Christmas traffic spike could cause online ‘meltdown’ as labour crisis impacts software engineers


Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas could see retailers’ ecommerce systems collapse entirely as tech bosses warn there “simply aren’t enough quality engineers to keep up with the demand”.

The spike in online traffic expected to hit ecommerce sites over the coming quarter could cause large scale meltdowns, with “disastrous consequences not just for retail and e-commerce, but also business, industry and manufacturing who all need software systems tested,” according to experts.

It comes as the UK’s labour shortage crisis begins to impact the tech industry, with a severe lack of software engineers meaning systems remain untested and potentially unable to deal with the upcoming spike in traffic.

“The Facebook/Instagram/What’s App outage this week has also perfectly demonstrated the vulnerability of systems if they are not regularly tested,” ROQ Software Testing Solutions’ founder and chief executive Stephen Johnson said.

READ MORE: £2bn in sales have already been lost by supermarkets over driver, labour and commodities shortages

“No company is too big to fall and the impact on any business can be devastating both financially and in losing customer trust and goodwill.”

Johnson went on to highlight numerous examples of high profile retail site failures, including Debenhams crash last December and Fastly’s error which took down huge portions of the internet including Amazon, PayPal and Ebay costing them many million in lost sales.

“It is absolutely vital that any high street or online retailer with an e-commerce presence ensures that their software testing is put front and centre of their operations,” he continued, adding: “There simply aren’t enough quality engineers to keep up with the demand by British companies and very soon this will reach breaking point.”

In a bid to tackle this crisis, ROQ and Credersi have teamed up to create a British software testing curriculum designed to “fast track” new software engineers, much like the schemes being introduced across the industry to fast-track lorry drivers.

The newly created training course will enable students to become fully qualified engineers in software testing in 14 weeks.

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