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Old 22nd September 2013, 23:13   #661
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Trees are very simple organisms in comparisons - the quote was a simplification of much more complex life forms as techies.
Well they do require some help , to prevent being eaten as saplings, until they are large enough and have a bark to protect itself. The point anyway, was that like foliage requires nutrients (natural substances mostly, sunlight, nitrogen, water) ...
To take on your own example: Just imagine, a 'simple organism' absorbs and uses whatever is around, all by itself without external intervention. Do you think saplings in a forest are tended for and protected by someone?

On the other hand, a 'superior complex organism' requires constant mothering even after 'getting a bark'? Their sapling stage was over after they left high school, right? Or perhaps you have got the order of nature wrong???

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... technical staff require guidance, training, material/equipment - all of which incur some expense. Personal drive/motivation cannot substitute these, and perhaps only extremely talented individuals and geniuses can operate in standalone manner, with little or no assistance from others. ...
The Open Source community was started and driven by individuals who didn't "require guidance, training, material/equipment" in the same age bracket as the "technical staff" that you describe. Perhaps even younger. No sir, no guidance, no training. Yet they produce excellent designs and code on their own. Going by normal distribution (Gaussian distribution; Statistics), don't you think it is impossible that all of them were "extremely talented individuals and geniuses"?

How many of the so called "technical staff", all of whose fathers had bought them a PC in 1st year of Engineering or earlier, have EVER written a program on their own? Or EVEN compiled programs written by others, just to learn compilation? Have you ever seen a programming environment on such PCs? My suggestion: sit in on fresher's interviews - it will open your eyes!

And they need to be taught and told to wash their own underclothes (I am not joking about this). The issue is of lacking self reliance in the first place. Their parents provide for and take decisions on their behalf till they get married, only to be replaced in that role by their wives afterwards. Don't tell me you haven't seen that in India? And they continue to expect the same in their jobs, not realizing that all over the world, in ANY profession, one has to produce output to earn money. Not whine about their inability to produce, yet expect to be paid.

If you wish to be sympathetic, please do it for the right causes. Not for protecting ignorance and inaction at the cost of self-reliance. That is intellectual corruption.

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... I have been reading comments from igadget users about how iOS7 is a step back from previous version. So is the company losing its edge without Jobs at the helm?
I am sure they haven't seen iOS version comparisons / iOS evolution, before they commented. Most of them wouldn't even have used iOS properly. It surely doesn't cost money to flap mouths. If it did, they would do their homework first.
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Old 22nd September 2013, 23:32   #662
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Default Re: IT Industry and Employability of Technical Graduates

@Der Alte :

Well if you're talking of trees, then a baby snake can feed on its own after birth and even has poison. Baby turtles find their way from beach to ocean all by themselves. So then, reptiles are superior to complex mammals, eh ? The higher up the evolution ladder we see more underdeveloped state at birth compared to simpler life forms, which at birth are much more fully developed/closer to maturity. Maybe our mothers should just abandon us given we are supposedly more complex/evolved ?

You're talking about one extreme end of very incompetent employees who don't want to work at all and just want to collect a salary , and one end who are highly motivated and skilled, and will tinker around with whatever they have just to kill time, either learning something or destroying something in the process. Some of these may be geniunely geniuses ( I haven't personally met one myself, but I have through the work inherited realized the skills of those who created the stuff I now maintain/modify ). Maybe you feel the way you do because a number of those here on this thread are IITians, thus expectedly much more skilled than usual crop of graduates.

In between these extremes are more average employees who do work hard, and do make an effort to be productive. It is these that I am speaking of, who need to gently pushed to become better at what they/we do. Too little pressure and we go astray/lazy, too much pressure and we goof up. Given that the majority of employees are average and productive enough to be kept , it does warrant some attention from management to develop their talent, not just hand them a computer , give them a few goals and forget about them. I remember reading 70% of software projects are considered as failed, I think this is the reason why. The talk about appraisals being performance management and not merely evaluation process, falls flat given the response of managers to be least bothered about fixing weaknesses. No, usually they leave frustrated or get asked to leave. The bulk of industry, and indeed entire humankind, is filled with average Joes, who while not highly creative/productive like the Richard Stallmans and Linus Torvalds , are worthwhile enough to keep the IT projects running. Not all mere code monkeys, some of these do gain enough experience/skill to save the day at times, when the original creator has gone and something breaks and needs to be fixed. If they were all time wasters, I'm sure the company bosses would fire them all with no drop in productivity/profitability.

No comment on the iOS further, some of the comments are from geeks who might have been here had they been more keen on automotive stuff or perhaps applied and didn't get approved. I'm not an Apple owner/user, so I'll just wait and see how it develops.

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Old 23rd September 2013, 00:13   #663
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Ricci, we are not talking about babies here. We talking about IT graduates who have completed at least 18 years of school/college education.

The companies are forced to nurture them like babies because colleges have become just degree printing machines. If I give the same one year training to a 12th grade passed kid, I am sure he/she do fine. But what are the chances of a bright kid quitting studies at 12th grade? So I have to wait until they waste another 4 years. And why can't colleges teach in 4 years, what companies can teach in 1 year?

Let alone others, most distinction students can't remember what they studied in final semester. What is the use of such an education?

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Maybe you feel the way you do because a number of those here on this thread are IITians, thus expectedly much more skilled than usual crop of graduates.
I can assure you that isn't the reason. I am a Bangalore university student from the time when job ADs used to say "graduates from Bangalore university need not apply"

I was always on self-learning mode and never got any hand-holding from seniors in my entire career. If somebody from a lowly Bangalore University with a second class degree could do it, most people can, if they are willing to apply themselves.

Edit: Here is another example of world class education (ICSE/CBSE/NIOS/State Schooling system comparison).

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Old 23rd September 2013, 12:43   #664
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Maybe you feel the way you do because a number of those here on this thread are IITians, thus expectedly much more skilled than usual crop of graduates.
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... I can assure you that isn't the reason. I am a Bangalore university student from the time when job ADs used to say "graduates from Bangalore university need not apply" ...
@Ricci, that is one complex one should do without.

I have studied in Municipal and Govt. schools, and I finally passed out of at-that-time-infamous DCE - a college famous more for producing "Sarkari Saands" than high quality education. The lecturers and professors (some of whom came from illustrious backgrounds in US universities) tried hard - maybe made some humans out of us animals.

But, when we joined our first jobs, we realized that what we were taught was 10-25 years out of date as compared to state of technology at that time. Imagine studying mercury-arc rectifiers in college when I myself was using silicon diodes and thyristors for my private projects in 2nd year. We were taught FORTRAN (and ran it on the DU IBM S/360 via punched cards), and machine code programming (not assembly language, but the language of throwing switches to enter instructions and data) on a DEC PDP8. We soon realized that what we were taught was not technology, but how to teach ourselves!

My first exposure to software (I started before the word 'software' came into being) was Assembler programming on micros, self-learnt via a book on Assembly Language programming written by ... a Professor of Metallurgy. We would read voraciously, sometimes 300 pages a day - books, magazines, whatever we could lay our hands on. Then I self-learnt C (I already knew more than the poor soul who came from NIIT to try and teach - my boss sent him back). And then I wrote a pre-emptive RTOS because no one would sell us one (embargo due to Pokharan) in C and Assembler, to run on a board developed by us.

Since then, I have always learnt on the job - as there was no other way. We had perfected the art of military programming because the idea of errors in a delivered product was abhorrent to us. Comparatively, modern programming environments do most of the work that we did manually, and yet you say that people need to be molly-coddled because they don't know? They need help in using intelligent tools that does most of the work for them? That is too much of a cock-eyed expectation.

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... In between these extremes are more average employees who do work hard, and do make an effort to be productive. It is these that I am speaking of, who need to gently pushed to become better at what they/we do. Too little pressure and we go astray/lazy, too much pressure and we goof up. Given that the majority of employees are average and productive enough to be kept, it does warrant some attention from management to develop their talent ...
I have always know myself to belong to the left half of the Gaussian curve (as applied to Skills), so I had to drive myself constantly, without being told by anyone else, to stay intellectually fit. Like stepping in water to prevent sinking. From what you write, I and all my peers seem to be of a completely different ethos from what you describe.

They need gentle pushing? Isn't preventing oneself from going astray supposed to be as self-controlled as controlling goofing up? Is developing skills something that others need to induce? From what you write, it would seem that the only ethos 18 years of education taught them was "Thinking is highly over-rated. Don't think for yourself, someone else will think for you". And get salaries also?

Right now it looks like that - people exploiting industry's need for people, and expect to be given further learning and constant training - the way dowry is still expected in some regions. And they don't need training to produce children, right? No one has to tell them how to! Sure, they do need to be told how to bring up children. Perhaps they should be told to bring up their children to be self-reliant - at least the next generation will have better software engineers.
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Old 24th November 2013, 23:43   #665
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Default Re: IT Industry and Employability of Technical Graduates

Recently, a college professor I know wanted me to give final semester project to his M.Sc (comp.sci) students. I agreed conditionally saying I would give the project provided his students can program in C. He agreed wholeheartedly thinking his students would ace any C programming test I threw at them. But I had my doubts.

When 5 of them showed up, we asked them to write one simple program each. Couple of them had to replace a character in a string. Next two had to reverse a string. Last one had to find factors of a number. Not only they couldn't get the output right, none of them could even get their program to compile. Even the logic was wrong in every case.

I just emailed the programs back to the professor, and he didn't press me for the project anymore. He must have been shocked. These were students who had studied 3 years of BCA/BSc in computer science, followed by MSc in computer science. Apparently the best in their class.

Before they left I also showed them the Tiobe programming language index, just in case they thought C was some outdated language.

http://www.tiobe.com/index.php/conte...pci/index.html

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Old 1st December 2013, 18:57   #666
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Education received in college or school should just focus on academics. What they should focus is also on molding the citizen of the next generation. People like us few of us probably studied well and also learnt life skills on how to interact and mingle with peers, seniors and juniors. Some only focus on academics, some only other than that. When people ask me how many years of experience I have, I say 38 years and they stare at me. I clarify for them - 16 years of IT and rest life experience. I guess if people can pick up in their 18-19 years of life until they get into a job a skill on how to work with people - compete and collaborate they will be great professionals.
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Old 1st December 2013, 19:26   #667
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Can you elaborate a bit? What do you expect a fresh IT graduate to know?
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Old 1st December 2013, 19:44   #668
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Most of the guys don't even know how to communicate. They come into an organization with SMS lingo, they await commands/instructions from their seniors and give a blank stare (that to me is scary). Few of them probably are so pampered at their colleges and have been told they are stars and they don't even understand how to follow an escalation hierarchy. For the statement "we are not talking about babies here" by Ricci, I think they are really babies when they enter an organization. Companies need to mold them into what they need them to be when working in the organization.
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Old 1st December 2013, 20:14   #669
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Most of the guys don't even know how to communicate. They come into an organization with SMS lingo, they await commands/instructions from their seniors and give a blank stare (that to me is scary).
It is best to filter them out during the recruitment process. In my recruiting experience, I have discovered that technical stuff can be taught, but teaching social skills is near impossible. Few years back I had even engaged a communication therapist to get some of my engineers to communicate. She actually recommended one of them for psychiatric therapy. After that I added communication/seminar round to the recruitment process. That is the round where 80% of the candidates get thrown out. I have never needed the communication therapist after that.
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Old 1st December 2013, 20:54   #670
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She actually recommended one of them for psychiatric therapy
You are I can say lucky if you had to just refer that dude to the therapist, I sometimes feel we would end up needing therapy after dealing with them.

I guess few may ask, what was I when I joined my first company after I left college. During those days I haven't see anyone needing this level of spoon-feeding. Well, I have had the opportunity to work few gems also though they are just passed out. I still remember the day when I was introduced to my team - about 25 people fresh from college and me another lead were the only two seniors. I felt I was back in college class room. The energy and vibrancy they have. Yes, quite a few were really hard to comprehend or work with, but there were about 10-15% of them who were mature in their perspective. Two are still in my organization and they are doing really well. Part of me says its my responsibility to use some of my bandwidth in turning these fresh "blanks" into someone who would be tomorrow's leaders. Today I at times run skip level meetings to meet these guys, but because I am kind of "management" for them, I tend to not open up as folks at times can end up misusing the connect. It is a thin line and act of balance, I suppose to maintain and manage these guys.

Last edited by Samurai : 1st December 2013 at 21:16. Reason: back-to-back post
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Old 2nd December 2013, 11:36   #671
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You are I can say lucky if you had to just refer that dude to the therapist, I sometimes feel we would end up needing therapy after dealing with them.

I guess few may ask, what was I when I joined my first company after I left college. During those days I haven't see anyone needing this level of spoon-feeding.
Well, I have been working in this industry for close to a decade now and this industry lacks brains who are interested in making people. Every one is more focused in building a product or an app but very rarely I have come across guys who are interested in putting some serious effort to take people to a different level.

I happen to work very closely in my team of just 7 guys and we have been working for close to 3 years now. Two of the guys of my team are about to be thrown out due to performance issues and none of the teams needed them 3 years back. Finally they came to my team as a burden since there was a surplus budget to accommodate them, but believe me what a journey it has been for myself and those two guys. The first year was really tough for me as I had to do everything for them and trust me I have dictated code to them and explained how to think the logic and how to approach problems and guess now every other team is running behind these two now. They are one of my best now and they have responsibilities to build a new member now. I do not hesitate to boast about this every now and then.

When I count my success stories in this organization, this achievement I put in the first 3 lines.

The new generation is not so bad. The only problem I see is most of them tend to take the short cuts for quick gain. The only criteria for me in a selection process is right attitude and manners of course with a little ability to express him/herself.
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Old 2nd December 2013, 13:38   #672
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When I was in college, we had exercise programs to be complete during computer lab.
But in exams (interim as well as finals) none of the exercise programs which we did in lab classes will be asked.
Each one will get different problem to be solved.
The problems are based on the concepts we learnt in language - kind of mini-application.

While this concept was just in my college, none of the other colleges at that time (even the highly desired one) follow this.
For each year they have some set of 10 ~ 15 programs. In exams students get one out of these fixed 15 problems.
Till now, I would say 99% of the colleges follow this process - which make students not to think at all.
It is up to the students who have the desire will learn out of this concept.

Unless this changes, we are stuck with the trend.

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Old 7th December 2013, 09:48   #673
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I guess many companies including mine are bringing up programs like connect with Gen Y, etc probably because of this "gap" that is being formed. But to my understanding people these days come with a sense of false pride and extreme confidence. I used to be a bit slow in terms of approaching my manager on a request which is utterly personal to me - whether its my being ill myself or my parents or a function which is very much personal. These days folks approach me openly about their mom's illness and saying they need a transfer because mom is having psychiatric issue or is divorced or this and that. Is it movies which make them this way or too much of facebook time which gives many instant gratification. Anyway, not all are this way. There are still many who are in the "traditional" way of things. These young people are fresh and capable, just that they need lot of molding and handholding. Probably the question is - which is acceptable "young and dashing" or "mature and sober". It kind of asking where do you want to go shopping on a Saturday evening, the neighborhood shopping mall or the nearby old time farmers market?
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Old 7th December 2013, 10:53   #674
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Well, I have been working in this industry for close to a decade now and this industry lacks brains who are interested in making people. Every one is more focused in building a product or an app but very rarely I have come across guys who are interested in putting some serious effort to take people to a different level.

I happen to work very closely in my team of just 7 guys and we have been working for close to 3 years now. Two of the guys of my team are about to be thrown out due to performance issues and none of the teams needed them 3 years back. Finally they came to my team as a burden since there was a surplus budget to accommodate them, but believe me what a journey it has been for myself and those two guys. The first year was really tough for me as I had to do everything for them and trust me I have dictated code to them and explained how to think the logic and how to approach problems and guess now every other team is running behind these two now. They are one of my best now and they have responsibilities to build a new member now. I do not hesitate to boast about this every now and then.

When I count my success stories in this organization, this achievement I put in the first 3 lines.

The new generation is not so bad. The only problem I see is most of them tend to take the short cuts for quick gain. The only criteria for me in a selection process is right attitude and manners of course with a little ability to express him/herself.
Good to hear that sam boy. It's people like you who bring change . How I wish I had a person like you in our team where is no one gives 2 hoots about individual development and just focuses on dead lines and back log items. I am not saying they should not. After all we have to keep dead lines and deliver quality. But when your individual growth is not at all given a thought, it feels bad
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Old 7th December 2013, 11:22   #675
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It is hard to give importance to individual development when engineers are shuffled across teams after every assignment. And many team leaders don't have the patience or the interest to be teachers. Only in organizations where people remain in same team for long durations, you can see mutual care and loyalty begins to form.

In my company it is the only way to go. I put employees first, customers next. If I take care of the employees, they will take care of the customers. Every engineer in my company, started as a trainee here. I know that every trainee is a potential team leader, architect, manager some day in my company. So I groom them to grow into that role. All my team leaders know that grooming their team members is integral part of their job.

But one has to be practical too. People should be at least trainable before you can attempt to groom them for a role. In the initial years I gave really long rope to non-performing people. I had people hang-around for 2+ years without making any real contribution. No amount of training could raise their game, that is when I realised that one has to make tough choices in advance. After that I changed the process to identify such people ahead of time. That means more aggressive filtering at recruiting, and during the first year. Anybody who doesn't catch-on even after a year of training is not cut out for this profession. This screening is very important considering that lots of youngsters are forced into IT by their parents.
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