recent Gartner report estimated the global market for
outsourced testing services at around Rs 27,450 crore,
of which India
is expected to corner 70 per cent. "While the global
market for testing grows at about 20 per cent, India is
growing at about 50 per cent," says President -
IT Services, Wipro Technologies. Testing in India was
at under Rs 900 crore in 2003-04 and expected to cross
Rs 3,150 crore by 2007.
One reason for this is that many consider testing to be fairly
well defined and easy to outsource. Similar skill sets are
used for software development and regular testing. India's
skill in software development and the fact that over 50 per
cent of SEI CMM level 5 companies are located here ensures
that we attract a big chunk of the global testing market.
The demand for testing is largely from banking and financial
services, insurance and telecom. "A new area opening
up is Independent Software Vendor (ISV) products and embedded
systems. Manufacturing is also growing, especially ERP testing," says
Vice President, Products & Technology Group, Patni Computers.
ISV product testing would involve developing a unique testing
tool for each software application. For example, two banks
would have two different testing tools for their applications,
even if they had some common functions. "Almost all
demand is from foreign countries outsourcing to India. Indian
companies outsourcing testing to Indian testers is minuscule
at about Rs 200 crore," says COO, ReadyTestGo, an independent
testing company. This situation is unlikely to change, as
there is no visible cost advantage. Until now testing was
part of a project and independent testers were few. "With
transactions going online, a robust testing infrastructure
has become imperative," says Vice-President, Testing
Practice, Cognizant Technology Solutions. Typically 20 to
40 per cent of a product lifecycle comprises testing. Founder,
Chairman & CEO, AppLabs Technologies, says contract size
in the technology vertical ranges between Rs 50 lakh and
Rs 10 crore a year, while those in the BFSI vertical are
Rs 40-50 crore a year. Independent testers like WebTek have
seen double growth (year-on-year) over the past five years
and are projecting the same over the next three years as
well. "The fact that testing-specific centres of excellence
have grown in the last three years indicates that the size
of the billing contracts too has increased," says
VP and Head, Independent Validation Services, Infosys Technologies.
With such revenues many software development organisations,
including big players like Wipro, Cognizant, Patni and
others, have set up separate Verification and Validation
units. Wipro's Testing Services division contributes 11.5
per cent of total revenues at Rs 738 crore. Cognizant's Independent
V&V team started with 300 employees in 2004 and today
has over 3,000 testers. Infosys Technologies too has an independent
V&V unit that contributes about 6 per cent of its revenues.
Independent testers bring objectivity and credibility to
the testing and defect-reporting process. Due to their
niche expertise in technology, they are able to significantly
costs and accelerate the customer's time-to-market. Often,
independent testers have labs with historical test data.
This helps reduce financial, technological and estimation
risks. In-house testing facilities allow employees to move
between testing and software development. As many freshers
are assigned testing jobs, it is a good opportunity for
the youngsters to dapple in software development. As the
has considered testing a low-end job many do not opt for
a career in testing. But with the booming demand there
is likely to be a shortage of testers in future.
The domestic testing industry will need over 15,000 professionals," says
Kulasekharan of ReadyTestGo. Others put this figure at
25,000. Ramu of Infosys says the shortage could range between
and 10,000 people.
Freshers work on about 70 per cent of regular testing while
those with experience do niche testing. Typically, career
growth follows this sequence over 10 years trainee, test
engineer, test analyst, QA lead, project manager and program
Testers can also move into mainstream development and maintenance.
Options include cross-training in technology and management.
This helps a regular tester develop niche knowledge in a
particular vertical or domain. Such testers can become Test
Process Consultants. The growth would then be as follows:
tester, test specialist, consultant, senior consultant, test
architect, principal architect and CTO.
Software testing service has opened up great career opportunities
for those who have completed BE, BTech, BCA, MCA, BSc, MSc