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Old 13th June 2019, 07:59   #841
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I happened to stumble upon Vineet Nayar's "Employee first, customers second" TedX Talk and book.
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Any thoughts on this or perhaps even contrary view points since I don't know much about the HCL's journey.
Well, it is not anything new or unique. I have been following the same principles since 15 years with great results.

From my 2013 post:
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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.
Whether it is really the case in HCL, only HCL employees can answer it. This is a very difficult culture to build, because not every manager at every level thinks like this. It is easier if they start as freshers, but to train lateral hires to think like this will require intense orientation and evangelizing.
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Old 13th June 2019, 13:08   #842
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I guess this is the correct place to share my experience with the Indian IT industry. Moderators, please delete if this is not related to the topic of discussion.

I was born in a family where my dad and most of my relatives were employed in PSUs (electrical or civil engineers). Most of my cousins ended up becoming engineers overseas, while the remaining few stayed back and became doctors or joined the armed forces. However, I knew from quite an early age that I wouldn't end up following those paths. I loved learning languages, but I hated calculus, and I still don't know how I got 50% in my board exams. After school, I did not have too many options. I ended up with a miserable rank in the Kerala state engineering entrance exams, but that did not deter my parents from getting me an admission in an engineering college. I somehow completed the course (Before anyone asks, I did not cheat) in 5 years. I still hated calculus, and I also realized that I had no interest in programming. That meant that I could not get a job from any of the recruiters that came to our college.

Jobless and having barely completed graduation, I knew that I had to act fast. I knew that I wouldn't be so lucky if my dad bought me a seat for M Tech. I told my parents that I wanted a break, and that I had decided to travel. I spent a month travelling across India. Most of my destinations were cities where my friends worked. I spoke to them and got an idea of what happens in a workplace. During one of these conversations, I got to know that there were multiple roles in the software industry other than development or management. One such role interested me, and I decided that I would try to become a technical writer. I joined a technical writing course (based on the promise that they would help me find a job) and learnt the basics of technical writing. I kept my options open, and chose to join a small company based in Gurgaon. I took an instant liking for what I was doing, and kept my mind open to learning anything related to my job. I always tried to do my best in whatever I did. Now, eleven years later, I'm still a technical writer, though I added some recognizable and fancier employers to my resume, and I am still enjoying every second of work. I am also lucky enough to earn more than many of my friends who chose to stay in India. Just for reference, I earn approximately 5 times what my wife (a test engineer with the same number of years in the industry, and consistently good appraisals) earns.

I believe I got lucky. However, that luck was partly earned because I understood my strengths and weaknesses quite early. I kept my mind open for opportunities that played to my strengths, and never gave up. I also never compared myself to my more successful relatives or friends.

Last edited by Rehaan : 13th June 2019 at 15:01. Reason: Correcting: could > could not. As per discussion.
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Old 13th June 2019, 14:35   #843
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That meant that I could not get a job from any of the recruiters that came to our college.
Glad you found your calling inside the industry itself.

Last edited by Rehaan : 13th June 2019 at 15:02. Reason: Corrected in original post (and quote). Thanks.
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Old 14th June 2019, 08:09   #844
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I believe I got lucky. However, that luck was partly earned because I understood my strengths and weaknesses quite early. I kept my mind open for opportunities that played to my strengths, and never gave up. I also never compared myself to my more successful relatives or friends.
Great post.

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Well, it is not anything new or unique. I have been following the same principles since 15 years with great results.
That's good to know.

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Whether it is really the case in HCL, only HCL employees can answer it. This is a very difficult culture to build, because not every manager at every level thinks like this. It is easier if they start as freshers, but to train lateral hires to think like this will require intense orientation and evangelizing.
Yeah. I spoke to couple of them and all they could remember was how HCL didn't fire people during 2008 GFC and nothing else about the work culture that Vineet spoke about in the video.
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Old 14th June 2019, 12:30   #845
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Hi,

Went through the thread and lot of matured comments. Like the moment of Deja vu.
Started my career as JAVA developer way back in 2002 and worked in good & fancy companies for 12yrs.

Moved from Arch to PM role in 2014. Since then, life has been roller coaster ride. Most of the PM activities are pushed aside for project co-ordination tasks in big service companies. And when moved to smaller firms, they want PM to be Lead/BA/QA/PMO all in one plus take the mistakes done by team. There is lot of scope in PM for managing the project constraints/client/deliveries/team/scope all along the timeline. But, its not recognized properly. Even good certifications are not recognized, just plain paper.

On the ground, there is no difference in roles of PM/PgrM/DM etc. Like puppets in the hands of Onsite.
On the day of appraisal last year, had to move out without any confrontations due to irresponsible mistake done by Snr Mgmt due to billing issues. No increments last 2 yrs. Even when we say these are our strengths, companies want us to work on unnecessary tasks.

I observed lot of overhead activities in the name of process is going on big time. And few of mgmt folks take shelter in them as to who will bell the cat/pass the buck. Now, I see fresh graduates take PM training and just deployed to replace 13+yrs exp delivery resource within no time. At this juncture, even if we need to upskill what is the point. PM skill is not valued at all and that been my experience since last 5yrs. No offence, just wanted to put my perspective. What other options do we have. High time to move out of PM skill for sure.

Last edited by Eddy : 14th June 2019 at 14:06. Reason: Spacing for better readability
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Old 14th June 2019, 13:30   #846
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.....fresh graduates take PM training and just deployed to replace 13+yrs exp delivery resource within no time. At this juncture, even if we need to upskill what is the point. PM skill is not valued at all and that been my experience since last 5yrs....
It's an unsustainable objective, as many companies large and small are finding out in real time.

Swapping out a butt in a seat that says 'PM' on the back is one thing, having actual skills, both functional/technical and human, is another. Automating repeatable processes and 'project coordination' work well, until they don't, and that's the point where one needs a seasoned individual (or a team) to manage both the technical and human challenges of getting a project back on track.

If PM is your thing, evaluate if you're turning into a Project Coordinator. If the answer is yes, it's time to go back to either being a proper Project Manager (and weathering the cycle of not being valued), or get out. Coordinators have no long-term future, because there isn't much they do that can't be done by a cheaper resource in a couple years, or just automated so a piece of code can do it.

The only thing of real, sustainable value in a tech job is domain expertise. Your real worth to an organisation is what you know, not how many years you've worn a hat. There's plenty of both kinds, and it's invariably the latter who will struggle in the longer term.
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Old 14th June 2019, 22:11   #847
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Just wanted to share my little experience. If you think that AI / ML skills are more values and in much demand, here is something that happened to one of my teams. We needed to do Image detection / object detection for one of the projects and we wanted to have a data scientist in the team to do this, but since we are mostly using cloud infrastructure from Microsoft, one of our team member proposed to use the cognitive services that is offered by the cloud provider and this one had point and click solution to do image detection. Hence we did not need any data scientist per se to join our team! So the point I'm trying to convey is that even ML / AI is not going to be a stable on demand role in the next years or so as most of this will be point and click solutions being offered by these giants (AMG) - You know what I mean!
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Old 28th July 2019, 21:46   #848
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So the point I'm trying to convey is that even ML / AI is not going to be a stable on demand role in the next years or so as most of this will be point and click solutions being offered by these giants (AMG) - You know what I mean!
Yes, this is one of the biggest dangers of commodification of lots of computer applications, including data science and ML/AI. Large companies like Amazon, Google and others offer large number of cloud APIs to do things you usually needed a very skilled engineer or data scientist. And these APIs can be called from anywhere in the world as long as your credit card or some payment method is plugged in.

More and more companies are opting to use those APIs because such skills are very different to get. Ultimately it will make the application expensive, but there is no choice. And the cloud companies that have access to these skills in another part of the world, keep getting richer.

This 10 year old thread has ample proof why we can't get skilled engineers. Oh, that reminds me of an incidence that happened yesterday. My 83 year old mother told me this. She regularly watches the Kannada edition of KBC or Who wants to be millionaire. Yesterday there was a lady contestant on the show, both she and husband in the audience were identified as M.Tech graduates. As usual the host made a big deal about their advanced education.

The second question (₹2000) was, name the symbol for Oxygen. The choices were OS, O and couple other things. My mother is ESLC graduate (8th std), from 70 years ago, and she knew the answer. The M.Tech lady chose OS very confidently. Apparently the host asked her to use a lifeline since he didn't want her to lose at 2nd round. The audience answer was O, yet she picked OS and locked the answer. My mother was very disgusted, and was talking about the lack of engineering education standards for the rest of the evening.
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Old 30th July 2019, 03:08   #849
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I wonder if anybody has talked about the Pay -
The entry level pay for IT engineer has been stagnant for the past 20 years. My brother in law got the same starting pay last year, that i got 10 year ago, and I was shocked to learn that one of my old bosses was offered the same starting pay 20 years ago, all by the same company (major Indian IT co). 20 years ago, that sort of pay attracted IIT and NIT graduates, During my Time, most Tier I It cos would come into a Tier 2 college like mine, and pick the top 10-20%. Private colleges were not even considered.
I recently went as an interview panelist, and we were filtering the rejects pile in a recent NIT. Half the kids didn't know anything, and the other half who knew, seem to be deliberately giving wrong answers ( heard that our co managed to get an early slot in placements, and everybody had to sit mandatorily for our process - most of them were giving bad answers on process so that they could get rejected, and apply for the smaller companies with better profiles and lesser clout that would come later) - On the other hand, we also went to a Large Private college well known for its capitation fees, and the Recruitment lead walked us to us and said that we need to select at least half of the students to "maintain the relationship with the institute" - I do not know what that means, and the students knowledge was atrocious, but my other two panelists had very low expectations, and ended up selecting a whole bunch of people who were absolutely not qualified (their justification - Odds are they will mostly go into support projects, so no point in hiring too many qualified people and drive up attrition)
My Brother in law, by the way, considers his IT job as a temporary arrangement for pocket money to prepare for exams until he gets an MBA or goes for Mtech abroad.
When I joined my Job, I was in it for the long term as a career. Nowadays, kids know there is no such thing, and there is no commitment.

10 years ago, I got paid more than both my parents combined. Now with pay revisions, either of my parents pension is twice what my brother in law gets paid. 10 years ago, i could afford to buy a car, almost unlimited diesel, rent a 1 bhk, eat out every day and still have at least half my salary left at the end of the month. My Brother in law shares a 2 BHK with 4 friends, cooks at home, bought and rides a second hand bike, and is barely able to save up to buy a flagship mobile every year.
You pay peanuts.... You get
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Old 30th July 2019, 07:09   #850
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10 years ago, I got paid more than both my parents combined. Now with pay revisions, either of my parents pension is twice what my brother in law gets paid. 10 years ago, i could afford to buy a car, almost unlimited diesel, rent a 1 bhk, eat out every day and still have at least half my salary left at the end of the month. My Brother in law shares a 2 BHK with 4 friends, cooks at home, bought and rides a second hand bike, and is barely able to save up to buy a flagship mobile every year.
You pay peanuts.... You get
I guess this is where commercialization of education on mass scale especially engineering has paid the price. Very large supply pool and hence it does not matter how low one is being paid. There is always one more ready to come in at even an lower scale.
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Old 30th July 2019, 08:47   #851
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I guess this is where commercialization of education on mass scale especially engineering has paid the price. Very large supply pool and hence it does not matter how low one is being paid. There is always one more ready to come in at even an lower scale.
Last week we went to recruit interns from a very reputed college in TN and out of a pool of 160, we selected 2 and the whole Conference room where we were stationed had numerous Limca records plaques of some company recruiting the max number in one day. We didn’t bend our standards to recruit quantity over quality. The whole experience was an eye opener on the current state of tech education in India. IMO, the knowledge on basics is simply atrocious and forget about the question on applying the principles for problem solving.
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Old 30th July 2019, 09:42   #852
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I wonder if anybody has talked about the Pay -
The entry level pay for IT engineer has been stagnant for the past 20 years.
If you compare IT salary with any other engineering field, IT is still paying higher. If you consider only freshers, the top 5% of the supply pool still gets paid very high. But the supply pool is so large these days, you can get engineers to work at very low salary if you keep your standards low.

For example, in addition to BE engineers, these are thousands of BCA/MCA graduates. Yesterday we had a candidate with BCA and MCA degree. Which means she has studied computer applications for the last 6 years. She was asked to write a logic to replace a character in a string using C/C++. She didn't know how. Then we asked her best language, which she claimed to be Java. We told her to do it Java. Again, she didn't know how. She knew how to call replace() function in Java. But the test involved implementing the replace() function. She didn't know how to enumerate over the string and replace the characters. She is not an exception, the supply pool is primarily filled with people like her, who joined because of scope, and not interest.
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Old 30th July 2019, 10:54   #853
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The whole experience was an eye opener on the current state of tech education in India. IMO, the knowledge on basics is simply atrocious and forget about the question on applying the principles for problem solving.
Sharing my thought on both education + reality...

Education - Few years ago, I asked my Son (he was 8 years then) to buy chart & some stickers for his school needs. Basically, if something was for him, he ought to go. My Mother was dead against sending him all alone to a shop that's located 150 meters from our house. Anyway, that isn't the point; so we gave him Rs 10. He knew the price of chart is Rs 5, stickers is some Rs 2 or 3. But he couldn't answer when we asked him how much he should be getting the balance. When asked what's 10-5-2, he spontaneously replied 3, however, he couldn't relate that number system to money. That's education!!

Reality - I'm coming across many Parents who still carry the school bag from gate to their children's class, help (instead of guide) with studies, spoon feed their children food at the age of 11 (and take pride of doing it everyday)...point being, children are raised with many dependencies on Parents. The other day I read in Quora (hopefully its a fabricated one), just because someone has passed engineering he's being asked to give advice to other young kids on which course they've to take for engineering. Basically, most parent's still don't know when to let go off the bicycle seat so that their kids can learn to pedal. This is also one of the reason why we see such poor employable state.

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She was asked to write a logic to replace a character in a string using C/C++...the supply pool is primarily filled with people like her, who joined because of scope, and not interest.
Its horrifying to hear this Sir that they didn't know such a simple thing. Back in our days, we used to write programs (and I still remember) linked lists, doubly linked lists, pointer to pointer & even pointers to struct containing union as their members. Such things were totally unavailable example in any of the books. Like you rightly said, scope is what most people are after & not what they're interested.
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Old 30th July 2019, 11:07   #854
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Last week we went to recruit interns from a very reputed college in TN and out of a pool of 160, we selected 2 and the whole Conference room where we were stationed had numerous Limca records plaques of some company recruiting the max number in one day. We didn’t bend our standards to recruit quantity over quality. The whole experience was an eye opener on the current state of tech education in India. IMO, the knowledge on basics is simply atrocious and forget about the question on applying the principles for problem solving.
I had a similar experience with a reputed "old" IIT (not the new ones that have sprung up in recent years).
I had high hopes from this place and it's students. But frankly it was underwhelming and it's an understatement. Kids didn't knew what they have done in their own projects and why they did it. One of the person didn't even knew a thing about an XML file. He said, I just copied that file from browser and that's it. Many students said they want to work on python and did their projects in that language. But Scratch below the surface and the shallow depth is very apparent. I was amazed and gave up! HR couldn't convince me to select anyone from that institute!
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Old 30th July 2019, 13:20   #855
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Yesterday we had a candidate with BCA and MCA degree. Which means she has studied computer applications for the last 6 years. She was asked to write a logic to replace a character in a string using C/C++. She didn't know how.
I have seen 10-years industry experience persons fail in writing basic library functions. I meet them face to face after their CV is shortlisted and they have cleared the telephonic round. After they fail it is exchange of pleasantries and showing them out. Some even come back to the hiring manager and tell they did well.

BTW, I have also seen how they work. They search online for code snippets and try to plug them in. They request/plead other folks for help. When something gets critical, there is always someone in the company to help out. This is on technical tasks. Of course, there is always non-technical stuff going on, which occupies the time.

I have wondered what they are doing their current companies. My guess, as a ball-park figure, in a regular IT company team, if 1 in 5 is able to contribute, then they can easily stay afloat. Rest can slack around.

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