An off topic on this blog, couldn’t help but write it.
Over the last few days, I interviewed close to 100 candidates to hire them as trainee software engineers at my organization. The batch that was being interviewed was those who had passed out in 2009. Some of these folks had job offers from tier 1 organizations that had deferred their joining dates or in some cases, where the hiring did happen, pushed the candidates to an even lower salary grade than what was promised. And then there are a lot of folks from the 2009 batch still searching for the elusive job.
More than 50% of those interviewed, didn’t make it. Not because the interview was tough or we were searching for 90 percentiles, but simply because in my mind, they chose not to learn or add anything more to their resume, therefore by default making them redundant.
Those who were selected showed the following attributes:
- One of the guys chose to go the entrepreneurial way – he started his own Robotics company that wound up due to lack of funds. The guy demonstrated that he had the spirit to make it.
- One of the guy who walked in had a running website that demonstrated his web development skills. Even though the site was not great, it showed that the person was looking to further his education.
- One of the guy had set up a Content Management System using Joomla.
- Almost all who were selected, had picked up new skills, and were not waiting for things to happen.
- Some of them used this period to teach in colleges or work in BPOs.
- One of them chose to volunteer time with a NGO setting up their systems in place.
- Some of them had their own blogs.
Those who didn’t make it:
- Choose not to add anything new to the resume. They were still showcasing a IV or a VII or a VIII semester project that makes absolutely no sense, almost a year after you are out of college.
- One of them even balked at me, when I asked him, what were you doing since July 2009 – the answer, a very honest searching for a job, but then an even caustic remark, how do you expect me to learn anything when I am searching for a job?
- A lot of folks who were hired by other organizations who are yet to on board them, are still optimistically waiting for the offers to materialize, whiling away their time.
- Almost none showed they learnt any programming language other than what was taught as part of their curriculum (usually C – it used to be COBOL a few years back). But very self righteously proclaimed that they loved programming.
- Knowledge of basic concepts of programming were evidently absent.
- Knowledge or love or passion for anything was missing.
- One of the guys ambition in life was to get a “good” job with a “good” salary.
Not sure why it isn’t evident to those who didn’t make it, that not doing anything is the perfect way to kill your career even before it started.
If you want to work in programming, at the very least – demonstrate that you have the passion for it. Learn a language properly, that means you need to know how to write a program (and that includes knowing how to compile it, pressing F9 does not mean compiling a program). Read books, follow the thought leaders, read blogs, better still write them, develop a website, write a paper, teach, do something for God’s Sake!! Another couple of months, you would have 2010 batch out on your heals and then you are gone!!
UPDATE:: It will be unfair for me to crib and leave it at this, so here is an offer to those from 2009 batch, still searching for a job, I am willing to spend time coaching you at no cost. Drop me a note at hlpmescd@<delete_this>gmail.com with your profile – no attachments please – I may have at the max, 30 minutes to an hour available to spend daily on this. I will figure out as to how to make this work in the most effective way as we go along.