South Africa’s burgeoning software testing market offers significant opportunities for job creation, says Haydn Pinnell, MD of Gallium, an EOH company.p>South Africa’s burgeoning software testing market offers significant opportunities for job creation, says Haydn Pinnell, MD of Gallium, an EOH company.
“South Africa boasts a very dynamic software testing market, with a number of growth opportunities for the future,” he says. “South Africans often believe they’re behind the curve, but this isn’t true for everything, and certainly not for application testing. Several local organisations are very advanced with their testing methodology, especially in the financial services sector, for example, and are comparable with – if not better than – their US and European counterparts,” Pinnell maintains.
“There has been a resurgence in application testing among local organisations, especially in the last two years over the course of the global economic recession. Organisations are increasingly aware of the risks attendant not testing their applications thoroughly. Applications run your business, and critical failures to mission critical software and applications increases business risk and endangers time to market.”
But as a result of the increased demand for software testing services in the market, the local testing industry has experienced a severe shortage of human resources. “As the resource is ultimately what counts, it does drive up the cost of testing. And so, testing resources are hugely sought after, and highly-skilled resources come with a premium price,” indicated Pinnell.
“If you look at the quality of human resources, we’ve got highly qualified and experienced people in South Africa who are doing work for international companies. I would rate us as equal to or ahead of the international testing market,” he says.
“There are plenty of career opportunities for testers in the local market, and for people with testing skills to grow quickly into senior roles. Likewise this is the time for companies to be investing in ‘upskilling’ people to undertake a career in software testing,” says Pinnell.
Application testing as a career and as a discipline for the young individual is very viable, he maintains. “I think the local testing market will continue to grow, and this growth is set to accelerate as international organisations increasingly regard South Africa as a hub for testing. Areas like Cape Town and Durban are increasingly attracting the attention of overseas companies as possible bases for their testing outsourcing operations.”
Gallium regularly engages with school leavers, usually through universities and other educational institutions, to bring them into the testing fold. “Most future testers join Gallium with a few years of computer science studies behind them, and we take them through our induction programme and educate them about their development path,” says Pinnell.