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Old 16th April 2016, 12:08   #736
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A middle level manager has also risen from the ranks, dude. He did't magically appear out of thin air, and once he is accustomed to a certain way of working, chances are that he will stick to that.
As usual, if I may just butt in on an a very theoretical point - the whole argument by the others are based on just this - Majority middle level managers actually did appear out of thin air. They became middle level managers just because the demand far exceeded supply during the time these people entered the corporate world, and climbed the ladder automatically without any real value addition to themselves. Now they find that the ladder is just hanging there without any support and they are at the top end with nowhere to go with their current set of skills - like in a video game, where you realise that to go to the next level you need a rope or wings or manna and you dont have them!!
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Old 16th April 2016, 12:40   #737
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A middle level manager has also risen from the ranks, dude. He did't magically appear out of thin air, and once he is accustomed to a certain way of working, chances are that he will stick to that.
When I joined one software services giant 12 years ago, guys with approximately 7 years of experience (some even less) were becoming project managers and had stopped coding. Not because they showed exceptional leadership skills but merrily because there was demand. Not exactly a case of risen from the ranks right?
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Old 18th April 2016, 17:03   #738
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In my industry, mechanical CAD IT solutions industry, I find the interviews a waste of time. Many instances I have heard of where the job profile might be just simple drawing creation or modelling, but the interview will be highly technical based on mechanical subjects. What would be better would be 1. Marks cards 2. Quantitative aptitude test 3. Simpler oral/verbal communications test. 4. Modelling test if required. Later train the candidates effectively. They don't do this since they use the technical interview to beat down salary negotiations. You don't know nothing, why do you need this percetage hike? Our education is not line with industry requirements, companies do not deliver effective training programs, companies do not select right candidates based on right way to hire candidates i.e aptitude and communications test.
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Old 18th April 2016, 17:17   #739
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The problem is the mismatch in expectation between both the companies as well as the resources (people, as HR often calls them). Most of the code shops in India (I refuse to call them software development companies) are interested in taking up a big project guaranteeing several months/years of work, build up huge development centers, on government sponsored waste land on the outskirts of cities of India, bill the project in dollars, pounds or euros and outsource the entire project to the DC.
These companies then visit the best engineering colleges across India in a talent hunting spree, often asking technical interviews, set up coding competitions etc to hire the best and the brainiest. Then they assign these brainy developers on development work which involves fixing bugs, adding code patches, maintaining server farms or doing routine maintenance releases on the code. Most of the project code is written over several years back, often in the home country, and the current developer has no understanding of what was the original purpose or design of the same.
This routine drudgery wastes and reduces the talent, passion and development brains of the software engineers employed, and most of them are frustrated with their work life, looking to trade it for better work in some boutique agencies, or trading their skills for higher money in a bigger company or running overseas to earn in a stronger currency. As a talent retainment policy (since attrition rates for drudgery is quite high) the developer is offered a salary hike with the promise of overseas assignment or a promotion to a manager position which requires no 'coding'. That builds up a waste pile of people who started off as talented programmers, but over years became code fixers, grew tired of it and became managers who are skilled in handling phone calls, meetings and excel sheets but pretty much nothing else. With the current market demanding talented programmers, and most of the project management happening at the client end, with client employees, the giant coding shops find out that a percentage of their management layer is useless fat.
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Old 28th April 2016, 00:10   #740
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I am trying to create an online community to help engineering students in computer science and computer electronics to do hands on projects during their college years with one on one guidance from international experts.

The idea is to expose these students to international mentors in industry and also maybe professors in US and Canadian universities so that they get quality mentoring.

If talented students do such projects with genuine hard work and in core technology domains, the idea is to help them get interviews with product companies, technology companies and startups in India and help them to avoid the mindless jobs in service companies.

What would be a good approach to help such students who have successfully completed good projects in core technology get placement assistance?
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Old 28th April 2016, 16:17   #741
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Schools kill creativity and so do colleges
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Old 12th May 2016, 16:07   #742
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In my industry, mechanical CAD IT solutions industry, I find the interviews a waste of time. Many instances I have heard of where the job profile might be just simple drawing creation or modelling, but the interview will be highly technical based on mechanical subjects. What would be better would be 1. Marks cards 2. Quantitative aptitude test 3. Simpler oral/verbal communications test. 4. Modelling test if required. Later train the candidates effectively. They don't do this since they use the technical interview to beat down salary negotiations. You don't know nothing, why do you need this percetage hike? Our education is not line with industry requirements, companies do not deliver effective training programs, companies do not select right candidates based on right way to hire candidates i.e aptitude and communications test.
Is the recruitment for engineering services or only CAD solutions development? If it is for engineering services then having the candidates go through mechanical subject test is a good idea because you want them to eventually take up more complex work like design or analysis. Without basics of engineering in place, they would not be able to do so.

Aptitude plus basic mechanical engineering test is the way to go. Communication skills will not be a deciding factor - at least at freshers level.
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Old 12th May 2016, 17:00   #743
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.....Communication skills will not be a deciding factor - at least at freshers level.
On the contrary, Communication Skills (in all its forms) should be a critical factor at all levels, ideally began at Primary Education levels. I'm not saying people should be rejected on the basis of lacking it alone (if they're otherwise qualified for a role), but it should NEVER be deemed 'unnecessary' (not saying YOU said it either, just to be clear). People can always be trained post-hire.

There are far too many people in all sorts of positions all over the world who may be greatly skilled but are lousy communicators and it does affect quality in the long run, even if not immediately quantifiable like other metrics.

I've seen communication skills ignored as 'unnecessary' far too long everywhere I've been, and also seen this attitude handicap some really brilliant minds from achieving their full potential because of it.

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 12th May 2016 at 17:04.
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Old 12th May 2016, 18:04   #744
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On the contrary, Communication Skills (in all its forms) should be a critical factor at all levels, ideally began at Primary Education....
Sir, in engineering services it is far more important to understand basics of engineering than ability to communicate - especially at freshers level.

Engineer's (mechanical/civil) main mode of communication is drawings. Hence as far as one can put together a perfect drawing with correct GD&T and required dimensions, his or her ability to communicate matters little.

Yes, I agree with you that as you climb up in an organisation, ability to communicate becomes vital. But then I am just talking about junior level hiring.
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Old 12th May 2016, 20:08   #745
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.....Hence as far as one can put together a perfect drawing with correct GD&T and required dimensions, his or her ability to communicate matters little.
Did you miss the 'in all its forms' bit in my comment above? Communication Skills is not just being able to speak and write fluently, it's about being able to convey a message or a thought process effectively in whatever form required, including technical drawings in your particular example. Communication Skills have absolutely nothing to do with one's position in an organisation's hierarchy. Anyone who doesn't live in a one-person vacuum could do with good communication skills.

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Yes, I agree with you that as you climb up in an organisation, ability to communicate becomes vital. But then I am just talking about junior level hiring.
By the time people climb up in an organisation, it's sometimes too late to make them change their ways.

I'll just say most people limit communication skills to language skills alone, which is far from the truth. I know plenty of people who can speak a good deal using the choicest of vocabulary while conveying nothing of useful value, and I also know people with limited vocabularies who are excellent communicators because they're good at saying what they want using what they have.

Communication Skills are much, much more than just language proficiency, and it's a lesson far overdue to be learnt.

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 12th May 2016 at 20:11.
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Old 13th May 2016, 00:57   #746
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Sir, in engineering services it is far more important to understand basics of engineering than ability to communicate - especially at freshers level.
Well, majority of the engineering graduates don't learn basics of engineering. I have exposure to two branches of engineering, let me talk about that.

1) Most comp.sci or Information.sci graduates can't write a 10 line program in any language to remove a character from the string. They were never taught how.
2) I am yet to come across an electronics graduate who knew the connection between Fourier transforms and communication theory, or control systems and circuit design. They studied all of them, but were never told the connection between them.

That's like a civil/mechanical graduate who doesn't know the connection between material science and structural engineering.

These kids study nearly 60 different subjects over 4 years, and have no idea that most of them are related and there is a purpose to why they are studying it. Not really their fault because most of the time even their lecturers don't know that.

I had a senior lecturer in college who wrote on board an amplifier circuit with positive feedback to an opamp. I disagreed with him saying it will become an oscillator. It is control systems basics, positive feedback results in instability causing oscillations. He didn't understand, but he promised to check. In the next class he apologized and declared I was right. Two years later he became H.O.D of electronics department in another college.

Therefore, I have long ago stopped expecting engineering basics from engineering students.

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Yes, I agree with you that as you climb up in an organisation, ability to communicate becomes vital. But then I am just talking about junior level hiring.
I used to believe this. In the first 5 years of my company, I hired only people who could write programs, and didn't care about their communication skills. I came to regret that.

What I learned was, it is lot easier to teach technology than communication skills. And there is a good reason for that.

Why are they pathetic in engineering skills? Because they were taught badly or not taught at all. That is something I can fix during training.

What about people who have pathetic communication skills? After 22 years of living through school/college/life if they didn't learn how to communicate well, there is very little an employer can do to fix it. I've tried for 5 years, I know. So I went the other way since 2010.

Since I have tried both, these are my observations. People who are good communicators are also good listeners, good observers and fast learners. All I have to see is whether they have a technical mind, which I can ascertain when I see them explain their project work. But a person who is technically good, but with bad communication skills is a future headache, they rarely get over that problem.

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Communication Skills is not just being able to speak and write fluently, it's about being able to convey a message or a thought process effectively in whatever form required, including technical drawings in your particular example. Communication Skills have absolutely nothing to do with one's position in an organisation's hierarchy.
.
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By the time people climb up in an organisation, it's sometimes too late to make them change their ways.
.
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Communication Skills are much, much more than just language proficiency, and it's a lesson far overdue to be learnt.
Absolutely. Communication skills is not just the ability to speak English. It is also the ability to listen, grasp the context and nuance, express effectively, think clearly, etc.
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Old 13th May 2016, 01:15   #747
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Absolutely. Communication skills is not just the ability to speak English. It is also the ability to listen, grasp the context and nuance, express effectively, think clearly, etc.
This. This is missing in over 50% of people I interact with for official purposes. They range from freshers, trainees and all the way to head of department and directors. They simply bungle many deals due to their inability to comprehend clearly what is being communicated.

As a bright eyed business graduate fresher out to change the world just a few, few years back, I started with trying to be as concise, fluent and well, educated as possible in my interactions. I also had the misconception that clients, fellow employees & seniors have a genuine interest in doing everything right and will respond to requests/complaints.. that illusion vanished in a flat 1 month.

In real world, one realizes its all fake. The smiling, the interactions, the promises, nothing happens until it happens. I've seen people not knowing what advance is (they think advance can be given after work commences too, to them advance is 1st payment), then there are those that mix up retrospectively and retroactively. I strongly feel that between the thousand different accents of English, each persons unique take on the meaning of a word, and on top of that unethical business practices.. there is not much scope for India to match with America anytime soon.

P.S I'm not directly in IT, but have interned in a H.R firm that dealt with recruiting senior management guys.. I have personally dealt with many in trying to find out their scope of interest, speciality and matching them to organizations and even though I was less than half their age I felt their experience didn't have much depth. Now I'm partly in training & development (not I.T but analytics) and I do meet a few IT guys now and then, majority from big cities can cope but those will little exposure cannot.
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Old 13th May 2016, 08:49   #748
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Default Re: IT Industry and Employability of Technical Graduates

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Absolutely. Communication skills is not just the ability to speak English. It is also the ability to listen, grasp the context and nuance, express effectively, think clearly, etc.
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Communication Skills are much, much more than just language proficiency, and it's a lesson far overdue to be learnt.
Having been recruited last year from college, it was my communication skills that got me a job and not the marks that I had scored or any programming test that I passed. Hence, I have to agree with this. The top scoring candidates of my Engineering batch lost considerable opportunities just because of their communication skills since they goofed up interviews - Not because they couldnt speak english, but because they could not understand what the interviewer wanted as an answer from them.

Here in the workplace, I see many people not being able to deliver what is needed and in what way it is supposed to be done. And because of their lack of interaction, it leads to huge trouble. Though I did not know much of the job, after a few months, I learnt my stuff and now I am confident in what I do. Yet, I make it a point to talk to people and understand whether things are going in the right way.

That said, engineering especially in the syllabus of today is something useless, and the whole system should be overhauled. I still see people bragging about their scores and doing the same in interviews to be shown the door. My manager who recruited me clearly said, I want a person who can do what is supposed to be done and in the way it is supposed to be done. Thats all is the requirement. Funny, how some companies require ultra high scores and filter candidates based on that at the first level. Its not difficult to do that in the 64 subjects we study in four years. Ask if any of it is applied in the job, and I say maybe 2-3 subjects. Thats it.
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Old 13th May 2016, 09:21   #749
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Is the recruitment for engineering services or only CAD solutions development? If it is for engineering services then having the candidates go through mechanical subject test is a good idea because you want them to eventually take up more complex work like design or analysis. Without basics of engineering in place, they would not be able to do so.

Aptitude plus basic mechanical engineering test is the way to go. Communication skills will not be a deciding factor - at least at freshers level.
I don't know what percentage of mechanical graduates are actually doing design work in India. Might be a small percent.
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Old 13th May 2016, 14:54   #750
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I don't know what percentage of mechanical graduates are actually doing design work in India. Might be a small percent.
It is kind of chicken and egg problem. Unless we have enough graduates who are very competent in design work, such work won't come to India.

Some colleges are aware of the problem, especially the ones that are headed by managements that care about education. But they don't know how to fix it. They have the will, they have the means, but the regulatory/statutory constraints don't allow for any major experiments.

For example, colleges that are affiliated to a government university don't have any say in the syllabus. Even if the college is part of a private deemed university, they are still shackled by the rules of All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).

A professor in US/UK can define his own syllabus, teach it, set the exam questions, and grade it. I didn't realise the massive impact of it until I experienced it as a graduate student of a UK university. Here the professor can have detailed plan to transfer knowledge, and execute it. The professor can decide the scope (depth & width) and set the course syllabus. Then she can pick her most effective method to teach that course. She can constantly tweak the content based on the student feedback. Then she can set the exam paper that is most likely to test the knowledge she has tried to impart. Then she can grade the answer papers seeing whether the student has successfully demonstrated the understanding of the course. The pedagogy is entirely under the control of one person, who if competent enough will be constantly improving it as a matter of pride.

In India, it is done by 4 different people. So there is complete disconnect. The syllabus forming committee/person designs the syllabus based on a certain criteria. The lecturers who teach that syllabus have no idea about that criteria. The exam paper setter may neither knows the syllabus criteria nor the teaching technique. And the examiner who grades the paper is neither aware of the criteria nor the teaching method that was applied nor why the question was asked. Frankly, we don't have anything that can be called as pedagogy. In fact, we don't even use that word. I didn't hear the word pedagogy until my graduate studies.

Even if we have a brilliant lecturer who successfully makes her students internalize the concepts of the course, the exam paper setter can ask question suited for memorised answers. If the students who understood the concepts well, write brilliant answers, the examiner would compare it with standard answer and give a big zero. In other words, we have a grid locked technical education system that cannot produce good engineers. Good engineers are mostly self taught or trained later by the industry.

We can't abruptly shift to a new system either. The education industry is full of people who can only survive in the status quo. There are only handful of teachers who can create syllabus, teach, set papers and grade well enough to transfer real knowledge. Because it requires deep practical knowledge of an industry segment. These days most knowledgeable engineers only have bachelors' degree, few have master's degree and very very few have PhDs. According to AICTE rules, most of these won't qualify to teach. Also, industry pays lot more than universities. Therefore, people in the industry who love to teach, can't switch to full time teaching because of lower pay and inadequate educational qualification.

Unless and until AICTE rules for faculty is drastically changed to allow experienced professionals to teach using their own pedagogy, and without getting hobbled by formal qualifications, nothing is going to change.
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