engineer vs SDET: A Tripartite Comparison
SDET vs QA? Are they same?
How can we account for the difference between SDET and QA?
SDET vs QA Engineer? Are they same?
The difference between the three personnel is largely in terms of the roles and responsibilities which the three professional positions are expected to execute.
Moreover, there are a number of factors which can influence these differences.
- The type of business organization
- The kind of experience that the executive team had with the Company’s Test/Quality Discipline
- The perception of the testing individuals of their job roles and job title
- The nature of the team members as well as their perception regarding other testers in their previous employment
Since the abilities and proficiency of a Quality Analyst, a Quality Engineer and a Software Development Engineer in Test, happens to be different; it is quite likely that an organization’s project complexity, its budget, specifications, as well as the nature of the industry in which it happens to be located; would determine the need for a specific type of quality specialist.
It is evident that the issue of an SDET vs QA or an SDET vs QA Engineer, is not a futile one. The demarcating lines are definitely blurred; however, the technical distinctions do definitely exist which make the issue of a QA vs SDET, a real one.
The positions of the three individuals can be thought of as being situated on a continuum. They stand on the same base line; however, happen to undertake different degrees of roles and responsibilities within a business organization in the process of software development.
The shift towards the Agile process management methodology, brought about a marked change in the Software Development Life Cycle.
The demarcating lines between the development and the testing phase became more and more intersecting. This also brought the role of a developer and a tester, closer to each other.
What emerged from this nexus, was the role of a Software Development Engineer in Test. SDETs have surfaced as assets for organizations, given the nature of skills at their disposal.
Given so, more and more Quality Analysts are also looking to upskill their position to that of an SDET. If you wish to read more on how to initiate this transition, do read our blog on “How to Move from being QA to SDET?”
We, at Syntax Technologies, provide you with the amazing opportunity to develop expertise in consonance with this much sought-after business professional. Enrol now for our SDET Training course.