Balvinder Kaur will be presenting the following session
  • Balvinder Kaur Khurana

    Balvinder Kaur Khurana - Data Quality: the holy grail for a Data Fluent Organization

    45 Mins

    Organizations face a multitude of challenges in their journey towards becoming a data-fluent organization. These challenges keep getting more and more complex, owing to different factors ranging from market pressure, lack of systems thinking around data, differing opinions on what's the need of the hour for the organization all the way to the technology litter. However, the common denominator for most of these challenges remain to be just one factor - data quality, or the lack thereof. I will be talking about different ways in which data quality issues manifest themselves and recommendations to address them systematically, especially when working with large-scale, data-centric enterprise systems.

1. What got you started/interested in modern software development methods?

I started as a software developer in 2007, and only a few software companies were following Agile as I know it now. There were a lot of organizations who would follow all agile practices on paper, but that to me is not agile - however, this realization happened when I joined Thoughtworks and understood how modern software development methods, especially agile, helps not only the health of the software but also the health of the team. I believe the modern tools available for software development are only as good as the team using it, and the practices under which they are used and hence, I like to stick to the default best practices for modern software development.

2. What do you think is the biggest challenge faced by the software product engineering community today?

Software product engineering is considered a magic wand by a lot of businesses/enterprises. I believe software development is a very collaborative effort, where the software developers/vendors and the product owners/clients need to work as partners and a single team with end-users at the center of the solution. We need to understand that no software solution can solve all the problems on day one. Just like architecture evolution, the delivery has to evolve too. Product engineering is also expected to be working on the latest and greatest technology available in the market. I think the focus should be on what (technology) solves the problem most effectively rather than on what is new.

3. What do you think are the most exciting developments in software product engineering today?

Digital, Data, and Customer first - the focus on these three dimensions while building software products in my view is one of the most crucial and exciting development. The way products evolve with this mindset is particularly very novel and keeps the products relevant. The organizations which embraced digital-first were not impacted much when the pandemic hit. Similarly, the data and customer-first thinking helped the organizations predict and act according to customer behavior in once in a lifetime event.

Also, another understanding that pandemic has brought in around the process - the delivery and quality of software systems, does not depend on physical proximity of team or continuous monitoring of team. The development of this understanding is going to motivate the teams to be more trusting and effective for not just software product engineering but work in general.