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Old 22nd June 2013, 13:33   #406
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Last year I went to IIT-Roorkee for pre palcement talks and while interacting with students encouraged them to take up the laundry list items of open source projects as final year project rather then doing something in isolation but I do not think there were lot of takers for this idea.
Sad to hear this malice has spread to IITs, but I am not surprised. Lot of these guys ended up in IIT by targeted training for cracking JEE exams. Learning for sake of knowledge is an alien concept for most.

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Both teachers and students are responsible for the overall mess.
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I think its unfair to blame just teachers and students for this mess. Companies are to be blamed too.
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In the name of system improvement HR introduced all these concepts couple of years back . Most of these HR folks were lateral joiners from elsewhere so brought in malice. In the name of removing the subjectivity and bringing in more objective criterion now in a way rote learners have an advantage over a more well rounded student.
I believe IT industry HR is the main cause for this fiasco. When you do anything in large scale, it instantly brings in HR bureaucracy. The HR personnel, who should ideally handle the administrative side of hiring, start judging the candidates on their own. Obviously they can't use subjective judgment on a large list of candidates, so they rely on objective judgment. Objective judgment means candidates are filtered using academic score, aptitude tests, etc., basically quantifiable parameters. Subjective judgment has to be made case-by-case basis by experienced engineers who are not only very technical, but have good experience in reading/judging people. They also have to overlook their regional/communal/college bias while doing their job. Obviously, this is very hard or impossible to do while hiring 100s or 1000s of people every year.

Therefore, HR people rule the recruitment roost, set parameters that have nothing to do with the technical temperament of the candidates. Colleges and students use these parameters to prepare for the job market.

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In a nutshell, out of the 60 odd we spoke to, and picked up 12 based on their attitude and hunger to learn, only 3 continue to remain after 7 months now with my friend.
Did he fire the rest or they left him for greener pastures?

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Another issue is with the expectation of employers for the candidates to be "employment ready". They tends to look at employees as "resources" just like machines in a factory. It is quite interesting to note that IT companies are complaining about this more when more than half of the recruits does not even have a CS or ECE degree. What do they expect ? That they will start writing production ready code from day one ? Spend some money and efforts on training and then complain if they are not picking up or fire them. Dont expect engg colleges to make every graduate to be ready for 100% of the employers in the country.
This is a very odd statement. No Indian company expects candidates to be employment ready, unless they live in la la land or have just started operations and have no clue. Most companies have extensive training regime before trainees are put into any live project. In my own company, trainees take 9-12 months before they can see a live project.
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Old 22nd June 2013, 13:51   #407
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Default re: IT Industry and Employability of Technical Graduates

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...
This is a very odd statement. No Indian company expects candidates to be employment ready, unless they live in la la land or have just started operations and have no clue. Most companies have extensive training regime before trainees are put into any live project. In my own company, trainees take 9-12 months before they can see a live project.
You need to read the two points I mentioned in my post together. While the average quality of output from engg colleges are decreasing, companies are expecting more by the way of these resources as commodities due to the market pressure. If all companies have training programs and if they are recruiting the "best talent" around, then why the complaint ? If a company knows that they have to recruit mediocre talent, then they should invest in more training. One size does not fit all.

In my company (one of the top 3 IT cos in India), we give a 6 month training program to campus recruits and fresh grads. In early 2000s, the percentage of those trainees who clear the final tests in these training programs was about 80-85%. Last year it was about 40%. Nothing has really changed in between in terms of level of difficulty even though the subjects have been updated. Now the issue is what to do with the rest 60%. We cannot fire them all as we have many projects lined up. We will accommodate them into some local/internal projects, BPO or testing practice and expect that they scale up eventually. But then the managers go out and announce the employability of graduates are coming down. Who to blame ? In 2000s we used to recruit a few hundred freshers and get students from top colleges in Bangalore including NITs, now we need in thousands and naturally most of them are from mid-tier colleges. Graduates from good colleges will naturally become more selective. We cannot pay what Google, Microsoft or other niche players pay to some 10 or 20 they recruit. Scale comes with its own issues.

Quality of a college or institute is 80% due to its students. We had 4 IITs once and the quality of students there was top notch, when we have 50 of them, it will naturally go down. Same is the story with other engg colleges. When the demand increases, supply increase. And when supply increases and utilizes the same resource pool, quality suffer. Nothing can be done about it in short term other than having a complete re look at our education system and make sure at least every 5th grade student can at least read, write and do basic maths. See ASER report.

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Old 22nd June 2013, 14:05   #408
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Default re: IT Industry and Employability of Technical Graduates

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Therefore, HR people rule the recruitment roost, set parameters that have nothing to do with the technical temperament of the candidates. Colleges and students use these parameters to prepare for the job market.
IMO, programming tests can be a solution if applied across the industry.

These tests can rank students. Based on Rank, companies can form categories like:

1. Cant write code (unfortunate truth)
2. Can write basic code (Can solve problems like : http://www.codechef.com/problems/HS08TEST)
3. Can think (Can solve problems like : http://www.codechef.com/problems/ORDERS)

And can decide which candidates to talk to.
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Old 22nd June 2013, 16:42   #409
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Default re: IT Industry and Employability of Technical Graduates

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You need to read the two points I mentioned in my post together. While the average quality of output from engg colleges are decreasing, companies are expecting more by the way of these resources as commodities due to the market pressure. If all companies have training programs and if they are recruiting the "best talent" around, then why the complaint ? If a company knows that they have to recruit mediocre talent, then they should invest in more training. One size does not fit all.
Indeed one size does not fit all. It is true that the quality is decreasing, but training alone won't fix the problem. The HR treats this like a logistical problem, which it is not.

The problem isn't just they are not employment ready, lots of them are not fit for technical field.

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In my company (one of the top 3 IT cos in India), we give a 6 month training program to campus recruits and fresh grads. In early 2000s, the percentage of those trainees who clear the final tests in these training programs was about 80-85%. Last year it was about 40%. Nothing has really changed in between in terms of level of difficulty even though the subjects have been updated.
That is true. When I was hiring in 1996, the candidate quality was very good. Next year it all went to dogs. I have given the reason here (Where are them engineers?).

I did work for the #1 IT company in India for 6 years in the 90s, before and during gold rush, so I have seen the trend change.

The first gold rush graduates came out in 1997, and the nightmare is unending and only getting worse every year. Thanks to the gold rush, a huge majority of technical graduates have no aptitude for technology field. You can't cure this with training. They are here because of the scope [sic] for the field, and not because they have any interest or aptitude. It can be easily said that 80% of the engineering graduates fall into this category.

Ideally, that should not be a problem. About 80% of the work done in IT field anyway doesn't need technical background or aptitude. Any degree (B.A/B.Com/B.Sc) graduate can do these jobs. [In fact, even 10th or 12th grade pass-outs can do many of these jobs. But we are a degree obsessed country, white collar employees are expected to have a college degree. So let's not go there.]

But the large IT companies, who mainly operate in service industry want bodies in huge numbers. So they set objective filters, set similar parameters for recruiting. One of those parameter is 4-year degree, forced by H1 visa requirement. Because of that, 3-year degree holders get eliminated from the race. So companies hire 100% of their requirement from engineering pool, even the 80% that doesn't need technical background.

This is how it comes into full circle. The IT industry that only needs 20% technical staff and 80% non-technical staff, hires entirely from technical graduates. As a result the colleges are supplying technical graduates that are 20% technical and 80% non-technical. It is a self fulfilling prophecy. Therefore, instead of trying to make everybody technical via training [which doesn't work], the large IT companies should train the trainees according to their aptitude.

Meanwhile, those of us who need technical staff have to separate the 20% techs from 80% non-techs, while hiring. Since they have identical degrees and similar objective points, it becomes really hard.
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Old 22nd June 2013, 22:02   #410
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Sad to hear this malice has spread to IITs, but I am not surprised. Lot of these guys ended up in IIT by targeted training for cracking JEE exams. Learning for sake of knowledge is an alien concept for most.

I believe IT industry HR is the main cause for this fiasco. When you do anything in large scale, it instantly brings in HR bureaucracy. The HR personnel, who should ideally handle the administrative side of hiring, start judging the candidates on their own. Obviously they can't use subjective judgment on a large list of candidates, so they rely on objective judgment. Objective judgment means candidates are filtered using academic score, aptitude tests, etc., basically quantifiable parameters. Subjective judgment has to be made case-by-case basis by experienced engineers who are not only very technical, but have good experience in reading/judging people. They also have to overlook their regional/communal/college bias while doing their job. Obviously, this is very hard or impossible to do while hiring 100s or 1000s of people every year.

Therefore, HR people rule the recruitment roost, set parameters that have nothing to do with the technical temperament of the candidates. Colleges and students use these parameters to prepare for the job market.

Did he fire the rest or they left him for greener pastures?

This is a very odd statement. No Indian company expects candidates to be employment ready, unless they live in la la land or have just started operations and have no clue. Most companies have extensive training regime before trainees are put into any live project. In my own company, trainees take 9-12 months before they can see a live project.
Well I have gone through it. I was put directly onto a project from day one . And it was a horrible experience for someone who was just out of college. Was very de moralizing . It was like being thrown into water hands and legs tied . And the company in here is a well established product company.
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Old 23rd June 2013, 00:01   #411
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Default re: IT Industry and Employability of Technical Graduates

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Well I have gone through it. I was put directly onto a project from day one . And it was a horrible experience for someone who was just out of college. Was very de moralizing . It was like being thrown into water hands and legs tied . And the company in here is a well established product company.
That means they are in la la land.

Meanwhile, I just came out of a very interesting after dinner conversation. My BIL and his wife were over here for dinner. And BIL's wife works in a public sector bank. She is from commerce background and has completed couple of banking exams. She said some fresh engineers have joined her branch as clerks. She said they have no idea about credit or debit, nor they have any concept of accountancy. She was asking me what is the logic behind banks hiring engineers. They are given just 3 days of training before they are dumped into a branch. How will they magically pickup banking knowledge out of thin air? She also said that the engineers had lot of difficulty using the banking software applications. Right now she is training them, it is like teaching kindergarten kids, that is how low she has to go.
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Old 23rd June 2013, 00:27   #412
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Default re: IT Industry and Employability of Technical Graduates

Many people today who seek employment in the IT sector have a blurred vision on Information Technology and Theoretical Computer Science. And my personal opinion is many don't even seem to appreciate the difference. While the first aspect can be built up with training and aptitude, but for the second aspect; one has to go through proper academics involving various aspects of computer science (formal methods, algorithms, analysis/complexity, OS, Compilers, Real Time systems, Fault Tolerance etc ). Many of these streams also join with traditional electrical engineering to create unique sectors like flexible manufacturing, robotics, machine learning, vision etc. But again all these aspects get swept under a single umbrella of IT when it comes to most colleges (and not all of them).

This blurring does not exist in other streams of engineering studies. But since most students want to join IT after studies, at the end of engineering, they get back to answering aptitude questions to get a job. And it goes to such an extent they don't realise that a type of software job can also require technical knowledge of what they studied in class. For example topics like real time systems, embedded systems, telecom, networking, signal/image processing also require programming expertise. But this realty never shows up. Because by then these "technical graduate" have moved on to non-technical software development sectors.

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Old 24th June 2013, 19:01   #413
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An audit done by Aspiring Minds infers half the Indian graduates are not fit for employment. Link below:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/fi...yable/1133141/
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Old 25th June 2013, 09:19   #414
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An audit done by Aspiring Minds infers half the Indian graduates are not fit for employment.
Only 50% I thought it was more like 80-90%.
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Old 25th June 2013, 09:42   #415
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Only 50% I thought it was more like 80-90%.
90% is for technical graduates. This is for regular graduates, and for any kind of jobs. Still, I think they are being generous.
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Old 25th June 2013, 11:49   #416
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IMO, programming tests can be a solution if applied across the industry.
You can't recruit lateral hires if you have a programming test . Candidates simply run away the so called C tests conducted by companies are actually syntactical rather then algorithmic and dumbed down deliberately to act as initial filter else there will be almost no candidates to interview.

I am working in a product company and our HQ instituted a global software competency test 2 years back. This test is basically a programming problem solving test of 3 hours which is mandatory for all the engineers results are uploaded to a server and submitted program is tested using test scripts.

Pass rate in newly opened Ukraine R&D center is more then 70% and most people recruited there are physics and maths major the sample size there is around 1000+.

India is largest overseas R&D centre and majority of recruits are from CS or related background from Tier 1 institutes in India and pass rate is less then 40%. Now this is a major headache for all of us and challenge is to teach basic algorithms and data structure to everyone failing and make them pass this test.


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Sad to hear this malice has spread to IITs, but I am not surprised. Lot of these guys ended up in IIT by targeted training for cracking JEE exams. Learning for sake of knowledge is an alien concept for most.
.
Malice has not spread , Malice was always there. I do not recall any major open source project being seeded and nurtured by any IIT or IIIT or NIT.

Compare this to countless open source projects seeded and nurtured by US and German universities.
In last few years Universities in Asia-Pac have also moved fast in this direction example L4 microkernel was seeded and nurtured first by TU Drasden in Germany and then later by University of new south wales created another branch. Students learn a lot when they work on such projects.

Not only in software but in hardware design as well can we imagine something like MIPS architecture ( Stanford ) coming out of any IIT ?

Last edited by GTO : 27th June 2013 at 10:55. Reason: Please PROOF-READ your posts prior to submission. Way too many spelling errors
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Old 25th June 2013, 14:03   #417
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... India is largest overseas R&D centre ...
Which one is this? I though 95% of the 'R&D centers' are actually 'Maintenance centers', in which we excel. No algorithmic knowledge / skill required since all that needs to be done is bug-busting on algorithms / code written by someone else originally.

Don't know which came first, though - the lack of skills or the work tailored for (non-existent) skills.
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Old 25th June 2013, 14:25   #418
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I though 95% of the 'R&D centers' are actually 'Maintenance centers', in which we excel. No algorithmic knowledge / skill required since all that needs to be done is bug-busting on algorithms / code written by someone else originally.

Don't know which came first, though - the lack of skills or the work tailored for (non-existent) skills.
You are not too far away from the truth. D in R&D include some maintenance as well. Seeing lots of R&D centres in USA / UK I do not think story there is too different as well.

The actual R part of R&D happens in universities and then industry takes over develops on top and commercializes. However in terms of software industry developing code based on certain specification is prototyping and often clubbed with R as it involves solving problems and innovation as well.

Best example is L4 microkernel I provided in earlier post it was a university project and various universities developed it then Open Kernel Labs started commercializing it and now it is available in millions of mobile devices.

In Indian R&D centres these days it is not just maintenance as per popular picture painted by US media. Also I am observing these days maintenance work is moving away from higher cost centres in India to lower cost centres elsewhere with in India and in South East Asia.

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Old 25th June 2013, 15:55   #419
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... D in R&D include some maintenance as well. ... The actual R part of R&D happens in universities and then industry takes over develops on top ...
I think you are describing a miniscule part of the industry. Without naming names, and these are big names in the both Product and Application sectors, most companies don't use this sequence; or, it just happens in the prototype part where very few, if at all, India based centers are involved. As far as start ups are concerned, they don't farm out work till v1 of the product is rolled out. Which then attracts investment and the investors guide them to taking 'lower cost approach'.

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... In Indian R&D centres these days it is not just maintenance as per popular picture painted by US media. ...
There are true R&D centers, but even in the non-software area very few of them are doing R. Applied R and sometimes D (for productization). The main problem is the time taken, for various reasons from imagination to skill, to produce anything usable - the perpetual bugbear in India. Most of the people there work with the same ethos as myriad other Govt. funded black holes. What can anyone do when they think that it was about getting a decent secure job, not about producing something usable.

The 'US media' interpretation is redundant, and almost exclusively for software. Many of us know more / better about it than they can ever get to see. Maybe you are including them, maybe you are not - but the Indian software companies run far more 'R&D centers' for product companies (that is where the Indian software story started in the early 90's) than there are Captive centers (own R&D centers).

From what I have seen up close so far, or heard from people I have interviewed over the last 10 years, there is no 'R', and very little ab initio 'D'. Almost all the work is maintenance. That is the primary reason that other companies find it difficult to get anything done from people coming from that background. A lot of pomp and show - but very little substance.

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... Also I am observing these days maintenance work is moving away from higher cost centres in India to lower cost centres elsewhere with in India and in South East Asia.
There is a simple ground truth in the industry: it is impossible to dislodge incumbent vendors. Unless there is a massive goof-up (even the nincompoops here don't do that), no one ever moves work! Ask the Sales people in companies who always fondly hope to break away a customer from another vendor.

Yes, a lot of work IS going to emerging locations. That is associated with new Product companies (most start-ups) who are moving v1 product for further development to places where an average self-driven self-reliant Masters guy (the kind that you were describing) does coding for lower cost than most guys here who earn more than the owners of that start-up, yet can't compose a decent UI (this goes beyond 'nice screen') or efficiently code an algorithm - given by someone else - for love or money. The artificially high salaries unrelated to the general economy is ultimately killing the industry. The old adage was 'throw peanuts, you only get monkeys' is now backfiring badly on the industry. The peanuts are the size of pumpkins now, yet nothing else has changed.
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Old 25th June 2013, 16:19   #420
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I think you are describing a miniscule part of the industry. Without naming names, and these are big names in the both Product and Application sectors, most companies don't use this sequence; or, it just happens in the prototype part where very few, if at all, India based centers are involved. As far as start ups are concerned, they don't farm out work till v1 of the product is rolled out. Which then attracts investment and the investors guide them to taking 'lower cost approach'.
We are disgressing from the topic

Yes they are miniscule compared to IT service industry but in isolation not miniscule as the absolute numbers are quite high compared to any other economy also not all start-ups do R&D or need to do R&D.

IMHO pioneering R work was done in the universities and other institutes and later industry took over refining and defined / standardized the specifications either in government funded or industry funded consortia.

Mostly this work results in lots of Patents and CRs to various specifications and this is termed as essential IP generation by the industry and the process as research but if you look closely this is first step in development and commercialization.
Now a days there is a lot of work of this kind happening here in India.

IMHO pure research in industry mostly is in collaboration with academia and not in isolation, and yes research of this kind is rare over here or I have not personally seen it.


Coming back to the original point , I am yet to see any open source project for any protocol / OS / Media codec / Application layer protocol / Application framework being seeded by any Indian institute.
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