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The Upcoming Future of Software Testers and SDETs in 2021

A brief overview about the upcoming future of software testers and SDETs and the requirement of SDET role and responsibility in 2021.

Rakesh Pareek
Rakesh Pareek
March 12, 2021
3 min read

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SDET stands for Software Development Engineer in Test, QA Engineer, or Testers. On the other hand, it can be a manual tester or Automation Engineer who does not participate in software development. SDET is often involved in developing testing-friendly code that is useful in scripting test cases or designing automation solutions. SDET is also engaged in the design, processes, and functionality level decisions of the software product.

Presently, several organizations, are demanding such SDET professionals who can develop the software and test the software developed.

sdet role

What is the Difference Between SDET and Automation Engineer?

  • Although the SDETs and QA Automation Engineers required the same expertise in terms of languages and tools like Selenium, Java, and Cucumber, there are still certain differences between the two roles.
  • An SDET is a developer-cum-tester who works with the development team as part of the test team. SDETs are responsible not only for testing the application but also for participating in the code. SDETs are responsible for writing the test cases and fix the written code in the Agile lifecycle model. SDETs are professionals who should have very strong technical, analytical, and problem–solving skills. On the other hand, Automation Engineers should know any automation Testing Framework with moderate programming experience as they usually are not exposed to the code.
  • SDET is a highly skilled resource from the development as well as testing point of view. On the other hand, Automation Engineers are involved in preparing, scripting, and executing test cases by automation.
  • Automation Engineers are skilled resources with programming skills, and they are much responsible for functional or black-box testing. In contrast, SDETs are responsible for performing both black-box and white-box testing as well.

Tester or Quality Analyst who has good programming experience and developed the test automation framework can be promoted to a new role as SDET and can participate in the development cycle, acceptance testing, or unit testing.

Automation Engineers or Quality Analysts are expected for more duties and more QA processing challenges over a general testing role like test planning, test environment setup, test execution, test-data preparation, performance, security testing, developing test automation tools, etc. In contrast, SDET is expected to have the domain knowledge to participate in designing the test cases.

SDETs: The need

Software Testing is an essential phase in the development cycle, and it takes lots of time and effort. Many other factors help reduce the efforts and timeline, which can be achieved by doing the Code Coverage, Unit Testing, and acceptance testing before delivering software to the QA stage. That's why hiring SDET helps them work for all those factors with the development team or designing the testing framework.

Benefits of SDET Professional:

  • SDETs play a vital role to minimize the testing cycles by Code Coverage and Unit Tests
  • SDETs can work as a standalone team, can build, deploy, run & manage the application individually
  • Programming skills enable them for code coverage through unit testing
  • SDETs can automate the acceptance test by leveraging their programming skills
  • SDETs involved in the complete software development cycle, so it overall helps them to find out more use-cases and end-user scenarios

Skill Set:

  • Sound knowledge in Java C#,.NET, or other programming languages.
  • Experience in working with Agile and DevOps process management methodology.
  • SDET should know various testing techniques, test methods & corresponding tools like JUnit, TestNG, Selenium WebDriver, etc.
  • Should have exposure to both TDD and BDD
  • SDET should know Test Planning, writing, and execution of the tests
  • Able to find bottlenecks and thresholds in existing code with the help of automation tools.

Responsibilities of an SDET

  • Set-up a robust and scalable Automation Framework for functional, regression, and performance testing
  • Maintain and operate test automation solutions.
  • Building robust and high–quality test automation solutions
  • Writing unit test coverage of the code
  • Building, customizing, deploying, and managing the test environments
  • Checking for product scalability, reliability, consistency, and performance
  • Participating in design and architectural discussions
  • Performing high-level debugging
  • Prepare & manage test reports and communicate with the team.
  • Able to build different test scenarios and acceptance tests.


SDET is a tester or automation engineer with development experience who has exposure to testing techniques, QA testing process, automation frameworks, and software development & design techniques. SDET builds test automation tools and works with the development team and covers the code by unit tests and ultimately, it results in a quality software delivery

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Rakesh Pareek

Rakesh Pareek

Rakesh Pareek is Lead QA Engineer at LoginRadius. A Full Stack Automation Engineer and have experience in working with most of the QA framework including mocha, nightwatch, selenium, cucumber.

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