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Software Testing

Should Software Testing Be Military?

Software bugs cost the global economy an average of $312 billion a year. Yet there is a virtually ignored unemployed population of systematic, methodical, hard-working, team spirited individuals out there desperate to progress in careers. Perhaps marrying the great swathes of jobless ex-military with the need for rigorous global software testing could achieve an extremely socially responsible and lucrative system?          

Alex is 27. His suit is exceptionally well pressed. His shoes shine so hard you could check your teeth in them. As he firmly shakes your hand, his gaze is clear and steady. This is a man who understands routine and processes, respects authority implicitly and can be relied upon to systematically take any task right through to the bitter end. But Alex is the same as the millions of ex-military personnel discharged annually around the world; once he returned to civilian life, despite being anxious to find a career, he struggled to even find a job.

A 2012 US survey of new veterans from Prudential, Inc. showed that 60% of those spoken to reported that “translating their military service to the civilian job market was a significant challenge”.  Whilst in China this month the China Legal Aid Foundation launched a special fund for soldiers who left the armed-services, stating that tens of thousands of ex-military personnel face problems in finding employment following release from service.

However, the world over, the army teaches discipline, following procedure and leadership, all qualities that certain aspects of the corporate world craves.  As Shane Robinson wrote for Forbes “At 18 I was placed in charge of $5M worth of classified equipment. I have colleagues who in their 20s were appointed interim governors of entire towns.” Irrespective of the political charge to these roles, the people who perform them have an incredible skillset which appears to be being ignored.

Now Karen Ross, the business owner of internet technology and consulting firm, Sharp Decisions, in New York City may have come up with a solution. Her scheme is aimed specifically at post 9/11 veterans in the US, but it perhaps has potential for ex-military around the world.  Ross’ scheme started six months’ ago and involves paying those selected for two weeks’ intensive training, grouping them into small teams and then placing them as quality assurance analysts/ testers.  Could this be the perfect fit?

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