What does a Test Engineer do?

A test engineer conducts quality testing on a device or product that is being manufactured a company in order to ensure its quality. Electronic equipment, internal computer components, automotive devices, and just about anything else that needs to be tested to ensure it can withstand the potential duress caused normal use falls into this category. Because a test engineer works on a wide range of devices to see how they can be broken or disrupted, he or she will typically have a background in electronics and computer science, as well as knowledge of one or more programming languages.

Most electronic and computer components go through a lengthy design and testing process. A test engineer’s job is to make sure that as a product goes through various stages of the design process, it is thoroughly tested for a variety of potential manufacturing flaws. Some businesses start this type of testing early in the design process to try to catch potential issues as soon as possible; others may start testing later in the design phase. This can save money up front, but it may necessitate more extensive changes near the end of the development process, which can end up costing more money in the long run.

A test engineer is responsible for not only testing a product’s quality, but also for determining which tests to conduct and how to conduct them in order to ensure the product’s proper reliability. “Burn in” testing, “highly accelerated life testing” (HALT), and a variety of other types of product testing are examples of these types of tests. Burn-in testing is a method of putting devices, such as electronics, to the test in order to ensure their long-term reliability.

These tests are typically used with products that have a higher failure rate early in their life cycle but are reliable after that. Burn-in testing involves using a device for a period of time to go beyond the early failure rate period, and then releasing the product for use once it has passed this period. HALT is carried out a test engineer who exposes a product under test to repeated uses in order to simulate how the product might be used over a period of years.

This is a type of stress testing that determines whether a product can withstand prolonged use and predicts when it will fail. Although the actual testing is important, test engineers are also responsible for extensive documentation of the tests performed, the results discovered, and internal communications. Because product failure can be a problem for customers, manufacturers must be able to demonstrate that they have done their homework when it comes to product reliability.