BJ Rollison shares his thoughts on the testing industry in Viet Nam

BJ Rollison, Software Test Architect for Microsoft, is planning to speak at the Viet Nam International Software Testing Automation Conference 2010 (VISTACON 2010) hosted by LogiGear Corporation from 20 – 22 September 2010.

Mr. Rollison started working for Microsoft in 1994, becoming one of the leading experts of test architecture and execution at Microsoft. He also teaches software testing courses for the University of Washington, and sits on the advisory board for testing certification at the University of Washington, the University of California Extension Santa Cruz, and Lake Washington Technical College.

In his keynote address, he will be sharing ideas on some of the influences driving change in software testing, some common problems in our discipline, and suggestions on ways we can meet our future testing challenges.

We recently had the opportunity to interview him as he considered his upcoming visit. One of the more striking results of his responses was his optimistic tone about Viet Nam’s software-testing industry. Also, like many who are visiting here having only read or heard about it, he is excited to actually experience Viet Nam — the country that some, including analyst John Stepek of the UK’s Money Times, called “Asia’s New Tiger.”

What do you think about the development of the software testing industry in Viet Nam?

[BJ ] This is really a great question. But, I must confess that my knowledge of the software-testing industry in Viet Nam only comes from what I have read or been told second hand. I am really amazed at the rapid growth of the software industry in Viet Nam as a whole. The software industry in Viet Nam has been increasing by more than 20% per year over the past decade, and there is a lot of opportunity for continued success. As distributed development teams continue to flourish in our global economy I am very confident that Viet Nam will continue to have a bigger impact. I think Viet Nam will emerge as a desired business partner not just because of the lower costs as compared to India, but because of both the high quality of service and also the low turnover of employees — something that is very important for building stable relationships between companies. So, I am glad to have the opportunity to visit and learn more about the software-testing industry in Viet Nam.

How do you feel about your first time speaking at a conference in Viet Nam?

[BJ ] Honestly, I am a little nervous and very excited. I suspect that most people get nervous every time they have to give a speech. Since this is the first software-testing conference in Viet Nam I sincerely hope that my small contribution will add value to the attendees and help make the conference an over-whelming success. I am also excited to visit Viet Nam for the first time. Having studied Asian history I have great respect for the rich cultures around the world. I can’t wait to learn more about the country and the Vietnamese people in person rather than from a book.

What made you decided to participate in this conference?

[BJ ] My dear friends Michael Hackett and Hung Nguyen told me about their company’s progress in Viet Nam and I was very impressed. When they asked me to speak at this conference I felt deeply honored. Because Viet Nam’s software testing industry is emerging so rapidly, it is a privilege to speak at its first testing conference. I also value the opportunity to learn more about the software-testing industry there and to meet many of the software professionals in Viet Nam.

What are you going to present at the conference and what experiences are you going to share with Vietnamese engineers about software testing?

[BJ ] I am presenting a tutorial on combinatorial testing. Testing complex systems is a difficult challenge that many testers face. In this tutorial I hope to share how we train our testers at Microsoft to design a set of effective tests when faced with these challenges. I will also talk about a technique to design and build test-data generation tools to help testers generate test data. This is a significant innovation that can save companies a lot of time and money. I will also give a keynote address on the future of the software-testing industry based on my experiences and some of the strategic visions within Microsoft.

Viet Nam International Software Testing and Automation Conference 2010 (VISTACON 2010) is the first international software-testing conference in Viet Nam with the theme of “ADVANCING THE STATE-OF-THE PRACTICE OF SOFTWARE TESTING AND TEST AUTOMATION”. VISTACON brings leading thinkers from around the globe such as Microsoft, LogiGear Corporation, Florida Institute of Technology, Electronic Arts and McAfee.

The conference serves as the central resource for all software test professionals in the Asia-Pacific region to learn, share expertise, gather information and solve complex testing and test automation problems.

VISTACON 2010 will be held at the White Palace Convention Center, Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam 20-22 September 2010. For more information about VISTACON, please visit

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