Advice on applying for different roles


Dear Jobsblog: I think I have skills that could apply to several different positions in both development and test groups.  Is it considered overkill to apply to all the roles where I feel like my skills are a match?

-Wondering Where to Apply

Dear Wondering:

It’s not a coincidence that a lot of the skills required for the Software Development Engineer (SDE) and Software Development Engineer in Test (SDET) are similar or often overlap. Both require a very strong background in development, design, and problem solving but the deciding factor between the two (if you have to make a determination in your mind) is the focus and scope of each role.

Simply put an SDE largely focuses on coding and the implementation of a feature as typically defined by a Program Manager. What can you look forward to as you browse through our open positions? As a Developer, you will need a strong foundation in Computer Science fundamentals – everything from algorithms to data structures, the ability to write quality code that works, is efficient, and scalable. You should also know how to do basic tests on your code whether that comes in the form of unit testing, TDD, or other tests where you end up with very high code coverage.

An SDET role is also rooted in a strong background in engineering and Computer Science fundamentals however; you are focused on making our software/services great. Whether that is designing an automation framework, performing exploratory or heuristic testing, or Testing in Production (TiP). This role offers creativity and the ability to ‘think outside of the box’ for the traditional developer and ensure that the software we ship is high quality, safe, scalable, and what the user really wants. Don’t let the title fool you – there is plenty of coding involved here.

Both of these roles share a fundamental base in development/engineering but they also share the need for someone who can work collaboratively with other functions (Program Management, Product Development, or Ops), stand your ground even when your view is unpopular, drive yourself to deliver great work, and contribute your ideas and innovation.

In a nutshell, don’t limit your potential in either role – apply to both and see where your interest is and where you might be most successful.


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