What does rocker Bon Jovi have to do with quality assurance? I don't really know. It's just that he's among the folks seeking commitments from tech companies to provide more than 1,000 QA internships this summer. It's part of the White House's Summer Jobs+ initiative, announced in January, designed to provide summer jobs for young people.
An initiative, called SummerQAmp, aims to train young people ages 18 to 24, for careers in quality assurance. Said Kevin Haggard, vice president of quality engineering at luxury goods site Gilt Groupe:
Quality assurance is an important role to ensure your favorite mobile apps and software programs work properly. While there is demand to find quality engineers in the U.S., it is difficult to find individuals with experience since it is not taught in school or recognized as a career opportunity.
And Steve Martocci, co-founder of GroupMe, a group-messaging software vendor:
QA is one of these jobs and careers that you can't really go to school for. People really tend to learn their skills on the job.
The internships can be paid or unpaid, full-time or part-time, and will depend on the company participating. Though the program is geared toward underprivileged youth, there are no income requirements for participation. Those taking part also don't have to be in college, FINS reports.
Actually, it's not just about a summer internship, but intended as a way to prepare young people for lifelong careers in IT. SummerQAmp is partnering with the CK-12 Foundation to provide online resources for QA careers and an online course for software development. That's something Codecademy has developed with its "Code Summer+" program.
Said Neeru Khosla, founder of the CK-12 Foundation:
Learning to code is intimidating and foreign to many and may not be the best first step with regards to software development careers for some people, especially the youth being targeted with Summer Jobs+. On the other hand, Web-based educational component to reach the hundreds of thousands of people who are interested in QA and software development is a very powerful initial step toward learning programming. What can bring more clarity to learning than being able to critique it?