Autism as a Competitive Advantage
At quality assurance company, ULTRA Testing, 75% of the employees have autism spectrum disorder. The company’s co-founder says that gives the business a competitive advantage, and has helped them produce better results than IT heavyweights like IBM.
ULTRA Testing is a technology startup that provides quality assurance services. Its headquarters is in New York, but most of the staff signs in from remote offices. That’s because UTLRA recruits employees with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) from all over the US. The company’s co-founder, Rajesh Anandan, believes that employing software testers with ASD gives ULTRA a competitive advantage.
The quality assurance company is competing with IT heavyweights like IBM. “We won a project away from an IBM team doing a specialized type of testing. We did the exact same thing and extended the bug detection rate by 56%,” says Anandan. He adds that the bugs found were not random, and that 90% were a priority-fix for the client. “We have displaced IBM as accessibility testing vendor for this client and continue to work with that client,” he says
People with ASD are often characterized by their challenges, such as poor social and communication skills and sensitivity to light and sound, but at ULTRA Testing, they focus on their strengths such as pattern recognition, logical reasoning, and attention to detail.
Anandan says these abilities make people with ASD excellent software testers, and that’s what gives their company its leg up in the quality assurance market. “We believe we’re the best in the world,” says Anandan, “And we believe we’re that way because we’re a well-run company, but also because of this incredible talent pool that we’ve been able to attract into our industry.”
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