Is there any difference between customer support engineers, customer's test engineers & on-site system test engineers?

I particularly want to know the typical duties for each role, how they are different from each other, and if any of them perform user acceptance testing.

  • 1
    It depends on the job descriptions; their responsibilities can overlap.
    – Yu Zhang
    Jul 24, 2018 at 4:56
  • It probably also depends per industry or company. When in doubt ask or define it yourself. Maybe the question is salvable when asked like, what are the typical definitions and difference between XYZ. Jul 24, 2018 at 8:52
  • @NielsvanReijmersdal - since the answers for this question include the typical definitions and duties I am editing the question to emphasize that aspect.
    – Kate Paulk
    Jul 24, 2018 at 11:26

2 Answers 2


Well, everyone might put their own meaning to the terms mentioned by you, but as it seems to me what you have listed is ranged by the product awareness:

  1. Customer support engineer is usually a kind of operational engineer who knows how to use the system. Hence they might perform support tasks: some maintenance or managing the users, or accessing the database directly to investigate what could cause the issue.
  2. Customer's test engineer is an engineer that is hired on customer side. They have the expertise in test and they perform acceptance testing (not the same as User Acceptance Testing). They have to have more technical skills that support engineers have and they have to know the system better. But still not so good since they are outside the development process.For example, customer's test engineers might test how well the system can be installed in customer's infrastructure. Vendor's test engineers cannot do that effectively due to access limitations.
  3. Onsite test engineers are the test engineers which are hired by the software vendor, but physically work in customer's office. They are inside development process so that they have the deepest awareness of the product. They also have testing expertise but normally having such kind of engineers is more expensive than having own engineers.
  • If Customer's test engineer performs acceptance testing then what type of acceptance testing would you classify it as? Since as far as I know, there are only two types of acceptance testing: User Acceptance Testing (UAT) done by the user and Business Acceptance Testing (BAT) done by the developer organization.
    – user567679
    Jul 24, 2018 at 7:07
  • Operational acceptance testing, security acceptance testing, disaster recovery acceptance testing. Basically all the aspects but from how they are seen and how they are treated by the customers.
    – Alexey R.
    Jul 24, 2018 at 7:10
  • Can I say that customer's test engineer performs user acceptance testing on behalf of the user?
    – user567679
    Jul 24, 2018 at 7:57
  • There is no standardized task pool. What you have mentioned is one of the possible tasks for customer's test engineers.
    – Alexey R.
    Jul 24, 2018 at 9:00

Of course there are many differences in all the terminologies mentioned by you.

Cust support engineers are the one who gives complete support to the customers via phone or email or other medium of communication.

Cust test engineers are a kind of DOMAIN Experts, who is hired by the customer from the office in order to do the USER ACCEPTANCE testing as the TE will have complete product knowledge.

On site test engineers are the one who are working in foreign countries as the test engineers for a company which also has the operations in other countries. On site test engineers are mainly Automation test engineers.

  • 2
    Have you got the source for this?
    – dvniel
    Jul 24, 2018 at 7:57

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