SDET – Software Development Engineer in Test

SDET Software Development Engineer in Test

In this article, we will learn about SDET and the following

What is SDET?

SDET- means ‘Software Development Engineer in Test’, it’s a Role which is getting more popular nowadays in Agile methodologies. It was first introduced in Microsoft and Google when it was observed that due to the short period of test cycles testing team alone is not able to test the build so quickly. In Agile development product development and test cycle has to go parallel, so to meet with the overall objective of product development within time and with the great quality SDET role came into the picture. Learn how to succeed as an Agile QA

IT was a shift in the role from a normal Test engineer to an SDET, who has a great sense of quality and testing plus has good knowledge in coding. In simple language its Hybrid of a Software developer and a Test engineer, who does following tasks

  • Understand the requirement and Design the high-Level test scenarios.
  • Write the Unit testing code and review other developer’s Unit testing results
  • Make an Automation framework for Integration testing.
  • Make a UI automation testing framework for application testing.
  • Do performance testing of the code and optimization of the code
  • Involve in application security testing and enhancements.
  • Involve in release management.
  • Co-ordination with Development and testing team with customer requirements.
  • Works on the overall improvement of the product in the terms of faster development, minimum defects, faster testing cycles, and quick results with robust automation framework, improved performance and security, and customer satisfaction by providing meaningful reports.

What SDET is NOT

SDET is not an Automation Engineer or not a Test engineer. He is not completely a Developer. We can call him a FULL stake Test Automation Test Engineer.

What is the difference between SDET and Test Engineer

Following is the difference between an SDET, A test engineer and a Developer

Test EngineerSDETDeveloper
Test Engineer thinks only in the terms of pass or fail of a test case and how to break the softwareSDET knows system functional objectives as well as quality objectivesDeveloper thinks how to develop a system and make a functionality work
Test Engineer works only for test life cycle, like design of test cases, and executionSDET is involved in Designing, development, and testingDeveloper is limited to Coding part and release to testing team
No coding knowledge is requiredDynamic skill sets, like knowledge of quality and testing and good in coding tooOnly coding knowledge is required
Test Engineers know where repetitive work or simple data entry is present but they are not expected to minimize the repetitive tasksSDET understands automation needs, they can code and provide a solution to the team where repetitive kind of work is killing the time. They can design framework which can help testing team to reduce repetitive test cycle or simple data entry task. Developers don’t deal with such tasks
Test Engineers are not expected to reach up to code level and tune the performanceWell aware of Performance tuning and security threats , they can suggest and reach to the code and suggest where application is poor in performance, plus they can optimize the codeDevelopers are only expected to code the functionality which is expected by customer

What Skills set is required for an SDET role

Let’s see how to become an SDET – Skills required to become SDET Engineer

QA & Testing knowledge

  • Good knowledge of Testing Methodologies and life cycle.
  • Good knowledge of Quality assurance, Quality concepts.
  • Good knowledge of Test cases and Bug reporting
  • Tools like test management, bug reporting tools are required

Learn how to become a software tester

Coding knowledge

  • Programming language knowledge like java, knowledge of Classes, and objects.
  • A unit testing framework like Junit, TestNG
  • Automation tools like Selenium or any paid tools
  • Performance testing tool like Jmeter
  • Cloud computing knowledge like services offered by Google Cloud, AWS & Azure.
  • Good in adapting security concepts like, it is Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP), where web security tips are provided by experts.
  • Well versed with Agile and continues development and automation.
  • Good knowledge of version control systems like Git.
  • Good at API testing, tools like – PostMan, Rest-assured, or SoapUI.

Other Skills

  • Good research and analysis skills.
  • Good in providing multiple solutions for a given problem
  • Positive and enthusiastic approach, since SDET is holding 2 roles he should always be in a positive and calm mode while working.
  • A good team player and unbiased role, since he is helping dev and test team he can’t be biased while generating reports. Rather he should help both the teams in such a way that overall product object is met.
  • A good communicator- both verbal and written.
  • Good in time management and a quick learner.

Benefits of keeping SDET in the Team

  1. As SDET is good in Coding they can Automate UI test cases easily and help the testing team
  2. They are good in Unit testing, they can help developers by reviewing their codes, uncover unit testing issues early in the development life cycle, tune performance and think about potential bugs in early stages of the development
  3. They are good communicators and proactive, they deal very well with customer’s expectations and communicate the expected solution in technical terms as well as user perspective terms.
  4. They are good in quality and testing methodologies, their reporting is very meaningful which helps management and client to take wise decisions before every sprint or before every release.

Future of SDET – Is SDET a Good Career? 

An SDET engineer role is a mix of a developer and a tester. The skillset of SDET is challenging and helps companies in both development and testing.  This brings the SDET jobs more demand in the market.

Let’s see the SDET Salary structure.

The salary structure varies from company to company. Data is captured from, to understand the average pay scale of all 3 Job profiles. 

Average Salary of an SDET

Aveage Salary of Software Development Engineer, Test (SDET)

The average salary of a Software Development Engineer, Test (SDET) is $71,508.

The average salary of a Software Development Engineer, Test (SDET) in India is ₹820,490.

Average Salary of a Software Developer

Aveage Salary of Software Developer

The average salary of a Software Developer is $71,508.

The average salary of a Software Developer in India is ₹491,354.

Average salary of Automation Test Engineer

Aveage Salary of Test Engineer, Automation

The average salary of a Senior Quality Assurance (QA) / Test Automation Engineer is $71,508.

The average salary of a Senior Quality Assurance (QA) / Test Automation Engineer in India is ₹867,192.

It clearly states that the Profile of an SDET is very demanding and very strong. and skills expected of an SDET is very vast.

It is good for those Test Engineers or Automation test engineers who want to upskill their knowledge who have some passion for programming and who give equal importance to the product quality are the best people to Fit in the SDET profile.


No doubt SDET is a very demanding and challenging role, and it is demanded in almost every software industry. But we should not forget that it is a very critical role, which demands expert skills in coding and quality equally. Its more than a skillset, it is basically a passion that drives a person to excel in his/her career. The more he/she explore the more he will adopt and help the team to achieve the overall goal of Product development.

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