Should You Hire SDETs For Your Business? Lead SDET Salary & Qualifications Explained!


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SDET (Software Development Engineer in test) is an IT professional who works equally and effectively in both development and testing roles. SDETs take part in the EAD software development procedure as well as the testing procedure. The knowledge of a Microsoft lead SDET professional is focused entirely on the testability, robustness, and performance of the software testing and development procedures. They also play the role of an analyst while creating designs for production software. What attracts many youngsters to this profession is the lucrative lead SDET salary.

Differences between SDET and tester


Manual Tester

Knows the complete system from top to bottom

Insufficient understanding of the system


Microsoft lead SDET is involved in all stages of the software development procedure, including designing, creating, and testing

QA is solely involved in the software development processes testing life cycle.

Professional with extensive development and testing experience.

The only role of a software tester is to prepare and execute test cases.

SDET can contribute to the development of test automation tools and may create them for general usage.

It is not planned that any tools or frameworks for test automation would be developed.

SDETs must conduct tasks such as performance testing, automated data production, and so on.

The tester will only do testing-related tasks.

Understand the product's specifications and recommendations.

QA personnel are not required to have such expertise.

When do you need a SDET?

Organizations today are looking for professionals who can take part in software development. But at the same time, they should also be capable of handling the testing of the developed software. It is the reason why hiring QA automation lead SDET helps them, as they could work on developing high-performance code for designing test frameworks.

SDET professionals have the following advantages:

  1. SDET professionals are capable of automating the acceptance test by leveraging coding skills.
  2. These professionals with end-users and their overall experiences. They already have engineering skills so they can also think like a developer.
  3. Excessive code coverage via unit testing.
  4. You can build, deploy, run, and manage the application individually.
  5. Technical implementation and user scenarios are led by development, program management, and design teams.

Qualifications for a SDET

  1. Extensive knowledge of test automation frameworks and tools
  2. Delivery of automated functional and regression tests to satisfy the client's needs, coach and assist the QA automation lead SDET in their squad.
  3. Capability to engage stakeholders and team members successfully, conduct business analysis and develop applicable acceptance criteria
  4. The ability to develop high-quality object-oriented programming
  5. To deliver EAD software development projects collaboratively in multidisciplinary teams.
  6. They should be proficient in Agile development methodologies such as ATDD, TDD, and BDD, as well as their application.
  7. Data and metrics of high quality are delivered.
  8. Has a data-driven mentality for continual improvement
  9. As requested by the team, provide constant feedback on the product and process.
  10. Participate in RD initiatives.

Industries in need of SDET

There is a trend between companies to embrace new technologies and methodologies. Therefore, SDET software professionals are highly on demand. Software developer engineers in the testing team are mainly required in the following fields:

  1. IT
  2. Advertising
  3. Hospitality
  4. Gaming
  5. Entertainment
  6. Financial

Technical and non-technical skills

Following are some fundamental and technical for an SDET:

Communication skills

An SDET should possess excellent verbal and written communication skills. Testing materials like test cases, plans, test strategies, and bug reports should be easy to understand.

Time management and organization skills

A lead SDET resume is very demanding since the release of the code. A software tester should be able to efficiently manage their workload and have high productivity and time-management skills.

Great attitude

To be a good software development engineer in the test you should have a great attitude. You should be able to upgrade your technical skills with developing technologies. Your attitude should have some level of independence so that you become capable of taking ownership of the task allocated without any supervision.


To enjoy success as an IT professional you should have a significant amount of passion for it. An SDET should have a passion for testing, development, and designing.

Below are some technical skills expected from an SDET

  1. Appropriate knowledge of C#, .NET, JAVA, and other programming languages.
  2. experience of working in an Agile + DevOps process management methodology.
  3. SDET should know about different test methods and corresponding tools like MS Test, NUnit, TestNG, Selenium Webdriver, etc.
  4. SDET should also know about behavior-driven development.
  5. A lead SDET salary should be capable of finding bottlenecks and thresholds in existing code using automation tools.
  6. Understanding object-oriented design is a plus.

What are the roles and responsibilities of SDET?

  1. It should be able to perform test automation and set up frameworks on multiple application platforms like web, mobile, and desktop.
  2. Able to investigate customer problems suggested by technical support teams.
  3. ability to create and manage bug reports and collaborate with the team.
  4. Able to build complex test scenarios and acceptance tests.
  5. SDET should not handle technical communications with partners to understand the client systems or APIs.
  6. SDET should work with deployment teams and resolve any level issues for the system.
  7. Should be able to set up, maintain and operate test automation frameworks.
  8. The above-mentioned key skills and responsibilities are a part of SDET's job profile. Job roles vary with different companies.

Lead SDET Salary

A lead SDET salary is an average yearly income of 6,92,692 in India and $74,291 in the United States.

An SDET also receives health insurance, a gratuity, and other benefits.

Typical work day

You will spend your day deciphering project papers, building and executing test cases, reporting, and testing defects. You will also provide feedback to the design team, as well as suggestions for the development team and other team-building activities.

Career progression

Your career advancement as lead SDET salary in a typical CMMI level 5 firm will look like this, however, it will vary depending on the company.

SDET (Newcomer) => Sr. SDET (with 2 to 3 years of experience) => SDET Team Coordinator (5-8 years of experience) > SDET Manager (8+ years of experience)


An SDET professional is a hybrid of a developer and a tester with project management experience. This all-in-one skillset makes SDET employment more complex and is in great demand in today's market.

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