Self-organizing network, or SON, technology, which is able to minimize human intervention in networking processes, was proposed to reduce the operational costs for service providers in future wireless systems. As a cost-effective means to significantly enhance capacity, heterogeneous deployment has been defined in the 3GPP LTEAdvanced standard, where performance gains can be achieved through increasing node density with low-power nodes, such as pico, femto, and relay nodes. The SON has great potential for application in future LTE-Advanced heterogeneous networks, also called HetNets. In this article, state-of-the-art research on self-configuring and self-optimizing HetNets are surveyed, and their corresponding SON architectures are introduced. In particular, we discuss the issues of automatic physical cell identifier assignment and radio resource configuration in HetNets based on selfconfiguring SONs. As for self-optimizing SONs, we address the issues of optimization strategies and algorithms for mobility management and energy saving in HetNets. At the end of the article, we show a testbed designed for evaluating SON technology, with which the performance gain of SON algorithms is demonstrated.