Its an exciting time for software testing

Written by Surya Vangara | Updated: May 30 2011, 06:35am hrs
This is a great time to be in software testing and an even better time to be a tester in India. Let me qualify this. Software testing has matured globally in the last 15 years. In the mid 1990s, it was regarded as a part of the software development cycle. Today, businesses globally perceive testing as a separate service and are requesting independent validation. Consequently, independent testing and assurance is emerging as a huge opportunity, and India is a market to look out for.

Lets look at some of the market drivers. Regulatory requirements across various industries worldwide are getting more stringentSarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA, IT Act in India, RBI regulations et al. Beyond compliance issues, corporate players are sensitive to the operational risk posed by the lack of independent validation. In essence, the market today is unforgiving of software failure. Hence, the heightened need for independent testing.

The numbers that follow may phrase this story better than the words above. According to a recent Nasscom report, over the last 5-6 years, India has grown to become the largest destination for outsourcing of software testing services, accounting for 32% of the total global outsourcing share. Export revenues and the number of employees have doubled over the last four years. In FY 2011, the Indian independent software testing market is expected to grow 23.5% over FY 2010. The icing on the cake is the fact that the domestic software testing market has the potential to cross $1.5 billion by 2020.

Market potential cannot be realised or exceeded without quality talent. I believe software testers are a special breed. Apart from technical expertise, they should be inclined to acquire domain and functional knowledge, have significant analytical skills and understand business dependencies. A tester should understand his/her clients entire business landscape. S/he should have the confidence to communicate with a cross-section of managers on the client side. As we say, You cant be ostrich-minded in testing.

Before I share Maverics talent strategy, let me briefly familiarise you with some highlights of the companys 10-year journey. A pure-play, independent software testing specialist, Maveric has a strong focus on the banking, financial services and insurance verticals. We have always looked at (our clients) business instead of technology, and devoted years to deepening our domain expertise. There has been a significant investment in IP, wherein we are focusing on developing reusable testing components. Today, we have over 50 customers across the Middle East, the UK, Europe, APAC and India. With the imminent birth of several new banks in India, the country will be a key market for us in 2011. Over the next five years, our efforts will be to move up the value chain and emerge as a leading player in business assurance.

Guided by this vision, we are recruiting from a variety of streams. We recruit MBA graduates, both with and without experience, engineers as well as non-engineering talent. Maveric has a strategic tie-up with the Loyola Institute of Business Administration (LIBA) where select students are sponsored for a two-year postgraduate programme at LIBA with a specialisation in banking and testing. The course material on testing has been prepared by Maveric and the company also shoulders the responsibility of providing teaching faculty for this subject from among its experienced employees. At the end of the programme, the students are absorbed by the company. Maveric also has a partnership with IIT Madras, wherein IIT Madras helps Maveric further its R&D in testing through a combination of research projects, consultancy, student sponsorship and joint IP development activities.

Every market has its crests and troughs. But the Maveric spirit, which epitomises adventure, only gets bolder. We are a flat and open organisation; we find safety stifling. From walkathons and biking expeditions for the Maverics to CXO summits on software testing for the clients, the endeavour is to make every day at Maveric abound with opportunities.

The author is VP, Delivery, Maveric Systems