To become a successful SDET

Today when the market has again started rising and the companies have advanced their developments ahead, quality is the main concern that provides proper value without any re-work or higher costs involved into the Software Development of a product. In earlier days, the software developer used to write the code and the tester was responsible to test it for quality; which was just the Black-box Testing. Generally, the Software Test Engineer (STE) performs this task; they perform testing only at the system interface level and identify the bugs, report them in the bug tracking system, fail test cases against such issues and prepare test reports.

Then you might be eagerly thinking about what does the SDET do in a Software company as an STE is already playing his QA role. The job profile of an SDET is defined in the name itself i.e. Software Development Engineer in Test. The role is a combined package of both the Software Development Life Cycle as well as Test Life Cycle. An SDET plans, designs, develops, optimizes as well as test the code using automation. An SDET can think about the probabilities the application code can fail and design his test framework accordingly to ensure robustness of the product.

The tasks performed by an SDET are as follows:-

  • Identifying Test scenarios and writing Test scripts: The SDET must identify the important test scenarios w.r.t the current feature in an application by sitting along-with the Developers, perform White-box testing of the code, developing robust test framework to test the boundary conditions as well.
  • Algorithm Know-hows: An SDET needs to understand the flow of the code, about how it interacts with all other components.
  • Writing utilities: Sometimes, there is a need to write separate utilities or speciality test tools for automation, security or performance testing of a project. This coding is done by the SDET himself.
  • High-class Debugging skills: An SDET should possess excellent debugging skills in order to find out the reasons behind the failure of test cases, inefficient code, memory leakages etc in order to improve the quality of the code.
  • Break the code and report the bug: Similar to an STE, an SDET is also responsible for breaking the code i.e. finding a bug in an application, reporting it in a Bug tracking system and also regress it once the fixes are received for it.
  • Preparing Test Reports: An SDET should be able to note-down all the testing activities that he performs over the day or week into a Report format, which helps in knowing what all work does he perform and also in keeping a track in between the current and the future project tasks.
  • Participating in different Reviews: An SDET should participate in different code, design as well as test reviews that takes place during various phases in a product development.
  • Taking ownership for the AUT: The SDET should consider himself as an end-user and test the code; the application with the highest quality should only be delivered as the Production release.

Thus, the role of an SDET is very interesting as well as challenging as it aims to deliver the product with the highest possible quality.