Progress encourages and empowers women to pursue STEM education

Progress encourages and empowers women to pursue STEM education. . It provides leadership and networking opportunities

Pradeep Chakraborty
New Update
system integrators

Progress is a 40-year-old US-listed IT company. It acquired Chef, a global leader in DevOps and DevSecOps, for $220 million in cash, as part of an effort to advance adoption of best DevOps and DevSecOps practices in the mid-market. The company is now expanding its business in India and has new offices in Hyderabad and Bengaluru and is actively hiring DevOps engineers from India for global business.


Prashanth Nanjundappa, VP of Product Management, CHEF Business Unit, Progress, tells us more. Excerpts from an interview:

DQ: What is Progress’s expansion plan in India in terms of talent acquisition?

Prashanth Nanjundappa: Progress is committed to a total growth strategy led by organic growth and acquisition, adding businesses to its portfolio with complementary products. Many global companies are expanding their existing development centers into India as the country is the hub for those creating top technology. This is true for Progress as well, especially in the areas of automation and cloud technologies.


Progress has strong teams developing industry-leading technologies for application development, DevOps, database management and data connectivity, leveraged by thousands of enterprises worldwide. We are looking for talent in the areas of product development, product management, customer-facing teams for our DevOps and DevSecOps product portfolio, app platform development, data connectivity and database management product portfolio.


Prashanth Nanjundappa.

At Progress, our various teams function in a truly global way, and have ownership and accountability of the product’s success from inception to launch and beyond, no matter whether they’re located in India, the US or Bulgaria. Our focus will continue to be on building global high-performance teams who will work in collaboration with other teams to achieve the company’s total growth strategy.


With this expansion of the tech companies overall, tech hiring is poised to boom in India, and we’ll observe an increasing demand for talent in the feature.

DQ: Tell us more about how Progress supports women in the technology space and their career growth.

Prashanth Nanjundappa: Progress has several initiatives to encourage and empower women in the company, as well as support women to pursue STEM education. We have a company-wide Employee Resource Group (ERG) – ‘Progress for Her’, created to empower Women at Progress. It provides leadership and networking opportunities, as well as the tools needed to create substantial influence both in and out of our professional network.


The Women in STEM scholarship series was launched in 2019 with the founding of the “Progress Mary Székely Scholarship for Women in STEM” in the US. The initiative has continued to expand, and in 2021 we introduced the Akanksha Scholarship for Women in STEM in India. It is a USD 2,000 four‐year renewable scholarship to cover tuition, fees and educational expenses for women pursuing an undergraduate degree in computer science, computer information systems, software engineering and/or IT. We want to encourage women to choose STEM for their professional development and bring more diversity to the workplace.

DQ: How are Progress’ R&D centres focused on intrapreneurship and in-house innovation?

Prashanth Nanjundappa: Progress’s R&D centers in Hyderabad and Bengaluru are the strategic innovation hubs, playing a key role in the company’s global success. Innovation is a part of our culture and the driving force behind building and developing our products. It is not only important for us to keep our products relevant for our customers but also to retain our top talent. Talent is hard to find and even harder to retain. Employees want to work for companies that leave space for innovation. Thus, encouraging innovation helps companies not only achieve business success but also become happy workplaces where people feel engaged and inspired to fulfil their potential and be appreciated.


We have many initiatives and incentives that help us nurture and grow a culture of innovation through intrapreneurship. For example, we have company-wide hackathon events to encourage teams to collaborate globally, ideate and deliberate on new ideas. We try and build an appetite for failure and incorporate the learnings from failure in future efforts. We also have brought in an experiment-oriented approach of product development based on the customer development process. In addition to that, we also have a Progress Inventor Recognition program to recognize and reward employees who create patentable inventions for Progress.

DQ: How is Progress rising to the challenge as more and more industries transition to the cloud?

Prashanth Nanjundappa: Most of the enterprises have started migrating data to the cloud way long back and with the rise of digital adoption, cloud transition is very much in demand, especially in the current scenarios. Progress product offerings are well-positioned to support organizations both with their digital transformation efforts and adoption of the cloud. Our Digital Experience (DX) offerings empower companies to provide engaging and personalized customer experiences across diverse digital channels. With our Always-On Application Experience (AX) offerings, companies can optimize, and secure applications and networks across any cloud or hybrid environment through best-in-class network performance monitoring, application delivery control and anomaly detection.


Our data connectivity products provide secure and high-performance connectivity to data in BigData, cloud databases, cloud apps (SaaS apps), cloud data warehouses, etc. The data connectivity products power applications hosted in the cloud to have seamless connectivity to valuable data living anywhere, in the cloud, on-prem or exposed via APIs.

Our DevOps/DevSecOps products enable companies to automate and manage infrastructure and applications both in the cloud and on-premises or in a hybrid environment. In addition to that, we also help organizations maintain their compliance and security posture on a continuous basis right from their development environment all the way till production, helping them “Shift Left” the risk early into the product development life cycle.

DQ: What’s lies ahead of Progress in the near future?


Prashanth Nanjundappa: There is indeed a significant investment ongoing in large enterprises to utilize cloud for both technological and cost efficiency reasons. At Progress, we see this as an opportunity. We create products that cover the whole cycle of creating, deploying and managing applications – from planning, coding, designing to testing, releasing, deploying to providing the IT infrastructure. Our goal is to continue to be a strong DevOps leader in this ecosystem.

A lot of people look at DevOps as the overlapping between the developer and the IT Ops ecosystems, but the reality is that DevOps is in the whole cycle – in every stage from development to Ops. There is a tremendous opportunity ahead of us in this. We’ll continue to develop and innovate our products to help teams deliver with ease and high productivity apps that exceed customers’ expectations and move their businesses forward.

DQ: How has the pandemic impacted enterprise investments in digital?

Prashanth Nanjundappa: At the beginning of the pandemic, enterprises had to either accelerate digital transformation or accept a slow growth. Among many trends one trend we saw unanimously in large enterprises was how DevOps and DevSecOps became integral to business success by enabling organizations to embrace the cloud. This need to go to cloud was not just to ship their idea to their customers as fast as possible but also go live without creating risk and security concerns in that process. DevSecOps adoption has boosted the resilience of organizations IT products and services without having to compromise on time to market.

Another trend we have seen is investment in Remote first technologies to secure the business acknowledging an increase attack surface with work from anywhere world we live in. This goes beyond Zoom, MS Teams and collaboration tools. We have seen large enterprises invest in tools and processes which will bring their remote staff, devices, deployment under organizations policy/governance driven management.

DQ: What are the challenges being faced by organizations that are transitioning to the cloud at present?

Prashanth Nanjundappa: New companies are born in the cloud as it provides tools and technologies to accelerate time to market. In addition, the increasing adoption leads to the need of more talent that can build apps from the ground up on cloud. In fact, cloud-first organizations think about the hybrid cloud approach later when they hit the scale and when cloud-spend takes significant cut of their bottom line. Transition to the could in large organizations, however, is completely different and brings its unique challenges. The biggest one is bridging the talent gap and creating coherent processes and tools between engineering, IT and Infosec teams.

The talent gap becomes evident as these organizations have to support their legacy technology business critical products while driving cloud transformation, using bleeding edge technologies. If this gap is not acknowledged and there is no clear strategy for training the current talent along with infusing new talent who are experts in cloud technology, the time taken to complete the transformation will be far more than what they would have estimated in the first place.

Unlike traditional enterprise application deployments where new releases were not that frequent, as enterprises embark on cloud transformation, they very quickly hit a “Good Problem” of frequent releases. Development, IT and security teams follow different tolls, lacking a “common language” of communication or standardization of processes for releasing products faster and a secure way onto cloud environments. This is another challenge which they will have to overcome in a systematic way. Adopting DevSecOps methodologies across the teams can certainly help them in bridging this gap.