Software focus

Last Updated: Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - 13:51

A Software Developer examination can help IT grads skill-up for the industry. Prachi Rege speaks to MeritTrac—a testing and assessment company which is offering the certification in India.

Survey reports suggest that the Indian IT industry employs nearly three million professionals. 1,80,000 new positions were added this year alone. Technology companies have been consistently challenged by the quality of software developers — particularly at the entry level. Candidates too want to aide themselves with credible certifications. At such a time, a scientifically designed assessment that accurately measures the test-takers` ability to programme realistic problems in a professional software development environment is the need-of-the-hour.

Making sure the new recruits` can do the job is critical to India’s success in providing software products and services to the global market. Keeping this in mind, Dublin-based Proxor Limited—a spinoff of Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) has partnered with MeritTrac to offer the Software Developer Examination (SDE) in India.

“SDE will provide companies and training organisations with accurate and reliable assessment of whether a software developer will succeed in the workplace," says Barrington Hill, chief executive. The exam, developed at CMU and funded by World Bank, is an assessment of a candidate’s ability to build software. While there is no standard training provided to help candidates familiarise with the SDE environment, they will have access to online learning material free of cost. On completion of the assessment, the test taker gets a Proxor-MeritTrac certificate in association with CMU.

"One of the most important aspects of this exam is that it is a high stakes secure exam. To be delivered or deployed by a reliable business entity which has no conflicting businesses," says Rajeev Menon, head innovation and product management, MeritTrac. Since the exam has been developed with inputs from a number of major global software companies and CMU, the results are accepted internationally.

"MeritTrac will deliver these tests in its network of Secure Test Centres located across the country. In case a corporate or an academic institution wants to test its candidates, the tests can be administered at testing labs within the corporate/ institution," informs Menon. The list of secure test centres will be available for a candidate applying for Proxor in the registration portal.

How to apply for SDE:
1) A corporate, institution or candidate who wants to take up the certification has to purchase a SDE voucher (s) from MeritTrac and schedule test in one of the certified secure test centres.

2) Aspirants of the software developement sector in the IT industry and any practitioner who wants to benchmark his/ her programming ability with global standards can take the exam.

3) Duration of the exam is 4 to 6 hours. It is a long intensive exam in a real programming environment and has up to 720 test cases covering 4 tasks which is then graded by an automated algorithm to arrive at the programming ability of the individual.


1) Aspiring software developers can take this exam to understand their level of ability to code

2) Educational/ commercial training institutions can take this as an input into specific interventions to make their wards programme to world standards

3) Corporates can get employees assessed on this tool both as a skill inventory determinant as well as for pre training need identification and post training certification

First Published: Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - 13:51

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