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SDET vs QA: Digging into the domain of software testing

A quality analyst, quality engineer, and SDET all have diverse skill sets, organization's project complexity and requirements should define the need for a particular of quality expert.

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The corporate strategy in most industries is leaning to be more focused on the customer. This suggests that consumer satisfaction with the product is given top priority. Software testing is now essential to ensure this satisfaction, as it should be. Additionally, the adoption of different team productivity methodologies and the requirement to increase market responsiveness have only accelerated the development of new professional jobs in the testing industry.

This has led to ambiguity in understanding different specialists. However, the contradiction between SDET and QA or a QE and SDET is very real. This suggests that the differences between these positions should be clarified.

Who is a quality analyst (QA)?

A QA's role is to assure the quality of the product, as the name suggests. The concept is generally used as a shorthand for tester and designates a person who is in charge of overseeing and making sure that the software development lifecycle procedures adhere to quality assurance guidelines. Despite the fact that the title "quality analyst" is falsely linked to manual testing alone, it's feasible that these people also perform automation testing.

Who is a quality engineer (QE)?

As the title indicates, this person is in charge of applying engineering principles to many elements of the software development lifecycle in order to increase the quality of the end product. The focus on quality will give away the idea that a quality analyst's and a quality engineer's roles are pretty similar. However, the function of a QE extends beyond that of a QA because the former is also required to create incident reports, edit code, run various tests, and utilize tools and processes that developers employ.

Who is an SDET?

The abbreviation SDET stands for Software Development and Design Engineer in Test. This IT expert continues to be involved in the software's development and testing. SDET experts have QA test course training in both quality engineering and software development. In addition to taking part in the creation of test scripts, SDET testing also contributes to the process of issue resolution. As a result, they contribute to the automation of repeated manual testing.

SDET vs QA engineer

Since all three of these professionals—a Quality Engineer (QE), a Software Development Engineer in Test (SDET), and a Quality Analyst (QA) - are connected in some manner to the SDLC's testing phase, many corporate companies choose to refer to them interchangeably. While addressing the challenges of a QA Engineer vs. SDET, one key aspect that demonstrates the difference between SDET and QA is the degree of professional talents and capabilities.

Skills of a QA include:

  • expertise in software engineering;
  • knowledge of bug tracking, testing, and ticketing;
  • proficiency with various software testing tools, including those for manual and automated testing;
  • the ability to ask the right questions.

Skills of a QE, on the other hand, include the following:

  • knowledge of various types of testing;
  • the capacity to integrate checks;
  • expertise in infrastructure operations;
  • comprehension of the quality context for a certain project;
  • the capacity to do automation testing at different levels;
  • knowledge of how to use various software testing tools.

Finally, the required skills of an SDET are:

  • understanding of various test methods and tools;
  • programming languages expertise;
  • proficient use of automation techniques;
  • knowledge of behaviour-driven development;
  • understanding of object-oriented Design.

It is clear that the three specialists' range of abilities and competencies differs significantly.

SDET, QA/SDET, and QA engineer ‒ are they the same?

The three professionals' differences mainly relate to the functions and obligations that each of them is required to carry out. Furthermore, a variety of circumstances can affect these distinctions.

Because a quality analyst, quality engineer, and SDET all have diverse skill sets, it stands to reason that an organization's project complexity, budget, and requirements — as well as the nature of the industry in which it operates — should define the need for a particular sort of quality expert.

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