Having such a large number of software test professionals would give us the 'economic of scale' advantage in the sense that development of the industry could move faster and collectively, we will be able to be more competitive in the international market.
Beyond the professional certification, we must also make sure that our professional testers continue to update their knowledge and skills. One of the platforms to achieve this is through our SOFTEC event. We are also working towards creation of a Community of Practice for Malaysia's software test professionals to promote continuous interaction, exchange of knowledge, sharing of ideas and business networking. We have the Q-Portal (www.qportal.com.my) to facilitate this.
In the longer term, we are looking at establishing a professional body for software test professionals so as to provide industry recognition for them. Through such a body, we would also be able to establish a framework to facilitate software professionals continue to keep their skills and competency current, through structured schemes.
How does Malaysia compare to other countries in the region also bidding to be a regional testing hub?
Our approach to develop our software testing industry is unique. Through the MSTH initiative, we have the industry driving the economic programme with very strong support by the government. The ultimate goal of MSTH is to establish a sustainable software testing ecosystem in Malaysia. By definition, an ecosystem would encompass all inter-dependent elements of the industry - the skills and competencies, the demand and supplies (domestic and international), the infrastructure and legal framework.
We are fortunate in the sense that some of the building blocks for the ecosystem are already in place as a result of the government's earlier initiatives such as the MSC Malaysia. However, there is still a big gap in terms of availability of rightly skilled and competent resources and market development. Pertinent points on Malaysia's issues related to the gaps in the country's skills and competencies are highlighted in the 'ICT Human Capital Development Framework' booklet published by MOHE in 2010.
The MSTH initiative envisages that the ecosystem would put Malaysia in a strong position to offer our expertise to the regional and global markets. Apart from putting together the building blocks for the ecosystem, we have also started our international market development programmes. In addition, the ecosystem will also have spill-over effects on other industries in terms of quality enhancement as well as operational and business efficiencies which in turn, translate into better profitability and ROI (returns on investment).
In addition, the government, through EPU (Economic Planning Unit) and MOSTI (Ministry of Science, Innovation and Technology), has been very supportive of the effort to position Malaysia as a regional testing hub. In fact, the MSTH is an economic development initiative with the aim of developing software testing industry as a new source of economic growth and contributes to the GDP (gross domestic product) of the nation. This fits well with the country's aspiration to become a high-income nation by the year 2020.
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