What is SDET? Full Form, Meaning, Role and Responsibilities


SDET (Software Development Engineer in Test) in testing is an IT professional who can work equally and effectively in both development and testing roles. SDETs take part in complete software development process as well as software testing process. SDET professional’s knowledge is entirely focused on testability, robustness and performance of software testing and development process.

They are also able to play a contributory or reviewer role in the creation of designs for production software.

Difference between SDET and Tester?

SDET Manual Tester
Knows the entire system start to end Limited knowledge about the system
SDET is involved in every step of the software development process like Designing, development, and testing. QA is only involved in the testing life cycle of the software development process.
Highly skilled professional with development as well as testing knowledge. Software tester is only involved in preparing and executing the test cases
SDET can participate in test automation tool development and may make it for generic use. Not expected to develop test automation tools or frameworks.
SDETs need to perform duties like performance testing, automated generation of test data, etc. Only testing related task will be performed by the tester.
Know requirements and guidelines for the products No such knowledge expected from QA professionals.

When do you need SDET?

Today organizations are looking for a professional who can take part in software development. At the same time, he should also handle testing of the developed software. That’s why hiring SDET helps them as they can work for developing high-performance code or designing the testing framework.

Benefits of SDET professional:
  • SDETs professionals can automate the acceptance test by leveraging their coding skills
  • These professionals deal with end users or customers and their experiences. They already possessed engineering skills so they can also think like a developer.
  • Extensive code coverage through unit testing
  • Can build, deploy, run & manage the application individually
  • Influence the development, program management, & design teams on technical implementation and user scenarios

Industries in need of SDET

There is a trend among companies to adopt new technology and methodologies. Therefore, SDET software professionals are highly on demand. Software developer engineer in the test are mainly needed in the following fields:

Industries in need of SDET

Technical and Nontechnical skills

Following are some essential nontechnical skills for an SDET:

Technical and Nontechnical skills

Communication skill

A SDET must have excellent verbal and written communication skill. Testing materials like test cases, plans, test strategies, bug reports created should be easy to read and comprehend.

Time Management & Organization Skills

An SDET job is very demanding especially during the release of code. A software tester must efficiently manage workload, have high productivity, time management skills

GREAT Attitude

To become good Software Development Engineer in Test, you must have a GREAT attitude. You should able to upgrade your technical skills with the changing technologies. Your attitude should have some level of independence. So that, you can take ownership of the task allocated without too much supervision.


To enjoy success in any IT professional, you must have a significant degree of the passion for it. A SDET should have a passion for testing, development, and designing.

Below given are some Technical skills expected from SDET:

Technical skills expected from SDET

  • Knowledge of C#, .NET, Java or other programming languages.
  • Experience of working “AGILE + DevOps” process management methodology.
  • SDET should have knowledge about various test method & corresponding tools like MS Test, NUnit, TestNG, Selenium WebDriver, etc.
  • SDET should have exposure to Behaviour Driven Development.
  • Able to find bottlenecks and thresholds in existing code with the help of automation tools.
  • Understanding of Object-Oriented Design

What are the roles and responsibilities of an SDET?

  • SDET should able to perform Test Automation and setting up frameworks on multiple application platforms like Web, Mobile, and Desktop.
  • Investigate customer problems referred by the technical support team.
  • Create & manage bug reports and communicate with the team.
  • Able to build different test scenarios and acceptance tests.
  • SDET needs to handle technical communications with Partners to understand client’s systems or APIs.
  • SDET also work with deployments teams and resolving any level issues for the system.
  • SDET should also able to set up, maintain, and operate test automation frameworks.

The above are key skills and responsibilities of SDET. They may vary with different companies.


The salary structure of a SDET varies from company to company. The average annual salary for a Software Development Engineer in Test (SDET) is ₹6,92,692 in India and $74,291 in the USA.

An SDET is also given health insurance, gratuity, and other perks.

Typical Work Day

On a daily basis, you will be busy understanding project documents, creating & executing test cases, reporting, and testing bugs. You will also put your inputs to designing team, suggest development team and other team building activities.

Career Progression

Your career progression as a SDET in typical CMMI level 5 company will look like following but will vary from company to company

SDET (Fresher) => Sr. SDET (2-3 years’ experience) => SDET Team Coordinator (5-8 years’ experience> =>SDET Manager (8+ years’ experience)


A SDET professional is a mix of developer as well as a tester who has exposure to project management. This all in one type of skill set make the SDET jobs more challenging and highly demanding in the current market.