1. Could you tell us about your background? What led you here and the story behind accelQ?
I started my career as a software engineer before venturing into the startup world with Gallop Solutions. After the successful acquisition of my venture, I started working with Cigniti Solutions and was responsible for providing technology leadership in strategizing and developing market differentiating IP solutions. On a mission to bring disruptive innovation in the Application Lifecycle Management space, I founded accelQ Inc. to realize my full potential and put to use my learnings and experience while challenging conventional approaches in this space. As the founder and product owner, I now manage the overall product roadmap and strategy at accelQ.
2. Where did the idea for your platform come from?
My previous venture was in the testing and automation space where we built tools and accelerators in the domain. After multiple consultations with customers over the years, I could clearly notice that test automation was a huge challenge and the incremental innovation brought by the tool vendors was completely off the mark. It needed a fresh perspective from the ground-up, and I strongly believed we can make a difference in this space. accelQ is the realization of a meticulously planned product idea that is rooted in solving real-world challenges in the ALM solution space. My strong belief in customer-focused innovation is the core driving force behind accelQ.
3. What are the benefits of using your platform?
accelQ provides a natural language interface to test logic development; manual testers can participate in automation function and bring much-needed domain perspective into test automation. There isn’t a need to build any framework. You can start developing automation on day 1.
Our AI-based self-healing technology makes the scripts more reliable and reduces maintenance costs significantly. Typically, our customers save over 50% in initial development and 70% in maintenance costs of automation compared to other tools.
4. What makes accelQ stand out from other software testing tools?
accelQ is first-in-class in many aspects.
We are a codeless platform, yet with an ability to handle the complexities of the modern technology stack. We enable the entire project team to develop as well as adopt automated testing by making automation completely accessible from a business-centric fashion. We enable true in-sprint automation with intelligent functional virtualization of application-under-test.
We offer end-to-end automation that includes UI, API, back-end, and middleware in one single flow. Knowing that Test management is integral to automation, we provide seamless visibility into the CI cycle with other tools such as Jira, Jenkins, etc.
5. Who is your ideal client and why?
Our ideal clients are those who are looking to accelerate their test automation efforts with immediate return on investment. Our clients range from large enterprise customers across industry verticals to small and medium-sized businesses. The key value our customers have realized with our platform is to adopt and quickly scale-up their test automation with a solution that’s reliable and which gives a sustainable outcome. And most importantly, with accelQ, they have been able to achieve this without an army of developers, and at a fraction of the cost when compared to selenium-based frameworks or any other commercial tool out there.
6. Why is now the time for a technology solution like accelQ?
Continuous delivery is at risk with Quality Assurance still remaining a challenge in the software development cycle. Automation, in general, is a key component in the CI/CD cycle. However, test automation is still a major challenge, due to the technical complexity and constantly changing application functionality. In many organizations, it is still a common occurrence that test automation tends to be brittle and unreliable.
There is a need to:
● Make test automation sustainable, which really means a breakthrough in multiple dimensions.
● Remove the silos between manual and automation testing to bring in the required fluency.
● Simplify automation where a subject matter expert can participate in this important optimization function in QA.
● Enable an SDET (testers with technical skill sets) to easily device methods to break application code, rather than trying to implement frameworks to make an automation tool deliver.
7. What was/is the hardest problem that needed to be solved to get this technology to
Building a simple, natural abstraction to a problem area that is inherently very technical in nature, was indeed challenging. The solution has to be generic enough to fit into any given application environment, and at the same time should maintain the consistency of technical simplicity.
Combined with a thorough understanding of the domain – a clever design, solutioning, UX and application of AI enabled us to make this happen.
8. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in launching your business and how did you overcome it?
Convincing the market that there is significant room for new innovation in a space that is already flooded with so many tools, was not easy. Once the concept turned into a minimum viable solution and gained some mindshare with thought-leaders, it started becoming a reality. And we grew exponentially, adding our name to the list of some of the big-name players in this space.
9. What do you expect for accelQ in 2019?
2019 will be yet another year of exponential growth for accelQ, consolidating and building on a solid platform that we created in the last couple of years. We will be bringing a lot more analytics, AI and Machine Learning to help make the platform even more magical. Our customers would benefit from a unified view of quality, eliminating the silos across the testing lifecycle.
10. What motivates you?
I see problem-solving, no matter how big or small, with a sense of achievement, every single day. Associating with a team that shares your dream and demonstrates the passion for furthering our mission to simplify test automation and testing, in general, motivates me. And most importantly, a customer base that always keeps you on your toes for the next big thing!
11. Where do you see accelQ in five years’ time?
Our endeavor is grand. We want to fundamentally change how test automation is perceived and challenge what was done in the last 2 decades. We want to make testing more predictable, automation more sustainable and test management intelligent and would strive to achieve it. I will be looking forward to a day (not far away) when project teams make accelQ central to their release cycle and decision making. In five years’, time, I would like to make accelQ the #1 leading solution in all things testing.
12. If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out in their career, what would it be?
If you have a good understanding of the problem domain and you have a core belief in your solution, take a stab! Any external advice will only go so far that it will be external in nature. I wouldn’t say that you should not seek advice, but weigh-in appropriately, as many times you may not even be able to express your own idea completely. Be a self-critic and don’t dodge difficult questions. And as you grow, let your mantra always be – Feel great about where you are, but at the same time be even more anxious about what else needs to be accomplished. Have a pinch of pessimism about the current state and loads of optimism about the future potential. There is always a better way to do and aspire at every single step as if you are doing it for the first time. Clarity develops over time, as long as you are committed to your cause. So, do not wait for everything to be clear before setting out on your path. If you have such a vivid clarity on everything, then you have probably picked the wrong subject! Go on, and the path will be made for you, things DO come together. Hold your ground. Expect challenges and find an opportunity to improve.