Interested to explore a career as an Entrepreneur? Today we bring to you second interview with N K Narasimhan, one of the founder’s of Nascor Technologies (http://www.nascorgroup.com). Ex-employee of L & T, Sun Microsystems and Yahoo! who has over two decades of work experience under our unique section ‘Test it’! For more information keep a tab at this page (https://www.facebook.com/Without.interview). You may feel free to post your question in message box or comment and the interviewee would answer over the next few days from 03 Jan 2015 till 07 Jan 2015. We hope you have a great career ahead!
Narasimhan, welcome to ‘Test IT’ section and congratulation for being in Top 5 of Infosys ‘+91 Start Up Challenge’ Photo : Infosys – Facebook Page
Author: Tell us about your background and education.
Narasimhan: I completed my engineering in Industrial & Production from SJCE, Mysore, finishing as a College Topper throughout and with rank 7 for the University of Mysore.
Author: How did you land in an IT job?
Narasimhan: I started programming with widely known as BASIC (an acronym for Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) while studying PUC (1985-86) using Casio PB 100 which supported a condensed BASIC version for programming. My brother was a great influencers who was pursuing engineering. I eventually joined engineering at SJCE, Mysore and FORTRAN was the language that existed as first year course. I took to learn ‘C’ in my second year. There used to be one hour slot given for each one to book to do Unix & C programming in Computer Science Lab. Lot of times, used to get midnight slots. Our final year project was a software cross assembler & a post processor for CNC machine with a graphics editor which caught the attention of the examiner. The complexity, effort & contribution was highly appreciated which was a big milestone for a graduate student. Through campus interview, I was placed in L & T and worked on rotational initially but one of manager put me into Test automation involving mechatronics. With help from seniors, contributed in various projects using machine language, Turbo C, C++ and Microsoft Visual C++ 4.2. After six years of working with L&T moved to Yokogawa that was in and out into software product development – worked on system software, server development etc., rising up the ranks, this further continued at Sun Microsystems and Yahoo!.
Author: You have worked as a tester and developer role. How is your overall years of experience?
Narasimhan: Sun Microsystems was the place of transition from development to testing. I started looking into quality. This also waved a path from individual contributor to manager (engineering) and this continued at Yahoo! Both companies had different view on testing and i believed that development & testing as two sides of the same coin, hand in glove, spearheading to brand as ‘Quality Engineering’, ( always question ‘how to engineer quality into software products’ ) and engineer’s as QE. (Quality Engineer). This helped me to be versatile, (able to wear different hats) critique my deliverables too. Perhaps this gave birth to duality. Also, this allowed me to hire the best candidates from institutions such as IISc, Bengaluru. Me & my QE team at Sun developed SIFT (Sun one integrated frame-work for testing ) that helped to simulate failures and emulate complex, real world user scenarios. Over time, adoption among different teams increased, emerging as a versatile Test automation development platform of choice within the Sun community.
Author: What are your views on being a tester or a developer?
Narasimhan: (Thinks) The demarcation is unhealthy. If one need to be a good tester, then the aspirant has to be a good developer. It’s vice-versa as well. One who could be critic of his own work and welcome feedback from others. Preferably to start as a developer for some years because, it is maturity that is needed to become a tester. Testing skills are better honed while being a developer. This makes a best tester and evolves to ‘engineer’ Quality. Sometimes, Creativity & Innovation needed to test a product is more complex & interesting than development of a product itself. There is an ‘I‘ in QUAL’I’TY and Creative bend of mind is equally needed for a tester. I feel, both cannot be differentiated in a physical way and every organisation adopts their own approach to bring in distinction & differentiation.
Author: Could you give insights on being an entrepreneur?
Narasimhan: Survival, sustain and beyond is something that one need to look forward. Can you translate an idea to a business? In other terms do you have a business case? If the answer is yes, then its worth a risk. Business case need not have an innovation but can satisfy a need. There could be micro level changes in terms of innovation for the requirement or even create a need. If an idea is really unique or has a business case, then its Google for you! Even timing, being in the right place & right time matters. Good examples like Flipkart, RedBus, Xiaomi etc.
Author: What are your hobbies?
Narasimhan: One thing I always have been doing is – ‘give life, extend the life of any object’. This means I repair things (reduce wastage, resource utilisation) and it has been a natural activity right from my childhood days. This has immensely helped me acquire newer skills, like delve on – how it works, why, how, design intent, perspective, understand the thought process of the innovator etc. Apart from that reading technical and philosophical books is something that keeps me glued.
Author: How did you find ‘Get a Job WITHOUT an Interview’ book helpful to aspiring software engineers and IT professionals?
Narasimhan: This is a must read for every grad aspiring to work for renowned product company biggies. Easy reading, gives a lot of insight about big companies, concise, covering all perspectives in 80+ pages. When i was going through “Impression” (section 9), I was recollecting, an article stating based on studies & surveys, an interviewer makes a +ve or -ve impression in the first few seconds and the rest of the interview will be to self validate/justify his opinions about the aspiring candidate. As an age old saying goes, making the ‘best’ first impression is important. In my experience, I have come across such interviewers. In this context, I liked the coverage under “impressions” which candidates tend to ignore or overlook.
Also, change is a constant and candidates should iterate on Annexure 1 & 2 – ways to learn & how to learn, to achieve & sustain a positive career trajectory.
Author: Thank you Narasimhan for your valuable time and inspiring our aspiring engineer’s to become a test engineers, in your terminology ‘QE’
Narasimhan: Thanks (smiles)
To know more about Narasimhan’s organisation:
Nascor Technologies, Bangalore, (http://www.nascorgroup.com) is a Software product Start-up, in pursuit of Transforming email platforms to deliver email users VALUE beyond ‘just’ Communication.
Email usage & overload is on the rise. A working individual spends an average 28% time on emails. Nascor with its vision, aims to touch every emailer on the globe, alleviate their pain points by providing products & solutions, by making emailing easy with intuitive, innovative, productivity tools to manage ones work and emails too.
Nascor’s tZirrTM (pronounced as teaser ) has five high impactful productivity features, downloadable for emailers to experience on Microsoft Outlook. Nascor’s U@Work (patent pending) is a top line product, currently under development designed to offers a light weight solution for any business operation, to manage ones work and as a group collaboratively ‘manage work’ covering projects, activities, resources, meetings, tasks etc.
Readers – aspiring software engineer’s , IT professionals and entrepreneur’s are free to leave your message for Narasimhan to answer on or before 07 Jan, 2015. We hope you are enjoying this section, feel free to leave your message for us to improve. Next week we shall bring to you another personality of a Top company. We wish you a great new year 2015. Till then, ‘Test IT’!
If you missed the first interview : Check here
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