What is SDET? Explain Full-Form, Meaning, Role, and Responsibilities

Automation TestingTesting ToolsSoftware Testing

SDET or software Development Engineer in Test is a role appointed to a person skilled in both quality engineering and software development. Microsoft invented the Term SDET for the first time. After that, it becomes a repetitive term among major companies like Google, Adobe, Amazon, etc. The role of an SDET professional is to automate repetitive manual tasks to enhance efficiency and reliability for an AUT.

Roles and Responsibilities of SDET

Below are the roles and responsibilities of SDETs −

  • The first major role of SDETs is to work alongside developers and business stakeholders. The work of SDETs is to understand the specific requirements from a customer perspective. Then they have to understand the intricate details of the product development process based on coding language, databases, etc. After that, they have to prepare a strategy to automate the process at its optimum level.

  • They have to perform functional, performance, and regression testing to build highly efficient test automation solutions.

  • They have to work on both functional and non-functional areas of the testing.

  • In functional testing, they have to test the product considering its functionality and requirements, ensuring it meets the acceptance criteria.

  • In non-functional testing, they have to test the performance level of the application. Besides, they also check the security grade of the application. Their work is to check every security detail of the app so that the end-users and organizations don’t face any financial and image trouble in the future.

  • They also have a prominent role in designing the UI and architecture of the software and providing crucial feedback.

  • They have to create reusable scripts and tools for certain cases.

Importance of SDETs to Organizations

In all testing processes, organizations must focus on what, when, and how to test the software. When to comes to software’s function, performance, and security, end-to-end test automation has become the basic requirement for developing a modern application. Since SDET are experienced in both the coding and testing field, their demand remains high in organizations. Apart from improving the code quality, SDETs perform robust and detailed code reviews and check the testability of the code.

SDETs specializes in developing and using multiple tools, techniques, processes, and industry best practices. This is enough to make them an essential part of the development ecosystem. Their work is to test the code written by developers. For this, they have to write their own unique codes, unit tests, and conduct white-box testing.

Skillsets required for becoming an SDET

Following are the skillset expected from an SDET −

Multiple scripting language and tools

The primary skill set organizations look at in an SDET is their proficiency in various scripting and tools. Different companies have different requirements. For example, if you are working with Microsoft or .NET in one company, then you may have to learn JAVA for another company. Basically, SDETs must be open to learning new skillsets.

Multi-testing skills

An SDET must adapt to the specific requirements for a project, tools, technologies, etc. For example, on one end, you may be asked to conduct API testing, while you may also be asked to do UI or frontend tests as well. Thus, for delivering a high-quality product, an SDET must learn multiple testing skills and become more adaptive to the requirements of a particular project.

Automation frameworks

An SDET must focus on finding new ways to reduce the manual effort by automating the testing process without compromising the quality. There are several frameworks available to automate web and mobile. Most organizations nowadays use selenium and appium tools to automate manual tests. Some SDETs also run their tests on cloud infrastructure such as browser stack, source lab, etc.


Most systems are dependent on API as it can allow them to access services from other systems. With a proper understanding of API, SDETs don’t have to reinvent new services that are already available. SDETs must know how to develop and use APIs, apart from having a decent knowledge about HTTP protocol, HTTP methods, headers, cookies, etc. SDETs must be familiar with XML and JSON-based services as well.

List of tools, language, and APIs used by SDETs

  • Chrome web debugger


  • Mockito frameworks

  • Git

  • Selenium

  • JMeter


  • Amazon AWS

  • Google GCP

  • Microsoft Azure

Difference between SDETs and QA Engineers

Both SDETs and QA engineers have some similarities as both have to gain expertise in tools and languages like Selenium, Jenkins, Java, etc. However, the differences between them are quite obvious.

An SDET is a developer with exceptional development knowledge who works with a testing team instead of a product development team. SDETs are responsible for writing codes and test them as well. The work of SDETs is to write new codes, test and fix them continuously. In short, SDETs are professionals with powerful analytical, technical, and problem-solving skills.

QA engineers are testers who don’t need to have any programming knowledge as they are not exposed to codes.

Comparison Between SDET and Manual QA

FactorsSDETQA Engineers
ScopeFocuses on functional, non-functional, performance, security and many more.Primarily focuses on functionalities of an application.
AutomationMostly works on automating repetitive scenarios allowing manual testers to focus on complex scenarios.Automation skills is not mandatory. They must know how to use tools for manual testing.
SkillsetsPrimarily required for automating test cases, writing reusable scripts to reduce repetitive tasks.Focuses on the functionality of applications, edge case scenarios and performing complex test cases.


To be precise, SDETs plays the role of a customer advocate whose work is to understand the expectations of end-users and find innovative ways to fulfill those expectations. While the requirement of functional and automation testers will always be there, SDETs on the other hand are on high demands among organizations.

Published on 13-Jul-2021 07:53:08