Mumbai: Ashwin Palaparthi’s company Valueminds Solutions Pvt. Ltd almost ended up as a book. Palaparthi, who had spent six years working with software testing company AppLabs Technologies Pvt. Ltd, found it paradoxical that most information technology, or IT, companies used minimal technology within their teams to perform mandatory functions of software testing.
“I started writing a book on how test design and generation can be done differently, when I realized it was not just an idea, but a fundamental problem that can be solved,” says Palaparthi.
Adding value: Ashwin Palaparthi, founder, Valueminds Solutions.
Typically, a piece of software has to be tested under various conditions, and a single Web page could involve 300 processes. “No one has the time to execute all processes, so it’s done randomly and errors are discovered only at a later stage,” Palaparthi explains. He estimates about 80% of the software industry performs test design and data generation manually today.
Valueminds has developed online tool kit “Tester’s Desk” for software testing using statistical mathematics principles that reduce the number of tests required, thus improving time efficiency and detecting defects early on.
The tools and techniques used are abstract and system agnostic, so it can be used to test mobile, desktop and Web software.
Launched as free community software a year ago, the online service has 8,000 users, both individual coders and companies. Kanwaljit Singh, managing director, Helion Venture Partners calls the concept interesting given how tough testing can be. “But evangelizing (the concept) may be slow, so one doesn’t know the gestation period and the growth curve.”
Palaparthi quit as assistant vice-president at AppLabs to “create a product with world class value out of Hyderbad”.
All his knowledge of computer programing is self-taught coming when he dropped out of college at 18 to work as a lab assistant at a firm offering computer coaching. Flipping through books then, “I fell in love with C programing, and did a lot of coding in the night”, he says.
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Students discovered his knack for solving programing problems and prompted the company to make him a trainer. His nickname ‘Java Ashwin’ spoke volumes of his craft.
Palaparthi later landed a job at AppLabs rising quickly through the ranks, before he gave up the “big pay cheques” for a start-up. He supports the venture, which currently offers a free service, working as a freelance software consultant and records music when free.
a2Zapps.com, Elements Akademia Pvt. Ltd, ITCONS e-Solutions Pvt. Ltd and Valueminds Solutions Pvt. Ltd are among nominated companies at the Tata NEN Hottest Startups competition, of which Mint is the official print media partner. Details of the competition can also be accessed at www.livemint.com/hotteststartups