This guest post was submitted by\u00a0Lorinda Brandon, Director of Strategy at Smartbear SoftwareYou might have noticed the recent publicity blitz on behalf of code.org. Or, you might be living under a rock. Code.org was formed in January 2013 with the goal of providing young people with mentorship and education in the computer science industry. There are a number of organizations like code.org \u2013 Girls Who Code, coderdojo.com, codecademy.com, to name a few - and their goal is admirable.Software has become a necessity, rather than a luxury. Software powers everything from banking to education, from shopping to socializing, and we now have a dependency on it that is as strong as our dependency on power grids and fossil fuel. And, just like those resources, we have an urgent need to find and harvest the talent to keep that infrastructure running.I have said it before and will say it again (and probably again, even): There is no better time to be in software than now. The amount of innovation and imagination in tech circles is boundless, largely powered by the \u201copen\u201d movements in various areas of the industry: open source, open data, open API\u2019s. Money is flowing freely again from investors who are interested in funding the \u201cnext great thing\u201d and, while many software enterprise organizations are still tightening their belts and hiring overseas, more young talent graduates every day and leads us where we didn\u2019t think to go on our own.From the local level to the global level, organizations like code.org recognize the need for educating and advocating in the high-tech industry. Their celebrity sponsors are sounding the call for more involvement and it will be interesting to see how people respond.I found one recent article by Kim Burgess called Teach Kids To Farm, in which she explores her father\u2019s perspective as a developer-turned-farmer. I won\u2019t go into the details because you should read her post for yourself, but I will say that I found it food for thought (pun intended). At various times, we have heard the call for more teachers, more nurses, more doctors, more family farmers. This is the first time I have heard the rallying cry for more developers, but it is coming at a time when we have a shortage of some skills (try to hire a Java developer these days, for example) and a greater dependency on software than ever before. In fact, those teachers\/nurses\/doctors\/farmers are all tapping into technology just to accomplish their daily tasks.If anything is missing from this initiative, in my opinion, it is a focus on the sister discipline of software testing. It\u2019s an area that is often underrated by some organizations, that is, until they try to use a buggy tool or an unstable API. If we are going to rely so heavily on software as the infrastructure for the finance, medical, government, and education sectors, it\u2019s important that we build quality software those industries can rely on. I would prefer that my doctor have bug-free access to my medical records and that my banking transactions get posted accurately. And, with all due respect to programmers, I like to think that those applications are thoroughly inspected by professional testers before they hit production.Software testing has been on a path toward convergence with programming for some time, especially when it comes to test automation. At the same time, many vendors have tried to create tools that allow non-programmers to exercise code in ways they would not know how to do by themselves. It\u2019s surprising how slowly this discipline has evolved over the last two decades - often because it has all the overhead of code maintenance without any associated direct revenue. And yet, the benefits of having well-maintained automated tests in a continuous integration environment can\u2019t be understated. At the same time, software testers provide much-needed input and perspective from exploratory testing and user acceptance testing. In my opinion, nothing can replace the \u201chuman perspective\u201d as part of the quality assurance cycle.So, sponsors and mentors, let\u2019s put our shoulders behind movements like code.org, but let\u2019s also put some energy into building the next generation of software testers as well.---About Lorinda Brandon, Director of Solutions Strategy at SmartBearFor more than 25 years,\u00a0Lorinda Brandon\u00a0has worked in various management roles in the high-tech industry, including customer service, quality assurance and engineering. She is currently Director of Solutions Strategy at SmartBear Software, a\u00a0leading supplier of software quality tools. She has built and led numerous successful technical teams at various companies, including RR Donnelley, EMC, Kayak Software, Exit41 and Intuit, among others. She specializes in\u00a0rejuvenating product management, quality assurance and engineering teams by re-organizing and expanding staff and refining processes used within organizations. She has a bachelor\u2019s degree in art history from Arizona State University. Follow her on Twitter\u00a0@lindybrandon.