Automation and AI implementation are among the driving factors in delivering high-quality software today. Over the years, E-SPIN has been proud to be a leading company in providing these empowering tools. There is no one-size-fits-all tool, so continuously exploring products that are essential for your organization’s needs is crucial. With this understanding, we proudly present our exclusive interview with Arthur Hicken, an Evangelist from Parasoft Corporation, to provide input on their vision and mission in helping you move forward in this competitive industry.
1. Parasoft has established itself as a prominent player in the industry over the past 30 years. Could you provide us with an overview of the company’s background and history, highlighting key milestones and achievements?
Parasoft was founded in 1987 to commercialize developments in parallel computing pioneered at Caltech by the team that founded Parasoft. The early offering included a complete parallel/distributed development kit including parallel communications, parallel debugger, graphics, data distribution, and more. An outgrowth of research into parallelization tools lead to the Insure++ automatic runtime debugger. Later products included static code analysis, automated unit test generation, code coverage in our developer products C/C++test, Jtest, and dotTEST. Parasoft’s SOAtest is an industry leader in automated API testing and uses AI/ML techniques for automated test creation, efficient test execution, and re-use of functional API tests for load/performance and even security penetration testing (DAST). Parasoft continues to adding tools and capabilities that help drive software quality by using test automation and AI/ML techniques to make developers and testers more productive.
2. Parasoft offers a platform that enables organizations to deliver high-quality software at scale. What sets Parasoft apart from its competitors and makes it an ideal choice for businesses looking to enhance their software development processes?
A few things set Parasoft apart from competitors. One is that our 30 year history consists of some very interesting innovations as represented by our many patents. This includes topics like automated unit test generation, memory error detection, automated API test creation, and more. We have a wide variety of tools that help cover the most important aspects of software testing and quality. Our philosophy is focused on software engineering, so we have tools that help testers be more effective, we also have ways to shift testing earlier and even catch code early on that is prone to problems using static analysis that not only catches bugs, but enforce proper software engineering coding standards. Because we’ve built the tools ourselves rather than rely on acquisition, the tools work very well together and even provide synergistic capabilities that you couldn’t otherwise get. Deep data about code and tests helps drive the system to increase automation, improve test quality, and deliver insights about the state of your code.
3. As the concept of “every company is a software company” gains prominence, what specific solutions does Parasoft provide to companies that are undergoing a transformation into a software-focused organization? Additionally, how can Parasoft assist companies that already develop their own applications in further enhancing development efficiency and productivity?
Not only does every company now need software tailored to their specific business, but the size and complexity of applications has greatly increased. Companies need to be able to perform thorough testing without having to increase staff or slowing down the release cycle all while keeping high quality software that is safe and secure. Parasoft enables a high degree of automation by creating tests, improving existing tests, and using AI to determine how to improve tests while executing exactly the right tests needed to properly test new functionality. Parasoft coverage data helps point you to parts of the application that need improvement and help create the necessary tests, mocks, stubs, and data necessary to drive coverage at that specific location in the application. Whether the software is traditional enterprise IT, modern microservices, or embedded in planes, trains, and automobiles, the tools help make development and testing more productive and quality more predictable.
4. With the rise of AI, organizations can leverage AI-powered test automation to their advantage. Could you elaborate on how Parasoft’s AI-powered test automation capabilities can benefit organizations.
For several years new we’ve been augmenting our testing tools by infusing them with various AI/ML capabilities to help make the users more productive. We have AI/ML capabilities at every layer of the testing pyramid, from static code analysis through unit testing, API testing, functional testing and even manual testing. Our approach is to use AI/ML to help triage and prioritize the issues found during testing including identifying hotspots in the code where a single fix could fix tens or even hundreds of bugs elsewhere in the application. We also automatically create effective unit and functional tests, help expand tests to provide greater coverage, convert manual tests to reusable automated tests, and help speed up delivery by selecting exactly which tests must be performed to validate fixes and new functionality. These tools don’t aim to replace existing developers and testers, but help make them more productive and provide the consistency to produce high-quality software.
5. In today’s rapidly evolving technology landscape, staying ahead of the competition is crucial. How does Parasoft foster innovation within the organization to ensure it continues to deliver cutting-edge solutions and remains a leader in the industry? Can you share any examples of how Parasoft has embraced innovation to address emerging challenges or meet the evolving needs of its customers?
Regarding the new generative AI capabilities that are so exciting, Parasoft is creating solutions that blend the best of generative AI with the deep code and software engineering understanding provided by our solutions to help make the most of the new promises that AI has to offer while ensuring that software quality and security do not suffer.
We continue to work on AI/ML techniques to improve static code analysis for quality as well as SAST security, while finding ways to improve testing from development to bring manual UI testing into the CI/CD pipeline.
6. Looking ahead, how do you envision Parasoft’s future? Are there any upcoming product developments or innovations that customers can anticipate? Please share any insights into the company’s roadmap and how it aligns with the evolving needs of the industry.
We will continue to deliver capabilities that help developers and tester do their job more effectively. Look for exciting new static analysis features, enhanced self-healing capabilities, techniques to make existing tests more efficient, integrated use with generative AI capabilities, coverage for important safety standards like ISO 26262, and solutions to help tame complex microservices.
7. Drawing from your extensive experience in the field and the number of years you have been involved in this business, what future outlook or predictions can you share ?
I’ve been at Parasoft for over 30 years. What I have seen is that code re-use has increased, which makes software somewhat easier to develop, but makes the importance of testing even greater as errors now have a much broader impact. The size of applications as well as complexity and interconnectedness provide interesting new capabilities for end-users and opportunities to create something special for software creators. AI/ML will help creative software engineers focus on the interesting aspects of software design and development using AI/ML augmented capabilities to help them keep pace with growing speed and complexity of modern software.