QA City

Ramesh Loganathan

Ramesh Loganathan
Products &
The Journey : Early Days to How I Got Here

I started my career as a software specialist at Integra Micro Systems. Then, I worked at companies like Shell & Compaq Houston, Informix and also worked as a VP of Middleware Technologies at Pramati. Currently, I am working as a VP (Products) & Center Head at Progress Software in India, is responsible for leading the product development at the India Development center. I am responsible for providing strategic guidance to all the products teams, scale the product operations with specific focus on cross-product considerations for the SOA & Data integration products.

Decisions That Mattered

The most important (Long term impact) decision was probably to join a small tech company i.e., Integra Micro Systems, Bangalore in 1991. After being very disenchanted with the 1.5 year stint at a much larger company including 9 months' US client visit to IBM. Got a chance to work on a technology intensive product at Integra and with that got completely rooted to products.

The next important decision when we decided to move back to India in the year 2000 to join Pramati in Hyderabad. This got me the most memorable experience working at a tech startup and great teams (made deep & lasting friendships).

The third decision was probably to actively take up guest-faculty opportunity at IIIT-H that resulted in a still continuing 11 year stint as adjunct faculty and the opportunity to work with tech startups coming out of IIIT.

The Turning Points

The key inflection point has been to work at Pramati and the highs and lows that we had to collectively deal along with the founders. It was a very enriching experience. Since then I am actively helping new tech startups & student-startups.

Next inflection point will probably be the present responsibility that I took for running the Hyderabad (Product) Labs for Progress Software in 2008. It's a very daunting challenge to deliver value completely in a cost-driven offshore development center. In these past four years' journey, it was very enriching experience learning through the process in creating this value & moving up rapidly the value chain.

Work and Role: Then and Now

Primarily, I am one of the engineering leaders in the company & responsible for the products we build. The difference here compared to my previous jobs is - that we are very dynamic, globally distributed product development company. We are investing actively in new products. The challenges of keeping pace with product and market requirements, needed technology and other insights to deliver in this, and do this while collaborating with other teams elsewhere in the world, are all very different experiences and challenges.

Two Years Down the Line

I see myself more actively involved in the startup and product eco-system in Hyderabad (maybe elsewhere in India also). And more specifically engaged with colleges and universities in creating active & successful tech startup incubation centers - bringing in industry and other advisory to enable and accelerate the startups.

What I Learnt Along the Way

Every day is a learning experience. But some learnings that have stuck is that the whole industry and academia is a deeply enmeshed web. We do not appreciate how much we are all connected and also inter-dependant for our mutual success. We should consciously recognize this and cultivate. Nurture the often ignored areas like inter-company networking and also industry-academia relationships.

Changing Days: Lessons Learnt

Today the scale and maturity and the global linkages (2-way, and not just as an offshore resource provider) is much more evolved than it was 20 years ago.

Trends to Watch Out For

The trends that I am tracking in our areas of work are around Realtime Responsive Enterprises. On how business flows across applications need to be tracked in Realtime (and the challenges therein), how to get business events non-intrusively out of the applications, and how to correlate and build realtime analytics off of these flows and events. Therein I am also blending in realtime data/events relevant to the enterprise from the social media as well (for consumer facing enterprises like banks, credit card companies or FMCG and such).  

My Advice If You are Starting Out

Anyone starting their career in this domain has to have strong analytical skills, very good proven learning ability & have some excitement for technology and products.

Must Focus Areas For the Future

Software products' QA, broader software test automation, and integration of QA into agile & continuous-build-integration environments are some trends I see gaining traction in India even in this year. A little beyond, I see QA adopting virtualization (private or public clouds) some more - say through test infrastructure that enables on-demand provisioning of test platform and then executing the automated tests.

Do We Need Certifications?

I don't believe that certifications mean much. Actual experience and knowledge mean much more than certificates.

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