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How a Developer Engineer in Test Can Boost a Development Project

Must-Have Expertise for Large Scale Projects One of the most important roles in the software development life cycle remains widely misunderstood. The software developer engineer...

Luis Paiva

By Luis Paiva

SVP of People, Technology, and Operations Luis Paiva helps manage and lead teams across BairesDev to implement the best industry practices possible.

10 min read

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Must-Have Expertise for Large Scale Projects

One of the most important roles in the software development life cycle remains widely misunderstood. The software developer engineer in test has rapidly (and quietly) become a must-have asset for most large-scale projects. These experts are capable of writing complex code that can assess your software and automatically locate bugs, helping to save time and money in the development process, as well as protecting your reputation once your product is released to market. Let’s look at how this position fits into the larger product cycle and figure out why it may be the key to success in your next software development project.


Software Development Life Cycle

Before investigating the software developer engineer in test in detail, it is important to understand the software development life cycle (SDLC) and where this role fits into the larger process. It is incredibly important for managers and executives alike to understand how the SDLC works, since this will help you understand how each technical team member contributes to project goals, how to accurately predict the completion date and budget expenses, and how to foresee where problems are likely to appear.

The first step in the process is to identify a customer pain point or a void in the marketplace. Once you have identified the problem, it’s time to work with your entire team–including developers, management, and your customer-focused departments–to create a detailed plan describing how you will fix the problem with your proposed software.

While it is vital to bring all internal stakeholders into this process, it can also be helpful to seek specialized help from a software outsourcing firm at this time. They can help determine whether your software is feasible, determine budget and timeline predictions, and let you know which type of specialized contractors you will need to bring in to meet your goals. Their years of combined experience can prevent a lot of headaches and missed deadlines in the future.

Once your strategy has been developed and your outsourced staff is on-board, it’s time to create the design for your software and to begin the building and testing process. This is where a software developer engineer in test is especially useful–they specialize in writing code that streamlines the testing process and helps you identify problems with your software long before it reaches your customers. With such an expert on your team, you can ensure that your product has been thoroughly tested and any bugs fixed before your reputation is on the line.


What is a Software Developer Engineer In Test?

A software developer engineer in test is a highly specialized software developer capable of making the testing portion of the software buildout a much quicker and efficient process. Most of these experts are just as talented as regular software developers; however, their code focuses on creating automated testing programs that proactively search for problems in your software. They must have an in-depth knowledge of what constitutes a great software design and must understand software processes at a level not found in other, more generalized employees.

The title itself originated at Microsoft and the position was initially created to prevent the types of buggy software rollouts that plagued many companies in the tech industry for decades. A vital part of the QA & testing process, every large-scale software development project should have at least one of these experts on-staff. This small upfront investment can reap myriad rewards and help companies maintain their strong reputations.

These specialists are a step above a software test engineer, which performs manual tests on software that would be too expensive or difficult to automate. Software test engineers are responsible for testing software at a slow pace, although this is needed for limited parts of your QA & Testing process. A software developer engineer in test, on the other hand, can help save money by automating much of the bug testing process, while writing performance tests, stress tests, and even resource consumption analyses at the same time.


What Are Their Responsibilities?

While this particular position was largely unheard of two decades ago, the software developer engineer in test plays a vital role in modern software development projects. The must be able to perform test automation and assess software performance on web, desktop, and mobile versions of the product. Furthermore, they must be able to respond to customer complaints and concerns about early software versions by writing complex programs to locate and test these problems.


How Can They Impact Results?


Customer Focused

One of the most important benefits associated with working with a software developer engineer in test is that their entire position is customer-focused. Because it can be rare to find talented developers in the heart of the QA & Testing step, they help ensure that you have a prominent technically-trained consumer advocate during one of the most crucial steps of the software development process. This will help the rest of your team test your software according to the needs of your customers, avoiding the common problem of making the customer an afterthought.


They Understand Code

The biggest drawback associated with relying on manual testers alone to assess your software is their lack of expertise and inability to understand the bigger picture. These workers frequently do not understand how software operates internally and have little to no knowledge about the development process. However, a software developer engineer in test understands the cycle from end to end and, just as importantly, knows how to read and write code. This means they can write code to automate the testing process and can offer elegant code rewrites that will fix the problem with little additional work.


Where to Find High-Quality Software Developer Engineer in Tests?

Undoubtedly the best way to source a high-quality software developer engineer in test is by working with your chosen IT outsourcing company. High-quality engineers of this caliber are relatively rare and can be difficult for internal hiring teams to source. It is highly recommended that you launch your search for a software developer engineer in test through a well-regarded nearshore outsourcing company, since communication is critical to this role and you want to ensure that your test engineer holds the same working hours as the rest of your development staff. Finally, speak with their staffing department about your specific needs, since many of these engineers specialize in sub-fields such as security testing, performance analysis, and usability.

Luis Paiva

By Luis Paiva

Luis Paiva helps lead BairesDev's Delivery, Tech, Client Services, PeopleX, and Executive Assistant departments as SVP of People, Technology, and Operations. Working with Operation, PMO, and Staffing teams, Luis helps implement the industry best practices for clients and their projects.

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