I’ve met few people — especially those with a strong programming background — who aspired to work in software quality assurance or testing. I’ve heard rumors — never really confirmed — that at Microsoft, once you were classified as a “tester,” the chances of joining the exalted ranks of “programmer” were slim to none. No wonder so much about software sucks. Nobody wants to tackle the real grunt work of making sure it’s doing what it’s supposed to do.
Of course, the automation of testing has done a lot towards improving quality; but figuring out the appropriate tests and applying the sophisticated tools developed for the job are still human functions.
That’s why I found a Reuters story so interesting this morning. According to “Boredom to boom for India’s software-testing market,” appearing on Cnet.com, software testers in process-driven India are a bit more heralded than in the states. The head of testing at one company said that testers now often make as much as programmers.
Some of the biggest testing players include Aztec Software and Technology Services (which acquired Disha Technologies, a testing firm, for $12 million last year), Cognizant Technology and Wipro, whose VP of testing services said his division’s revenue grew 90% in the last nine months of 2004.
Apparently, companies that outsource at least some of their IT work have discovered the virtues of offshore services. Aztec officials say about $3 billion of $4.6 billion in outsourced testing is sent offshore.
According to a headhunter quoted in the article, salaries for experienced testers in Bangalore run from $18,265 to $22,831 (800,000 to one million rupees).