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Careers after B.E./B.Tech - Higher Education Opportunities

Careers & Specialisations - Career in Software Testing

A 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 valued 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 (V&V) 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 reduce 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 industry 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 5,000 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 manager.
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 and MBA.

Featured Institutes:

  • Quexst Solutions
  • Webtek School of Software Testing
  
 

 
 

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