Today's Big Picture

April 28, 2011  12:27 PM

The IT Files – Pradeep Soundararajan – Part 1

Shilpa Venkateshwaran Shilpa Venkateshwaran Profile: Shilpa Venkateshwaran

Moolya – how did this come about?
Moolya Software Testing Private Limited (, as you know is a new generation testing Services Company I co-founded with Santhosh Tuppad.
In my stint as an independent consultant, I achieved good and some great results for my clients through exploratory testing, rapid testing and context driven testing. Often when I spoke about it to people, they kept saying, “These are things that only a few people like you can do but we can’t scale it up”. I wasn’t agreeing one bit to that but I didn’t have strong evidence within India to show that it can be scaled at an organizational level. I was influencing some head of testing of a few organizations but I understand that there are certain things beyond their control.
Having networked with people from west, I understand that the opinion about testing in India is not yet great although a part of why it is so is because of some people from the west. Most organizations in India seem to be doing just enough to retain their customers and keep making money. The services companies in India appear to be pushing more of process in testing than value to customers. Most testing services head’s I have heard recently, appear to be talking about factory approach to testing as the next step. I don’t get why they don’t understand that test (check) case execution is already becoming the most boring part of testing and adding factory approach to it, would make testers feel bored about their jobs and hence produce poor quality work.
I had a vision for a company that solves customers testing problems in a faster way and to help customers make great progress. The only way I could make the vision come true was to start on my own. In my journey as a tester, I found Santhosh Tuppad to have a vision that matches with mine. We met a hundred times and said the same thing, “I am tired of seeing bad things happen in testing” and we decided to solve it by starting Moolya.

April 16, 2011  11:04 AM

Presented to My peers

Shilpa Venkateshwaran Shilpa Venkateshwaran Profile: Shilpa Venkateshwaran

I presented my white paper at the TCQAA (Twin Cities Quality Assurance Association) this past week. It was a real nice feeling being able to talk to your peers from the software testing industry. Presenting my paper to an audience was one of my goals this year. I am glad I was able to get this goal check.

I like the feeling of talking to a group. I would continue doing it. Now I need to find some good topics to write about and talk about. So everyone wish me luck.

April 1, 2011  10:35 AM

Creating Teaminess

Shilpa Venkateshwaran Shilpa Venkateshwaran Profile: Shilpa Venkateshwaran

I work from a lot of miss going into office on certain days when I want social interaction. Today is one of those days – April Fools Day when I wish I would go in regularly. I miss playing pranks and sharing the joke with my colleagues. There is only so much bonding that a team can do when the team is spread across several locations. Its important to maintain that bonding and here are some things we can do to involve everyone so the team can still feel and act like a team

  • Have a few interactive online games once in a while. We do a lot of bingo where we send bingo cards to everyone. One person calls out bingo numbers at the top of every hour. We spread the game across several days. Its really fun. Other good games are trivia, puzzles, etc.
  • Create lunch clubs where team members can meet informally once in a while.
  • If the team is spread across the country, try to get the team together atleast once a year in a common location. Yes its expensive but totally worth it.

Its important to make everyone feel part of the team no matter where they are working from.

March 30, 2011  7:24 AM

My first online publication – The Test Story

Shilpa Venkateshwaran Shilpa Venkateshwaran Profile: Shilpa Venkateshwaran

I am really excited because one of my goals for 2011 has come true. In this blog “Welcome 2011” I talked about wanting to get published.
My white paper has been published in STP “Test &QA Report” You can read a summary at their site and also download the whole white paper.

March 29, 2011  9:42 AM

Change Leaders – Part 2

Shilpa Venkateshwaran Shilpa Venkateshwaran Profile: Shilpa Venkateshwaran

Why are change leaders important?

Change is everywhere – some are more visible and others are subtle. Change is hard on the employees. Not everyone reacts the same way and its important for organizations to manage how change is communicated. Different people react differently to change. Some accept it immediately while others take time or are on the fence. Some might just be against it.

Its important to manage and support these different reactions. Change leaders will help with this. Find employees who are for the change. Provide them with the information they need so they can then help their colleagues or others to see the things they are seeing about the change. When people first hear about the change they want information. Information on why change is happening? Everyone deserves a chance to know why? Once they accept the reasons they need support. This is where the change leaders can help. Provide the change leaders with empowerment so they can help with successful transition.

Change leaders are not managers just people who have the passion for things they do and are more open to changes.

March 26, 2011  9:02 AM

The IT Files – Michael Bolton – Coming Soon

Shilpa Venkateshwaran Shilpa Venkateshwaran Profile: Shilpa Venkateshwaran

Look out coming soon in the IT file Series – Michael Bolton

Michael Bolton is a tester, consultant, and trainer.  He is the co-author (with senior author James Bach) of Rapid Software Testing, a course that presents a methodology and mindset for testing software expertly in uncertain conditions and under extreme time pressure.  Michael is a leader in the context-driven software testing movement, with 20 years of experience testing, developing, managing, and writing about software. Currently, he leads DevelopSense, a Toronto-based consultancy.  Prior to that, he was with Quarterdeck Corporation for eight years, during which he managed the company’s flagship products and directed project and testing teams both in-house and around the world.
Contact Michael at, or through his Web site,

March 24, 2011  7:36 AM

Asking Questions Really Pays

Shilpa Venkateshwaran Shilpa Venkateshwaran Profile: Shilpa Venkateshwaran

I am really excited about the latest badge earnings that ITKE is offering. ITKE gives you points for every questions you ask, for every answer you provide and for approving answers. The details on earning points can be found here.

This is a summary view of the points

  • Ask a Question: 5 Knowledge Points
  • Answering a Question: 15 Knowledge Points
  • Discussing a Question: 10 Knowledge Points
  • Accepting an Answer: 10 Knowledge Points – approve an answer a fellow member has give to your question

The more you exchange knowledge the more you earn. Their new rewarding system pays going forward and also retrospective. So if you have been active look for emails from them. If you have not been active this is the time to really look at how you can participate. More information can be found at

From here on out, prizes will be as follows:

  • Bronze Member Badge: Sticker and ITKnowledgeExchange t-shirt
  • Silver Member Badge: $25 Gift Card
  • Gold Member Badge: $50 Gift Card
  • Platinum Member Badge: $100 Gift Card
  • Nerd Cog: $10 Gift Card
  • Genius Cog: $25 Gift Card
  • Brainiac Cog: $50 Gift Card
  • Certified Nerd Cog: $10 Gift Card
  • Certified Genius Cog: $25 Gift Card
  • Certified Brainiac Cog: $50 Gift Card

Fellow ITKE members here is the time to start getting active in asking or answering questions.

March 21, 2011  12:43 PM

Change leaders – Part 1

Shilpa Venkateshwaran Shilpa Venkateshwaran Profile: Shilpa Venkateshwaran

“Nothing is permanent except change.” – unknown

This is an old quote that has always intrigued me and in today’s world it is the new reality. Competition, economic conditions and doing more with less are a few reasons why change is more visible and wide spread than it was a couple of years ago. Customers demand more and want quality. Organization push their employees to do more, faster and deliver with quality. Change is not easy.  Its not easy for the people demanding the change nor is it easy for the people who have to adapt to the change. What ever be the reason behind the change we are all equally responsible for making it work or at least trying to make it work. We all need to be change agents or change leaders.

There are two types of changes – evolution and revolution.

Evolution (aka adaptation) – This happens slowly within an organization. This evolves over time and is not easily noticeable. With these changes the language and culture changes over time.

Revolution (aka reconstruction) – This is usually dramatic changes and can happen at multiple levels simultaneously. Some examples are business realignment or reorganizations.

Managers are people who do things right, while leaders are people who do the right thing. — Warren Bennis, Ph.D.

Going back to change leaders. This is a term I love. Change leaders are not managers. They can be anyone in the organization who can help lead the change. They are like swans. They take turns when flying, they encourage each other and they lead. Leaders are not managers. Change leaders enable, inspire and engage their team to be successful. In my next post I will talk about how changers influence and work to help organizations. How it is important to have them on your side.

March 19, 2011  4:09 PM

The IT Files – Raj Perumal – Part 3

Shilpa Venkateshwaran Shilpa Venkateshwaran Profile: Shilpa Venkateshwaran

Part 2

Where do you see yourself in another 10 years?


I still see myself consulting and managing our IT consulting company. It’s not just a job to me but a passion, I love the IT industry. I’ve been working in it since the days of DOS. 🙂


Name your favorite IT book.


That is a tough one for me. You see I only read IT books as related to certifications and work, so most of them are reference manuals etc. Most of the books I read at leisure are science fiction or fantasy based. So I would have to say I don’t have one.


Who is your hero?


My father. His hard work, intelligence, honor, loyalty and dedication to his family and his work his entire life has provided me the perfect role model and i have tried to model myself after him my entire life. He is the kind of man that easily gains the respect of those around him, and he is the one who got me interested in computers in the first place. He’s in the medical field (retired now), but he has always been a computer hobbyist.

What do you do when you are not working?

I spend time with my family (wife and two kids) and my friends. 

What is a skill or strength that sets you apart from others?

My leadership and communication abilities. Or at least that’s what I’ve been told by others. I am not your stereotypical computer geek that you would place in a basement somewhere with his red stapler. 🙂 I’ve always been a person who is at home speaking in front of large crowds, or at client meetings, and leading teams of co-workers through many projects. I used to teach at the local university so I am quite at home in front of an audience.

What (or who) inspires you?

My father once again, for all the reasons stated before. Also my wife Carrie. She is a super mom. My job brings with it long hours, and if it weren’t for my wife I don’t know how I would survive. The way she works full time, goes to school in the evenings and weekends, and raises our two kids inspires me. She is absolutely amazing and I count myself lucky to be married to her.

March 19, 2011  4:02 PM

The IT Files – Raj Perumal – Part 2

Shilpa Venkateshwaran Shilpa Venkateshwaran Profile: Shilpa Venkateshwaran

Part 1


What are some lessons you have learned about IT industry that you wish you had known long ago or you wish someone had told you about?


Well here’s two lessons I’ve learned in the IT consulting industry – “If it’s not tested the way a customer will use it, then it doesn’t work.” It’s surprising how many consultants don’t test things they end up recommending to their customers. This is a recipe for disaster. You should always test out your solutions. The second lesson is “Fix the problem, not the blame.” This means, when faced with a disaster, worry about getting things up and running first, don’t worry about pointing fingers and blame. After things are up and running, then you will have plenty of time to investigate who was to blame. It’s all about making sure your customers systems are up and running and working well so they are productive.


Cloud is the buzz word in the software development industry. Are you in the cloud yet?


Absolutely. It’s funny this word “cloud”, everyone is talking about it but everyone has a different description of what it means. Their is the private cloud and public cloud. At our company we are constantly speaking of the virtues of the cloud to our customers.   

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