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Old 20th June 2012, 13:04   #241
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Originally Posted by navpreet318 View Post
Interesting discussion going on here. I am actually surprised how Huntrz is unrelentingly forcing his opinion here.
Hey navapreet318, I am not forcing my opinion here, nor do I think anyone can, atleast on an open forum guarded by snarling moderators , my apologies if it sounded so. Its just that my stand is against the more popular point of view and its irritating to find the same tone in all the posts and examples. I find that pessimistic and ironically, unrelenting.

I appreciate the part where Samurai explains about his good work, though I didn't quote and acknowledge it in the previous post(I was busy pointing the negatives you see, just like others!!). It leaves a positive impact, because it talks about a solution and not just the problem, it provides a way out of the chaos. Its inspiring.

Please carry on.

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Huntrz: Chill man. Take a couple of days off from work and enjoy life.
Thanks for the advice.

Last edited by huntrz : 20th June 2012 at 13:12.
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Old 20th June 2012, 15:09   #242
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And Samurai Saan...From what you have described, its good credible work you are doing! Especially hiring from people who are left out from Campus recruitment. I know how it feels because I was one too. But life has taken a different turn now. I am super happy with where I am and life wouldn't have been so great had I been recruited through campus.
Thanks. Fortunately for me, campus recruiters often reject good candidates. I have hired people with bad/average grades, or even people who lost couple of years. It has helped them to fix their careers and come back on track. In fact, it is a blessing in disguise not get selected on campus. Job searching in the open teaches lot about life. Such people work very hard, and earn their spurs, gain much more self-esteem. Since they also end up in small companies, they pickup much more overall skills and knowledge than the campus selectees who go through the giant cookie cutter process in big companies. No pain, no gain.

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Its just that my stand is against the more popular point of view and its irritating to find the same tone in all the posts and examples. I find that pessimistic and ironically, unrelenting.
I only try to show how bad it has become. All the talk about India shining, biggest pool of technical manpower, etc. But the reality is something else. This whole thread is about that. Besides, I get really depressed seeing such degradation in quality. By posting real life examples, I am trying show the realistic picture.

This was from yesterday.

20th Century
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Seeing this, I lightly asked whether she really believes the world will end in 2012. She smiled and corrected it. None in the panel laughed, we just moved on.

20th Century
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Size:  4.1 KB

So, life goes on.
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Old 20th June 2012, 16:21   #243
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Read the whole thread just now; co-incidentally after a week of conducting interviews and finding only 2 candidates out of a pool of about 30 suited to our team's (considerably low (we're not a "brand-name" company (yet!)) requirements.

Whenever I interview, (I've begun only fairly recently), I too often bemoan "the state of graduates today" and all that sort of thing. But three thoughts pull me in a different direction:

1. A wise man once told me that an interview is simply a discussion between two parties, trying to see if they can find what each of them is looking for. If a fit does not seem possible, then that's fine- it does not mean that either party is "not good" or "not good enough". It just means that there is no fit.

2. Intelligence need not be language-specific. I realized this, interestingly enough, at the engineering college in Samurai-san's backyard (MIT, Manipal). I was a youngster from "cool" Bangalore who thought that people who didn't know all the "buzz" words and trends were not smart. I met a lot of very smart people from smaller towns and villages there and I realized people didn't need to speak good English or be conversant with the topics that I was conversant with because of my background and schooling, to be good engineers. There's a reason IQ tests are not language or background-specific.

(Samurai-san, I'm not implying that the "century" example falls in this category, I'd agree with you that it's probably a good way to assess a candidate and you've been interviewing for years longer than I have.)

3. The way the industry is today and with the wealth of opportunities and (more importantly) information on all those opportunities, there's a place for all types and all levels of people. I'm not keen on setting the World on fire with my tech know-how. I'm not looking to start the next Apple Inc. I'm fine with the mostly modest (and perhaps, at times, mediocre) demands that my IT job makes on my time and intellect, and am thrilled that it finances my life and hobbies very well. Someone else is not happy with the mediocrity of this IT existence, great I sincerely do look up to him and hope he goes out there and creates the next big thing. And such people usually do. I'm quite happy to go along with the good times as long as they last.

Truth be told, I too lean towards huntrz's viewpoint that the tone of the thread is a bit, well, condescending. But maybe I just don't know better or enough yet.
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Old 20th June 2012, 16:38   #244
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Default re: IT Industry and Employability of Technical Graduates

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@alpha1; I am in agreement with most of what you say. Let us remember the origin of our modern education system - setup by a colonial govt to provide them clerks. We are still doing the same.

Most of the top Management Institutions demand about two (now often three) years experience.

Also, more and more CEOs are in their 40's or early 50's. My generation is losing out!
Yes, and I insist again upon the point that this is exactly what our industry needs.
Clerks, donkeys pulling cart ...

My point about CEO was only in literal sense.
You know how the organizations wants dynamic independent thinking qualities even from their office boys!

This is what I was trying to ridicule.

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Agree. But my company can't afford donkeys since the job profile demands lots of intelligence & creativity. I often have 1-2 years experience guys doing extensive research work on technologies like VOIP or speech recognition.

In a tiny product company like mine, every engineer needs those qualities. Not sure how to find fresh engineers from within. They have to come from a college. Once I hire them, I know how to groom them.

Knowing the meaning of century is a CEO level skill now?

I don't mind if the Gaussian distribution is a bell curve. But it currently looks like Qutb Minar.
LOL.
I can understand your pain/anguish.
I have a friend who started a consultancy firm two-three years back.
And had a real hard time looking out for the desired traits.

But this is bound to happen.
Whether in India or abroad. Its got to do with the same gaussian distribution I talked about.

He wanted a person who is as capable, as motivated, as intelligent, knowledgeable, as independent, as bold, as quick learner, ... as he is.

Problem is that the qualities that he is looking out for will be in very few people. And most of those people are already in plush jobs, or in process ...
And hence the situation.


***

There is no point in expecting each and every private in an army to have the capabilities of a general.
Its never going to happen, and it is in fact detrimental to the army (if it happens).

Last edited by alpha1 : 20th June 2012 at 16:41.
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Old 20th June 2012, 17:44   #245
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Default re: IT Industry and Employability of Technical Graduates

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1. A wise man once told me that an interview is simply a discussion between two parties, trying to see if they can find what each of them is looking for. If a fit does not seem possible, then that's fine- it does not mean that either party is "not good" or "not good enough". It just means that there is no fit.
You mean there is no minimum expectation?

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I met a lot of very smart people from smaller towns and villages there and I realized people didn't need to speak good English or be conversant with the topics that I was conversant with because of my background and schooling, to be good engineers. There's a reason IQ tests are not language or background-specific.
My company is in a village. About 90% of my employees are from small town & villages. Even I was a small towner until I was 13, and could barely speak English when I entered college.

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I'd agree with you that it's probably a good way to assess a candidate
It is a major red flag.

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Someone else is not happy with the mediocrity of this IT existence, great I sincerely do look up to him and hope he goes out there and creates the next big thing.
In a small software product company, one does need sharp/creative people even if we are not creating the next big thing.

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Truth be told, I too lean towards huntrz's viewpoint that the tone of the thread is a bit, well, condescending. But maybe I just don't know better or enough yet.
I am only posting the most ridiculous examples I come across. I am not saying all of them are like that. I do manage to pick people despite all this.

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He wanted a person who is as capable, as motivated, as intelligent, knowledgeable, as independent, as bold, as quick learner, ... as he is.
He will get more practical as years pass by. I have steadily lowered my expectations every year since 2004. And I also have constantly tinkered with the recruitment & training process to adapt to this lower standards.

BTW, I completed the first round of recruitment yesterday. There may be a second round if couple of big sales go through... hmm.
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Old 20th June 2012, 18:01   #246
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Default re: IT Industry and Employability of Technical Graduates

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You mean there is no minimum expectation?
No I did not mean that, there certainly is a minimum expectation, on both sides. Either the company not seeing what it expects from the candidate, or the candidate not seeing what he expects in the company was what I meant by there not being a fit. What I wanted to convey was that if there is no fit, it does not necessarily mean that the company is not a good place to work, or that the candidate is not smart.

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My company is in a village.
And a very beautiful village; as I mentioned in my post, I did my engineering in that "village".
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Old 20th June 2012, 18:18   #247
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Default re: IT Industry and Employability of Technical Graduates

@samurai, after all this discussion, you might want to retire the century question from your list many of your prospective emplyees might be reading this.
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Old 20th June 2012, 19:40   #248
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An interesting writeup on the century:

When Does The New Century Start?
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Old 20th June 2012, 19:43   #249
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you might want to retire the century question from your list many of your prospective emplyees might be reading this.
If someone is "driven" enough to Google such aspects about interviewer/company, you do want to talk to that person.
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Old 20th June 2012, 19:51   #250
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If someone is "driven" enough to Google such aspects about interviewer/company, you do want to talk to that person.
I am not saying don't talk to them, I am saying don't let their google ability give them unfair advantage. anyway, that was off topic and in jest. I am pretty sure Samurai has many other tricks in his arsenal.
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Old 21st June 2012, 14:07   #251
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I remember this discussion in 1999. Few wanted the start of millennium to be celebrated on 1/1/2001. But I guess most celebrated on 1/1/2000.

I wouldn't assess the fresh Indian grads (FIGs) from this thread. For me this thread is 'Interview Bloopers' thread.

***

Having said that, first & foremost task to be done to improve quality is to re-work the syllabus. I would recommend cutting down the syllabus by half, across all subjects. But keep the contact hours with Profs same. Provide time for students to reflect on their learning & try out few experiments.

What is happening now (there could be exceptions), is every university want to cram as much stuff in the syllabus. Teachers want to complete all topics within their contact hours. Students want to by heart those topics for exams.
Not much thought is given to usage of that knowledge.
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Old 21st June 2012, 15:01   #252
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And a very beautiful village; as I mentioned in my post, I did my engineering in that "village".
I meant a real village. My office is not exactly in Manipal town, but in the nearby village.

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I am not saying don't talk to them, I am saying don't let their google ability give them unfair advantage. anyway, that was off topic and in jest. I am pretty sure Samurai has many other tricks in his arsenal.
If they had that much research ability, I would be thrilled.

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I wouldn't assess the fresh Indian grads (FIGs) from this thread. For me this thread is 'Interview Bloopers' thread.
Not really, this thread has some very good discussions if you go back.

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Having said that, first & foremost task to be done to improve quality is to re-work the syllabus. I would recommend cutting down the syllabus by half, across all subjects.
Just changing syllabus is not enough. The teaching staff have to completely change their mind set. That is a huge paradigm shift.

See this: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/shifti...ml#post2788011

Also, I had proposed the following: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/shifti...ml#post1621617
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Old 21st June 2012, 16:21   #253
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I was once a spectator in a panel discussion in Bengaluru.All corporate bigwigs were cribbing about the unemployability of graduate engineers. One big shot from the Govt sector highlighted thus:

1.Syllabi cannot be revised,since the small college fellow cribs about lack of infrastructure and teachers not being aware.

2. Exams cannot be made tougher, since college owners complain that if you fail most of the kids then they will not get new admissions.

Then this chap went on to crib that IIT Grads want to do management and not engineering. I could not resist that it is our value system which encourages then to become managers rather than technocrats.The organisers were quite upset, but so be it.

So there is no real option. In my view allow the Education Sector to make some profits. Who believes that all (or even any) colleges are only for philanthropy. I think the only Industry more corrupted than Education is Real Estate (land bank costs are all a joke). In both cases the balance sheets may be pure fiction.
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Old 29th June 2012, 12:50   #254
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I was once a spectator in a panel discussion in Bengaluru.All corporate bigwigs were cribbing about the unemployability of graduate engineers. One big shot from the Govt sector highlighted thus:

1.Syllabi cannot be revised,since the small college fellow cribs about lack of infrastructure and teachers not being aware.

2. Exams cannot be made tougher, since college owners complain that if you fail most of the kids then they will not get new admissions.

Then this chap went on to crib that IIT Grads want to do management and not engineering. I could not resist that it is our value system which encourages then to become managers rather than technocrats.The organisers were quite upset, but so be it.

So there is no real option. In my view allow the Education Sector to make some profits. Who believes that all (or even any) colleges are only for philanthropy. I think the only Industry more corrupted than Education is Real Estate (land bank costs are all a joke). In both cases the balance sheets may be pure fiction.
It is already!
All private colleges are owned by real estate builder only.
Its more like diversification projects by the builders which gives a steady and good returns not prone to seasons and economic cycles.
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Old 8th July 2012, 00:45   #255
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This is a topic very close to my heart. To give a perspective, I am trying to hire ONE person in our team and the interview process started in January and it is still going on. Our team is slightly unique as we are a pure R&D group with very less D. We work on mundane to science fiction type problems. The company is happy as long as we build the patent portfolio and it gets used some time in the future. I have worked with all of our team members for quite sometime. Some I went to grad school with, some have been my mentor and for some we have worked along with for close to 10 years. So it is a very close knit team with very less entropy. Most of us have studied in the supposedly "top" colleges in their country and later on to highly ranked universities abroad. More than the academic qualifications we are hands-on and we can fix things which can range from a statistical estimation problems to electrical circuits. So we are looking to hire someone with similar credentials and problem solving skills. We thought that it will take may be couple of weeks to get the right candidate and to hire them. Boy was I mistaken !!

Our hiring process is slightly convoluted because of the nature of our job. Typically I conduct a phone interview and then based on that I invite the person for an on-site. On-site consists of six rounds of interview with six different person each lasting one hour. We ask questions ranging from their research work to puzzles, math problems and programming problems (we don't care about the language, one can write even in Assembly if one cares). What our finding so far is people don't know or pay attention to the fundamental principles. Most are quite proficient in using toolbox to solve the problems but they don't know how that particular tool works. We start with a very simple question and then add on the complexity and after half an hour one will need a Ph.D to solve it !! The problem is that most candidates get stuck in the first and second stage. Now these things are very well known principles but you just can't derive it on the spot. Most of the time they say, "Oh I learnt it in second year or third year and forgot". Then the obvious question is how did you do all these stuffs later on. To which the answer invariably is I used Matlab/OpenCV/ITK etc etc.... Now there is nothing wrong in using these tools but one should know why they are using it. We have found couple of very good guys but some how things didn't work out finally with them. To large extent because we are in India and it is hard to compete against research groups abroad and both them got a better position abroad.
We then thought we will interview fresh graduates. That was a big disaster. Apparently knowing Dept subjects are not in vogue neither finding an application for it. Most people know big terms but they don't know what it means or how is it used.
At this point unless someone magically sends his/her resume and cracks the interview, I have no idea how I can fill this position.
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