MSTB President Mastura Abu Samah.
Malaysia's bid to be a regional software testing hub is part of the national GRC framework, says national industry body Malaysian Software Testing Board [MSTB] President, Mastura Abu Samah, during a recent interview with Computerworld Malaysia.
Could you explain how the Malaysia Software Testing Board (MSTB)'s software initiative falls into the nation's governance, risk and compliance (GRC) framework?
Software testing in itself is a manifestation of a GRC concept. Testing is about mitigating the risks (of bugs and failures). In essence, testing is about ensuring that software used in all industry sectors meets compliance standards, a specific set of minimum acceptable standards. And the entire process of testing is subjected to strict governance by the testing scheme owner such as the International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB), which MSTB (a national industry body) is affiliated to.
Given the fact that information and communications technology (ICT) is the main enabler in the convergence of the GRC's (previously independent) elements, software testing has a vital role to play within the framework. Software testing is highly applicable in ensuring the underlying IT components of the GRC framework are thoroughly tested for functionality, integrity, security, and so forth.
In what way has awareness and competence of Malaysia's software testing industry improved since the launch of MSTB's first annual regional conference in 2008?
Since the launch of SOFTEC (MSTB's Software Testing Conference), we have consistently positioned SOFTEC as a knowledge-centric event. We see software testing and SQA (Software Quality Assurance) as key to helping the nation achieve its goals of economic transformation.
One of the objectives of SOFTEC is to raise the level of competency among local software professionals and work towards establishing a Community of Practice among members of Malaysia's software testing fraternity. At the same time, SOFTEC also contributes towards raising the level of awareness on and understanding of the relevance and importance of software testing to individuals as well as organisations.
Apart from SOFTEC, we also have the Software Testing Straight Talk, which is an annual national-level forum introduced last year. The forum is intended to be the platform for public consultation on relevant issues, challenges and recommendations which will be used as input to our strategic planning for our software testing industry. Other main programmes under the MSTH (Malaysia Software Testing Hub initiative) include Q-Laboratory (Q-LAB), Q-Industry Development (Q-Industry), Q-Capability Development (Q-CAP), Quality - Assist Programme (Q-TAP), Academic Outreach and Product Certification.
The Q-LAB is a showcase of world-class software testing facility with top-of-the line technology and testing tools. It provides the necessary skills, technology & infrastructure supports for MSTH programmes. Under the Q-Industry, we run awareness campaigns for general awareness as well as programmes for specific target groups. The Q-CAP, meanwhile, comprises activities that seek to encourage professional software testing certification among working professionals. We also run certification programmes tailored for the public sector. These trainings and certifications are conducted in collaboration with INTAN. The Q-TAP is intended to assist Malaysian organisations, which have products to be tested, develop internal software testing capability.
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