Recap Blog: The Houston SQE Meetup Experience

May 19th, 2023 by inflectra

As the pandemic slowly relaxes its grip, businesses are beginning to experience the new normal, and the Houston Software Quality Engineering (SQE) group was no exception in rekindling its first in-person event after 3.5 years. Thanks to support from Inflectra and TTC, the SQE meetup group planned its event with speakers on various topics revolving around software quality. Read more to see what Inflectra's Enterprise Agile Evangelist, Sriram Rajagopalan, experienced back in March of 2023.


Inflectra, TTC, and the SQE Group  brought the speakers Wade Pinderfrom Improving, Dilhan Manawadu from Sysco, and Dr. Sriram Rajagopalan from Inflectra together for an initial discussion. The momentum began building as the speakers laid the foundation for their brief 20-min talks to engage the audience for the expert panel. Dr. Sriram Rajagopalan began making the travel arrangements to leave for Houston from Boston!


  • Wade Pinder: Beyond the Backlog: Why Seeing the Big Picture Will Make QA Engineers Even More Awesome!

  • Dilhan Manawadu: Building Total Experience (TX) in Large Enterprises Through Quality Engineering

  • Sriram Rajagopalan: Uncertainty Factor – Rethinking Quality Assurance for Emerging Digital Revolution


The Event

As people gathered around, it was evident that everyone was happy to see other quality engineering colleagues in real-time 3D. Discussions continued around the meal table and the drinks as people began meeting with the speakers and engaging on quality topics as well as topics on quality!



The Panel

It was time! 


As the SQE meetup group introduced the in-person event, thanking TTC and Inflectra for their generous support and swag, they introduced the speakers. It was unclear whether people were hungry for food or knowledge, but the room was full of attentive audience members, ready to absorb and engage.



Wade Pinder

Wade began his thoughts on product management as a larger big-picture thinking. Wade made it very clear how the product ideas are all coming straight from the product vision followed by a strategic approach to disaggregate the larger collection of ideas into a milestone driven roadmap. Questions came up already from the audience as one person asked who has the ultimate accountability for priority. Wade associated the MoSCoW (Must, Should, Could, Won't) prioritization scheme with the Now, Soon, and Later! Very unequivocally, he emphasized that the product owner needs support from everyone in the team to create the value journey!

Dilhan Manawadu

Dilhan continued his discussion on Total Experience (TX) and how customer experience (CX), Employee Experience (EX), and Multi-Experience (MX) are integrated as part of the total experience package. He described how Sysco has been investing in this total experience package, almost rethinking some of the common lexicon. One example he gave was calling the people that drove the huge tracks as part of their delivery chain as delivery partners rather than truck drivers! What a nice way to emphasize unlearning and relearning! 

Sriram Rajagopalan

Sriram began his interactive presentation asking what quality meant! As the audience began answering, Sriram reconnected the ‘fitness for purpose’ as the foundational principle behind quality by design. “As we normalize conformance to requirements in testing to equate with quality, we fall into the acceleration trap of yielding too fast to 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) technology,” said Sriram. This  message clearly popped out as Sriram engaged the audience with hilarious and informative examples of Family as a Service (FaaS). Sriram brought the presentations to life by advancing the notions that quality engineering teams should rethink quality from the risk management principles and the bioethics principles of benevolence, nonmaleficence, and autonomy. 


Discussions from the audience continued with TTC facilitating the questions. In response to the examples of risk based testing that the quality engineering team can focus on to uphold quality, Sriram discussed unscripted approaches like the adhoc testing, exploratory testing, error guessing, and scripted testing combined with automation. Wade reconnected with Sriram’s thoughts on how quality is a function of risk and how much risk based thinking is pivotal to the team’s ability to support his product vision, strategy, and roadmap. Wade further responded that the biggest disconnect between quality teams and product teams is the siloed approach to quality rather than a systemic approach to quality. Dilhan supported these risk based thinking and siloed gaps as the foundations for how total experience is getting addressed. 



Wow! What an experience supported by Inflectra and TTC. Thanks to the sponsors and the organizers for making this happen and bringing a welcome treat to the Houston SQE community. Thanks to Dr. Sriram Rajagopalan for traveling to Houston and supporting this event.

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