A hardware test engineer is a type of professional who deals with the development of processes and quality, assurance usually for the computer hardware manufacturing sectors. This professional is involved in development processes early on in a product’s development lifecycle. His or her responsibilities are to ensure that a product is free from errors and to fix any errors that may arise.
Hardware test engineers review the specifications of a product and look at it from an “end user” perspective. This means they evaluate the product as if they were a customer who had purchased it to see if customers will be able to make the product work properly. They will also determine which components of the product need to be tested and how, which can be useful for product innovation. Components in a new product that are similar to previous products may not need to be tested and it will be up to the hardware test engineer’s expertise to determine this.
A hardware test engineer must design the test and research the desired result for the product. He or she must ensure that all of the test conditions are always the same and relevant to the product. In addition, hardware test engineers record the results and take any problematic results back to developers and team members to remedy the issues.
A hardware test engineer may have to redraw or recalculate specifications for the product depending on the findings of his or her tests. He or she will have to make sure that any further components required for the operation and functionality of the product are easily available. If any other repair or review is required for the product that is beyond the scope of the test engineer, he or she will have to send it back to the development team or teams.
While a hardware test engineer may plan out a detailed and comprehensive testing process early in the development of a product, as problems arise and are fixed, additional testing may have to be improvised. Test engineers typically work a 40 hour work week, but it may be necessary to work extended hours if the product launch is approaching and additional testing needs to be done. They are also responsible for the scheduling of the testing.
Test engineers should be able to develop their own tools for carrying out the testing and think creatively to find the problems, instead of just fixing them. The product may also have contractors and other teams working on it, with whom the hardware test engineer will have to communicate. This responsibility necessitates excellent communication and social skills.