80% utilization rate is considered good for these companies and so minimum 20% people are always on bench. As the market started going from bad to worse in Dec 2008, i saw more people being deployed in testing than programming.
And its a shame that an engineering student will say that their dream company is Infosys/TCS/Wipro and not Microsoft/Oracle/Google/Apple. I mean cant they even "dream" about being at M/O/G/A?!!
PS: I got kicked out of Infosys training because i could not learn fast enough for them but since then i joined a smaller company as an iPhone Developer and have had an awesome learning experience while my Infosys friends who passed the training now forward their CVs to me because they often work on maintenance and support projects on obsolete technologies.
I recommend Michael Cusumano's work on hybrid models: http://web.mit.edu/cusumano/www/
I've moved on to a startup in the recent past. Even though I find it more fulfilling - I believe that it's a good idea for young engineers to experience that slice of life, atleast in a company that doesn't stunt your learning experience.
most employees who leave us dont join startups they join MNC's, these guys feel proud that they are on bench or just need to work for couple of hours a day and can spend more hours in coffee shops.
instead of becoming a engine these guys become a cog
2. We are talking about product focussed companies and services focussed companies in the IT space. But both the types of companies have the other offering. It is the proportion of their revenues which varies. IT Companies keep shifting their portfolio of products and services based on market need - Infosys 3.0 is an example. So generalizing job nature on a company basis based on ones experience only is point less.
3. IT Services/ITO and consulting industry generates business revenues of US$595 billion across the world, this includes the services divisions of product companies. All product revenues put together is about $250 billion. So if every guy would work for only IT product focussed companies there would not be enough jobs.
4. There are people who write articles, whine and complain, quit and go. Choose the easy way out. Then, there are people who work to improve and make it better, lead society to a better world. Latter ones are the leaders and have received accolades in the history.
You guys are simply giving only philosophy like someone can join Infosys and likes to change the system, improve culture n engineering practices, service work is also important with product work etc. (Who is talking of service vs. product here? This is engineering vs. non engineering)
Freshers are not interested in philosophy. They want to use their knowledge and learn how to do work properly along with earning money at the same time.
Why will a fresher join a company to change the system and improve the culture of the company. Are they social reformers? Are they the managers of Infosys/TCS/Wipro? Should the freshers decide the culture of Infosys/TCS/Wipro or it is the responsibility of the CEOs, HRs and managements to decide the culture of Infosys/TCS/Wipro?
In short you guys tell me why a fresher should join a company to do all these philosophical and cultural improvements instead of trying to join a company where the fresher can do proper engineering work and learn good coding and engineering practices from his seniors?
It captures everything that's gone wrong with the Indian software services industry — no emphasis on curiosity, exploration, or problem solving. If you think about it for a moment, that's also exactly what's wrong with CS education in the country.
I've been trying to hire a good engineer for the last four months to expand our dev team. We're not a startup — we're part of one of the largest ad/PR networks in the world. We're great paymasters and offer the opportunity to work on some really cool products. And we're based in New Delhi, India.
I've met at least 10 people in the last eight weeks — all of them engineers, and none of them seem to know what we're talking about the moment we say things like NLP or Node. In fact, they're not even curious. Just scared, and uninterested in being pushed out of their comfort zone. For eg, one guy told me he ONLY does PHP using the Cake framework. I asked if he had played around with any other framework, he said no. The only reason he was stuck with Cake was because the place he worked at said Cake, he learnt Cake and he used Cake ever since. I asked about MVC and I got a blank look.
I just wish I could come across another computer engineer (outside the existing team) who's curious about programming, who still thinks it's magical when the code you write translates in to cool stuff happening on your screen and in boxes all over the world. Who realizes that you're not writing software, you creating an experience for a user and every bit matters.
Either they're terribly hard to find, or I don't know where to look :)
But there are always some cream of engineers every year who are passionate and looking forward to learn. We attract them with higher pay. In our culture (I know it's same in India) you can get almost anyone you want if you are willing to pay more (30% higher than the market rate). Add a bit of benefits like relaxing developer-friendly environment etc. and you can get some really great guys in your ranks.
(PS: Hey Nag, ltns :))
Now, I have founded my own startup with friends and looking forward to building some kick-ass solutions.
EDIT: Clarification - My advice to freshers is also the same - Do not pass up an opportunity to work in a startup or good engineering companies.
Its a long comment, but I have to narrate my experience to convey what it means for someone like me to have worked in TCS or Cognizant.
I graduated from college in 2001 at a time when every IT company was firing employees and most of my batch mates took jobs in call centers (to work in night shifts). I was one of the fortunate few to get job in a startup and I worked there for a year. The way I grew up in remote village & my background, I never had any financial backup (I was pretty much broke) nor the knowledge that I could start a company on my own - I just did not know then. Call me stupid. But it is just that - I did not have any exposure to such a thing.
Alas, I lacked the perspective to really appreciate what a blessing it was to stumble upon an opportunity to work in startup and looked for a better paying job in a year. I come from a lower middle class background who had to work my way through and I had an obligation to earn money to start supporting my parents when my father had retired by that time and felt obligated to support my brother's education.
For people not familiar with this - in India it is perfectly normal for grown ups to stay with parents even after marriage, support them through their retired life and brother or sister's extended family is also considered part of your family. That is how it is in a joint family setup, in places I have grown-up. It is just part of the culture, though it is changing rapidly.
When the big services companies started recruiting later, I took up job with TCS and worked my way through learning product implementations, integrating purchasing apps with different ERPs. These may not be supremely engineering problems, but definitely problems my customers had and worth solving. And I did it really well to the extent my customers still vouch for my ability to solve problems for them.
I do not for a single day regret what I did there. In fact I learnt a lot about business, understanding that throwing technical knowledge at every solution is NOT necessarily the best way and there are ways to tackle and provide best value to businesses.
I credit my functional knowledge to the experience in TCS and Cognizant where I had the opportunity to work on some of the support projects as well as best of implementation projects.
How did I gain knowledge of Price Management domain again? I volunteered to take up Quality Assurance of the existing SAP solution, learnt it really well and took up the implementation pieces so we could 'reengineer' the existing solution.
Now I am fortunate to get an opportunity and having the necessary financial stability (thanks to my 10 years work experience so far) and the perspective that I am working on my own startup.
I think we have to keep in mind that we all take one baby step at a time - as a person, as a bunch of folks as well as a nation.
I have lot of respect for the vision of Mr. Ratan Tata (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ratan_Naval_Tata) and the TATA group (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tata_Group) to invest in something like this way back in 1968. Mind you this was at a time when India was not perceived to have any skills and they trusted individuals to build something substantial.
This blog makes me feel sad in some way that some of the folks lack the perspective to really appreciate what something really is.
I would rather encourage you folks to do one better than what they have done. Start your own company. Give some good advise to youngsters to join startups & make a conscious choice. No harm done. But do not try to discredit it all with such spiteful blogs.
"Give some good advise to youngsters to join startups & make a conscious choice. No harm done."
"But do not try to discredit it all with such spiteful blogs."
My advice to freshers is also the same as the blogger - do not pass up an opportunity to work in a startup or an engineering organization.
The same advice can be given in a more polite way without taking a dig at these companies and that too specifically.
The companies themselves say they are "services" organizations and are working on worthwhile problems which their customers pay for. The training, bench strength et al, is part of the business they are into.
EDIT: Clarified the statements.
>>> Culture: One of the worst cultures you can find in the whole of software industry.
>>> Onsite: Contrary to the popular belief, the number of trips to foreign lands isn't a measure of one's technical prowess. It is mostly (but not always) a measure of how dispassionate one is about engineering and his profession, and how greedy one can be for wealth.
I find such statements really insulting to find such generalizations - You can tell me if this is generalization or not, but I find it very insulting to paint with such broad brush.
I have come across several (hundreds) of smart individuals in these companies. I have had colleagues who were well respected by peers in industry working in these companies - who have been experts in their technology area.
I do not find the above statements in blog to be fair and hence my comment in HN. Normally I would pass up such articles trying to stir arguments deliberately but I had to convey my point at least to a small group that may appreciate what it means to someone with background similar to mine.
I worked in one of these companies and I will tell you what type of things happen.
# People insult each other in bulletin board. I am not kidding. This is true.
# Guys leave useless and flirtatious comments on blogs of girls in the internal blogs.
# You have to compulsorily stay 9.5 hours in office every day even if you have no work.
# In many projects there is no system of code review. how will the freshers learn from their mistakes without code review?
# File checkin is done not using client side tools but some crappy software created by internal IT team. The crappy software is interface between CVS and desktop. You have to reserve names for new files you have created one by one, then upload them one by one, upload each modified file one by one via a HTML GUI. It takes roughly 3 hours to checkin just 10 files.
I agree with the author that these companies have one of the worst culture.
I started my career here and after that I worked in 3 more different companies. All the three were better than these companies. At least I can check in code properly where I am now. At least I can disagree with other people in company bulletin board without fearing that someone will abuse me or insult me. Infosys TCS or Wipro is absolutely bad place to start your career if your aim is to learn good programming, learn good work culture and learn good knowledge from good colleagues.
You are probably looking at it as an issue specific to those companies. I am looking at it as a larger issue - herd mentality and a bigger issue in culture.
Having said that, I take it that it is the responsibility of company to make some strong statement by kicking such employees out. If users can be trained or disciplined to behave in an online forum like HN or SO, I do not see why it can't be "enforced" in these companies.
If this is happening in these companies, it is something these companies should take up seriously - lest it destroy their very existence - you can't have angry & misbehaving waiters to serve customers and expect to do well in a restaurant business.
I am with you on your other point. Even I would hate it when someone would insist upon me to stay for 9.5 hours (though I have always had flexible managers in TCS & Cognizant) who were never particular about it. I can't comment on Infosys, as I have not worked there.
As for using crappy software for check-ins I really think it is pathetic if that is the case. At least I have never experienced such bad software being "enforced" in my 9+ yrs in these companies.
I give it to you that these may be the 3rd or 4th best options for someone to start their career, if not in any startup. The advice I would still give people in these companies & the ones who join anyway is that: be aware of the industry you are in; connect with a larger community outside and be passionate about technology and least of all "not to get institutionalized".
I know exactly what you are talking about. ;)
Do all engineers do stuff that was taught in their engineering text book?
It would be hard to digest, but you will know that most people (in these trainings) can't do what you would think is a SQL with basic join. And if you are among the one that can, you are the star and in the top percentile. :)
EDIT: And http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2411695 too.
Some employees are busy figuring out ways to impress their female colleagues using the resources provided by the organization rather than learning and solving problems in a better way.
So these companies are atleast good for something. Giving their male employees opportunities to hone their flirting skills.
An good example of utilising human resources and generating revenue when you dont have many clients using your IT services.
I really hope this blog post becomes one of those typical forward mail chains in any of those three companies.