Deva Gowda: Pioneering A Future Of Innovation In Software Engineering | CEOInsights Vendor
Deva Gowda: Pioneering A Future Of Innovation In Software Engineering

Deva Gowda: Pioneering A Future Of Innovation In Software Engineering

Deva Gowda,  Founder

Deva Gowda


In the dynamic realm of software development, the burden of grunt work defined as anything that must be done before you get to work on the interesting pieces of your work has long been a bottleneck, consuming valuable time and hindering overall progress. Recognizing the opportunity of making software engineering more enjoyable and productive, Deva Gowda, a seasoned leader founded Nogrunt Collaborations with the purpose of creating a machine understandable knowledge base of your applications and their interactions and using this knowledge to speed up planning, product, development and QA phases of software development.

Understanding the intent of the application is a key input to the knowledge base, Nogrunt’s bots watch what subject matter experts do on the application and the environment and learns about the workflows and uses this knowledge to codify the intent of the application. This behaviour easily extends itself to areas like building validation scripts autonomously, or workflow co pilots to help support/BPO staff complete tasks, which is the focus of the first set of capabilities that are commercially available in the market today.

Deva's strong desire to finding alternatives and enhancing overall efficiency has been the driving force behind his career. In an AI first world, high quality contextual data is key to success and that is what we are focused on building for the enterprise.

Give a brief about your professional journey and what motivates your daily routines?
I have around 26 years of experience leading engineering teams for product companies and Global Capability Centers. As a developer at heart, I've consistently written code and maintained a strong interest in technology since the age of 13. One aspect that has always bothered me is the prevalence of grunt work in software engineering. Throughout my career, I've been driven to find solutions for unenjoyable work, aiming to build tools and processes to eliminate manual labor and enhance overall efficiency for myself and my teams.

Share with us your academic experience from IIM Kozhikode.
The first thing that stands out about IIM Kozhikode is the stunning campus and its picturesque setting. Beyond academics, I valued the
emphasis on case studies, offering a practical approach to learning. The professors' close collaboration with industry brought real-world relevance to our studies, with a focus on actual use cases. Engaging with professors' backstories provided a deeper understanding, connecting what we learned to real-world experiences. The exposure to the challenges of the market taught me valuable lessons and instilled a mindset of experimentation.

Nogrunt, doing at the speed of thought

Tell us about the inspiration behind the establishment of Nogrunt Collaborations?
The inspiration behind founding Nogrunt Collaborations stems from a keen interest in simplifying the grunt work in software engineering. After spending considerable time in the industry, I observed challenges in pushing innovation to the market at a rapid velocity. The dependency on tenured employees for knowledge about applications highlighted a need for a more efficient approach. With the rise of AI and technologies like Chat GPT, extracting knowledge from artifacts became a standard practice. This led to the question: Why not have more actionable knowledge within an enterprise? Currently, a lot of knowledge resides in people's heads, making enterprises heavily reliant on individuals. This dependence poses challenges in managing complexity, retaining and training personnel, and ensuring continuity when team members change. Nogrunt was established with the goal of building an actionable knowledge base about your applications, your processes and the interaction between people using a combination of observing the enterprise in action, existing artifacts and AI/ML This knowledge base is then deployed to stream line the innovation pipeline in the enterprise.

What factors guide your corporate growth strategies?
Leveraging over 25 years of corporate experience, I focus on understanding organizational dynamics to streamline and expedite the adoption of our technologies and platforms. Secondly, building a versatile and adaptive team is crucial. Given that we are an early-stage startup, we prioritize individuals who are nimble, comfortable with ambiguity, and capable of quick experimentation.

Moreover, recognizing the importance of marketing and sales visibility, especially with a tech-centric background, we seek mentorship from industry veterans. We also recognize the significance of data-driven decision-making, although, as an early-stage startup, some decisions rely on intuition. This strategic approach aims to guide Nogrunt Collaborations for the foreseeable future, paving the way for sustainable growth.
How did you foster an innovative team and keep them updated on the latest tech trends?
One key for any organization is to maintain a focused and talented team, especially crucial for startups. As the needs evolve with each experiment, requiring different skill sets, it's essential to have individuals capable of quick adaptation. This calls for individuals who are agile enough to learn quickly, embrace change, and navigate through new challenges.

I work closely with the team, sharing our vision and openly discussing experiment outcomes, even when they don't go as planned. It's crucial to acknowledge failures, pivot to new experiments, and provide the team with the necessary data and lessons. Beyond the numbers, I believe in adding a human touch. I share personal experiences, explain my intuition as a Founder, and encourage the team to believe in our collective vision. This authenticity builds commitment. After setbacks, I give the team time for research and guide brainstorming sessions to swiftly tackle challenges.

What is the future destination you are headed towards?
Currently, and extending into 2024, we are developing our first generative AI platform. This platform aims to understand and provide transparency into applications, facilitating collaboration among developers, testers, and product managers. The platform, accessible through a chat interface, eliminates the need for developers to manually interpret code details. This fosters a more collaborative environment, allowing all departments product, design, and testing to work cohesively with the same data points.

What advice do you have for emerging leaders exploring new opportunities in this field?
I believe the first step is acknowledging that nobody has all the answers, and diving into the work is essential to discover solutions and opportunities. The challenge lies in figuring out the right questions, which is more of an art than a science. Immersing yourself in the domain, spending time, and meeting users and customers are crucial, especially for tech founders. As techies, we often work in isolation on our laptops, but it's vital to remember that users are humans who don't solely rely on data but also on emotions and expediency. Before embarking on a venture, understand your users, their behaviors, pressures, and decision processes.This thorough evaluation is necessary before taking the leap into the unknown.

Deva Gowda, Founder, Nogrunt Collaborations
As the Founder of Nogrunt, Deva Gowda’s passion for technology and to eliminating grunt work have driven the development of innovative solutions that streamline software engineering and bring the joy back to software engineering.

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