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Old 23rd August 2013, 15:06   #631
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Well sir product /service/cost centre / profit centre it is inherently linked to the topic at hand that is employability .

First thing is if there is a local demand for product development then more and more companies and start-ups will venture in that domain and look out for suitable manpower and definition of employability will change.

The first question to ask is employable by whom ?

Nassacom is dominated by service company so a typical employable graduate as per them should tick on following check boxes in order of priority

1. Should be able to speak English
2. Looks presentable urban and suave ( translate to clean shaven wearing blue shirt for sake of stereotyping).
3. Passes a GMAT style aptitude test with some logical reasoning thrown in
4. Can solve some typical programming dip stick tests like swap two variables with out temporary variable or reverse linked list using recursion or similar other problems.
5. May or may not remember anything related to core subjects because even his interviewers don't know them.

In other word an urban engineering graduate who have mugged up typical s/w interview questions is considered highly employable because this is what they have capability to check and client / customer will make them work anyway.

Now lets look at another candidate with following profile

(1) Speaks halting English, may be with some accent of mother tongue with 2 day stubble and not so professional attire.

(2) May or may not know the typical test questions , patterns and language syntax but can solve a given new problem logically with psudo code
but remembers a few things related to his core subjects such as

for CS graduates
- knows OS fundamentals , Can talk about different scheduling algorithms.
- Knows what is order of algorithm
- Knows not just basic linked list but beyond first chapter of data structures and algorithms text book.
- remembers memory system organization and data base fundamentals.

For ECT it may be some of the following.

- Remembers difference between time domain and frequency domain and how to convert Knows DFT , FFT, IFT etc.
- remembers Modulation techniques studied in his 3ed year.
- knows Digital computer organization and knows what is paging and recall some algorithms.
- Knows basic digital electronics and logic.
- Knows basic processor architecture .

This kind of profile is considered un-employable by typical Nassacom member service company but he is more useful in doing some product development then the type 1 candidates

Current definition of employable in SW industry is heavily skewed due to demand from one sector. Many times senior people who are groomed in to this environment have only seen low risk , low reward environment so they just know how to do that best.



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I was avoiding discussing Cost Centers in the current context. It is known that Cost Centers are rife with internal politics and LLGT cock-eyed policies and implementation, but then that is human nature - even Profit Centers are affected by the same!

Negativity that comes out of such expressions and discussion vitiates the main discussion here, and is best avoided. It has nothing to do with Indian technical graduates. Fortunately, in international companies such things are nationality-agnostic stupidities.

Once again, I was talking of Indian companies providing Development Services specifically in the area of Product Development to other clients. A Service, not even a Profit Center. A 100 such small companies will benefit Indian resources and business more than 1 large Captive Center run in Profit Center mode. Large Chinese companies providing Manufacturing Services have come out of 100s of small entrepreneur driven Manufacturing Services providers.

There is a lot to learn there, provided we intellectually rise above petty issues whether one small idea was accepted by management or not. If the genuine merit of the idea is proven (and usually we arrogantly avoid doing it, like "Hey, I am holding a diamond, how in heavens are you not able to see that?"), the same management moves it's high-inertia posterior to monetize it.

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Old 23rd August 2013, 15:41   #632
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Well sir product /service/cost centre / profit centre it is inherently linked to the topic at hand that is employability .
...
Well, NASSCOM was and never will be significant from these aspects - I have never used such 'lists' as a practitioner. One can't create 'desirability' from 50K' level generalities.

And "product /service/cost centre / profit centre" are dissimilar elements incorrectly linked in comparison. There are Cost Centers, as there are Profit Centers - in Product AND in Application worlds. Also, 'Employability' is no different in the Product field as it is in the Application field - it is all about inherent characteristics and how they they use them.
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Old 23rd August 2013, 18:00   #633
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Well, NASSCOM was and never will be significant from these aspects - I have never used such 'lists' as a practitioner. One can't create 'desirability' from 50K' level generalities.
Well what NASSACOM says is reflection of those who used to send thousands of appointment letters per month so it is not the question of what is important for you an me but general industry trend was defined by them.

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And "product /service/cost centre / profit centre" are dissimilar elements incorrectly linked in comparison. There are Cost Centers, as there are Profit Centers - in Product AND in Application worlds. Also, 'Employability' is no different in the Product field as it is in the Application field - it is all about inherent characteristics and how they they use them.
I think you still do not get the point across I will not try any further

The work you do and recruitment profile depends a lot on level of independence you have cost centres do not have any independence as they are driven by another entity.

At one point you said GE and other big MNC captive centres are more like service companies which provide services to parents. Well I do not know anything about GE in particular but this statement is valid for many others and comes from the fact above.
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Old 23rd August 2013, 18:41   #634
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Well what NASSACOM says is reflection of those who used to send thousands of appointment letters per month ...
There are a 1000s of people who eat every meal on Banana Leaf. Do you? In the same way, "Majority" or "Heavy User" logic is inappropriate here. If I as a professional don't know what to look for and how to recruit, I have 2 choices: not to be in the industry in that role, or use NASSCOM recommendation (It is NASSCOM, isn't it?). I am a professional, I know how to do it, and I don't need NASSCOM recommendation, no matter which ginormous organization originated it. I have my own, and it serves me well. You don't have it? You are most welcome to use NASSCOM recommendation. ('You' != @amitk26) That's how it goes. Doesn't mean Infosys is wrong and I am right, and vice versa.

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... The work you do and recruitment profile depends a lot on level of independence you have cost centres do not have any independence as they are driven by another entity. ...
Incorrect. All Captive 'Cost Centers' I have seen, and I have seen many, had the independence. They aren't dumb, are they? A few individuals may have had a horrendous experience sometime for whatever reason, but the reality is different. Simple reason: preparatory systems are different between say US/Japan and India. There is simply no use looking for ideal candidates from the principal's p-o-v. If one does, it will be a 'Loss' center, not a 'Cost' center. If your recipe calls for Washington apples and you only get Simla apples, you need to adapt your recipe - otherwise you shouldn't be in the business of making Apple Pies.

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... this statement is valid for many others and comes from the fact above.
Providing 'services' doesn't mean not use intelligence. We know it; they know it.
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Old 23rd August 2013, 19:41   #635
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There are a 1000s of people who eat every meal on Banana Leaf. Do you? In the same way, "Majority" or "Heavy User" logic is inappropriate here. If I as a professional don't know what to look for and how to recruit, I have 2 choices: not to be in the industry in that role, or use NASSCOM recommendation (It is NASSCOM, isn't it?). I am a professional, I know how to do it, and I don't need NASSCOM recommendation, no matter which ginormous organization originated it. I have my own, and it serves me well. You don't have it? You are most welcome to use NASSCOM recommendation. ('You' != @amitk26) That's how it goes. Doesn't mean Infosys is wrong and I am right, and vice versa..
Did I say somewhere that I used Nassacom recommendations at any given point ? Do my posts allude to any such notion

Either I have understood the thread topic or you have missed something big here.

It is " IT Industry and Employability of Technical Graduates" to me it means employability to IT industry as it exists today.

I have contributed to this thread in past from PoV of the company I work for as well and why we face problems in recruiting right candidates and IMHO the problems are in part due to what is employability for others is non-employable for us.

I do not go by NASSACOM propaganda but it is a hard fact that some of the oddities we observe today are due to high pitch propaganda done by service industry continuously for a decade or so. Today these people might have changed the tune just like financial Gurus on TV channels go short from long at every market hiccup.

Today there are almost a million engineering graduates coming out of colleges in CS/IT and several other fancy sounding branches every year form colleges in every nook and corner whereas jobs have dried up for these students.

Why these shops were opened in first place ? Industry body influenced policy disproportionately and gave unrealistic projections for manpower requirement for almost a decade with assumption that gravy train will never dry up.

Students were made to believe that doing Java , Oracle or SAP or similar course at nearby shop is more useful then breaking head on hard core subjects in college syllabus and learning basics.
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Old 25th August 2013, 18:53   #636
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Did I say somewhere that I used Nassacom recommendations ...
Err... you seem to have missed out a teeny weeny bit: 'You' != @amitk26.

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... I do not go by NASSACOM propaganda but it is a hard fact that some of the oddities we observe today are due to high pitch propaganda done by service industry continuously for a decade or so. ...
Don't recall anyone doing any propaganda, high or low pitch, on this subject. Of course it is a fact that everyone - from parents to students to journalists and the Govt., and their aunts and grand-uncles - speculated as to what is in those black boxes called "IT Companies". And the result of the speculation is what the feeder industry exploited. Let us not "bark up the wrong tree", as they say. And today even the "IT Services" companies only vaguely know what they need, though their own people talk in whispers - outside the company - about what is really needed.

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... Today there are almost a million engineering graduates coming out of colleges in CS/IT and ... Why these shops were opened in first place ? ... assumption that gravy train will never dry up.
The answers lie in the maths used in Economics, not in human behavior. Gullibility and Blind Belief are deep rooted in India, but one gains nothing by analyzing that.

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... Students were made to believe that doing Java , Oracle or SAP or similar course ...
We have discussed enough on the abilities of the academia, haven't we? Want to change it instead of just talking about it?
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Old 26th August 2013, 12:51   #637
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...And today even the "IT Services" companies only vaguely know what they need, though their own people talk in whispers - outside the company - about what is really needed.
I agree, I see that happening often. People talking about right things with the wrong ones.

If someone talks to me about how the new joinees are in-adequately skilled, I tell them to go and talk to the HR, only to hear "No, it's risky. They could get angry and fire me.". Ah yes, very well, if you don't know how to suggest, then you very well need to be fired. On the other hand, if you suggest well and they don't know how to take a suggestion, they don't deserve you.

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We have discussed enough on the abilities of the academia, haven't we? Want to change it instead of just talking about it?
Yes, please. I feel the same, we will end up getting nowhere otherwise.

Maybe we could further add to the thread title
"IT Industry and Employability of Technical Graduates - HOW TO MAKE THINGS BETTER."
Something that both employers and graduates can refer to and help change the status quo.

Cheers!
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Old 26th August 2013, 13:24   #638
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I tell them to go and talk to the HR, only to hear "No, it's risky. They could get angry and fire me.". Ah yes, very well, if you don't know how to suggest, then you very well need to be fired.
Wow, has it come to that now? In the late 90s I could openly pile on the TCS HR guys about the stupid hiring policies, they would just shrug and claim helplessness. Now they fire people for voicing opinions?

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Maybe we could further add to the thread title
"IT Industry and Employability of Technical Graduates - HOW TO MAKE THINGS BETTER."
Something that both employers and graduates can refer to and help change the status quo.
No need to change the title any further. It will narrow the scope of the thread. We can give suggestions even now, and I often have. And many of us are in position to change/dictate hiring policies within the company, and can implement it.
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Old 26th August 2013, 13:42   #639
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I agree, I see that happening often. People talking about right things with the wrong ones.

If someone talks to me about how the new joinees are in-adequately skilled, I tell them to go and talk to the HR, only to hear "No, it's risky. They could get angry and fire me.".
!
I don't know if HR can really fire someone in IT sector
In fact most of the times HR is not really the culprit. They are support organization and their job is execution strategy is defined by top circle of management and HR is mostly a punching bag whom employees can punch and let the steam out . However many people in HR department have some grandiose notion of their power but in reality they may not be that influential.
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Old 26th August 2013, 15:15   #640
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Now they fire people for voicing opinions?
I haven't heard of any. But you know, the types, who have an opinion but don't stand up for it, they use this as an excuse.

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No need to change the title any further. It will narrow the scope of the thread. We can give suggestions even now, and I often have..
Ok, It was just my opinion. The intention was to narrow the scope, otherwise it could be an endless thread.

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..And many of us are in position to change/dictate hiring policies within the company, and can implement it.
Exactly, which I why I felt its good to consolidate and exchange ideas / solutions so others can follow and <RHETORIC>Make this world a better place to work</RHETORIC>

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However many people in HR department have some grandiose notion of their power but in reality they may not be that influential.
True, but some feel so. For the one who just stole a purse (read underachievers), everybody looks like a police.

Last edited by gk01 : 26th August 2013 at 15:18. Reason: Explained the metaphor which indicates how bad the metaphor is :D
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Old 28th August 2013, 18:08   #641
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Well if you are in it for 20 years, its great, but if you are in for the long haul, services is something which will go to the lowest bidder. What happened in BPO/KPO? Philippines is currently whipping India. How long before the level of English in China improves.
Service is a dangerous game to bet on esp if you got the contracts in the first place due to lower costs.
There will be juggling of projects between low cost centers. But they are factors in favour of Indian IT Services Industry:

1) Most of the projects are already outsourced from North America and Western Europe. Folks in these countries have lost the the knowhow. Except for few senior folks there (who understand the bigger picture), nobody else understand the groundwork. Considering the scale the operation, it will be major operation spanning multiple years to move projects out of India.

2) There is tremendous cost advantage by outsourcing from North America and Western Europe to India. Is there any cost differential between India & Philippines/China? Is that differential worth the risk of shifting out of India?

Hence I feel the IT services industry is here to stay.
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Want to change it instead of just talking about it?
Certain institutes like 'The Institute of Product Leadership' offer course in product mangament & marketing. Link: http://www.productleadership.in/
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Old 28th August 2013, 19:15   #642
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I don't know if HR can really fire someone in IT sector ...
They can't even fire themselves if they wanted!

But, their power lies in influencing the top layer via insinuations, since the top layer's way of handling their own insecurities is to rely on feedback on what is happening on the ground. HR faithfully provides that by whispering in their ears: "You know, we are getting bad vibes from this Mr. XYZ as he seems to be trying to influence opinions against so-and-so policy". Mr.XYZ never gets to know of this, and wonders why the management guys are looking at him strangely in the next meeting before politely asking him to go to greener pastures.

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... Certain institutes like 'The Institute of Product Leadership' offer course in product mangament & marketing. Link: http://www.productleadership.in/
You didn't get my point at all - I was alluding to changing the education system.

Not sure what this so called B-school masquerading as an 'Institute' operating out of a 100sq.m. area in Bangalore provides (More Baloney Added is the default expectation). All but one of their Faculty are academicians, and their titles reflect more management theory and hopeful 'vision' than reality in Product Engineering. I am sure most of the faculty wouldn't recognize PE issues even if they were hit over their heads with one. "Bringing Product Leaders who have defined business at Fortune 100 companies to the Classroom" - nice! Product Engineering has nothing to do with Product Management and Marketing, my friend.

Good business model though - a lot of companies will willingly, and with a lot of hope, invest a part of their training budgets in taking such courses. Some believing individuals may also privately invest and take such courses with a fond hope of getting promoted. The Training Managers in organizations have to support, otherwise people will whisper about their ignorance and unwillingness. Funnily, no one *ever* checks back whether such trainings have benefited the organization in any way, since the proponents quickly move on into other roles. I am sure if one of the alumni appears before you in an interview with an MBA from such a B-School, you will be rather nonplussed at the difference between expectation and reality.

This seems to the classic example of preconceived notions being stuffed into minds which are either impressionable (freshers) or completely prejudiced (corrupted by previous experience in another area). One can't / doesn't learn about Product Engineering, especially providing Services in that area, in a classroom. It will take a 4 year full time Apprenticeship (there are no theories to be taught, nor text books to be referred), and still be incomplete.
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Old 28th August 2013, 21:22   #643
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"Bringing Product Leaders who have defined business at Fortune 100 companies to the Classroom" - nice! Product Engineering has nothing to do with Product Management and Marketing, my friend.
This is one of the classic confusions. I remember encountering this first.

The year was 1997, and I was part of a global product development team, spread across 3 continent. We had one internal web forum for discussing the product issues. We were all techies and 100% discussion was technical.

One day a totally new user logs in and declares he is the product development manager for this product. And he goes on giving some spiel about the product and its capabilities. After a long silence, somebody hits back "What kind of product development manager are you? You haven't got a clue about the product!". The fellow was so shaken, we never saw him on that board. Later I checked through my contacts and discovered that he was indeed the product development manager of the product. That fact amazed me, and it remained a mystery to me for the next few years.

Many years later, when I studied Marketing as part of MBA course, the light bulb went on. In marketing parlance, product development has a very different meaning. I was stunned at first, even angry at these marketing folks for corrupting the term. However, I finally had to accept it. In fact, I started practicing that kind of PD too. Frankly, the technical PD should be called as product engineering to eliminate the confusion. However, being in a field where engineers are called developers doesn't help. So I always refer to my technical staff as software engineers or programmers, but never developers. I don't like that term, I would like to hand it over to the marketing team.

About 3 years back in a Thar thread I had explained what actual product developers do, and there is nothing technical about that. But it might explain the quality of production Thar, and why it is so different from the Prototype that seduced us. [I wrote this much before Thar was launched...]

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The concept of a product is generally developed by the marketing people based on market survey and their understanding of demand and supply of a product in a market. This is very complex analysis, and involves huge gamble of very high stakes. What segment of the market should they address, urban, rural, men, women, youths, kids, senior citizens, corporate, individuals, tourists, etc. How should they position themselves in the chosen segment, premium product, VFM product, niche product, el-cheapo product, etc. After massive brain-storming, they finally pick a segment and their positioning, and then decide on how to target them, what vehicle can be sold to them. This is just one example of how it is done. They could do it in other ways too. They could decide the vehicle first and then wonder about whom to target. There are no hard and fast rule about that.

Next they will start making forecasts on how much they can sell at what cost. They make these forecast based on the demand/supply curves for that market. This is where they will start involving people from departments like R&D, production, accounts, delivery, etc. The R&D guys tell what is possible and what is not possible. Production guys will tell how much effort it takes to manufacture and how much they can manufacture. The accounts guys will tell how much it will cost to make them, etc, etc. For example, the R&D guy may be able to create a fantastic product, which the production guy can manufacture 500 a month, and the accountant calculates the unit cost to be 8L. Meanwhile the marketing guy is hoping to sell 1000 per month for 7L price, with a per unit profit of 2L. His demand curves says that only 100 units will be sold at 10L price (8L unit cost + 2L profit), then what is he going to do with remaining 400 units per month.

So he needs a 5L unit cost that can be manufactured at the rate of 1000 per month. So he will tell the R&D guy to reduce the cost by lowering the specifications and by using common parts across the products. That will also reduce production cost and time due to economy of scale. The marketing department has the absolute veto power over all other departments.Marketing guys will give a broad outline of the product along with segment/positioning info and expect it to be done within a given unit cost. It is up to the R&D engineer to design the best possible combo keeping all the parameters to be satisfied.
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Old 29th August 2013, 07:38   #644
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One day a totally new user logs in and declares he is the product development manager for this product. And he goes on giving some spiel about the product and its capabilities. After a long silence, somebody hits back "What kind of product development manager are you? You haven't got a clue about the product!". The fellow was so shaken, we never saw him on that board. Later I checked through my contacts and discovered that he was indeed the product development manager of the product. That fact amazed me, and it remained a mystery to me for the next few years.
Or may be he realized he was talking to the wrong audience and went back to where he was needed.
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Old 29th August 2013, 09:55   #645
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Or may be he realized he was talking to the wrong audience and went back to where he was needed.
Not that simple. This was on the company forum, and he was no anonymous user. By hierarchy he would be the most powerful guy to ever join that group. It would be an ultimate insult to be told he doesn't know anything about the product he was.. um developing. We can speculate his state of mind now, but when it happened most of us thought we chased him away. Then techies really didn't like suits and the demarcation was sharp. Now techies can't wait to become suits.
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