Help kick start the careers of upcoming software testers with autism

Thursday, 26 April 2018

It’s been just over a month since the 2nd round of EPIC TestAbility Academy (ETA) launched, helping 10 people on the autism spectrum kick-start careers in the software testing industry.

ETA is a collaboration between IT experts Dr Lee Hawkins, Paul Seaman and EPIC, which aims to provide participants with skills in testing techniques, Agile methodologies and programming basics.

EPIC Disability Services Manager David Law said that after participants complete the program, they will be placed with host employers to gain valuable experience in the IT and software testing sector.

“Over the next few weeks EPIC will be looking to connect with software developers, and companies with in-house software testing and IT capabilities, to find opportunities for participants to put their skills into practice,” David said.

Already ETA participants have been busy applying their newfound knowledge through visiting The Arcade, a collaborative hub for game development companies in Melbourne. While there, participants met several companies and enjoyed the chance to mix with people in their prospective field.

Huy Nguyen, CEO of Enabler Interactive, invited participants to test his platform which provides 3D simulation training for the disability sector. Bondi Labs also provided the opportunity to test their training platform which teaches workers WH&S training through gaming technology. It is used by major businesses including Bunnings.

The benefits of hiring people on the autism spectrum for IT and testing roles are being realised by more businesses every day.

“We’ve seen big players like Microsoft, SAP, Unisys and HPE singing the praises of their employees with autism,” said David.

“Unisys have described their testers with autism as some of the most dedicated, productive people they’ve ever seen, and Microsoft speak to the creativity and innovative skills their employees with autism bring.”

David is optimistic that such statements from respected and reputable companies will encourage other companies to give employees on the autism spectrum a start.

“The natural attributes of individuals on the autism spectrum lend themselves well to the challenge of being a good software tester,” said David.

“Software testing requires an eye for detail, concentration, perseverance, pattern recognition and an ability to spot deviances in data, information and systems. People on the autism spectrum can bring these skills and more to your business.”