QATalks Introductory Episode with Pradeep Govindasamy of Cigniti
Speakers: Pradeep Govindasamy, CTO and President of Cigniti
Here is the Transcript
You are listening to QA Talks. A podcast for quality assurance executives implementing digital transformation in their organizations. In this show, we focus on the unique pitfalls inherent in quality assurance and quality engineering and how these executives are navigating them to position their organization for the future. Let’s get into the show.
Ralph Miranda: Welcome to the introductory episode of QA Talks. QA Talks is a podcast dedicated to the emerging technology and innovation happening in industries such as banking, airlines, insurance, and retail. Quality assurance is a key component of the digital transformation sweeping our world. Companies are increasingly leaning on quality assurance & quality engineering to seamlessly implement their unique digital transformation plans.
However, digital transformation can often seem like a massive tower impossible to scale. In this podcast, you’ll hear from executives who are heavily involved in quality assurance, they’ll share the unique challenges they face, and some of the most important pitfalls they are discovering so that you can avoid them. We are here today with Pradeep Govindasamy, CTO or Chief Technology Officer and President of Cigniti and Head of the North America West business unit. Pradeep is also going to be a co-host of this show.
How are you doing today Pradeep?
Pradeep: Thank you Ralph, I am doing very good.
Ralph: Good, good, glad to hear it. My name is Ralph Miranda, I’m your co-host or your host of QA Talks and I will be moderating the discussions that we will be having in future episodes. Today I’ll be talking to the co-host about what you, the listener, can expect from this podcast. But before we jump into that Pradeep, can you just tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do for Cigniti?
Pradeep: Sure. My name is Pradeep. I take care of the technology solutions and I represent the business unit for North America West. I also have the portfolio of Chief Technology Officer where I handle the service offerings, I take care of building out the innovation platform. Along with that, I help our clients transform from the quality assurance to the quality engineering journey.
Ralph: Cigniti obviously is a leader in the field of quality assurance and ultimately, quality engineering. So, can you tell us a little bit about the company itself?
Pradeep: Great. So Cigniti is the leader in the independent software testing industry and all we do is just the quality engineering and quality assurance. When I say quality engineering, that is the new buzz word in the IT industry.
Everybody wants to do a shift–left, everybody wants to do quality ahead of time actually so that’s precisely what our solution offering is all about – getting quality at the right time early in the life cycle. So quality engineering is about making sure that your software goes to the market on time with absolute quality and we want to make sure that the customer experiences are met.
Ralph: That’s excellent and how would you envision this podcast helping the QA community as they seek to position their firms for the digital transformation?
Pradeep: Absolutely. This podcast is all about providing the industry thought leadership as to what is the future of quality engineering? You know where there is this whole of IT lifecycle going towards digital transformation? How is this DevOps and Agile journey is going to accelerate the whole IT lifecycle in the digital transformation & what are some of those technology trends in the areas of Cloud, in the areas of IoT, in the areas of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, & in general about how your application is meeting towards the customer experience demand?
So, these are some of the thoughts that you would hear from various of our industry leaders that we have been associating with.
Ralph: Pradeep, quality assurance is a familiar term to most organisations, but quality engineering may not be, as it brings in the monitoring component to the company’s efforts. So, talk just a little bit about the importance of this function.
Pradeep: Absolutely. Quality assurance is primarily for the waterfall model wherein when once you complete your requirement, design, development, and you do your unit integration and then comes your quality assurance where you will test after everything is released into the life cycle. Whereas, quality engineering is all about making sure you’re testing your requirement at the right time. Are you doing your design testing or development testing? So engineering is all about making sure that your code written is well-written & then be ensured that the stage gate for each of those IT life cycle is met.
So quality engineering is a new word. It has evolved only in the last 2 years, I would say. And, because of this evolution towards the shift–left of making sure that you are understanding the code quality, you are understanding the behavioral-driven development or test-driven development, and making sure that engineering side of the program is built, so this is a new concept.
Underneath, we created a new skillset called SDET, which is software development engineer in test. So, any quality engineering journey that an organization needs to go through, they need to hire SDET, the software development engineer in test type of a profile. For that you need to know what type of API level of testing or service virtualization or automation or doing automation, not just at the UI level but automation at the service level, at the API level, at the microservices level, at the data level. So, these are different concepts that are evolved into the quality engineering.
So, it is important for the organizations to adopt quality engineering if they are embarking a journey on digital transformation, or DevOps transformation, or even the Agile transformation in their IT lifecycle.
Ralph: Excellent definition & explanation. You’ve already talked a little about how you feel this podcast can help listeners. Talk for just a couple seconds on what type of topics and information that will be vital to the efforts of these companies that listeners can expect to hear in this podcast.
Pradeep: Perfect, sure. This topic covers the two aspects of it – one is the technology aspect. Anybody who wants to understand how the technology adoption in the quality engineering world is changing & what are different tools & technologies technology around that & what are some of the best practices you need to acquire in order for you to successfully transform your IT organization from quality assurance to quality engineering. What is the continuous integration & continuous delivery pipeline, how can continuous testing will be embedded into the CI/CD lifecycle which is continuous integration & continuous delivery pipeline? That’s on the technology side.
The 2nd is on the processes side. When you want to adopt quality engineering, you need to change a lot of processes into your team such as your skill transformation, your process adoption, how do you define quality gates in each of those process across your IT lifecycle when it comes to quality engineering journey. So, these are some of those processes that you need to adopt.
This podcast covers both the aspects of technology and process, so one can understand what would be their priority in their IT lifecycle. Certain industries have technology as their priority such as digital commerce or e-commerce industry – they want to have technology as their first process & then they want to have different process find for them.
Certain organizations such as the life science or healthcare domain want to have the process as their 1st priority and technology as their equal priority but process comes into the 1st. So, we cover a broader industry spectrum on the technology and processes so that you can adopt the way to learn the quality engineering journey.
Ralph: Pradeep, you possess a unique experience around quality engineering, and you have done extensive business development in driving the offerings around mobility, digital commerce, SOA, and automation. During your years of work, what have you found to be some of the common pitfalls & the main issues that organizations face as they seek to prepare for the digital transformation?
Pradeep: One of the main challenges that we have seen over the journey is the change management, adoption to the newer technologies, which we have always seen. Every 2 years the tool spectrum for the quality engineering changes. What you’ve seen in 2005 is not what you all have now.
Every organization builds hundreds of automation scripts, thousands of automation scripts with 1 tool. After 3 years, they change the whole tool. And commercial vendors start to give newer tool & with a different set of language. In order to bring that in you need to migrate everything & the migration would cost you the same amount of effort that you have spent for the development journey. That was 1 of the pitfalls that I’ve seen.
As an organization, you need to look at what’s your long-term journey, are you building an automation script which is less dependent on the commercial tool, which is less dependent on some of the changes that you anticipate. So that was one of the biggest drawbacks that we’ve seen. Organizations tend to develop a lot of speed but then they don’t execute them for their better ROI.
The other challenge that we’ve seen is the senior leaders such as the CIOs will always have a question & that if testing is considered to be a cost centre what am I getting out of it. This is where this quality engineering gives them the right ROI for them as to hope. How quickly I can get to the market so that you’re saving a lot of time in the direct business impact on it such as your cost saving, your efficiency saving, your time to market that brings in a higher quality of revenue to your organization. These are some of the ROIs that organizations have developed over the years to convince the C-level of leadership as to why quality engineering needs to be embedded into their IT lifecycle. That was the 2nd pitfall.
The third is about that many organizations say that OK I can embed quality into my whole development lifecycle; you don’t need to bring quality engineering as a separate organization or don’t involve that; we will come and provide you one full speed of 6 big projects for you. That’s where organizations fail in their quality and end up spending a lot on protection support. You need to have quality engineering as an independent journey in your organization – that’s something that we’ve seen over the years getting matured and evolved into the IT lifecycle.
Ralph: That sounds interesting and it sounds very daunting to someone like me who is a novice, but I am glad that this company such as yours to help those who are fighting a daily battle in the digital transformation field. So, Pradeep, how can listeners connect with you in case they have ideas for episode topics or maybe guests that you should feature on this show.
Pradeep: Oh yes. Great question. There are many forums that we have. One of them itself is the Cigniti website. We have a way to collect the ideas, thoughts. We welcome the thoughts from our customers; we welcome the thoughts from the industry leaders and share it with us. We also conduct leadership in quality engineering (LiQE), the series of events which is dedicated to quality engineering journey & that’s another area of contribution to us. We also embark on an ideation journey with our clients & prospects wherein they say OK I want to get into Cloud QA automation. So how can I take all my tools into the Cloud & what are some of the thoughts? Can we together build some solution? Can you invest in it? We’ll also invest in this idea.
We are open to many of those ideas and thoughts from the industry connects and then share those experiences. Plus, we also connect with the analysts – all the leading analysts across the world; we share thoughts from the analysts as well – what the end customers are asking for them in terms of challenges. We do a monthly workshop with our analysts’ forum to understand some of the thoughts, some of the challenges our customers are facing, and then we try to solve those problems as well. So, these were various channels and forums that we encourage our end customers to come & work with us because we believe that quality is a huge organization worldwide and we strongly believe that we need to reinvest back in order for us to transform this particular quality engineering journey to the success of digital transformation.
Ralph: Great. That wraps it up for our introductory episode. Thank you, Pradeep. I’m really excited to see this show grow. I think it will add exponential value to our listeners in a growing yet very challenging industry. Any final thoughts that you have?
Pradeep: You’re most welcome. Thank you. I really appreciate the thoughts on the podcast around quality engineering. I think this is by far first in the industry that we are adopting. I look forward to a greater contribution worldwide from this journey.
Ralph: Well, I look forward to it as well. There you have it. Pradeep Govindasamy – He is the Chief Technology Officer and President Cigniti and also head of the North America West Business Unit. Pradeep thank you again for your talk.
Pradeep: Thank you Ralph.
Quality Assurance is vital to the success of an organization’s digital transformation. Lack of control can quickly derail a company’s technological presence, costing thousands. At Cigniti, our resolution is to build a better world with better quality software. Renowned for the global thought leadership in the industry, we draw expertise from over a decade of test engineering experience across verticals. To learn how we do it, visit cigniti.com.
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