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Old 17th November 2009, 09:35   #31
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Hi
On the same topic,
I normally take interviews before hiring people into my team. I usually give them a list of topics, from C/C++/java/any programming to Mathematics to what they studied in engineering. (This is for young graduates, just out of training). I usually end up rejecting them, because people are not able to write bits of code on a plain paper/white board, they are not able to solve simple calculus problems (heck, I know someone who answered integral logx dx as 1/x!!), cannot give practical examples of functions (like unti impulse).... and the list goes on. This is the plight of engineers in the country, who are usually considered brilliant in academics, and who go through a rigorous selection process.

If I think of it, I keep asking, whilst we complain about out of date syllabi, poor quality of teaching staff etc., How many of us engineers can still talk about concave and convex lenses, talk about the basics of electrical engineering and solve problems in discrete mathematics, which we, at sometime have done ourselves? What is the point in teaching C++ programming to a higher secondary student, who does not understand fully the basics of discrete mathematics?

The sad part of this is, because we do not lay adequate emphasis on fundamentals, this stigma seems to plague someone throught the career. One cannot do engineering well at engineering school, cannot understand programming adequately enough when they aer given training, do not understand the importance of quality at project management and the cycle continues.

I think engineering and basic sciences are fundamental to life, and will remain that way. We need to lay emphasis on thorough learning and application of these, before we specialize and the brighter amongst us can possibly take up advanced courses in our higher secondary or collegiate education. This would lead to people grasping fundamentals before they progress higher, and would lead the interested few to advanced education automatically.

While I say all of this, I would like to know how is the state of engineers in other industries? For example, I would expect someone who is a mechanical engineer to understand the laws of thermodynamics well etc.,

Many Thanks,
Prasad
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Old 17th November 2009, 12:26   #32
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Hi
cannot give practical examples of functions (like unti impulse)....
Prasad
The Unit Impulse is not a physically realizable(practical) function as the energy spectrum is infinite in area. So to generate a unit impulse in the practical world you'll need infinite amounts of energy. :P

I know I am nitpicking! But couldn't resist. Sorry!
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Old 17th November 2009, 12:41   #33
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What students crib about outdated syllabus is nothing but fundamentals and basics on which are build the modern languages and others.

This crib has been a bit long in the tooth. Its like we want to run, before we can walk.
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Old 17th November 2009, 12:48   #34
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Fundamentals never change. People get too focused on learning "the latest fad".
10 years back it was Java, then it was C#.
Same thing in VLSI field. From hand drawn circuits we went to VHDL/Verilog, and now SystemC, System Verilog is the catchword.
But people forget, whatever is the language you learnt at college it does not matter.
It does not matter if your college syllabus had fotran.
A new language is just new names for the for loop.
Learn the basics.
Learn how to write pseudocodes.
If you want to learn Object oriented programming, do not cram C++, learn what is OOP first.
This applies to all fields, be it Engineering, or computer science or electronics.
Your college may teach you how to design an amplifier using transistors, but when you work in the IC field, the same fundamentals will still apply.
So rather than cramming a circuit diagram, understand why it works.
Sadly this is what is missing. People think, aah, there is this company which does java programming, I will cram all java commands before interview.
Well its not the right approach.
If you understand why use a for loop, and why not use a Goto in your code, thats enough.
I have been writing perl since ages, but if you told me to write a perl program (simple one), it will have tonnes of syntax errors. Why? Because I never learn the format.
I code in Perl/Verilog/VHDL/C etc., if I start focussing on commands and language, I will go mad.
So I just remember two things, whether I am doing event driven code or zero time code.
thats all that matters.
It takes 2 seconds to google up the command reference, and make sure my code does not have syntax errors.
However basics you cannot google.
Thats why, books written 30 years ago are still relvent, because they teach you fundamentals of programming which will never change.
All OO Languages will have the same basis.
All time aware languages will have the same basis.
The compiler and IDE may become more shiny, but under the hood is all same.

Unfortunately, nobody cares about that anymore. there is a mad rush to learn the latest language and get a certificate which says "So and so certified dumb drone".

And always try to do a job which keeps you happy. I know a genuis civil engineer who is now a coder in a large software company.
Civil engineering was in his blood, but for the lucre of the software industry, he gave that all up.
Know your strengths, and build upon them. As long as your fundamentals are solid, you will always be viable in the job market. Languages come and go, technology comes and goes, but from the past 100 years, the 4 stroke IC engine, is still the 4 stroke IC engine.

So do not blame your outdated syllabus. It can still teach you a lot. Most R&D houses(not service companies) still look at basics.

And do not try to cram a technology overnight for an interview. If you are serious about your career, that could be the worst move of your lifetime.
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Old 17th November 2009, 12:48   #35
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What students crib about outdated syllabus is nothing but fundamentals and basics on which are build the modern languages and others.

This crib has been a bit long in the tooth. Its like we want to run, before we can walk.
Why does everyone think Engineering is all about Coding and Algorithms?

There are other fields too!

I agree with the basics being necessary to learn the complicated, but should the complicated never be touched during the 4 years?

I am being taught the working of a CRT TV, no one talks about LCD/LED/Plasmas. Why?! They are an entirely different technology, and a lot more pertinent than CRTs.

Don't you feel weird knowing that the books you guys used 10-15 years ago are still in use. I think the truth is obscenely clear and there for all to see. It is just that we do not want to.
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Old 17th November 2009, 13:00   #36
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I am being taught the working of a CRT TV, no one talks about LCD/LED/Plasmas. Why?! They are an entirely different technology, and a lot more pertinent than CRTs.
.
You are missing the whole point. As long as your electronics fundamentals are sound, you can learn any tech. CRT/LCD/Plasma is just implementation of Electronics engineering.
You are thinking like a Vocational student. You are not becoming an engineer to learn how to repair LCD TVs, you are becoming an engineer so that you can actually design the next generation TV.
Believe me, such research happens in India every day. New Microprocessors, SoCs, technologies come out of design houses here, and you do not need to understand ABC of LCD tv for that.
So focus on your Digital electronics, thats what will get you a job in R&D.
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Old 17th November 2009, 13:16   #37
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I get your point sir. But if only companies would understand this and not gape at us when we tell them we don't know the latest stuff.

Most of the jobs require you to know Verilog or VHDL at least. They make you code stuff and run it. No one gives two hoots to the efficiency.

Atrenta took people who were excellent coders and left behind guys who really knew their electronics.
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Old 17th November 2009, 13:30   #38
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I get your point sir. But if only companies would understand this and not gape at us when we tell them we don't know the latest stuff.

Most of the jobs require you to know Verilog or VHDL at least. They make you code stuff and run it. No one gives two hoots to the efficiency.

Atrenta took people who were excellent coders and left behind guys who really knew their electronics.
Well a software company would take people who were excellent coders, right?
EDA is pure R&D, and if you want to work in a EDA company, be it Cadence, Atrenta, Metror Graphics, calypto etc., you need to be very strong in Data structures and algorithms.


If you know your electronics very well, learning Verilog is just a natural progression.
Unless you look at experienced job market, in fresher scenario, VLSI design companies like ST/TI/Intel look at your electronics and signal processing fundamentals.

They will test your Verilog knowledge only if its part of your curriculum, otherwise its just a bonus for them.

That said, the recruitment process is not really flawless, and often mistakes do happen, but depending upon your skill set, choose the companies to apply to. I know in todays market, and cut throat competition you sit for the first company you are eligible, but try to pick and choose wherever you can.

Delhi is slightly unlucky in this regard as most of the VLSI R&D expertise is in south, and the smaller companies like SirF look at people with 3-4 years experience because they do not want to be bothered with training a fresher.
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Old 17th November 2009, 16:40   #39
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PS : Here I will talk about the low employ-ability and reason for it. This is not to offense anybody and just what I have faced. I am a BCA graduate. I am not here to start war.

@mods : If you find the post offensive, I request you to delete my post.


1) Nobody is god and nobody is perfect. Everybody has different level of knowledge. And this are ever changing. This is not a carb or a piston or gudgeon pin or not even fuel pump or wiper motor. There are no masters in IT field who know everything.

2) There is potential in everybody, but it is how others ( employers ) are able to use it. There are some who have got excellent logic, where as others are good at improving logic or doing a problem check or some are good when they are given a hint they carry on much longer for programming.

3) Those who believe others are not good, are mostly not good themeselves. This is from my personal experience. Those who are at higher level entered into IT field themselves by accident. I am yet to come across a person who is in IT field because it was a passion of his. If you dont have passion for IT field, dont expect it from others. Interview starts late. To me that means lack of management. They dont value others time, obviously they are not good professionals. If you dont have professionalism ( at the age of 35+ years ), dont expect it from others ( freshers ).

4) Once I invited a person ( 45 years of age ) for a GK quiz of computer and then writing the 12th standard paper of mine. If they expect me to be a champ for Rs. 6K, let me see what amount of knowledge he has got. If he is elder to me, obviously he must have more knowledge than me, isn't it.
Next, I offered him a deal. I will pay him Rs. 6001 and he has to work for 11 hours instead of 10 he offered me.
Why not ? If you expect others to work for long hours with less pay, why cant you do the same for more salary, you see not even a single rupee comes free. I offered him more salary.

5) Rather than playing blame game from both the sides, there should be some way to get the basics right.

6) Before raising finger on others i.e. freshers, ask yourself first that what was your knowledge when you were fresher.
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Old 17th November 2009, 17:02   #40
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That was very funny aaggoswami...

Now, how did you judge we are not professional enough or didn't enter IT for passion?

Last edited by Samurai : 17th November 2009 at 18:13.
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Old 17th November 2009, 17:06   #41
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As a person currently involved in the whole recruitment process, I would like to clear things up from the student's end.

Now I study in one of the best engineering colleges in India (DCE), but the fact remains that the stuff I am taught is just not what companies want.

What sort of employment can you offer to guys who get hear of transistors as the latest ground-breaking development from their professors?

None of us can be fit into the industrial cog right away. What we do bring to the table is intelligence and a will to learn and learn fast.

I believe no company should have a problem with that. After all no course in the world produces students perfectly suited for a job.

Also...@ Samurai... job please!
I am preparing myself for a talk with a bunch of BCA students next Saturday on this topic, what the companies want from fresh graduates and what they are lacking in their syllabus/education process. I hope I can convey some useful stuff with my little 10 years experience in the industry.

I am glad that you are well aware of the fact that our educational system doesn't offer off-the-campus 'employable' candidates. It can even create a positive impression about you if you can convey this to an interviewer next time.

Last edited by clevermax : 17th November 2009 at 17:07.
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Old 17th November 2009, 18:13   #42
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That was very funny aaggoswami...

Now, how did you judge we are not profressional enough or didn't enter IT for passion?
1) I am not pinpointing to anyone, sir. I am sorry if my post seems offensive.

2) Usually it wont take me very long. Roots are
a) Father is programming since long. He is an industrial programmer and does programming at various level like at what time a valve is supposed to open, what are parameters when alarm should go off, and much higher level than these. I know these only because I have used them for my learning.
He knows FORTRAN and COBOL well, learnt C himself. I have seen him work and his logic when he speaks under various circumstances.

Behavior tell a lot of things.

b) My experience with teachers. Needless to say, due to multiple failures, my frustration was out on my Spirit ( the best Bajaj scooter till date IMHO, but will discuss it later ).
Once when i was to appear for test of Physics I met with an accident in front of Tejas Vidyalaya. This was my new tutition class and I was giving my first test over there. Due to accident I was taken to Unity hospital ( now sterling ). The test center assitant goofed up.
The teacher called me and my father. Told me that he will beat me in front of my father ( my father was present there ).

For the record, I have had major accidents involving injury to me on each and every two wheeler I have driven. I am a rough driver on two wheelers.

After the above incident, I started taking note of everybody. Due to god's grace, I have good observation. I observed many things and later on generally manage to identify persons.

So in an interview, the human next to me expects me to possess all the knowledge. When he is asking questions, I observe him and his questions and what they are based.
If he expects my 12th result to be perfect, he too must have that. If he expects my GK to be perfect, he should possess it first. After he has judged me, I easily come to know if he is really sincere for his job or not. I then ask him questions about computers. If he is able to answer a few questions, I understand that he really has got knowledge and was interested in IT field.

It goes like this. We love cars, its a passion for us. So we know about VTEC, VVTi, valvematic, VVEL, VGT, TSI, FSI, etc. and upto some extent we all know about history of cars too. M800 or Baleno, we know about it. This is irrespective of age. So on similar notes, if IT was loved by the one who interviews me, he will know about software and hardware. A few questions about history of computer ( what I came across in my BCA syllabus, which is not oldest computers ) and I know about the person. More over, IMHO, we are ready to update ourselves. I am still searching for video on how Suzuki VVT works. If the person taking my interview does not show readiness for udpates, I know he is not good for this field as IT field demands regular updates.

And I am not talking about the oldest computers. I ask him questions from my BCA syllabus. If he expects me to know it, he must know it too. If he expects me to work for X hours for Y Rs./month, he must be ready to work for atleast similar amount of time for Y+1 Rs./month. This give me attitude and ego of that person and in turn the company's operating policies. I offer him X and Y scheme only if he fails to answer my question ( again I repeat, they are from my BCA Syllabus ) or if I feel he is demanding too much from me.

Next, value of time. If I am called at 11:00 am for interview, I expect the interviews to start at 11:00 am, 2-5 mins are given. I am not asking that my interview starts at 11:00 am, but in general it must start at 11:00. It shows how much you respect others time and in short tell me whether one is self centered or not. Excuse like work are baseless. There is something called management. And in IT field there is no emergency.
Again here IT compaines feel they are ultimate, but if one really wants to see how important time is and what is emergency, they must go to any industry like powerplant or refinery. Here if a machine gets tripped, one has to run. And here its possible that they are not able to start interviews at given time, but if the same happens in IT companies, they are acting self centered.

Next is attending calls when interview is going on. I have seen this and its irritating. Again they dont respect somebody's time. The way they talk about logic and computers is good enough for anyone to tell if they really wanted to be in IT field or not.

Professionalism is a joke right now. Professionalism is something Michael Schumacher demonstrated. I hope everybody is able to understand. Despite his mother's death, he came back and raced.

If you expect professionalism from others, deliver it first. If you want others to work for X hours with Y rs./month, you must be ready for the same. Its like respect, if one wants it, he has to deliver it first.

There are other incidences too that have taught me a lot of things plus a few more characteristics on how to know a person from his behavior. But it would be too long if I extend that.
Just to let you know the intensity of various incidences and how they have changed me, I will tell you one thing that is a bit personal. I have become so introvert that I cannot express myself. If I am interested in a girl, I cant even go and tell her that, neither can I ask my parents to extend the talk with her parents. I am not talking about simple college level stuff of hanging around ( which I never did ), but talking about life long relationship.

Life teachs a lot, and I can tell you about a person ( on what type of personality he/she is ) after a few minutes of interview. I have taken big hits and my signature here tells about it.

Last edited by aaggoswami : 17th November 2009 at 18:17.
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Old 17th November 2009, 19:02   #43
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I am glad that you are well aware of the fact that our educational system doesn't offer off-the-campus 'employable' candidates. It can even create a positive impression about you if you can convey this to an interviewer next time.
Hehe thanks!

Most of my interviews revolve around cars.

I dread the day a woman takes my interview!
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Old 17th November 2009, 19:34   #44
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@aaggoswami

you do realize that the interviews are taken by HR and a few selected tech personnel? If that's what it takes to get into a company, well, you should learn how to tackle them.

chances are once employed, you will not need to exercise many of the skills you may have learnt. but they still make a good foundation. unfortunately it's a matter of demand and supply and supply far exceeds demand. some people are going to be disappointed, that's the bitter truth.
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Old 17th November 2009, 19:59   #45
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aaggoswami, by your logic, if I can't answer a question on calculus, that would make the fresher more eligible than me?

In fact, I won't be able to answer any question on calculus because I haven't used calculus in 20 years.

Idea of an interview/written-test is not see who is superior. I am sure freshers have much better handle on discrete mathematics than me. Being from electronics branch, I have never studied discrete mathematics in college. All I like to see is whether the fresher is able to apply his/her knowledge to solving problems.
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