What is the difference between SDET and QA?

Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of intelligent effort.

John Ruskin

Now, in a world where everything goes digital, quality is vital. Android and iOS applications and websites have become the norm, and a bug can be devastating for businesses. Both SDET (Software Development Engineer in Test) and QA (Quality Assurance) focus on providing the best quality to ensure customer satisfaction. But their roles are slightly different.

So, what is the difference between SDET and QA? What should you pursue in an online course to begin a new career in tech: QA vs. SDET?

SDET vs. QA: What do they do?

Let’s begin with definitions. What is and does each role?

What is SDET?

A software development engineer in test is a combination of a developer and a test engineer – Someone involved in the project right from the beginning. They help automate the testing process but are, in essence, software developers.

What is QA?

On the other hand, a QA tester (sometimes QA engineer) is an expert in different testing methodologies and processes. They do not need to be involved in the project from day one, but they still need to be well-versed in data management (databases), bug reporting, troubleshooting, test environments, and more.

What is the difference between SDET and QA?

So, what is the main difference? The core distinction is the focus of the roles. QA engineers ensure that software products meet the market’s standards and the user’s needs. They evaluate whether the app and its features are functional, safe, and intuitive for users. SDETs, however, are responsible for designing, developing, and maintaining automated test scripts and frameworks. They use programming languages such as Java or Python.

As a result, there are core differences to keep in mind when choosing between an online QA or SDET course.

Which one fits you best?

  • QA engineers or testers often work at the end of the development process. SDETs are active from day one, since they automate, design, develop, and test.
  • QA testers can test cases manually or by automation. In the former case, there is no real need to know how to code. But SDETs and automation QA testers must be proficient in programming languages.
  • QA testers do not create or develop tools, whereas SDETs do.
  • QA engineers or testers often focus on small tasks and projects. On their part, SDETs have a more strategic role and vision in the company.

These main differences also translate into different skillsets for each position:

Skills needed to become a software developer engineer tester

  • Programming languages, especially Java, C#, and Python
  • Excellent planning and time-management skills
  • Communication skills to create easy-to-read testing materials
  • Extensive coding knowledge to find bugs within the code
  • Proficiency in testing methods like NUnit or MS Test

Skills needed to become a QA tester

  • Knowledge of databases like SQL
  • Some coding knowledge, especially in SQL
  • Ability to use QA testing tools like Azure DevOps or TFS
  • Comprehension of quality standards and requirements
  • Comprehension of user experience
  • Ability to discover bugs within software products

FAQ

What is the main difference between QA and SDET?

QA engineers ensure that software products meet the market’s standards and the user’s needs. SDETs, however, are responsible for designing, developing, and maintaining automated test scripts and frameworks.

Do QA testers need coding knowledge?

QA testers can test cases manually or by automation. In the former case, there is no real need to know how to code. But SDETs and automation QA testers must be proficient in programming languages.

SDET vs. QA: Which one is best?

There is no correct answer to this question. SDETs may land a job more easily since they often have a wider range of skills. But QA engineers and testers are also vital for tech companies. It’s about finding what suits you best.

Can I land a job after taking a Test Pro course?

Most of our students do. Over 80% of our graduates have landed a position, often at reputable companies. We pride ourselves on learning by doing and working on real-life projects. That means you actually know how to do things after completing the course, and yes, you can get a job in tech and start a new career!

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