G's story

Softec2010 – Software Testing Conference in KL, Malaysia
June 17, 2010, 6:10 am
Filed under: IT Evangelism

Good effort!

It is really a good news seeing the government & MDec pushing/promoting software testing as one of the main stream job in the software industry.

Since software testing was one of my first job in Motorola more than 10 years ago, I would definitely agree to promote this under rated sub category of software engineering, which many of the software guys perceive as “uncool” simply because you dont write the code, you are merely testing the code – written by someone else.
But as many experienced guys know, testing requires equal if not more skills, and knowledge of not only the technology, but also the domain and operations. And dont get me even started on the various process, methodologies, tools and technologies available in testing ( check this out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_testing ).

What is the purpose of Softec 2010? International marketing OR local education?

One matter which troubles me is the way this Softec 2010 is being organized. Instead of starting small and introducing the field to many (government, private and students), it seems to take a International approach, which is good and bad. Good because the government has announced that it wants Malaysia to become a software testing hub, hence conference such as this provides a good visibility to the regional market about Malaysia’s approach and puts Malaysia in the software testing radar.
But the drawback of that is that, its too pricey!

Prices are too high!

A typical software engineer who is no longer a student will have to spend more than RM 5,650 just to attend the conference (RM 2,750), workshop(RM 1,450) and tutorial(RM 1,450) –  (and that is the Early bird’s price!) the Normal price is RM 6,150 ! The student  seems be allowed only to enter for the Conference for RM 1,850 (Fixed price)!
See for yourself at : http://www.smecorp.gov.my/sites/all/themes/drupalmagazine/images2/softec.pdf
Now, tell me, which student is going to pay RM 1,850 to start learning about Software Testing?
And which sane working guy is going to fork out RM 5,650 (which probably is his 2 months salary) to visit and attend the workshops?
And how many engineers do you think a SME company in Malaysia will be able to send if for every engineer it costs around RM 6,150?
(Remember that this is organized by the Small And Medium Industry body in Malaysia – http://www.smidec.gov.my/ – But the prices do not look small!)
Another final remark, they can probably argue saying that this events has mostly international speakers, and they don’t come cheap. But thats exactly my argument, why go and get international speakers, when you have so many locally talented resources both in the academic world as well as the private sector. Which most probably you will have to pay as well, but not as much as this!
And that is what is needed now! Development and Encouragement of local pool development. How can we progress in software engineering if we always seem to depend on external resources?
It is only when we give local companies opportunity, they will be able to improve their quality, and thus becoming world standard one day!
There is a lot more to talk about, but this is enough said. Hope that someone from Softec 2010 will see this post.

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