QA vs. QE vs. SDET

QA, QE, and SDET are the most common basic identities of software testers. These three abbreviations stand for Quality assurance (QA), Quality Engineer(QE), and Software Development Engineer in Test (SDET).

What are those roles?

Quality Assurance (QA): In today’s industry, this is the most popular title for a tester is QA. This engineer is held accountable for the product’s quality, which is often achieved through testing and manual and automated methods.

In most cases, the process is automated; yet, this title is occasionally misinterpreted to mean that this engineer only performs manual testing. They also oversees and ensures that processes in the software development lifecycle adhere to quality assurance standards like ISO 9000 or CMMI.

Quality Engineer (QE): A quality engineer (QE) is a person whose job is to apply engineering practices to various aspects of the software development process in order to improve quality. It’s essentially the same as QA’s job.

However, having a de-emphasis on the term “confidence,” which has its own set of negative connotations, shows a bit more complexity of thought. A QE should also be able to build a quality plan, edit code, generate incident reports, run all types of tests, know and use the same tools and methodologies as the developer, work in continuous integration settings, and grasp the project’s overall business vision.

The role of the Test Engineer (TE) is similar to the role of the QE.

Software Development Engineer in Test(SDET): The Software Development Engineer in Test is another role found in quality. This role is also known as Software Engineer in Test (SET) and Automation Engineer (AE).

SDET prefers to take the lead over QA and AE. Only concentrate on developer tooling, test automation, framework development, and rewriting them over and over. This function is useful in both development and testing because it focuses solely on testability, robustness, and performance. An SDET, unlike a tester, should be familiar with the complete system and be involved in every phase of the development process.

The ability to think like a developer and advise development, management, and design teams on technical implementation and user scenarios is SDET’s greatest skill.

To signify a level of seniority in terms of experience or the position that the person plays on the team, you can prefix these with Associate, Senior, Lead, Staff, Principal, Distinguished. It is determined by the organization, work experience, and talents of the individual.

Are all of them the same?

In light of the above, do you think all of these are the same?

Despite the fact that all of these jobs have been software testing, they differ slightly in terms of the above-mentioned desired functions. However, the following factors can influence those discrepancies.

  • Context of the company/organization.
  • The personnel in charge of the tests think about their job.
  • What is the executive team’s prior experience with the company’s Test/Quality discipline?
  • Members of the team and how they viewed other testers in previous employment.

Finally, the table below summarizes the skills and qualities of QA QE and SDET.

Summary of the required skills and qualities of QA QE and SDET.



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Senuri Samindi

I am an unrelenting person who has marshaled all the knowledge, skills and abilities to win over audacious goals by constantly honing latent abilities.