Acing Your PSM 1 Assessment

A guideline on how to prepare & pass your professional scrum master I examination from

Introduction & Motivation

Scrum is lightweight, simple to understand, and difficult to master

Taking a certification without knowing what you’re going to face is like going to a war without knowing what weapon should you bring. To make sure that you don’t bring a knife to a gun fight, let’s read this and be well equipped to clear your PSM I assessment.

I don’t find many real life experiences here, mostly people just give you theory & the resources you need. This article will take you through my experience preparing & acing PSM I.

Estimating Your Current Knowledge

Well, you don’t really need to do t-shirt sizing or play planning poker here but knowing your current level of knowledge will give you an understanding of what your best next steps should be in order to prepare for this assessment.

For instance, if you already have practical experience working on scrum framework and applying it in your day-to-day project work then you already have a head start in this preparation. You can skip scrum training in this case and directly prepare for the examination.

If you’re new to scrum/agile or if you’re only familiar with the basics then I would suggest going through a comprehensive 2-day course from here. Alternatively you may also enroll in a Udemy course, I would suggest this one.

Read The Correct Reference Book

The analogy is like this.
If you want to learn about a religion, read the Big Book of that religion.
If you want to know about Christianity, read the Bible.
If you want to know about Hinduism, read the Bhagwad Gita.
If you want to know about Scrum, read the Scrum Guide.

As simple as that.

There are many references about scrum out in the internet, but trust me, what you need to do is read the official scrum guide from A to Z, read it word by word, let it sink in your brain, dream about it, trust every word of it, then you’re on the right track. You might think that you understand it completely, but you need at least two readings as every line is important and can be a question in your PSM I assessment.

Practice Resources

 Reading is not enough (at least for me), You need to know the exam sample, somewhere where you can test your understanding of the scrum guide.

Let me share the perfect resource to practice:

  • Scrum Open Assessment – It has 30 questions. Every time you give this sample test it has some different questions than the last time. They are also simpler than the actual exam and have lesser scenario based questions than what you might find in the real test. My suggestion is go through the scrum open again & again until you can score 100% marks in less than 8 minutes. Some questions are also repeated in the real test from this open assessment, so taking this will give you the edge.
  • There are few more open assessments. Find them here Professional Product Owner Open, Professional Scrum Developer Open & Nexus Open. Passing them are not necessary but if you want to make sure that you attempt all questions well from your real assessment then going through these open assessments will help to get the complete knowledge of question types.
  • You should understand how to scale Scrum. Check out the official Nexus guide. There are several related questions in the PSM exam.
  • Mockup Exams – Apart from the Scrum guide, open assessment tests, the Mikhail Lapshin quiz really helps. I would suggest everyone take a quiz from the Mikhail’s site before taking the PSM I exam. You have learning mode and real mode. Learning mode will give you instant feedback while you’re going through the questions. Real mode is exactly like the actual assessment having 80 questions to do in 60 minutes with a passing grade of 85% but it’s a simpler version of it. Go through this multiple times and make sure you get more than 95% in your last try.
  • Go through the whitepaper written by Barry Overeem – The 8 stances of a scrum master.

Exam Tips

Before you jump into the exam, let me give you a few assessment tips:

  • You might want to give examination after studying the resources for hours as the knowledge is fresh, but it’s generally a bad idea. Give the exam after a good night’s sleep when you’re well rested.
  • Make sure you keep an eye on the timer as it expires really quickly. Don’t waste any time because there’s none to waste.
  • Try to mark for review ONLY questions that you really want to revisit. Because of the time constraint, I do not think it is realistic to review more than 5–7 questions.
  • Read the questions loudly if needed and pay attention to the wording as small words like may/can/should/not can make all the difference.
  • Read all the answers. Even if you think you’ve got the right one, sometimes there are multiple right answers and sometimes there’s answers which look identical but only one is correct.
  • Majority of the questions where multiple answers are correct will explicitly have written how many answers to select. For example – “What are the two best ways”, “Select three things which” etc.
  • Make sure that you have a good internet connection, 60 minutes of peaceful time and a silent place from where you can take the assessment.

I scored 95% in the PSM I assessment, if you prepare using all these resources you can do the same or even better.

Good luck & Scrum On!

RPA: What you need to know

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is an important component of the ‘Future of Work’ toolkit. Many large organizations have big teams working on RPA even as many others are waiting for others to realize benefits before they jump in. This is precisely what happens when a disruptive technology comes to the fore. Risk averse organizations wait and watch.

The objective of this blog is to walk the reader through a basic understanding of RPA, it’s use cases, and points to consider before they make a decision of RPA. RPA is defined by the Institute for Robotic Process Automation (IRPA) as ‘the application of technology allowing employees in a company to configure computer software or a ‘robot’ to capture and interpret existing applications for processing a transaction, manipulating data, triggering responses and communicating with other digital systems.’

RPA offers a quick and simple way to improve any repetitive, process-oriented and time-consuming tasks. 

Let’s get into the details.

How is it Different from Traditional Automation

Isn’t automation overtly talked already? How is RPA different?

RPA works on the user interface layer. It sits on top of an organization’s existing IT infrastructure and doesn’t care about what that is. In other words, RPA is technology agnostic and works across legacy, Mainframes, ERPs, custom applications, etc. If a human can use a system, in all certainty, it can be used by RPA bot. RPA offers ease of usage and debugging. The RPA programs are simpler and user-friendly and easier for a new analyst to understand. So, cost of resource replacement is low and so is the risk to the business. RPA doesn’t have complex integration codes to be written. This results in faster implementation, shorter break-even periods, and higher return on investments (ROIs) Most RPA solutions have inbuilt OCR – Optical Character Recognition Capabilities. Isn’t that one of those much vouched for the capability we all need for businesses to operate electronically? Not to mention the AI capabilities of some RPA bots. With the help of artificial intelligence, these bots learn on their own and make less or no mistakes over a period. None of the traditional automation software offers that capability.

Benefits of RPA

  • Reduce Human Error – RPA reduces the chances of mistakes made by employees performing mundane tasks like data entry, meaning less operational risk
  • Improve Customer Interaction – Using RPA for routine manual tasks frees up your workforce to focus more of their energy on ensuring your customers are happy
  • Better Workflow Processes – RPA bots are capable of performing defined tasks error-free, meaning their output is more accurate and of a higher standard than human counterparts
  • No New Hardware – Implementing RPA bots doesn’t require any new investment in your systems, so there’s no need to be concerned about any upheaval
  • Reduce Cost – Bots complete jobs faster and cost significantly less than a full-time employee. The worker who is freed up by the bot can now be utilized in a more cost-effective manner performing a task that needs a human touch
  • Speed – Consider how long it takes for a human to fill out a data sheet. An RPA bot can do it in a fraction of time. Over months or years, that’s a substantial amount of time and money saved
  • Flexibility – RPA bots can be programmed to perform virtually any manual, repetitive, clerical task
  • Scalability – RPA can be scaled up and down with ease, for example companies can make seasonal adjustments based on demand

Development of Robotic Process Automation

The term “Robotic Process Automation” can be dated to do the early 2000. It is a developing technology as it is still depended on its previous technologies. RPA is now enhancing the capabilities of its previous technologies and using them in the IT industry in a better way.

Unlike its preceding technologies it is not dependent on coding. Rather it allows the user to use its drag and drop features to create automation software’s and manages them. This gives the user a flexibility of managing the software even without any coding knowledge.

Many of the Robotic Process Automation software make use of optical character recognition (OCR) technology to understand the changing websites. This eliminates the need for human intervention.

Future of Robotic Process Automation

The future of Robotic Process Automation is very bright as it transforms the business activities and streamlines the process of many big companies.

According to McKinsey, automation technologies such as Robotic Process Automation will have an economic impact of nearly $6.7 trillion by 2025. With these statistics, it’s definite that Robotic Process Automation is growing rapidly and is going to become one of the leading technological platforms for a positive business outcome.

Industry analysts expect that Robotic Process Automation software’s will be combined with technologies machine learning and cognitive computing to provide better solutions to the industry. This has great potential to make organizations more active and productive, which is very important in today’s global and competitive marketplaces.

RPA is also widely used in many industry specific solutions to automate the mundane and repeated tasks. For an example, there are many strong use cases to utilize the power of RPA in procurement industry. More here on a blog post from Fairmarkit.

Tips for Success in Robotic Process Automation

For a smooth and successful implementation of Robotic Process Automation, it is necessary that a through selection of the process to be automated is done. At the same time, it is very essential that all the people of the business, IT and Robotic Process Automation work as a team. Here is a list of certain important things that should be kept in mind, while going for Robotic Process Automation, in order to make it successful.

  • Analyze And Choose The Correct Process For Automation

For an effective Robotic Process Automation, such processes should be chosen which are repetitive, rule-based, high in volume and that don’t require human intervention for making decisions. This can be a challenging task in itself because choosing an inefficient process to automate will only speed up the inefficiency.

  • Get The Support Of Your Stakeholders

The idea Robotic Process Automation adoption does not come from inside the organization but from outside business units like the consultants. Hence, for this idea to be successful, it is necessary that support must be gained from the stakeholders inside the organization like the CEO, IT head, etc. This is so because none of the Robotic Process Automation software will be able to run without the permission and help of the IT department. Since no robot can work without a PC, a user account or access to an application. The entire infrastructure has to be provided by the IT department. So keep these people in confidence and also try to communicate the benefits that the IT department is likely to get from this technology. Sharing success stories through regular communication helps in creating enthusiasm among the people.

  • Communicate Regularly With IT Department

Communicating with the IT department should be on a regular basis.This will help the Robotic Process Automation team in delivering the new Robotic Process Automation process. The IT team can provide real support to them at various stages of development. For example: – they can provide access to test environment, help in giving permissions within an application, etc. Staying in contact with the IT development is very important in order to ensure smooth delivery of the new Robotic Process Automation process.

  • Prepare A Clear Strategy For The Usage Of Robotic Process Automation Within The Company

There is always a risk of failure if there is no clear strategy regarding how Robotic Process Automation is going to be deployed and utilized. One should have a clear vision about the use of Robotic Process Automation so that the correct Robotic Process Automation software is chosen to fulfill the needs of many departments. The software should also fully integrate into the existing It infrastructure and solutions so that there is no conflict of technologies.

  • Keep The Expectation Realistic

Robotic Process Automation is only a tool and not a magic solution to every business problem. Still there are situations where there is a need of human interventions in order to manage the problem. So thinking that RPA software implementation can take the place of human beings completely is a far-fetched dream. Hence we should keep our expectations regarding Robotic Process Automation.

  • Calculate The Hidden Costs Of Robotic Process Automation

There is always an initial expenditure while implementing Robotic Process Automation and keeping it operational. Hence make budget for each of its stages. Also make provisions for the IT infrastructure like databases, machines, etc and IT resource time to implement Robotic Process Automation. Include additional consultancy costs, if any, from partner companies. You have to also take into account the salary cost of any additional post created due to Robotic Process Automation implementation. All of this needs to be included in the cost for implementation of RPA. If all this is within the budget of the company then only it should proceed for Robotic Process Automation implementation or not.

RPA Platform Comparison

   undefinedundefined   undefined
Community VersionOnly licensed version is availableOnly licensed version is availableBoth community & licensed versions are availableBoth community & licensed versions are available
Enterprise Version Trial14 DaysNot available for trial45 Days30 Days
Market TrendPreference for existing Appian cloud customersPreference for big enterprises as it has good scalability, execution speed & trustworthyPreference for small organizations as it has lot of funtionality & good scalabilityPreference for individuals who are starting with RPA as easier to learn
Based TechnologiesJavaC#.NET & JavaVB script, C#, .NET
Architecture TypeClient-Server Based Architecture with a web console available in Appian environmentClient-Server Based ArchitectureClient-Server Based ArchitectureWeb-based Orchestrator
Process DesignerProcess skeleton can be created using drag-drop but node configuration requires Java codingVisual process basedDeveloper Friendly (Script-Based)User-Friendly with Drag-Drop Functionalities
Programming SkillsModerate Level – Required to create methods and logicsModerate Level – Required to manage business objectsBeginner Level – Required to use activitiesDoesn’t require coding just need basic visual skills
AccessibilityBrowser AccessiblityApplication BasedApplication BasedMobile & Browser Accessibility
Re-usabilityRPA process can be resued and called in Appian using integration objectsLibraries can be resued with other processBlocks are created using smart adaptersProjects are grouped together as library
RecordersNo Recorders AvailableNo Recorders AvailableBasic & Macro RecordersBasic & Macro Recorders
RobotsFront & Back Office Automations (Attended & Unattended) with Best-in-class human-in-the-loop capabilities to handle exceptions and ad-hoc activities, fast.Only Back Office Automation (Unattended)Front & Back Office Automations (Attended & Unattended)Front & Back Office Automations (Attended & Unattended)
AccuracyReasonable across mediumsDesktop Web & Citrix AutomationReasonable across mediumsCitrix Automation designed for BPO
Operational ScalabilityClaims to centrally manage, monitor, and deploy bots across the organization to increase scale and performance.Good & High Execution SpeedLimited large scale robot deploymentCrashes in medium level project
Community & SupportOffers community & support to post technical queries 24 x 7Offers community & support to post technical queries 24 x 7Offers community & support to post technical queries 24 x 7Offers community & support to post technical queries 24 x 7
CertificationNone yetOfficial paid associate, professional & architect level certifications are availableOfficial certifications available for $50 (advanced) & $100 (master)Official paid associate & advanced level certifications are available
Pricing$5000 per month for unlimited botsPer bot pricing based on a custom quotePer bot pricing based on a custom quote. Starts at $750/month for limited botsPer bot pricing based on a custom quote. Starts at $3999 per year per user for limited bots
SecuritySimplified access and adoption of RPA with Appian’s globally available and highly secure cloud with many security certificationsProvides features like infratuctural security, centrally managed user access control, systemized activity logging, Irrefutable audit trsilProvides features like Fine-grained RBAC, Bank-grade encryption & complete audit trailsBuilt with defense-grade security and auditing including role-based access control (RBAC), Encryption Everywhere, and Veracode certified code
Pre-requisitesAppian cloud environmentNoneNoneNone
Operating SystemCan run on Windows, Linux & MacOS out of the boxWindows onlyWindows onlyWindows only
Capture Video & ScreenshotsYes, it can capture both videos & screenshots while the bots are executingException/failure stages can be configured to save a screen capture. Videos can’t be recorded out of the boxException/failure stages can be configured to save a screen capture. Videos can’t be recorded out of the boxHas an activity to capture screenshots but can’t record videos of bot execution out of the box
Schedule BotsYesYesYesYes


With the emergence of Artificial Intelligence and RPA,new job profiles will be created. People should not worry and think that jobs will be on the decline due to automation rather on the contrary these will open doors for re-skilling of man power. Now people have to focus more on super specialization in their particular field of work in order to succeed.

Advice For New Developers

Making mistakes is part of the learning path to greatness. Failing quickly and often is a hallmark of success. And aiming to avoid making the same mistake more than once should be somewhere high on your priority list.

Yes, personal experience is the most powerful way to learn but the knowledge acquired through others’ experiences is a quicker, smarter way to go about it to save significant pain. After all, life is short; you can’t make all possible mistakes in your one life.

And a career in software development is the start of a journey in mastering your craft. As with any field, there will be challenges and chances to be correct, and chances where you can be completely wrong. This piece acts as a reflection on the mistakes I have made in my career so far — and a guide to avoiding them.

Making yourself indispensable

While the rush of power that comes with indispensability is addictive, you are hurting your own growth if you continue doing that.

Always remember, if you want to aim for higher things, you need to get yourself freed from lower things. Create and mentor a successor in place who can take over from you.

Burning bridges

Yes, you are good, you are great and you are a hot-shot programmer but that does not give you the power to burn bridges and pick up needless battles. The software industry is a small world. Bridges you are burning now will come back and haunt you when you need them the most.

Be humble, be cordial and maintain good equations even with people you don’t like.

Not sharing knowledge

From my experience, being good at technology is the most sustainable way to gain respect among your team members. That being said, being good at technology and not sharing your knowledge is a sure shot recipe for disaster.

Knowledge is half the battle and sharing it is the other half. Good programmers talk to junior programmers and show them how to solve problems. They not only tell them how to fix the problem but also explain why they fixed it that way.

Ignoring soft skills

Programmers sometimes forget that software development is a team sport, and a project is a mutual task for a group of people who have to work side by side, support each other, and move towards a single goal.

So, if a programmer is too arrogant, does not have any passion for work, or is not able to communicate efficiently, this will have a negative impact not only on his work but on the whole project by delaying it or screwing up some of its parts. So soft skills are mandatory.

Sticking to one stack

The software industry never stops evolving. Similarly, a software professional should also keep evolving with the industry and must match its pace with the industry to stay relevant and in-demand.

Remember, the key is not necessarily acquiring fluency, but gaining a conceptual vocabulary to attack problems in new ways. Good programmers don’t just code, but they keep learning key concepts that help them to resolve problems in new ways and find the most efficient solution possible.

Cutting corners

There is nothing called “Quick and Dirty code”. Dirty code is bad code. Period. Never cut corners or accept anything that is the second rate.

Your real test as a good programmer comes under a crisis. If your behavior changes during a crisis, then you are not a good programmer.

Not documenting code

It doesn’t matter how good your software is, because if the documentation is not good enough, people will not use it.

Whatever be the deadline, whatever be the workload, whatever be the excuse of not documenting, any software having no documentation is a dead Dodo. Simple as that!!!

Avoiding politics

We’ve all heard techies say: “Leave me out of the politics. I just want to implement the technology.” But that will not work.

Where there’s technology, there’s change, and where there’s change, there will be people who perceive themselves as winners or losers. That’s where politics begin. You need to manage it, circumvent it and come out as a winner. There is no other way.

Designing too much before writing code

Yes, a good design before coding is a good thing, but devoting too much time on it puts you in an analysis-paralysis situation.

Do not look for a perfect design That does not exist in the world of programming. Look for a good-enough design, something that you can use to get started. A good design works like a map. It should evolve, rather than cast in stone.

Picking up the first solution

Yes, the first solution is tempting and might be an easy way out. But good solutions are usually discovered once you start questioning all the solutions that you find.

Remember, your job as a programmer is not to find a solution to the problem. It is to find the simplest and the most optimum solution to the problem.

Not knowing when not to do something

The best programmers know precisely when not to do something.

They know that rewriting a library from scratch just to make it more readable, or switching to the newest framework from the older one are not always good decisions. The purpose of the code should be clear enough to grasp within minutes or even seconds.

The key is not to be risk-averse but just careful in picking the right battles.

Not admitting your ignorance

You’re probably a technical whiz kid, but even you will not know everything about your technology. It’s practically impossible.

On the other hand, the greenest kid in the room might come up with a sustainable, performance-effective solution to the problem at hand. Good programmers don’t impose their solutions on the team. Rather they cultivate a sort of democracy in which the best solution wins.

Bending under pressure

The code is like food. It can be fast, good, or cheap. Pick any two. A bad programmer overwhelmed by pressure tries to get the team to do all three things at once. They’re driven by deadlines and commitments made by somebody else knowing pretty well that it is not feasible.

A good programmer is all about “getting real,” and communicating that reality to all stakeholders up and down the chain in the fastest way possible.

Not networking and building trust

Yes, programmers can exist as lone wolves also but the best programmers are master networkers.

And The easiest way to establish trust and forge relationships can be by helping other teams in crunch situations. This way you start owing them ‘favors” which you can always ask without hesitation at the right time. Volunteering to help somebody with their initiative or going that extra mile to help somebody accomplish their work not only builds your expertise but also your influence within the organization.

Not seeing the big picture

As a programmer, most of the time, you will be working on a piece of code or maybe solving some production issues in existing code. You are doing the work assigned; nothing wrong in it. But if you want to a part of the entire deal; you need to take time to find out what the deal is all about.

And the best and easiest approach will be to take the help of a mentor who can help you develop your skills faster and keep you firmly grounded with the larger project perspective.

Always reinventing the wheel

Good programmers do not reinvent the wheel. They always reuse and build over existing functionalities wherever possible. This not only saves time but also builds a sort of camaraderie among the developers sharing code.

There are already existing answers to the problems you are trying to solve. So when you are trying to complete a task, check to see if someone else has already solved the problem. You are not cutting corners here. You are cutting the effort here.

Not knowing business rules well enough

We programmers sometimes underestimate the complexity of business rules. If we don’t know the business rules clearly we won’t know how to implement the solution effectively.

Remember, you need to adopt a business mindset while programming and create a workable solution in business terms that fulfills its objectives rather than focussing on a powerful technical solution.

Not communicating with team

While there are no set rules to communicate, (in fact, in software-project limbo, people are referred to as resources), getting a bit personal at work is required as part of our journey as Homo sapiens.

Knowing other programmers’ abilities and limitations, combined with knowing what they are interested in, will make you plan your development in a better way.

Not prioritizing health

Health is the foundation that accelerates everything in your life, including your career. It elevates your creativity, energy, and grit to get through the inevitable ups and downs you’ll experience.

Prioritizing your health isn’t just a one-time task. It means scheduling it into your daily routine, making investments to buy the right food and exercise regularly, and even giving up other bad habits.

Last thoughts

Any career has ups and downs and it totally depends on the way you take it. You can either be knocked down by the negative things, or you can take it in a positive way and learn from it

As Carlton Fisk has rightly said:

“It’s not what you achieve, it’s what you overcome. That’s what defines your career.”

Adopting Remote Work

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Companies who don’t have a remote strategy won’t be competitive by 2030

Remote work is already everywhere. The smartest people I know all plan to work remotely this decade, while the most interesting startups I have discovered are all offering remote work. At the same time, there is a massive supply and demand problem. Far more people want remote jobs than there are remote jobs available. This had led to a perfect storm, particularly on social media, where a vocal minority evangelizes the remote work benefits while non-remote people question whether the benefits can be as great as is suggested.

Fortunately, this supply and demand problem eases with each passing day. Remote work has grown 400% in the last decade, while the number of full-time remote workers across the US and EU is projected to grow to 40m by 2030. While that is only a fraction of the 255m desk jobs globally, I believe that number will turn out to be a significant underestimation. As the workforce transitions to more flexible arrangements in search of better work-life balance, the inevitable implication is the rise of the two dominant locations of work away from the office: coworking space and remote working from home.

How can I predict that the number of full-time remote workers from home will race past 40m before 2030? Because the vast majority of remote workers today want to work from home

With that being the case, companies must deliver a far better experience to remote workers. Right now, remote workers are happy to accept less than optimum conditions because they see remote work as a perk.

It isn’t.

Remote work benefits both parties and a failure for companies to acknowledge that will be as costly as not going remote at all.

Companies who don’t:

  • Go remote will lose their best people to their biggest competitors who do
  • Provide a great remote work experience will lose their best people to their biggest competitors who do

Remote work experience is the thing that most companies are currently neglecting. We provide our remote work with all the physical tools they need to work remotely while failing to give them the physical tools they need to do their best work. Remote workers should be safer, more comfortable and productive at home than they can be in an office.

There is a missing half of remote work and that involves human connection, experience, and culture. It focusses on improving remote work and bringing it into the 21st century. Anyone who has worked remotely knows that sitting hunched over the kitchen table is a terrible experience. To do great work at home we need dedicated space. We need the right tools and equipment. Working remotely is only half the equation: we have the space to do deep focussed work in quiet isolation but we require more than that to do the best work we have ever done.

The economic calculations are even more obvious:

🏢Cost of the office:

  • $18,400 per workspace
  • 520 hours commuting 
  • 5,443lb Co2 emitted 

Per person, every year


🌍The cost of remote work:

  • $2,000 per workspace
  • 0 hours commuting 
  • 0lb Co2 emitted 

Per person, every year

A remote workspace is $16,400 less per year, per team member

Companies that don’t go remote won’t be competitive. Office-first companies will die twice:

  • cost
  • talent

💰 Real estate cost means they won’t be able to compete economically.

📍Fixed location will disqualify them from 99% of Worlds talent

Only being able to hire the best person you can afford within a 30-mile radius of your office will mean that your remote-first competitors become more talented than your company with every hire. At the same time, they will be operating at a lower cost than you.

⭐Great Talent

The most talented people are stipulating remote work as a condition of employment. Companies who don’t provide this won’t be able to attract the best people.

Companies who don’t give this to their existing workers will lose their most talented people to their biggest competitors.

🚦Changing Preferences

The smartest people I know personally ALL plan to work remotely in the next decade.

The most interesting companies I know personally *ALL* plan to hire remote workers in the next decade.

Remote will be the dominant workplace of the best companies and people.


Office-first companies won’t be able to compete with remote-first companies in terms of efficiency, both economic and operationally. Not only will remote-first companies increase their average level of talent with each hire, they will be far more cost-efficient. City living is subsidized by companies, leading to a lower disposable and quality of life.

Most Companies Want to Go Remote

Why Now?

Remote work is the biggest workplace revolution in history and nothing will deliver a higher quality of life increase in the next decade than this. Workers having more flexibility to decide their work schedule, able to operate when they are most productive rather than a fixed day, enables a far better future of work than the one we currently experience. Organizing work around your life is a huge transition with major implications. Gone is the requirement to beg your bosses permission to go to an appointment, it is the ability to drop and pick your child up from work every day with time in the afternoon to go for your recharging run.

Being handcuffed to an office and expected to live in a high cost of living city with a low quality of life is a remnant of the industrial revolution. The devolution of offices into almost factory-like conditions as distraction factory adult kids clubs is complete. The office has become the worst place on the planet to get the isolation and focus you need to do deep work.

Make no mistake, remote work is exploding to prominence right now. We are living through the inflection point today. Shortly, workers will realize their power and influence to demand remote work.

Low-code: Build at the speed of ideas

What Is Low-Code?

Low-code allows you to transform ideas into innovation fast. There’s no need to code an application line-by-line and write big blocks of code for everything. With low-code, you draw it — just like a flowchart.

Create & Deliver Enterprise-grade Applications at unbelievable speed

This efficient process:

  • Makes creating new applications quick and intuitive
  • Accelerates the process of moving from idea to application
  • Removes the barriers between business and IT and they work hand-in-hand
  • Boosts the power of every application

What Makes Low-Code So Fast?

According to Forrester reports, low-code development is up to 20 times faster than coding line-by-line. Low-code achieves this speed by simplifying the very complex processes of application development and maintenance.

Intuitive, reusable design

  • Simply draw a flowchart to define business logic, or drag and drop to build an interface. You can even point and click to create rules or configure an integration.
  • Everything you build in your app can be applied to another one, today or tomorrow

Simplified collaboration

With low-code, business and IT work collaboratively to define the application, using a visual design process that makes sense across the enterprise.

  • Keep business and IT on the same page
  • Enable constant communication and direct feedback, with the ability to customize workflows
  • Deploy updates and changes as business needs evolve

Simplified deployment

Low-code makes deploying, managing, and changing applications simple.

  • Unveil applications to your users with a click on web or mobile
  • Make changes or updates instantly, with no downtime and no interruption to business operations
  • Maintain governance with built-in version and change control, along with safeguards to ease application maintenance so you can keep innovating

Why Is Low-Code So Powerful?

Low-code platforms are capable of meeting the toughest enterprise requirements: mobility, security, scalability, and reliability. In the past, application quality reflected developer skills and time spent. With low-code, however, it’s the the low-code platform, particularly a sophisticated one, that does the work. Low-code builds power, for free, into your applications so you can focus on business impact.

Instant mobility

Build once, deploy everywhere. With low-code, mobile and web require no extra effort, coding, or resources.

Quality and reliability

Developers no longer need to spend additional time on SLAs for uptime, high availability, and scalability features. With an enterprise-grade low-code platform, these benefits are inherent to every application you build.

Security and compliance

Low-code applications inherit the platform’s security and compliance features and capabilities, including:

  • Audits and ongoing security monitoring built in
  • Compliance with certifications such as FedRamp, PCI-DSS, SOC 2, SOC 3, HIPAA, GxP, and EU-U.S. and Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield Frameworks

How Is Low-Code Sustainable?

Maintaining hundreds of applications is a struggle, especially if many are outdated.

Low-code enables unified, reusable common components and data schemas from all applications. This consolidation boosts development productivity while strengthening governance.

  • Incorporate standard interface paradigms and encourage common UX patterns across all applications, improving user experience and reducing training costs
  • Enable simultaneous upgrade of every application, to more swiftly take advantage of new features and capabilities
  • Future-proof any application developed on the platform by seamlessly supporting new operating systems, browsers, mobile devices, and UI technologies, as well as innovations or paradigm shifts in workload management and devops

Low-code accelerates the transition from idea to innovation by removing the traditional barriers between business and IT. Low-code allows the rapid build, launch, and change of powerful apps.

The result? Massive business impact, fast.

Advantages of Low-Code

Until now, organizations had to code from scratch or buy a packaged app and customize it to support their unique business needs.

Low-code offers an uncompromised third option: the speed of a packaged app, the personalization of custom development, and the power to support even the most complex enterprise use cases.

The Future of Application Development

With low-code, IT and business work together. Users can bring innovative ideas to life by drawing, clicking, configuring, dragging, and dropping to translate their intentions into working enterprise software.

Essentially, low-code:

  • Offers an intuitive design that results in a dramatic increase in developer productivity and application output
  • Aligns business and IT so business leaders have the power to bring solutions to market faster than the competition
  • Allows enterprises to create applications that are easier to change while remaining more mobile, integrated, and secure
  • Makes deploying, managing, and changing one or hundreds of applications simple

Low-Code: Top Four Benefits

#1 – Ease of Use

Visual design that allows drawing instead of coding can exponentially accelerate development—especially when combined with automated testing.

  • Minimal coding required. Drag, drop, click, configure.
  • Instant, native mobility with no extra time, effort, or resources required
  • Seamless integration unifying all enterprise data, processes, apps, and existing systems
  • Streamlined user experience on web or any mobile device

#2 – Speed

Low-code development allows more high-quality apps to be built in less time. With low-code development, time is no longer a barrier to real innovation or an excuse for technical debt.

  • Rapidly deliver applications with other departments to increase business impact
  • Launch enterprise apps at the speed of business needs
  • Adapt quickly to evolving market conditions, customer expectations, and new technologies
  • Visual, drag-and-drop development tools make creating and changing enterprise apps easy and fast

#3 – Power

Low-code empowers your IT organization to fully meet the needs of the business and turbocharge innovation through mobility support, high availability, security, and scalability. No additional work by application developers is needed.

  • Build and launch unique apps that meet enterprise-level needs
  • Expand departmental apps to address enterprise-wide challenges, no matter how large or complex
  • Provide security and compliance certifications like PCI, HIPAA, SOC 2 and 3, and more
  • Scale instantly for any project, program, or line-of-business

#4 – Build for the Future

Low-code makes you forget about app obsolescence and technical debt with built-in safeguards to ease application changes and maintenance. You have the flexibility to keep innovating because low-code allows your applications to grow with you.

  • Everything reusable. Unified and reusable components and data schemas across applications makes changing apps painless, boosts development productivity, and tightens governance.
  • Consistent user experience. Automatically incorporating standard UX patterns across every application improves user experience while reducing training costs.
  • Always up-to-date, never obsolete. Simultaneous upgrade of all applications means they take advantage of new low-code platform features as soon as they are available while preserving backwards compatibility.
  • Ready for the latest. An application built today will continue to work in the future with new operating systems, browsers, mobile devices, and UI technologies.

Hello Blogging World :)

Kunal Sharda, A resident of Jaipur, Rajasthan. Started his journey as a low-code developer in 2016 working on the Appian BPM platform. He’s an engineering graduate from Manipal Institute of Technology, Manipal in Information & Communication Technology specialization. Postgraduate in MBA from NMIMS, Mumbai in Information Technology & Systems Management. When he’s not coding or learning something new, he loves to play the guitar, gym, & blog

About Me

Since this is my first blog post, I would like to start by introducing myself:

A 16-year old me would have never imagined that I would be so deeply interested & engrossed in broad terms like tech, cloud, BPM, low-code, SDLC, databases, agile etc. I was a school going student who had just opted for the science stream going against the will of my dad who is a well-known practising chartered accountant and wanted me to join his practice. I remember telling him that commerce is not for me and it doesn’t interest me. He understood with very little effort from my end & wanted me to pursue what I wanted. The problem was I didn’t have a clear vision at the time but I opted for science anyway – like many other students do.

My passion at the time was music & playing the guitar. I had been playing since 8th grade and had got a good hang of it, especially in classical rock, progressive, alternative rock, pop, country & Bollywood music styles. I was the lead guitarist of our school band (St. Xavier’s senior secondary school, Jaipur). We named it “Tarangg”. I remember practising & performing with my band as the best time of my school life. I have memories which I will continue to cherish for the time to come. Like, winning inter & intra-school music competitions, performing at various events, writing, composing & producing our original songs and also taking part in national competitions where we had to compete with professional musicians double or triple our age! I was improving myself in guitar every day by learning new techniques and playing styles & could see myself continuing the same as my full-time career.

I continued my love for guitar and stage performances throughout my college life at Manipal Institute of Technology. I was never a top student in engineering but always loved the topics which were about software design, management & development. I had moved 2500 km away from my home in a college-town called “Manipal” in south India. I had a lot of freedom living on my own, which I loved but also hated. I spent most of my time socializing, living life to the fullest, travelling, making lifelong friends, playing/performing guitar and sometimes studying as well.
During my time at my undergrad college & all my internships at various tech companies, I fell in love with software design & development and I knew this is what I wanted to continue doing.

Fast forward to the year 2016, I had finished college and was all set to pursue further education when I came across an organization (my current employer) which also happened to be in my hometown – Jaipur.
This organization was partnered with different modern & innovative work platforms to offer accelerated and advanced digital transformation to their clients located globally. One of those was “Appian”. This place is where I met amazing mentors who helped me learn about SDLC, Appian, databases, project management, the value of a team and working together to build end-to-end software solutions for customers & help them achieve ROI & meaningful business value. I was fascinated with everything and would spend most of my time in the office & at home learning about various technologies as much as I could. I would code, make mistakes, correct them or seek help and in the end, be happy with the end product I could create. This would give me immense happiness & sense of achievement. I was also termed by my manager as the “quickest learner”. I think it was all because my passion had gradually changed from music to tech & software. Guitar had become just a weekend hobby because I had found a new “passion”.

As of today, near the end of 2019. I am working directly with clients from US, UK & middle east, leading a development team, helping create products and launching them on the “Appian app market”, participating in hackathons, and conducting workshops & training sessions to spread my knowledge while learning something new myself every day. I am proudly certified as Appian Level 3 Expert (highest certification with less than 40 people holding this credential globally), AWS Solution Architect, Professional Scrum Master (Agile), Advanced Excel expert and various other things I learned along the way. Another “nice-to-have” thing I have started in parallel is a 2-year degree in management from Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai.

Although I spend most of my weekdays & weekends being occupied with practising and learning various aspects of software development & management, I believe that family & true friendship is all that matter.

What to expect from this blog?

  • Articles about Appian low-code design & development, trends, best practices and my day-to-day experiences working with a large team in the IT industry
  • Articles about agile, databases, Amazon web services, project management, time-management
  • Tech reviews of various things I use in my day-to-day life
  • Life as an MBA student while working in the IT industry
  • More personal blogs like this one
  • Guitar lessons (can’t promise but I’ll do my best as I’m rusty!)

I’m just getting this new blog going, so please stay tuned for more. I will highly appreciate it if you subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates & I have also linked my social media. Excited to connect with you guys! 🙂

Kunal Sharda