innovative consultancy in Denmark (Specialisterne: Sense & Details) has staff of 50 or so part-time consultants are considered best-in-class—they are paid industry-competitive wages, and customers include LEGO, Microsoft, and Oracle—75 percent of them live with what others might consider a handicap: they have Asperger syndrome or some form of ASD.
Testing, for its part, calls for a whole different set of skills. Testers must pay strict attention to detail as they scrutinize the functionality of menus, navigation, and applications.
- Techies tend to be idiosyncratically talented. The case "Specialisterne: Sense & Details" is about putting diverse talent where it will be most effective.
- Software testing requires superb powers of concentration combined with tolerance (even preference) for routine tasks.
- Seventy-five percent of the software consultants in the Specialisterne case have Asperger syndrome or some form of autism spectrum disorder.
- Some software testing may be offshored, but mission-critical testing must be done near the client.
1. Robert D. Austin is an associate professor in the Technology and Operations Management unit at Harvard Business School.