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What does a Test Development Engineer do?

By Licia Morrow
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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A test development engineer is a support member of an engineering department or team. This position requires an employee to run quality assurance tests on software and hardware, applications, and devices. Generally, a hardware or software engineer will design the program, a production department will build it, and the test engineer will be in charge of analyzing its effectiveness and ability to operate. This engineer will need expertise and experience in his industry's equipment design and production models to enable him to test equipment effectively.

Engineers involved in quality assurance may be responsible for determining the best diagnostic methods and may lead any actions involved in implementing these plans. This will require a knowledge of how to apply diagnoses to specific equipment, programs, and systems. A test development engineer will also have extensive knowledge of government and industry requirements surrounding the effective quality assurance of equipment and devices and will be skilled at putting them into practice at his organization. The test engineer may be responsible for submitting documentation to outside agencies to ensure that his company is in compliance with policies, procedures, and laws.

There are a variety of skills that a test development engineer uses for his occupation. Depending upon the organization for which an individual works, industry-specific knowledge and duties may be required. Test development engineers usually work as part of a project management team, so they must collaborate with other employees, departments, and outside organizations. This engineer may need expertise and experience in hardware and software design to enable him to test equipment effectively.

A major part of this job is troubleshooting and repair. Once a test is performed and bugs or glitches are found in the system or program, a test development engineer will also need to determine the best ways to correct errors. This will involve much time spent programming and running diagnostic reports on equipment and programs. Sometimes a test engineer spends even more time fixing these problems.

Sometimes, a test development engineer takes on an important role in determining company policies and practices as they relate to testing, troubleshooting, and repair. Part of the job duties for the test engineer may include documenting proper quality assurance procedures for a company or department. He may initiate procedural changes, and may need to collaborate with management teams to approve implementation. Additionally, the test development engineer may supervise and train other employees and may be part of on-site teams that install and test hardware and software at customer locations.

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