Lack of qualified engineers could see Black Friday collapse

Following the outage of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp last week, UK tech bosses are warning that similar slumps could occur in retail ahead of the peak as there is a lack of engineers to test software and devices. platforms.

The warning comes as online retailers and online retailers seek to maximize revenue and profits amid untested ecommerce technology and software. In recent times, this has been merged at breakneck speed by a remote workforce and has not been sufficiently tested. This leaves systems vulnerable to coding errors, traffic tsunamis, DDoS attacks, ransomware, malware attacks, and DNS provider downtime, which will almost certainly lead to lack of execution, delivery. late and even an overload.

A massive shortage of quality engineers trained in software testing to verify, test, and maintain e-commerce software and systems has created the perfect storm. Retailers are facing unprecedented demand for product delivery and end-user delivery of goods in their post-pandemic recovery and just 12 weeks away from Christmas.

A number of UK retailers have reported system issues and collapsed websites as the UK struggles to return to pre-pandemic production and keep up with demand. Software testing plays a vital role in online retailing as we rely more on online shopping.

Two UK tech companies – Credersi and ROQ, which are both technical training and software testing companies – are tackling the shortage by training ‘out-of-the-box’ quality engineers through crash-training course uniquely designed. They are also stepping up their efforts to encourage more women and members of BAME communities to test software.

ROQ is a pioneer in providing mission critical software testing solutions and supplying qualified quality engineers. The firm provides services to law giants Linklaters, as well as Deloitte, Boots, Specsavers, Unilever, MS Amlin, The Post Office and the NHS.

Stephen Johnson, Founder and CEO of ROQ Software Testing Solutions, is one of the leading figures and experts in the strategic software testing industry. He says, “As we approach the busiest time of the year heading into Christmas weeks, retailers are faced with an unprecedented set of consumer demands. Demand exceeds supply and goods take longer to manufacture and deliver. This is largely due to the factors of Brexit and the pandemic. “

He continues: “The Facebook / Instagram / What’s App outage this week also perfectly demonstrated the vulnerability of systems if they are not regularly tested. No business is too big to fall, and the impact on any business can be devastating both financially and in terms of lost customer confidence and goodwill.

He adds, “This is also a time when retailers are facing huge spikes and increases in their ecommerce sites with Black Friday, Cyber ​​Monday and the increase in online shopping with the. Christmas request. Brexit and the pandemic have also created the perfect storm of skills shortages across a number of industries. Software testing plays a vital role in the core functionality of any retail and e-commerce business. Unless you thoroughly test systems, you can’t find weaknesses or vulnerabilities until it’s too late. Often for an e-merchant, this has a high financial cost and a major impact on customers.

In December of last year, the Debenhams website crashed when more than a million buyers attempted to access the site. The cloud computing service quickly took down thousands of websites in multiple countries earlier this year, costing many businesses billions in lost revenue. Retailers such as Amazon and eBay also discovered that their websites were gone for an hour. These 2 companies alone claim a combined annual turnover of £ 25bn in the UK, meaning that a one-hour outage would have cost them £ 3m over that period. Other e-commerce sites such as PayPal were also affected and based on their 2020 transactions of $ 963 billion, the hour-long outage is said to have cost them around $ 106 million.

Johnson continues, “It is absolutely vital that any retailer or online retailer with an e-commerce presence ensures that their software testing is placed at the center of their operations. There are simply not enough quality engineers to meet the demand from UK businesses and very soon it will hit a breaking point.

The skills shortage in software testing has also been accelerated by the outsourcing of ‘testing services’ and Brexit. Andy Lord warned of the very real risk that if the UK does not train enough quality engineers for software testing, “there could be dire consequences not just for retail and e-commerce. , but also for businesses, industry and manufacturing who all need tested software systems. “


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