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Non Technical Skills of an SDET

SDETs - The demand of today and tomorrow in Software Testing

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One of the industries in market comparison that is rapidly gaining momentum is undoubtedly the software industry. From phone apps, computer games to calorie-count apps and currently the most important e-learning softwares; this industry is in high demand for all your needs!

With high demand comes great responsibility of Software Testing which is an inevitable component of any successful software and its delivery. Due to this companies are letting go of the old models and roles of software testing and adopting better, more efficient skill set role, which is SDET

Software Development Engineer in Test (SDET) is originally a role invented by Microsoft but now is rapidly being adopted by other key game-players such as Google, Amazon and even Apple for their resource management.

Now with this transformation and demand the old-school software testing and testing skills don’t cut it anymore. If you are a software tester running manual or functional tests in a firm and you want to keep doing this it is time to upgrade your skills. SDETs have been here for a long time and they are needed today more than yesterday and even more in the future.

Continuous delivery requires cutting short the long hours put in the middle processes with little to no error. While traditional software testers implement test cases manually or with automation they don’t have in-depth knowledge of the development process and intermediate mechanisms. And taking time out and especially handing test work means an occupied time slot in the software cycle. To rectify this and increase efficiency in the system, the skill of a SDET resolves all these issues. SDET is involved in designing, development, testing and automation tasks of the whole operation not just individual codes – a highly skilled professional. He/She reviews the software’s design, performance and automation code as well.

Now as a tester if you had this extra palette of skills won’t it be easier and quicker for you to spot the loopholes in the software processes and resolve any errors quicker than before? Of course! Software testers are quickly evolving towards SDETs!

The principle objective of software testing is to give confidence in the software.” ~ Anonymous.

The future of SDET looks promising keeping in mind the skills in demand according to the needs of different organizations and the various trends being updated in the technology industry.

The old way of doing things

Old way of testing means “testing” was just a step in the software development cycle which often came just before delivery. The testing was often time-taking and the error resolution meant re-doing different processes. This is how the outdated system was,

  1. Testing was (and is) often done manually or with automation.
  2. Testing phase has limited programming skills and often it’s hard to keep up with new trends which requires extensive knowledge and cross-platform testing
  3. Unit level testing is not possible
  4. Testing and customer interactions do not commingle

These are some of the properties that accompany drawbacks of the old system of testing. However the new system completely shifts the game.

The new way of testing

Being an SDET means you are naturally equipped with the new form of software testing and major part of your skills are required.

In the current model, testing isn’t a separate step in the development cycle instead testing has now become an essential task in every process.

  1. Requirement ==> Testing
  2. Structure ==> Testing
  3. Building and execution ==> Testing
  4. Test phase==> Testing
  5. Installation ==> Testing
  6. Maintenance ==> Testing

In the upgraded testing model

  1. SDET has in–depth knowledge of development and testing practices and can implement them as required and can run test cases either manually or using automation
  2. With programming skills in their palette, SDETs can cover range of testing methods and keep up with trends and cross-platform demands
  3. SDET has studied the necessary code language so they know about database concepts, programming languages, data designs and product design and even participates in these during the whole software cycle. So he/she can conduct unit tests because of the required knowledge
  4. SDETs are good in communicating with the consumers and understanding the needs of the software.

Companies often promote their most skilled testers to SDETs who have crafted their skills according to the trade. In the near and long-term future of software testing being an SDET would become a mandatory requirement as trends and customer demands pave way for new form of software testing. If you have a passion for testing and you are a learner at heart this might be the perfect course for you. Keep moving forward and keep learning!

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