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The Difference between SDET and Tester

In this tutorial, we are going to understand the difference between SDET and Tester.

But before we are going through the difference between them, firstly, we will see the brief introduction of SDET and Tester.


SDET implies as Software Development Engineer in Test or Software Design Engineer in Test. SDET knows the internal design and execution of the software. Those people who can perform both the responsibility of development as well as testing process are known as SDET.

In other words, we can say that the tester who can write the code is known as Software Development Engineer in Test (SDET). The Software Development Engineer in Test can also review the design and processes of the software product or an application.

The Software development engineer in the test role is initiated from Microsoft. At present, various organizations are demanding such SDET professionals who can participate in both developments of the application and testing of the developed software.

SDET expert's understanding is ultimately emphasized on robustness, testability, and functioning of software testing and development process.

Frequently, the SDET is involved in creating the quality, robust and high-performance code that is useful in designing the testing framework, automation of test cases, which can be used in place of a testing tool as well.


The tester/ the test engineer/ manual tester/ quality analyst does not take part in software development or write the codes. The test engineer is the person who implements the testing process on the software to identify the bugs or defects.

In other words, we can say that the manual tester test whether the software contains any defects or bugs or not.

The test engineer also analyses the various features of the specified software, and they don't understand or know the application's code or the development process of the software.

SDET VS Tester

Let's understand the difference between SDET and Tester on the following basis:

SDET vs Tester
S.No. Comparison Basis SDET Tester
1. Performing The Software Development Engineer in Test tests the specified application by using internal coding. The Software Tester tests the application once the development process is done and the application is testing ready.
2. Awareness The SDET engineers understand the whole system from beginning to end. On the other hand, the test engineer has a minimal understanding of the system.
3. Skillset The Software development engineer in the test has more abilities or a skill set as compared to the software tester. The manual test engineer is less skilled as compared to the SDET.
4. Programming Skill The SDET has programming knowledge and can develop the code as well. On the other hand, a Manual test engineer does not have any coding skills.
5. Information about software requirements The Software development engineer in test (SDET) knows all about software requirements as well as other features. The test engineer has less information about software requirements as compared to the SDET.
6. Responsibility Separately from software testing, SDET can also be analyzing the performance of the tested application. On the other hand, the manual test engineer is responsible in order to fulfill all the testing-related tasks.
7. Salary SDET gets more salary as compared to the manual test engineer as they have the automation skills. The tester gets less salary as compared to the SDET because the manual test engineer does not have any automation skills.
8. Roles Generally, the SDET is part of software development and software testing. On the other hand, the manual tester has more minor roles and responsibilities in software development.
9. Internal knowledge SDET engineers have the knowledge of designing, testing, and execution. On the other hand, the manual test engineer doesn't have knowledge of the design and execution of the software application.
10. Automation Generally, the Software development engineers in the test emphasize automating the monotonous scenarios to ensure that the manual test engineer can concentrate on more complex and edge situations and use their knowledge and skills more resourcefully. For the automation process, the Manual test engineer has significantly less or no skills.
But manual test engineers must be knowledgeable of using tools, which help in manual testing as well.
For Example,
  • Working with cloud providers such as sauce labs for implementing the tests on several platform versions.
  • Operating the Postman for implanting the API end-points, etc.
11. Involvement The involvement of SDET is very significant as it can include in all the phases of the software development process, such as Designing, development, and testing. Based on their knowledge and skills, the quality analyst/ manual tester can only be involved in the software development process's testing life cycle.
12. Testing Scope The SDET mainly concentrates on various testing types and procedures, such as Performance, Functional, security, and Non-functional, etc. Usually, the manual tester emphasis on the performance perspective of the application under test. And the test engineer performs like a user/customer of the application under test and validation.


After seeing all the significant comparisons between SDET and tester, we can say that the Software development engineer in test (SDET) is not just more than a tester.

They are the combination of both developers and a tester who has experience in end-user software requirements, project management, understanding of how-to code and create test automation tools, familiar with product or domain knowledge, and can also be taking part in product or software designing.

In the current software industry, all the abilities mentioned above make the Software development engineer very exclusive and highly in demand for the test role. Almost all good product organizations have this role in their respected teams and are highly valued.

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