ExteND Testing: Superior software and data quality engineering through neurodiversity
Neurodiverse individuals, including individuals on the autism spectrum, have unique skills such as extreme attention to detail, increased pattern recognition, sustained concentration, and out-of-the-box thinking that make them very valuable employees.
Founded in 2019, ExteND Testing based at Curtin University aims to provide superior software and data quality engineering services by harnessing the skills of neurodiverse individuals.
The services of ExteND Testing is timely given the skills shortage in the technology industry, especially in strategically important and rapidly expanding fields such as software testing and data engineering. More importantly, the consultants at ExteND Testing excel at and enjoy tasks that most software and data quality engineers find boring.
ExteND Testing is an initiative of the award-winning Autism Academy for Software Quality Assurance (AASQA) founded by Professor Tele Tan that provides individuals on the autism spectrum training, education and mentoring programs to create pathways to valued, long-term employment. Launched four years ago, AASQA has supported over 200 autistic high school autistic students through STEM clubs, placed over 30 high school students on work experiences at 12 companies, helped 17 students complete the International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB) certification examination, and created over 35 internship scholarships placing students at companies like BHP, Bankwest, Deloitte, Woodside, and Government Departments.
This initiative is financially supported by the Department of Communities Western Australia. Therapy Focus, the premier provider of disability services in Perth, the Curtin Autism Research Group (CARG), the WA Data Science Innovation Hub support this initiative through in-kind contributions.