Software Quality Assurance and Testing: An Emerging Employer
The software quality assurance and testing segment was created out of the need to ensure that the application provided to a client operated according to requirements and was free of bugs. Though this segment has been around for decades, few analysts and development firms have paid much attention to the emerging market, until quite recently. In this article we will discuss the new employment potential facilitated by this emerging segment.
The Importance of Quality Assurance and Testing in Software Development
The need for companies to deploy software tools for maintaining competitiveness and enhancing productivity has propelled growth in the software development industry over most of the past decade. But as the complexity of applications increased, the possibility of bugs and boilerplate code in the new applications has also increased. To ensure that such bugs and unnecessary codes are identified and resolved in a timely manner, the industry has developed a range of Quality Assurance and Testing practices. The implementation of these practices was the cornerstone for development of the specialized field of software testing within the industry.
The concept of testing in itself is nothing new and game designers have found it necessary to test their games at special pre-release events to ensure that they would click with the intended audience. But often such testing was carried out by the designers themselves or by gamers who had little and often no knowledge of computer codes. This format of testing was often quite inefficient and often caused delays in launching of the new software. The present-day specialized field of software testing developed out of a need to expedite the development process by decreasing the overall time to market for new software.
What Does a Software Tester Do?
Simply put, a software tester runs a new application to determine the presence of any operational deficiencies in the system. Like any process, the field of software testing also features a number of steps to ensure that none of the key aspects of an application starting from the UI to the security/additional functions incorporated into the system are overlooked. Ideally the correct skill set for a software tester includes prior knowledge of programming and the ability to understand as well as rectify codes in different programming languages according to the client's/company's requirement. In some cases, testers are also required to be proficient in writing automation codes to ensure that specific software can be operated on additional platforms as well. In view of these requirements, it is no mystery that few are selected for this role in leading companies and most prospects fail to make the cut.
The Increased Requirement for Software Testers
Independent estimates calculated that the US-based software testing industry is currently worth US$59 billion. As the recession deepens, many US and Western Europe-based companies in developed countries especially Independent software vendors are expected to outsource their QA/testing requirements to leading offshore centers in Philippines, India and Brazil. By the year 2015, this outsourcing trend is projected to create a specialized software testing market worth approximately US$9.1 billion in India alone. This is capable of creating numerous jobs as the current workforce lacks the capability to deal with the predicted influx of QA/testing requirements in the Industry.
Challenge to Development: An Indian Perspective
India has been a leading offshore software development location for over a decade now, but a shift in priorities is required. We already excel at training developers and deploying working applications at rapid speeds, however, QA/Testing is often treated as a secondary role. A change in this attitude towards Software Testing in India is the first step to deriving benefits from the emerging segment. A second issue is the requirement for specialized training programs, which can identify potential talent and groom it to the requirements of the software testing market. No such unified training program for testers currently exists in India, which has led companies to operate their own training programs according to specific requirements. Only by taking steps to develop a unified program and keeping pace with the rapidly changing times, India can emerge as the leading player in the world-wide Quality Assurance Services market and benefit from the outsourcing of various QA/testing requirements.
Author: Abhishek Chakravarti