In software testing, India is the largest provider of outsourced services globally, with around 75% of testers worldwide based in the country, up from 50% two years ago. Competing countries are Philippines, China, and Malaysia due to skilled and affordable labor forces.
Demand for qualified testers is high, with the number of employees growing by around 20% every year and the headcount expected to reach 280,000 in the near future. This requires a constant stream of trained and certified people to fill the available vacancies, and means that gaining testing qualifications and skills is attractive to students.
An organization that is helping to fulfil this expanding requirement for testers is SEED Infotech, one of India’s largest providers of IT training, staffing, and consulting. It has a team of more than 600 qualified people and delivers training at over 35 locations across the country.
SEED Infotech identified that there was a gap in the industry’s high demand for software testing skills, including an increasing demand for mobile-related testing and the capabilities that students acquired in gaining their academic qualifications. It needed to find a way to help fill this gap and increase graduates’ employability.
“To give our students the knowledge required by the industry, we needed to deliver programs that would make them job-ready,” says Raghu BS, senior vice president at SEED Infotech.
“SEED Infotech offers training in testing tools, developer platforms, and infrastructure management,” says Raghu. “From our understanding of the market, we realized that Micro Focus’ software testing tools were the most well-used and that being trained with Micro Focus tools would help our students to get jobs and bridge the gap in missing skills.”
With this recognition of Micro Focus’ position in the industry, including its major market share in the Application Delivery Management (ADM) space, and how it could help its students, SEED Infotech approached Micro Focus to deliver software testing training.
“We partner with various IT organizations to deliver each of our programs, and for software testing, Micro Focus was the best choice,” says Raghu. Micro Focus Software University gives students the skills that matter now. With 80% of IT managers saying that training is critical to project success, Micro Focus recognizes that adding technical skills immediately makes the students more valuable.”
To meet SEED Infotech’s requirements, Micro Focus provided the Micro Focus Software University ADM solution, which primarily focuses on software testing. Staff from Micro Focus Software Education train SEED Infotech’s trainers who then deliver the program to the students, most of whom are already studying computer science, information technology, or engineering. The students usually undertake the Micro Focus training immediately after they complete their primary studies, or sometimes during their final year of studies.
“All of our trainers are certified by Micro Focus and we use authorized Micro Focus course materials,” explains Raghu. “We deliver the programs at our centers in four major cities around India and over the last year about 5,000 students have gone through the training.”
The training received by students includes an introduction to software testing using automation tools as well as training on testing tools including Application Lifecycle Management (ALM), LoadRunner, Unified Functional Testing (UFT), and Performance Center.
Micro Focus provides the hardware required for the courses, as well as ‘virtual labs’ which give students the access and licenses required to use software in the cloud. Micro Focus staff are available to help SEED Infotech’s trainers, to answer questions, and resolve problems, and Micro Focus helpdesk supports SEED Infotech’s technical staff to resolve any hardware problems.
“The training is realistic and relevant to what the students will experience in the real world,” says Raghu. “Micro Focus also provides us with the right up-to-date hardware.”
Students typically undertake between 160 and 180 hours of training but have the flexibility to choose the format that suits them best. They can take a full-time course, which would usually run for 35 to 40 days, or can choose to attend for three or four hours per day, such as from 7am to 10am or from 5pm to 9pm. In this case, the training might take four or five months.
“We have a feedback mechanism to hear from students and the comments are generally good,” says Raghu.
“As well as training on particular software, Micro Focus also helps in raising students’ awareness of technologies and the career paths available once they have learned about them,” says Raghu. “Micro Focus is very helpful because it brings its insights into technology developments and keeps us updated with what is happening in the market and its changing requirements.
“Since Micro Focus is selling its software tools to its partners, if any of the partners are looking for candidates for test jobs, Micro Focus directs them to us, which means that our students get the benefit of these opportunities,” says Raghu. “We have a very close relationship with Micro Focus.”
Having completed the Micro Focus training, students would typically go on to a job in software testing. In fact, 30% of students looking for jobs found a position immediately on completing the training, and most of the remainder found relevant employment soon after, with more than 75% securing a job within six months.
“Although it does depend on the number of openings that are available in the market, all of our students find a job,” says Raghu. “Their employers range from start-ups right through to multinationals.”
Through the course, students learn about both manual and automated testing, which according to Raghu gives them an advantage in employability. He explains, “Not every company uses automated tools for testing yet, but they may look at this as a future option. This means that by choosing a student from our course, they would have a person who is already qualified in automated testing, so this improves our candidates’ chances of securing a job.”
The course has helped SEED Infotech to achieve its goal of bridging the skills gap in software testing. Raghu comments, “The purpose of this training program is to help create a more employable workforce for the country and to ensure we can fill any spaces in the market with trained people.”
As a next step, SEED Infotech is aiming to expand the training it offers in Micro Focus software testing to more cities around India, thus opening up the opportunity to more potential students.
“SEED Infotech competes with other training providers, but we are the only company who can offer a one-stop shop across various IT specialisms, including training, help with obtaining certifications and job preparation,” concludes Raghu. “Being able to offer the Micro Focus testing program helps us achieve this and increases our attractiveness to potential students.”