Life increasingly dependent on software, testing is critical
Malaysia to promote higher-value testing services at lower cost
TO Gualtiero Bazzana (pic above), president of the International Software Testing Quality Board (ISTQB), the importance of software testing is crystal clear.
“With everything increasingly dependent on software, from our homes to where we travel for our healthcare … the quality of the software and the system the software resides in, has to be very high,” he said.
What was lacking 10 years ago before ISTQB, was a common language to conduct software testing in the right way. This was the motivation for the founding of the ISTQB in 2002, with its mission to advance the software testing profession.
Today its syllabus, which has been made public, has become the de facto standard for software testing certification in over 100 countries, with over 500,000 students sitting for its examinations through over 200 accredited training centres globally.
Bazzana was speaking to the media on Sept 8 at the start of the three-day Softec Asia 2015 conference hosted by the Malaysian Software Testing Board (MSTB) in Kuala Lumpur.
The opening day saw some 10 technical tracks attended by more than 200 software testers.
Bazzana described the MSTB as one of the most active bodies in Asia actively promoting awareness and increasing knowledge about software testing.
In fact, software testing has even made its way into the 11th Malaysian Plan (11MP) that will kick off in 2016.
The Malaysian Government expects software testing to be developed as a new source of economic growth, through the Malaysia Software Testing Hub – an MSTB initiative. The expectations are that local players will drive revenue growth and achieve market leadership.
At the same time, to be a preferred software testing destination, Malaysia will promote higher-value software testing services at a lower cost; develop a local market; raise local flagship companies; and build the talent pool.
According to the 11MP, with its aspiration to capture 5% of the global software testing market, it is expected that 30,000 testers will be certified by 2020 – which means the MSTB has its work cut out for it.
But as Bazzana pointed out, it is a goal worth reaching for. “We cannot deny that software testing has also become a very big business, besides becoming more important for companies,” he said.
For instance, companies that want to undertake structured testing of their IT systems spend anywhere from 25% to 30% of their IT budget on testing. This rises to even 70% of the budget for engineering companies producing complex systems with embedded software.
These high ratios also help explain why, according to Bazzana, software testing is an estimated US$30 billion a year market, and growing at about 10% to 12% a year over the next five years.
Where Malaysia plays into this picture, said MSTB president Mastura Abu Samah (pic above), is higher up the value chain.
The country is not looking to provide bodies to do the actual testing, but to provide the leadership on testing complex systems; to build the architecture and concepts behind such testing; to deliver the consultancy around the systems; and to leverage on other countries for the actual testing resources, she said.
It sounds ambitious, but under the 11MP, a roadmap has been developed which will help Malaysian software testing companies go global, with MSTB playing a key role to help achieve this goal.
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