Software Development Engineer in Test – SDET is a vital role which often confuses people because the skill set is a broad canvas of different elements with two dominant elements of Development and Testing. So “If I am a Developer what skills should I have to be an SDET?” or “If I am a Tester what skills should I have to upgrade to SDET?” I say why not both? As a SDET it is expected of you to be the jack of these two important trades along with other skills which assist you in leading your team or colleagues towards an efficient software development cycle which ensures supreme end product to the users.
The importance of SDETs is well-known in the IT industry and now a new wave of demand is rising as more and more companies are taking into account the skills and a natural opening for the role of SDET needs to be filled. Key game-players such as Google and Amazon have already taken a liking to this role which originated from Microsoft.
In the Software cycle, the development is well-aware of the intricate workings of the code taking into the account everything needed for a supreme end product. But they fall behind the testing agenda as that is the area of Testers. Testing team takes into account the QA, coming up with scenarios for how the end user will react to the different elements of the product. They test what the developers created often manually and accordingly report back the bugs and fixes.
But this whole cycle along with feedback and important component of continuous delivery proves to be slow and lengthy. For me it feels loopy like a seesaw between Development and Testing. This is poor for the Continuous Delivery and affects the regulation of the whole cycle which should be smooth with manageable bumps. But this seesaw situation makes it difficult to achieve.
Here comes the balancing skills of a SDET. A SDET possesses a broad canvas of technical and non-technical skills which helps navigate through the constantly upgrading cycle of software. These balance out the seesaw scenario of development and testing and lead the team towards achieving goals efficiently and effectively.
Technical skills of an SDET
To be an SDET you must be equipped with these necessary skills,
- Programming, Designing, Testing methodology, Knowledge about Automation, Agile + DevOps exposure, these are the skills companies look out for when they need to fill a SDET position. The details depend upon the type of tasks that need to be done.
- Proficiency in C#, .NET, JAVA or other programming languages.
- Have a grasp or experience of working AGILE + DevOps process management methodology
- Must be accustomed with different test methods and tools like MS Unit, TestNG, Selenium WebDriver, NUnit etc.
- Exposure to BDD – Behavior Driven Development
(BDD– Behaivor Driven Development: In software engineering, behavior-driven development is an Agile software development process that encourages collaboration among developers, QA and non-technical or business participants in a software project)
- Able to spot bottlenecks and thresholds and cleverly uses automation tools for appropriate solutions
- Understanding of OOD – Object-Oriented Design
(OOD – Object-oriented design is the process of planning a system of interacting objects for the purpose of solving a software problem. It is one approach to software design)
Being a SDET you cannot solely rely on technical skills. Non-technical skills are a vital component of your role.
So, here are the some non-technical skills
1. Organization and Time Management skills
These must be developed even if you are not a SDET. This role and its responsibilities are demanding especially around the release of the code. SDET must be efficient with time and resources and must show high-productivity
2. Communication Skills
As an SDET your verbal and written communication skills should be superb. Cases, plans, strategies and reports must be created so they can be easily read and comprehended.
3. Attitude to upgrade yourself
As a SDET you should look out for opportunities which make you better and upgrade your skills. The technologies change on every corner and you should be able to keep up with the changes and develop independence.
Passion creates a path to success. When you are passionate towards your work it is reflected in all that you do! Your interest should be in development, designing and testing
Now you have a gist of what skills a SDET possesses and what companies are looking for to fulfill this role. This is not an all-inclusive list because different organization look for different things but this article gives you an idea what you should strive for and develop accordingly. We would be happy to help you take a new direction in your career, you can start here.