IT skills shortage could delay software development

The IT skills shortage continues to plague executives and developers alike and could lead to significant delays in the development of software and systems, according to a benchmarking report by a NATA accredited software testing firm.

The 2010 Ross Report found that there will likely be an increase in demand for an extra 1500 to 2000 software testers in the next two years.

KJ Ross & Associates director, Dr Kelvin Ross, who headed up the research, said the increasing skills gap in the software testing segment will increase competition among clients and create strong growth.

"This is in quite strong contrast to what we've seen previously, where software testing has usually been carried out by organisations as an afterthought in development -- if it gets carried out at all," he said.

The report found that the extra funds allocated to testing was not always targeted in the most efficient or effective ways, one of 28 major findings. Cultural changes in the industries that utilise testers, however, have led to some positive changes, said Ross.

"While the Ross Report found late implementation of testers was still an issue, more and more businesses are seeing the value of testing earlier in the development cycle, which is a positive both for us and for developers," he said.

"The flipside to this testing boom, however, is that testers are set to become a more scarce human resource in Australia, which I'm concerned may result in corners being cut.

"What we don't want to see is faulty and buggy software being released into the marketplace or being used by organisations."

Organisations that haven't completed software testing on current projects, or are about to commence new projects, should look seriously at booking software testers as soon as possible, he said.

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