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Pushing the Malaysian software testing envelope: MSTB interview

AvantiKumar | June 28, 2013
In addition to SOFTEC 2013, MSTB’s president details initiatives to further build Malaysia’s software testing industry such as considering the recruitment of people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD)..


Could you detail how this year's regional conference is different from previous ones?

SOFTEC Asia 2013 (for more information, visit www.mstb.org/softec) is a natural expansion of geographical coverage for the conference. The conference will have some 20 international speakers who will collectively deliver some 40 Keynotes, Plenary as well as Tutorial and Workshop sessions.

MSTB has been organising SOFTEC annually since 2008 as a national-level event in Malaysia. The conference features a wealth of international speakers who are well-known in the global arena of software testing.
Over the years, SOFTEC has grown to become the premier software testing event in Asia through support from both domestic audience and members of the Asian Software Testing Alliance (ASTA).

SOFTEC Asia 2013 will have strong representation of speakers from Japan, where quality is embedded in their culture. Speakers from Japan will include Professor Ken Sakamura, the developer of TRON who is often referred to as 'Bill Gates of Japan' as well as Professor Motoei Azuma who is the leading expert in Software Quality Assurance in Japan and a well-respected figure in the international software quality standards development.

The conference has adopted the theme of Test the Walk and this is closely related to Malaysia's stated intention to instil Software Quality Assurance (SQA) practices across all sectors of the community.

In a nutshell, the theme encapsulates a focus on ensuring that Malaysia is moving in the right direction as the country continues to pursue software quality excellence through learning from the wealth of experience and knowledge of SQA experts and thought leaders from around the globe.

At the same time, the SOFTEC Asia 2013 will also be a platform to share Malaysia's own initiatives and learning experience in developing its software testing expertise and capability on a national level.


Moving forward, what would be your key priorities?

As domestic awareness and demand for software testing rise, the next focus will be to help build Malaysia's software testing service providers, through the MSTH Cluster development programme. The intention is to help selected (based on certain criteria) Malaysian companies to enhance capability providing independent software testing services. This is to ensure that Malaysian companies benefit from the increase in demand, catalysed by the
MSTH initiative.

Another focus area is the national Quality Software Certification Scheme based on ISO standards (ISO/IEC 17065 & MS ISO/IEC 17025). Compliance to the ISO standards means that certifications under the scheme are recognised internationally.

Through this certification, software product owners will be able to ensure that the quality of their products meet international standards, and this is especially important in boosting marketability of made-in-Malaysia software products in the global market.

 The Government of Malaysia has been supportive of these efforts through positive interventions including:

- Ensuring support/participation of Public Sector agencies in MSTH activities
- Facilitating coordination/cooperation between MSTB & relevant ministries/agencies in implementing various MSTH programmes/initiatives
- Affecting changes in relevant policies where necessary (e.g. procurement)
- Grant for professional certification (CTFL, CTAL & CPRE)
- Support for international collaborations and promotional activities

 Ultimately, MSTH is an economic development programme for the country by developing software testing industry as a new source of growth, contributing to the GDP as well as help the nation meet the aspirations to prosper in the K-Economy and become a high-income nation.

In addition to the direct benefits, particularly in business income generated through provision of testing services to domestic and international customers, programmes carried out under the initiative will also contributes towards attracting FDI [foreign direct investment] into Malaysia as well as acculturation of Quality culture across all industries. Consequently, this will help reinforce Malaysia's strides towards becoming a net exporter of product and services as outlined in the New Economic Model and Vision 2020.

 

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