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Quality as the norm: SOFTEC Asia 2013

AvantiKumar | Sept. 12, 2013
The Malaysian Software Testing Board's first regional edition of its annual SOFTEC gathering of IT software testing professionals also marks Q-Lab's highest testing certification level.

Softec 2013 modified 

Photo -  (From left) Puan Azizah Hamzah, Director K-Economy, Economic Planning Unit (EPU), Prime Minister's Department; Mastura Abu Samah, President of Malaysian Software Testing Board (MSTB); Yang Berbahagia Senator Dato' Seri Abdul Wahid Omar, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department; Yang Berusaha En. K. Yogeesvaran, Deputy Director-general, Economic Planning Unit, Prime Minister's Department; and Encik Amiruddin Jaafar Sidek, Director, Malaysian Software Testing Board (MSTB).


The Malaysian Software Testing Board's first regional edition of its annual SOFTEC gathering of IT software testing professionals and international experts also marks the achievement of Malaysian Q-Lab's highest certification level - TMMi (Test Maturity Model Integration) Level 5 assessment.

During a media briefing, Malaysian Software Testing Board (MSTB) president Mastura Abu Samah announced that one of its initiatives to making Malaysia a regional software testing hub and to making "quality as a norm was the establishment of Q-Labs."

"MSTB's Q-Laboratory [Q-Lab] has passed its TMMi (Test Maturity Model Integration) Level 5 assessment in August 2013. This makes Q-Lab the third testing facility in the world to have achieved this level, which is the highest in the TMMi certification model," said Mastura, adding that this was one of the stepping stones to establishing a regional high value software testing hub in Malaysia.

In his keynote speech, minister in the Malaysian Prime Minister's department, Senator Dato' Sri Abdul Wahid bin Omar, said,  "The Malaysia Software Testing Hub (MSTH) initiative is not only about developing Malaysia's software testing capability to meet domestic needs but also to offer the services globally."

"As outlined in both the New Economic Model (NEM) and the 10th Malaysia Plan, knowledge, highly-skilled human capital and innovation are key enablers for the nation towards becoming a developed country," said Abdul Wahid. "We need to shift from being a net importer to a net exporter of selected ICT products and services. "

He said the global market for software testing services provides a high potential niche area for growth. "IDC estimates that outsourced testing services worldwide spending is currently US$14.8 billion and is expected to exceed US$29 billion by 2017."

"However, we must act fast to capture (a share) of this market," said Abdul Wahid. "We have to train local talent to ensure they are certified software testers."

"It is also equally important that we encourage local companies to undertake related assignments towards strengthening their track record," Abdul Wahid said. "Malaysian companies must be seen as significant players in this field and I earnestly urge the government and its agencies to support this initiative."

MSTB, which has been organising SOFTEC annually since 2008, held the first regional edition at Sunway Resort Hotel and Spa from 2nd to 5th September 2013.

Next criterion of success

Abdul Wahid added that as software engineering is a very specialised field, Malaysia needed to retain trained talent in the country.  "We should be developing our pool of knowledge-based skilled talent to serve our own increasing needs and offer services in selected niches to the global market."

He said eight Malaysian universities have so far answered the call and produced curriculums that included relevant skills. In addition, the public services training institute INTAN has played a role in training civil employees.

Abdul Wahid said based on the Technavio market report, the Asia Pacific region has grown to become the largest destination for testing services in terms of market billing, accounting for up to 78 percent of the global outsourced testing market, worth US$11.5 billion (the corresponding figure was just at 19.8 percent in 2009).

"Much has been said about the need to have quality in everything we do," he said. "Measurements for quality might differ, but the central theory is that quality adds value to the product or service. In developed countries quality is seen as a norm, a given, and it is ingrained in the development of a product"

One of the keynote expert speakers, Malaysia-born Prof Jasbir Singh director of system testing excellence programme (STEP) at FedEx Institute of Technology, University of Memphis, USA, said software testing achievements by MSTB has been growing well. "The next criterion to measure success is for companies to arrive in the country to buy software testing services from Malaysia."

"The Malaysian government's inclusion of software testing in its development programme is a wise choice as this sector will rise to the fore in the next 10 years," said Prof Singh.


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