Since the launch of initiatives such as Q-Lab in mid-2010, how do you think the industry has helped or hindered progress?
Since its opening in 2010, the Q-Lab has attracted visit from numerous domestic and international visitors and they returned impressed. Achieving a Level 3 in the Test Maturity Model integration (TMMi) accreditation also helped strengthen Q-Lab's positioning as world-class software testing facility.
Commercially, the Q-Lab has achieved a number of successes, even from its very first year. The two publicly announced contracts were with Mutiara Smart Computing (2010) and Telekom R&D (2011). Several other contracts were secured after that including a major one sealed earlier this year (We are not at liberty to reveal the names of the other clients)
The Q-Lab has also been consulted by public and private organisations to help them assess their testing needs and in some cases, to prepare their Independent Verification & Validation (IVV) tenders.
In other areas, the Q-Lab has also conducted numerous test tool workshops for universities as well as user organisations.
All these are well within the intended purpose of the Lab's establishment - both as a commercially able testing facility and as a showcase outfit pivotal in supporting and realisation of MSTH activities and objectives.
Has the talent gap in the country for skilled testing professionals improved or degraded in specific areas - especially in qualitative as well as quantitative terms?
The increase in the number of certified testers, as described above does help reduce the talent gap for skilled professionals, albeit specific in software testing.
Under the MSTH initiative, MSTB promotes internationally-recognised professional certification schemes from the International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB) and the International Requirements Engineering Board (IREB).
Both of these schemes are centred on syllabi that have been developed from collective experience of seasoned practitioners and experts from around the world. And the syllabi are continuously updated by the respective bodies (ISTQB & IREB).
As such, there is no or minimal gap against industry's current needs/practice.
At the same time, MSTB also champions compliance to internationally recognised processes for testing organisations based on the Test Maturity Model integration (TMMi) framework.
This is to ensure that both our testers and testing organisations are at par with internationally accepted levels in terms of skills, competency and test processes.
Through our Academic Outreach programme, we are trying to address the 'gap' issue at the university level. MSTB is working directly with eight universities to pilot implementation of ISTQB's Certified Tester Foundation Level (CTFL) syllabus in the existing software engineering curriculum. Based on the findings and lessons learnt from the pilot, we will submit a proposal for a national rollout of the programme.
We are also starting a similar pilot implementation with IREB's Certified Professional for Requirements Engineer - Foundation Level (CPRE-FL).
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