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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

Spreading the Testing Gospel

Shivani Mody
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Shivani Mody
If being a software tester does not sound like a savvy career choice, think again. A neglected category of IT services till 2000, software testing has now emerged as a $13 billion global market with $3 billion being accounted for offshore testing. Recent estimates suggest that nearly $1 billion of it, is captured by the Indian companies. With experts speculating that the market opportunities for offshore software testing companies to hit $8 billion by 2008, India is all set to make a mark.

Despite offering immense potential, software-testing awareness is limited in the country. With a need to popularize testing as a career and a business, a forum called Software Testing Practitioners of India (STeP-IN) was launched in October 2003. This non-profit forum caters to the needs of testers by bringing together software test professionals, practitioners, academicians, and service/product vendors on an international platform. Now members share techniques, frameworks and case studies to enhance software-testing at the events.

The main activities and strategies were decided by the steering committee, which has the likes of Arun Ramu, VP, Head-Independent Validation Solutions Group, Infosys Technologies, as President of STeP-IN forum and Ramesh Gopalaswamy, Consultant and Adjunct Professor, IIITB and Anna University, as the Vice President. They lured other practitioners into the conferences. Starting with 300 participants, today it stands at 1,600, and still counting.

Students generally don’t select software-testing as a career path. Tapping into the student base, each member of the steering committee adopts one college and spreads the knowledge amongst them. Their goal is to create interest in students and bring up the testing fraternity in the colleges itself. They also plan to request the alma maters to introduce testing as a subject in the curriculum.

In India there is no support available to encourage testers or to solve their problems. The Step-IN forum has taken up the task of becoming the largest helping body and creating 20,000 to 25,000 testers in India. In order to achieve this benchmark, they organize talks, theme conferences and colloquiums to share test related concepts and innovations.
The STeP-IN forum conducts quarterly conferences with experts delivering lectures on set themes such as usability testing and performance engineering. They conduct international conferences, wherein industry veterans arrange tutorials, guiding members to learn new practices, while a panel evaluates white papers, technical reports and industrial research works.

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