Today, as technology continues to advance at a rapid rate, testing your software quickly and effectively is more valuable than ever. Although we originally posted this article in 2013, we wanted to remind our readers of the role of the Software Development Engineer in Test (SDET) and their importance in producing quality software design and mitigating risk. In this post, we cover what an SDET is, how to become one and how to find an SDET.
What is an SDET?
SDETs differ slightly from traditional testers as their skills-set and background is closer to that of a Software Developer. SDET’s are committed to Test Driven Development, creating tests based on specific requirements and working closely with software developers to confirm that each module of code is built in a testable fashion. SDETs are focused on finding new ways to automate tests and on validating software’s efficiency by first: getting involved in the build/release process; second: setting up automated tests to run at release time and third: grading releases as either “bug-free” or “very buggy.”
Previously, some companies and organizations considered testing in a “Quality is Optional” design methodology. However, as time marches on and as app stores become saturated with hundreds of thousands of apps, users are becoming more discerning. Suddenly, quality is not an option since there are no second chances in the app store–ratings mean everything. Consequently, the market is recognizing the need for and the value of SDETs as a push towards quality becomes the ultimate concern and top priority.
How do I become an SDET?
Becoming an SDET depends entirely on your skills-set, prior experience, and naturally, your interest in the field. Some common paths derive from CS, MIS, or IT college majors, former software developers who are interested in exploring the challenges of software validation and inconsistency, and manual testers who want to develop their knowledge of programming languages like Java or Python. Also, as with all things tech, passion for learning new things never hurts, either.
As an Employer, How Do I find an SDET?
SDETs are more expensive than testers (SDET salaries are on par with their software development peers); but remember their value: to help release quality, bug-free software. This higher purpose makes SDETs worth the investment. Considering their value, employers try and retain their SDET talent, making them rare finds in the traditional, “active” job market. Consequently, employers are encouraged to seek less obvious forms of resume hunting, with particular attention to networking. Ever thought of visiting a local Meet-Up group? Meet-Ups are a wonderful way to integrate into your community and to meet a plethora of qualified candidates. You can find tech meetups in your area at Meetup.com.
Additionally, some employers find that engagement with a staff-augmentation agency and/or consulting firm is both a time saver and a valuable resource considering recruiters’ field knowledge and established SDET relationships.
If you would like to learn more about SDETs’ value and their ROI potential or you would like to hire an SDET, please contact us at Gorilla Logic. Our recruitment team is extremely knowledgeable and we are happy to answer any questions you may have. We take pride in our ability to provide our clients with qualified SDETs for all types of projects. As we welcome all input and communication, please feel free to comment below. Also, if you are an SDET looking for your next project, consider working for Gorilla Logic! Current job descriptions and opportunities can be seen on our careers page.