Saturday, October 30, 2010

Predictions modified to near perfection

Thank you all for reading my blog and providing so much feedback. Just to share with you all, the number of visitors to this blog now is about 10,000 daily from all across India and even from other countries. Coming back to the article, there had been some changes in the logic of both the codes and now hopefully the results would be more accurate. Thanks again for your immense feedback that helped me do it. Now you can predict your TCS joining date and predict your ILP score with better accuracy.

With the increased number of joinees over the next few months, the joining of the candidates would be something to watch out for. This small tool would hopefully be of some benefit to the thousands who would be waiting for their turn to come. The market is gleefully looking up after a really long period of time and no doubt all companies are on a hiring spree.

The fact however remains that the scenario will continue to be good as long as a fair percentage of the total workforce continues to be utilized and is not at bench.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

First few days at TCS ILP

This is an article by Satyajeet Naib.

You may find few blogs about experiences of people in TCS during their first few days....But this one is different becuase I dont want to show off my vocabulary and I have written this while undergoing the ILP....And for the TCS faculty, Nisha mam, Liza mam, & Nandita mam,(Oops coudnt "unlearn" the habit of calling you "Mam" but respect doesnt cost money...) I know you are reading or will read this...I hope I am not misrepresenting the facts as you had complained about the other blogs...and for other readers, the TCS faculty at the ILP centres too read these blogs...Hope you all find this a good read...

I was wasted with choices about which information to share with you first....but I finally decided to go step by step....Lets start with what you need to prepare before joining...First of all make sure you study hard, join tuetions, and have a clear understanding of the basics of all popular languages(Or the ones they mail you with) so that you are not blank during the first few days...

TCS unlike other competing companies has a hell lot of documention and formalities at the time of joining...Dont wait for your date of joining, make sure you start acquiring all these documents and marksheets as soon as you recieve your offer letter...The joining letter annexure would mention in detail what all documents you need...Mind you, if their is even a small discrepancy in your documents your appointment will be put on hold...

After I was done with documentation & teary parting speeches, I left my place (Nagpur) on 28th June 2010 at 4am in the morning by Kerala Express(One of the only 2 direct trains from Nagpur to Trivandrum)...Found lot of friends at the railway station but still was dissapointed not to find any of my branch mates in the same bogie as the journey was of 37 excruciatingly long hours...But had an AC 3 tier ticket and some known faces in the same bogie which made things a bit bearable...

Our train reached Trivandrum central station at 3:30 pm the folowing day...I had a lot luggage and the station has no ramps for dragging the luggage...only stairs...After much effort we guys managed to find a lone cab driver who could speak few words in English and after much bargaining he took us to our respective hostels at 100 Rs per person...I was alloted a private hostel which is hired by TCS called Mohanam...All 3 hostels viz. Peepul park, Kenton Liesure Executive hostel, & Mohanam are in Kazhakuttom which is 18km away from Trivandrum city...

At the first sight of the hostel, my first reaction was "Accomodation cant get any better"...My second reaction was "Oh shitttt", no hot water for bathing, frequent power cuts, acute water shortage & worst of all, the care taker here cannot speak either hindi or english...But bieng students of a goverment college, we were used to bieng screwed...A silver lining to the cloud was that we were allowed to chose our room mates and there was a fridge, a good purifier and a TV for every 6 people. 9 of us, 3 from electrical & 6 from electronics branch where alloted the Mohanam hostel. After a little bit of shuffling, we settled in our rooms. I took a room on the first floor. We got fresh and made straight for the market and nearby areas and found out all the good hotels in the vicinity.

Mind you TCS makes no arrangements for your food. We tried each place and concluded that these are the best hotels around...The Punjabi Dhabba(On Kovalam/Kanyakumari road, and closest to Mohanam), B6 inn(plush but no so good), Geethhanjali)(Also very near to Mohanam). The rates are very good at all the hotels and both Veg and Non Veg food is readily available. TCS provides "Sodexho" meal coupons a while after you join which are accepted in any hotel that you can find...I had never lived in hostel before, so, it was a bit diificult for me to get used to walking few kilometres each time you need to eat something...
After dinner and little exploring in the market we came back to the hostel at 10 pm in the night and went to dreamland with the dread of getting up early next day and the nervousness about the first day of our corporate lives...Do read the part II of this blog for my experience of the first day at TCS...And do post your comments and querries, they are most welcome....

Let me remind you guys that if you are not ready to commit yourself 24x7 to your job, then TCS is not the company for you. I had been warned beforehand by many so I was mentally prepared.

So it was 5:30 in the morning on 30th June 2010 when I got up (with the help of 3 different alarms and few presses of the "Snooze" button). Everyone else at the hostel was asleep but I wanted to have enough time before leaving for the bus stop to make sure I haven't missed anything. The TCS bus arrives at each of the hostels at 7:30 am in the morning and its a hard time getting ready in full formal clothing so early in the morning given the fact that there is no hot water for bathing. And the dress code being so specific i.e. formal shirts (solids, checks, pinstripes), formal trousers. And yes the neck ties are compulsory. Girls have a lot of options but not boys...Friday is a relief from the dress code but again, you cant wear anything flashy or with messages on it. (I really wanted to try my Tshirt which said "I am the guy whom ur mom warned about" or the one saying "I can CODE serious shit" lolzzz)

If you get dressed wrongly or forget to shave, they send you back to the hostel and you lose a days pay. Some how we got ready on time and reached the main gate of the hostel where the bus was supposed to arrive.( The hostel warden though unable to understand our language came to see us off everyday and would phone ans scold the bus driver if he ever came late.)

When we first set our eyes on the approaching bus, we all asserted, "not worthy of TCS" at almost the same time. We were only 24 people and it did not have space even for such a small group. We were already pissed off due to the fact that we had to reach the campus almost 1 and a half hour earlier. The TCS Peepul Park & Bodhi Park campuses are located in an IT park Called "Technopark" about 5 mins distance from all 3 hostels. After reaching the sprawling TCS Peepul Park campus we were awestruck. The building looks like one seriously huge 5 star hotel. The sessions were to commence at 8:45 am but we were supposed to have breakfast in the meantime in the inhouse canteen(a rare welcome news).

After waiting in a long Que for getting a visitors pass made we were seated in the "Saffron" auditorium. By this time we were used to getting awestruck due to the grandeur of the place but still I couldn't avoid staring like a kid at the 2 identical 125 inch projection displays in the auditorium. Out of habit me and my few friends sat in the first row. After eying the schedule we were sad to find inductions (Boring informative speeches) for the first 2 days. The schedule was very tiring,
8.45am to 10:30am==Session A (OMG such a longggggggg lecture)
10:30am to 10:45am==Break (You don't even notice this one because you are busy coding serious shit in your lab sessions or you enjoying life skills sessions)
10:45am to 1:00pm==Session B
1:00pm to 1:45pm==Lunch Break (Cold and stale south Indian veg/Non veg lunch is available in tcs canteen at subsidized rates, but I assure you food cant get any worse)
1:45pm to 3:00pm==Session C (Sooooo long)
3:00pm to 3:45pm==Tea Break (The trainer is back in the lab before you take even your first sip of tea.)
3:45pm to 5:45pm==Sessions D (Seriously long again)Sessions get a bit bearable when case studies start, which are group activities.

After attending the HR and ADMIN inductions we ventured out of the auditorium and loitered around. We found the different sections like HR bay, i-Security, etc and most importantly the tea and coffee machines which were of great help to ward off the stupor induced by the speeches. (PS: The tea is very good but you cannot carry the cups around the premises :-D). It was later on that day when we found that TCS Trivandrum center operates in 3 shifts i.e. Morning shift(7am to 2pm), General shift (8:45am to 5:45am), and the Night shift (2pm to 9pm). We were lucky enough to have been allotted to the general shift because it greatly simplified the meal times.

The suspense about the duration of the ILP and its second phase was broken later om that that during the ILP induction. The newly designed ILP is of 63 working days which includes both common and stream based training. There are a lot of changes both academic and administrative. For starters, they have omitted the foreign language training and started deducting HRA during the ILP period and a host of other changes and the most notable being the undertaking of both common and stream training at the ILP center itself.

The most awaited and last induction was the finance induction which includes bank account opening. The finance guy Ashutosh was a nice person and he brought ICICI bank people with him. We filled forms for opening a savings salary account, and a current reimbursement account. The account was a privilege banking titanium account with withdrawal limit of 50k and shopping limit of 1 lac. We were given a starter kit containing a debit card a cheque book and passwords for ATM and net banking. This was the first time we proud to be TCS employees, but yet again, titanium accounts without money in them are even more frustrating...

Finally, overloaded with information and tension, we left the auditorium at 6pm and went straight to the bus which was already awaiting us outside. Mind you, if you plan to stay back at office for work or completing exercises after 6:15pm, then you will have to walk back to the hostels which are about 3-4 km away from the campus.. :-D...Even after you reach the hostel, it doesn't end, you are hungry and have to walk at least 4 km for a single bite of food...As many have said, I bet 10k bucks you will lose 2 kg weight in first 10 days...anyways keep reading the blog for my experience about the next few days at tcs
Your comments and queries are most welcome....

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Infocity Gandhinagar Picture Gallery

It is one of the largest in the region and can accommodate an astounding number of professionals. With world class amenities and infrastructure, it is surely a place many would aspire to be in. Below is a collection of photos that thousands have been awaiting for a long time.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

TCS 2011 Batch aspirants have so much more reason to rejoice

See ‘What’s Hot’ above for more!
As we all know already, TCS has decided to hire an astounding 50,000 candidates from the 2011-12 batch. This number in itself tells about the stunning performance quarter after quarter by the company. This also means a really good news for all those college students out there waiting for their turn to join the corporate world.

The top company of the IT industry is here to welcome them with open hands, provided they meet the special technical skills and the other requirements. of course.ist2_7362923-group-of-friends-jumping-in-joy It is going to be a big boost for the industry as well a kick start for all the candidates, who earlier might have thought they didn’t stand a chance in such a great company, might now see a ray of hope and try working harder and improving themselves. Its all a very good sign in the end, for the company as it gets the creamiest of the cream layer of candidates and for those who didn't get selected but ultimately resulted in improving themselves to a level they wouldn't had otherwise.

Now that IT companies are coming near the end of the engineering course is also a very good practice as it facilitates the concept of on-demand more than before. Here are some study materials that you might want to read in case you are aspiring for this dream company of thousands. Joining of the new candidates as it has been already declared would be in a ‘staggered’ manner over the entire next year, the same way the 2010 and 2009 passouts joined.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Initial Learning Program at Trivandrum

This is an article by Neha Saxena.

My happiness knew no bounds when I got through TCS and Infosys. I had to make a tough choice. I opted for tcs, as there was a bleak opportunity of getting back to my hometown ‘mumbai’. I booked my tickets to Trivandrum for the fourth of September. The atmosphere at home on the third was serious. My family made it sound like I was going to fight a war on the Indian border. I never heard so many sermons even when I ventured into my teenage. Here I was all set to enter the big bad corporate world. Dad said, “Keep your eyes open and mouth shut. Think ten times before you speak”. And trust me it was one difficult task for someone as garrulous as me to actually keep my mouth shut. Sister said “ Don’t be manipulative but be smart enough so that others don’t manipulate you. BEWARE of sycophants.” With all the advices taken and with a bit of apprehension I embarked on my journey to the land of coconut trees (kerala). I wish the land was accompanied with a bit of culinary skills as well so that the food we ate could be a little delectable.

Here I was in Trivandrum with a bunch of equally apprehensive people eager to make their mark in the corporate world. Met people with a variety of skills. Some were technically savvy, some were smart, some had great command over language, some were genuinely naïve, some thought they were gods best gifts to humanity and to top it all there were some who would not stop asking foolish doubts. But trust me, they were the only redeeming feature in the boring technical lecture. They were someone whom anyone would love to imitate and the best sources of entertainment in the software engineering lecture. And here I introduce you to the word that every software engineer fears and that is ‘software engineering’. The lectures were slower than boring ekta kapoor soap and they seemed never ending like the eternal soap ‘saas bhi kabhi bahu thi’. And given a choice I would rather watch the boring ekta kapoor soap than listen to the lecture. Other lectures were sought of fun like istd, pge and sac. But what acted like the icing on the cake was foreign language. Everyone loved it except the few guys who took their own sweet time to pick up the foreign language. But hearing them speak was another great source of entertainment. And among the other things that provided entertainment was the scenic beauty of kerala. I never witnessed something so serene, so beautiful and so exotic. Generally trips tend to exhaust you but these trips rejuvenated us nonetheless. What actually exhausted us were the studies for the mid terms and the tests. After a beautiful trip to the beaches what awaited back at home was a bunch of print outs of the slides that were tough to comprehend without my notebook.

Days past by and so did the lectures and at the end of every lecture came the second most dreaded thing and this was the ‘feedback form’. Every engineer detested filling the form. Every one had blank faces and tried to grab snippets from the other and molded the sentence in their own sweet way and presented it. It was one tough job especially to remember how each faculty taught and what did it teach. It was simpler to remember salaam namaste’s imbecile story than remembering this crap.

Now life was getting hectic. We had to get up at six in the morning. All the girls were ready on time and this time it was the boys who took their own sweet time. And even after that, they did not manage to look one degree better. We spent the entire day at the office doing our project or attending boring lectures. I would go back to my hotel room and there I was throwing my clothes in the room and slipping into my night suit. This was one moment I really remembered mom. She always yelled at me when I threw clothes on the bed. And here I was with my roommate who gave me competition. If I threw four she would throw five. This was when I actually realized the importance of cleanliness. Now my drawer is absolutely clean with all clothes ironed and kept in place.

And finally the third most thing every engineer fears is the ‘MATC’. Everyone was keen on going back home and thankfully ‘MATC’ had been really kind with our batch. Almost everyone got his or her preferred location except a few. But one person that actually sent chills down our spine was ‘xxxx’. Everyone got so bored in her company. While having mundane conversation with her the facial expressions of most guys resembled as if they were suffering from constipation. The harder we tried to get rid of her, the more our efforts were in vain. Forget the guys even the girls who had considerable patience were now getting restless. Conversations with her were more boring and lengthy than a three-hour documentary film. We lost count of the boyfriends she had and we just prayed she never expatiated on her latest escapades. And here I felt like a true soldier fighting for the country as the moment the people who were getting bored with her got back to the hotel a warm welcome of flowers and paper balls awaited them.

Now came the time to depart. I thought I was entering a mean world but here I met the sweetest people of my life. Everyone was so much fun to be with. We developed a sort of harmony. We got accustomed to each other. Somewhere love blossomed and somewhere friendship .The bad corporate world seemed to be really sweet. Everyone was always ready to give a helping hand. If getting back home was something that made everyone happy losing on such wonderful friends made everyone sad. I wish this ilp lasted longer. This wonderful phase of my life is etched in my mind like one of the most beautiful memories. Thanks all of u, for this amazing memory.

Friday, October 22, 2010

ILP Chalisa

This is a guest posy by MALAY MAJITHIA. The views expressed are entirely of the author.
2nd December ko Infocity me,
AHD07 ki batch thi aayi;
Kafi josh me the log sare,
Kyuki joining bhi thi badi der se aayi. (1)

58 logo ne join kiya tha,
Tareh tareh ke bhaat bhaat ke;
Punjab Delhi Himachal Shimla;
Rajasthan aur Gujarat ke. (2)

Pahele din orientation tha,
Kai logo ne lecture diya tha;
Tata ki history sun ke,
Apne aap pe garv bhi hua tha. (3)

Technical me Dr Scheme ne,
Saala bahut hi 'bore' kiye tha;
LS ke session me Anupam ne,
Hasa hasa ke lotpot kiya tha. (4)

Jayshree Satish aur Sanjukta ke session me,
Group activity kai humne ki thi;
Tabhi jaakar to kai logo ki,
Pratibha baahar aayi thi. (5)

Daffodil me diwar todi kisine,
Karni padi hum sab ko bharpaai;
Hamare hi paiso se humne,
New year ki party thi paayi. (6)

Block 3 aur Block 4 me rehte,
khate, pite aur aish the karte;
Har roj savere bathroom ke liye,
Andar andar hi race the karte. (7)

'Tie' kitno ko humne thi pehnaai,
Shave bhi har roj humne thi banaai;
9 baje office report karne ko,
Kai baar humne daud thi lagaai. (8)

Cool Point ki ice cream sabhi ko bhaai,
Big Bite me maggie hum sab ne khaai;
Dry state me sirf coke pikar,
Hitesh Tuli ne apni pyaas chhipaai. (9)

Nagpuja, Shreeji aur Jay Matarani,
Gujarati thali aur matke ka paani;
Dawat aur Shiv Shakti the mehanga,
Fir bhi ki waha bhi mijbaani. (10)

Serwer me milta south indian khana,
Rajbhog aur Punjab King ka taste;
Orange me jaate har 2 din par,
Sardar ka non veg tha best. (11)

Tower 3 ka khana aisa tha ghatiya,
Koi Pratham me gaya, kisi ne tiffin ka khaya;
Food court khulne ke intejaar me,
Tower 1 bhi log ja aaye. (12)

Padhai kam aur games jyada thi,
Dumb cherards, Killer aur Antakshari ki bol-bala thi;
Football ke scores hum predict karte the,
Cricket ke score pe najar rakhte the. (13)

CAT GATE ki exam di,
Bimari ke bahane chhutti bhi li;
Juzer chala gaya BHEL me aur,
Vijin ne bhi GSPC hath kar li. (14)

BBT WBT me khoye rehte,
Google karke answer likhte;
Jiska kabhi na naam bhi suna,
Unhi subjects ko pass bhi karte. (15)

Yash baba the BBT Topper,
Manan aata uske baad;
Itni aasaan si BBTs me,
Fail hua tha Neeraj do baar. (16)

WBT hoti thi badi hi simple,
100 laata har koi har baar;
Answer key bana ke class me ghumte,
5 minute me hota tha ek test paar. (17)

Bhupendra aur Chandravijay ne,
Kafi achchha Dr Scheme karwaya;
BM1 ke waqt hume pehli baar,
Jaalim Robo se intro karwarya. (18)

Aise me hi aa gaya EC1,
Tension badh gaya, ruk gayi masti;
D+ slots bhi shuru ho gaye,
Dr Scheme ne uda di susti. (19)

Tanmay ne kiya top EC1 me,
Tabhi hi aaya woh sab ki najar me;
Ek din ka maatam manakar,
Sab lag gaye fir mauj masti me. (20)

Weekend me koi Kankaria gaya,
Koi Akshardham ghumkar aaya;
Movies to har weekend hoti,
Har koi Cine max jaakar aaya. (21)

Rini ka gaana, Shamik ki acting,
Kalpana Juhee aur Ayush ka dance;
Vaibhav Medha ka teen tali garba,
Dipen ne mara Divya pe chance. (22)

Ravi Prachi ke lafde hue,
Shaival Mitali ke bhi charche hue;
Swati Juhee pe mar mite log,
Rucha ki ada ke diwane hue. (23)

Shivani aur Hiral ki hansi,
Tushar ke pyar me koi na fansi;
Woh chali gai Delhi aur,
Aahe bharta reh gaya Jay C. (24)

Suhrita ke gaane bade surile,
Lata Mangeshkar ki yaad dilate;
Komal ke gaane bade hi bedard,
Sunne walo ke kaan pakate. (25)

Nishtha ke chahne wale bahut the,
Chup rehte, kabhi bolte nahi the;
Nishtha bhi smart thi aisi,
Najar jhuka ke muskura leti thi. (26)

Munjal ke one liners Dipen ko satate,
Class me sir aaye to hum Vyomesh ko jagate;
'Sir' saamne baithe ho fir bhi,
Chain ki neend kai baar so jaate. (27)

Mihir ki shaktimaan ki acting par,
Log sabhi fida ho gaye;
Amit ki boli samjhte hue,
Na jaane kitne din lag gaye. (28)

Kushal ka har roj der se uthna,
Dhaval ka janmdin ko electric room me chhupna;
Malay ka hamesha "kuch bhi" bolna,
"Baki to koi problem nahi" kehna. (29)

Sandip jaisa sidha na koi,
Kishan ko Prabhu use kehta harkoi;
Laap aane par Ami bahut roi;
Raat bhar woh bilkul na soi. (30)

Allocation aakhiri din pe hua,
Kahi faili khushi, kahi faile gum;
Delhi milne par Jyoti ki,
Hansi hui thodi si kam. (31)

Divya ki woh latak matak chaal,
Rahul Bhateja ki apni hi style;
Siddharth ka foreign accent,
Ankit me dikhti UP ki style. (32)

Parul thi badi hi shant,
Anshika bhi chup rehti thi;
Kamaldeep thi badi hi sweet,
Aur savere jaldi uth jaati thi. (33)

Archana ka hamesha haste rehna,
Mitali ka Prachi ko shikayate karna;
Sandeepan ka chup sa rehna,
Shivani Swati ka saath na chhodna. (34)

Abhishek Vijay ka roj ka D+,
Sharmeen ka bhi koshish karna;
7 baje hi hostel me ho,
Fir bhi vaapis shart lagana. (35)

Naresh ne ultimatix aisa lock kiya,
17 din tak khul nahi paaya;
Trivendrum tak usne HR ko daudaya,
Puri TCS ko akele hi hilaya. (36)

Bijal Akanksha ka shant hi baihna,
Kaam pade to hi kuch bolna;
Parth Avani ka saath hi rehna,
Saath me ghumna, saath me khana. (37)

Medha ka Dipen ko Cuckoo kehna,
Puraane hindi gaane gaana;
Jay C ka chupke se mohabbat karna;
Tushar ka jabaan pe lagaam lagana. (38)

Raat ko jaagna, din me sona,
Savere hamesha late hi uthna;
I-Card bhulna, lift me atakna,
Late aakar defaulter hona. (39)

Ritesh, Shahid, Naresh aur Ravi,
Help unhi ki lete sabhi;
Yash, Manan aur Amit se,
J2EE sikhte sabhi LE. (40)

Bina mobile aur bina email ke, kabhi hamara samay na jaata,
Fir bhi itne pyaare dosto me, Humne ye suhana safar hai kaata;
Sab ko chhod jaane ka khayal, mere dil ko bilkul na bhaata,
Itne behtarin jo dost mile hai, Sab sath me bolo Thanks to Tata.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

TCS plans salary hikes in April

This is an article from

Tata Consultancy Services Limited (TCS), the country's largest software exporter by revenues, will be finalising its wage and recruitment plans shortly, said the company's chief financial officer and executive director, S Mahalingam.

"Sometime back we had said we would be announcing our increments around April this year and that is what we would be doing," he said. However, he declined to divulge the quantum of the proposed salary hike for the next financial year. The last time TCS staff received a salary increment was in April 2008.

Mahalingam was speaking to mediapersons on the sidelines of the Information Technology and Services Industry Association of Andhra Pradesh (ITsAP)'s two-day software products showcase and awards, which concluded here today.

Mahalingam said compensation was a major factor to tackle attrition. “However, beyond that performance-related abilities also matter.” The company’s attrition rate is 11.5 per cent.

In the third quarter of the current fiscal, attrition rate at TCS declined to 11.5 per cent, as compared to 13.2 per cent in the sequential quarter. The gross addition of employees increased and stood at 12,854 in Q3 of FY10, as against 9,935 in Q2 FY10 and 2,828 in Q1 FY10.

"We will also be recruiting 30,000 people during the next financial year. At the moment, the market has talented people and therefore it should not be difficult to hire," he said.

Mahalingam said TCS was currently focusing on emerging markets like Brazil, particularly in verticals like banking, energy and financial sectors. "We have 2,000 people in Brazil and have been there for six years now. We see a lot of opportunity there," he said.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Friday, October 15, 2010

TCS Split Wide Open – Guest Post

This is a guest article by Sai Shankar. The information is solely by the author and has no dependency or knowledge of this blog.

This post is about TCS - Tata Consultancy Services and my experiences with the company.

Before I elaborate on life at TCS - I would like tell you all (I still seriously doubt how many people would actually be reading this!!) that I worked in TCS for less than a month, so you may be right when you think that I have no right to talk about my association with TCS considering the very little amount of time I spent in TCS - but still, I feel sharing my experiences with you all would surely help you. And before you also begin to wonder why I left TCS - it's nothing personal - I quit TCS because I am going for higher studies. For most of you (I really don't know how many!), TCS must be the first company on campus and most of you had to stick to TCS coz your college did not allow multiple placements. Sometimes, I feel India is not a democracy yet!! And folks I belong to the same category - first company TCS and no multiple placements.

It was nothing less than a shock that I got when I got an email from TCS on May 5, 2006 - I was asked to report for the ILP on May 25 at Trivandrum. It was at a time when none of my friends, nor me were expecting it - I was actually looking forward to a long vacation till September - but all dreams were shattered. We had no idea about the documents that were required, no availability in direct trains from Visakhapatnam to Trivandrum - in fact, we were not at all prepared to go for the ILP. One of my friends got his posting at Bhubaneshwar and my other two friends got it at Trivandrum - both of them backed out - one got it postponed and the other was going for his MS. That left ME alone. After a hectic last minute packing, I was off to Trivandrum on 22nd May - in a journey that would not allow me to sleep because I had to change two more trains.

The journey to Trivandrum could only be worse if not worst. I missed my second train - waited for four hours in the morning from 2 to 6 in the railway station. I reached Chennai on 23rd and had to wait in the railway station for another 4 hours for my next train to Trivandrum. Travelling on long train journeys - that too alone, with no one to give you company - sometimes makes you go mad and it was madness that I endured until the morning of 24th May, when I woke up in the train to look at the beauty of God's own country - Kerala. It was raining heavily and being a first timer to Kerala - I fell in love with the greenery and blue back waters at first sight. It was so serene and peaceful and for the first time since I started to Trivandrum - I felt happy to be coming to TCS.

Thiruvananthapuram or Trivandrum was quite unlike many cities that I have been to. People in this place don't mind rains - even if it rains throughout the year. 100% literacy rate in Kerala means that everyone knows how to read and write Malayalam - and all of them can put in their signature. The autorickshaws charge for both to and fro - if you travel from A to B, then you need to pay double the amount given on the meter, so if you want to come back from B to A - you need not pay anything more. The buses have no numbers and everything everywhere is written only in Malayalam. Everyone in Trivadrum knew about Technopark - that's where TCS is situated, and I later realized that Technopark is the only place famous in Trivandrum apart from the beaches. I was asked to report at the TCS Executive Hostel which is about 18 km from the railway station - and when I reached Kenton Leisure (that's the actual name of the executive hostel), the place was teeming with people. I was alloted Room No. 318 (I don't know why I'm goinf into the tiniest of details!!) and my room mate was Sridhar - he was from GCT, Coimbatore - but in an hour I had to change my room because Sridhar's friend Mohanbabu from GCT wanted to be in room 318 - so I had to move into 319. And my room mate was missing - I could only find his baggage in the room - he had apparently gone out. Now, one small clarification - you cannot change rooms at will in the hostel - it so happened that myself, Sridhar and Mohanbabu were in the same batch.

TCS Executive Hostel has around 150 rooms - each room is furnished with 2 beds, 2 study tables, a cupboard for 2 people, a dressing table, 1 plug point for mobile phone charging and an attached bathroom - believe me, the accomodation can't get better than this. The hostel has two outdoor shuttle courts, a gym (not many facilities in the gym though), a recreation room with a TV, carrom board and Table Tennis table, a common TV for each floor and a restaurant that can seat around 200 people at a time. Each floor gets three newspapers - The Hindu, The Indian Express and ET. There is also a browsing center which charges Rs. 25 for an hour of browsing (half the computers don't work most of the time though), a small utility shop for buying things like from pencils to badminton racquets, two STD booths and a laundry service (called Al-Khobar Laundry service; charges are exorbitant - Rs. 13/- for a pair of shirt and trousers - washing and pressing). The only bad thing about the hostel is the restaurant - the food served is not great - and the fact that the hostel is located in a village and there are few places to go to around the hostel - you do have a number of small restaurants outside the hostel at walkable distance - recommended ones are Hotel Chennai and Veg World.

The hostel rent is Rs. 110 per day, so you need to pay Rs. 3300 every month from your HRA. Technopark is about 1 km from the executive hostel and TCS is about 2 km from the hostel. Technopark also has other companies like US Technologies, IBS and many unheard ones. Technopark has other things too - it has a hospital called Ojus, a State Bank of India branch, a SBI ATM, a small departmental store, a place for junk food, a courier office, a dress showroom, an internet browsing center - these are the things that I can remember.

Day 1 at Trivandrum went on well, slept a lot to gain on all the sleep i had lost. The next day - May 25, 2006 was my first day at TCS - we were provided with vans and buses to reach TCS - the transport cost is Rs. 17 per day (to and fro) - which is to be paid at the end of the month from your Vehicle Allowance.

First day at work - in part II..........

First day at work

TCS ILP center at Trivandrum was just like how it was in the pics I had seen. We went inside and there were around 300 guys and girls - all of them trying to have a glance at a notice board kept at the entrance. The schedule for the day was put up - I was in batch T08; our batch numbers were already told to us at the hostel reception when we checked in. There were 8 batches - T02 to T09 and batches T02 to T05 were asked to gather in an auditorium and the remaining batches from T06 to T09 were asked to gather in a class room - shouldn't be complaining but already a discrimination - T02 to T05 were the CS/IT ppl and the remaining were the non CS ppl.

So around 150 of us gathered in the classroom alloted to the four batches. The schedule for the first day was induction - from the admin, HR, MATC, ILP and finance (I don't remember exactly - forgive me for my poor memory) - after breakfast. TCS canteen is run by a private contractor. Let me tell you that the food is bad - but quite cheap; you get -

Bread and butter (two slices of bread and butter @ Rs. 6/-), Bread and jam (same price as above), Vada (Rs. 2/- each), Idli (Rs. 2/- each), Puri (a plate @ Rs. 10/-), Dosa (Rs. 9/- a plate), Milk (a glass @ Rs. 10/-), and some more stuff - some days there is channa batura, some other days there are other dishes as well. TCS gives free tea/coffee coupons - which can be used any time of the day - mind you, you cannot exchange the coupons for milk or any other beverage (some of my friends tried doing it ;))

The daily schedule will have 4 slots with 2 tea/coffee breaks and 1 lunch break and it may typically be like this

9 to 11 - A Slot 11 to 11.30 - Break 11.30 to 1.15 - B Slot 1.15 to 2.00 - Lunch 2.00 to 3.30 - C Slot 3.30 to 4.00 - Break 4.00 to 5.30 - D Slot 5.30 to 5.45 - Submission of feedback forms/meetings

The timings could vary but not a lot - it may be around 15 minutes either way. Each batch has two coordinators - one technical and one life skills coordinator (will tell you about technical and life skills later). Our technical coordinator was Koshy and for life skills it was Nisha Dev (the faculty insist that we call them by their first name :) - no more Sir/Madam formalities).

So, after breakfast, we proceeded to our induction sessions. Let me tell you what Induction actually is - it is nothing but a formal welcome by all the departments of TCS - the admin induction was by Col. Nair, who is the admin incharge of TCS, Trivadrum. He's a very lively and jovial chap - he welcomed us to TCS, Trivandrum and then he went on to talk about the rules and regulations to be followed in the hostel as well as work - like for example he said, guys ought to be back in the hostel by 10 pm and girls ought to be back by 9 pm. And also that, no guy must be found in a girl's room and vice versa. The admin department handles things like accomodation, transport, food in the TCS canteen and so on. And then we had the other inductions - by HR, by MATC - which is Manpower Allocation Task Committee who handle our allocations after training (it was by a female named Sheena - she's one ruthless lady - the first thing she told us was that WE WOULD NOT BE ALLOCATED TO PLACES NEAR OUR HOME TOWN for our project - so you know her character now).

ILP induction was by Mr. Koshy Vaidyan (who later became Koshy - our technical coord.) - he told us about the ILP in general. Let me digress to tell you in detail about the ILP at TCS. From this year on, i.e from 2006, the ILP pattern has been changed - it is for 50 days for all branches (earlier CS ppl had ILP for 33 days and non CS for 44 days) - now mind you - 50 days means 50 working days - which would mean that the ILP is for 63 days (9 weeks), coz we would get around 12 or 13 holidays (Sundays and alternate Saturdays - TCS works on alternate Saturdays). So, this 50 day ILP schedule is broken up into two phases - 1. Induction 2. Integration

The Induction is the same for all the batches - it basically deals with the fundamentals of software engineering and other courses. Here is the unofficial TCS schedule for Induction phase -

Induction phase 25 days

HR Induction } LS Induction } Admin Induction } Finance Induction } 2 days IS Induction } MATC Induction } Library Induction }


Process Models 4 slots Requirements Analysis 5 slots Design 5 slots Testing and Debugging 5 slots

Good Programming Skills 3 slots UNIX and C 4 slots Data structures and Algorithms } 3 slots Programming Techniques } Operating Systems 3 slots

Life Skills

Oral and Written Communication 11 slots Professional Grooming and Etiquette 6 slots

Business Orientation 10 slots Systems Thinking 3 slots

Ultimatix and IPMS 1 slots TBEM 2 slots IQMS 3 slots ISecurity 2 slots Business Continuity Planning 1 slots


The integration phase is also called the project specific training - about which I shall tell you later.

At the end of the first day, I could make the following observations -

1. You should be proud to be a part of TCS and generally as a part of the TATA brand - because that's the aim of the first day's induction schedule.

2. TCS has an ERP tool called Ultimatix which can be accessed at - you cannot do anything with it now though if you are not yet a TCS employee. Ultimatix is the ultimate ERP tool - it is through Ultimatix that you will have to claim your reimbursements, apply for leave, view your paycheck, fill in your time sheets (this is after training i.e during your project after allocation).

3. TCS also has a global helpdesk through which you send all your requests - like activating your TCS mail ID, or reporting some problems with the computers and so on.

4. You cannot access public email clients like yahoo, gmail, rediff, hotmail and even sites like orkut and many others from any computer in TCS - they are all blocked by the server.

The first day at TCS ended - it was a stress to the mind - listening to the history of the TATA group and that of TCS - during every induction made us feel bored to hell. Overall, it was a good day - my first day @ TCS - came to know a lot of things. The next day, we had our documentation scheduled - which is the verification of certificates and collection of the service agreement among others.

The 2nd day @ TCS in the next post - sooooooon..........

Day 2 @ TCS

First day at TCS ended with us knowing more about our batchmates - there were lots of colleges from Andhra Pradesh like Andhra University, JNTU Kakinada, SVU, GITAM (that's my coll) , GVP, GNITS, Srinidhi, SRKR, NBK - looked like 50% of the guys and girls selected from Andhra Pradesh were there. The other colleges were VNIT Nagpur and GCT Coimbatore - the VNITians were the most enthusiastic lot and GCTians were equally lively. There were also some MCA ppl from Indore. So basically, it was a cultural mix - everyone was eager to know everyone else - I remember the names of all my T08 batchmates (partly because I was the ILP CR). That brings me to the topic of CRs or Class Representatives. You may think that ILP is like school - believe me, when you go to your ILP, you will surely find out that ILP is like going 'Back to School'. There are 4 CRs selected for each batch - 1 for HR related issues, 1 for the Library, 1 for the IS (which is Infrastructure Services - they handle issues related to the computers in the lab, network connectivity, login problems etc.), and 1 for the ILP program (I was ILP CR for T08 :) ). At the end of day 1, we had with us a notepad, a Reynolds Bold blue ball point pen (forgive me for the intricate details), a temporary ID card and a personal file given to all of us by TCS. New notepads are given every 15 days. The important thing is the Personal File. The personal file is what you need to submit to TCS by the end of the second day. The photocopies of all your certificates (attested copies only - you can get attestation done at the SBI branch of Technopark), your offer letter, your joining letter (photocopies without attestation will suffice) and a copy of your passport (in case you have one) - these are the documents that have to be attached to the personal file. The file also has a lot of documents - which you need to fill in - some of the documents I remember are

1. Profile - details about you, your educational qualifications and so on.
2. Nomination for Super Annuity (this is for nominating someone - mostly your parents, to get compensation in case of your untimely death - don't worry - that will not happen).
3. Nomination for Provident Fund (for this and for Super Annuation - you need to mention the name of the nominees, their date of birth and the percentage of nomination - for example, if I want to nominate my mom and dad - then I may give 50% to my mom and 50% to my dad as percentage of nomination - so the point is decide beforehand the percentage of nomination and also know the Date of Birth (as in records) of your nominees.)
4. Passport Details
5. Non Disclosure Agreement - which says that you should not divulge any information about TCS. (which is exactly what I am doing now :D )
6. A document which you need to sign saying that you have no conflict of interest with TCS - if you have any, you can mention it (I don't think any of us did).

There are some more documents - I don't remember exactly. There are a lot of signatures required - you also need signatures from two witnesses who can be any of your friends at TCS. And make sure you have sufficient number of passport photographs - you will be needing them.

The schedule for day 2 was a movie (that's right - a movie whose title I have forgotten - it is a biography of Jamshedji Tata - a 1 hour movie - most of the guys slept throught the movie), the documentation (this is different from the personal file), library induction, finance induction and bank account opening.

After the movie and the break, we had our documentation. This is where TCS collects your service agreement, your surety verification form and verifies all your certificates - actually all your certificates from class X to your Course Completion cert. of engineering/Provisional Certificate are verified, but to make matters easy, the HRs asked us to show the originals of the last semester we finished - in our case, the 8th semester marksheet - they just look at it and give it to you back. Other documents verified are the -

1. Birth Certificate - lot's of queries here - you cannot show your class X certificate as DOB certificate. TCS is asking for your original birth certificate issued by the municipal corporation of the city of your birth. If your name is missing (which is my case too) or if your birth certificate is in your mother tongue - then I suggest you to go to a notary or a lawyer, get an affidavit stating your date of birth, your parents' name and the place of your birth. It should not cost more than Rs. 80.

2. Course completion certificate or Provisional Certificate.

Just make sure that you have all marksheets from Class X onwards. If you have any doubts on filling up the service agreement, you can find this information useful -

The documentation was completed in express time - the HRs were very efficient. Following the documentation, we had the library induction. Now some details about the library -

TCS library is cool - you get 4 copies of 8 different newspapers, and of course there are a lot of books - mostly technical though. Everyone is given a copy of Software Engineering by Pankaj Jalote which can be kept by us until the end of the training. Other than this, we get handouts for each technical course - the courses which I mentioned in Part II - it is the duty of the library CR to collect the handouts before each course starts. Now you can issue three more books from the library - 1 technical, 1 non technical - which means wither fiction/non-fiction novel and 1 foreign language book (which you won't be taking in the first 25 days coz foreign language is a part of the integration phase). Now, one very important thing is the non technical book. You have to present a book review at the end of the Oral and Written Communication course. So it's better you issue a good non technical book - i.e a novel from the library on the second day itself - so that you don't lose out on the good books. It's important because Reviews need to be presented on books taken only from the library.

The finance induction was boring - the person dealing it Mr. Matthew told us many things other than the salary and whether there was any hike. He told us a few important things though. You need to get a PAN card within 60 days of joining TCS - otherwise you need to pay a penalty of Rs. 10,000. But worry not, TCS has a contract with an agency - you just need to fill a form and pay Rs. 72/- and submit it to the finance department - all this will be taken care of by your HR CR. If you already have a PAN card, then there is no reason to worry.

Finally, we had the bank account opening - the ICICI ppl came and addressed us - they said that the account we would be opening has some special benefits for TCS employees. But personally, I don't think so. We had to fill in a bank application (make sure that you have a black ball point pen with you - it's important when filling this application). And then we were given a cheque book, a ATM cum Debit card and of course our account number and Customer ID. They said that the account would be created and activated in a week's time.

That ended Day 2 - another mind - stressing day - all of us were really looking forward to the next day - which was a Sunday :). We needed some rest - coz the actual ILP started from the following Monday.

The ILP in detail in the next post...........

ILP, Life and Fun..........

Day 3 @ TCS - Monday, May 29, 2006

Unofficially it was the first working day for us - the schedules had been put up. We knew that we had a tough day ahead. TCS is not so strict about it's dress code, but it's better you follow the dress code coz probably you won't be following it after training. We were supposed to be in formal clothing from Monday through Thursday which meant - A formal shirt with formal trousers, with tie, belt and shoes. We were told in detail about the dress code in the first class of Profressional Grooming and Etiquette course. It seems it is better to wear light colored shirts, preferably plain as formals. Some other things - which most of us knew were that the belt and the shoe should be of the same color and that brown shoes are generally not considered formal. The socks should match the color of the trousers. The whole class was about the ways of dressing for guys and girls. It really was informative but became monotonous after a few minutes.

TCS ILP Center at Trivandrum has around 4 labs - which are in the top floor each having around 90 computers. There are around 12 classrooms - including 2 classroom having 35 computers each. All classrooms are fully air conditioned (this is for those who demand specifics). And there is an auditorium which could seat around 150 students.

In a day, you may have 2 technical sessions and 2 life skill sessions, or in worst cases - you may have all 4 technical sessions - which can be very taxing coz you tend to fall asleep what with the AC also on ;). Technical sessions can get really boring. We had most of the fun during the life skills sessions. Life skills mainly includes the written and oral communication and the professional grooming. Our faculty for communication was Minnette Mathew - she was a very sweet lady - and she really made us feel good about the ILP - coz somedays the technical sessions become so unbearable that we need atleast one life skill session to literally wake up from sleep. Believe me, when you attend your first Oral and written communciation session - you will realize that you are back in school. You are taught about tenses, about writing skills, about speaking skills - let me warn all those who have a problem speaking before an audience that you really have to prepare yourself coz in almost all sessions of life skills, you are required to speak. For life skills, TCS follows continuous evaluation which means that you are continuously evaluated - there is no exam for life skills :D. In our ILP, there was one session in which we were asked to introduce ourself in the communication course and we were evaluated for it. Evaluation means that you will be given individual feedback on the way you speak (believe me - I always thought I spoke well, but to my shock - I got a lot of constructive critcism in my feedback - really made me aware of the areas where I was lacking). The last two sessions for oral and written communication are for the book review which is also evaluated. So, this is the second time I'm reminding you to prepare yourself for the book review. PG & E, which is professional grooming and etiquette was taken by Nisha - she was good too. Like I mentioned earlier, PG&E is all about personality development, the way to dress, the way to talk, about the importance of global culture and last but not the least about Dining Etiquette. We also had a practical dining etiquette session. A proper business lunch is supposed to include 7 courses - and each course has it's own way of being eaten. So I got to know of many things which I was previously unaware of!! PG&E is really enjoyable.

The four main courses in the technical section are - Process Models, Requirements Engg, Design, Testing and Debugging. Depending on your luck, you could have a proper teacher teaching these or a TCS employee who is on bench teaching. All these courses can be found on

Frankly speaking, very few technical sessions are really interesting. Almost all these 4 technical courses have a minimum of 2 case studies - which has to be worked upon by you and your team. Team members are decided by the HR or your life skill coordinators. My team had me, two other guys - Shreyas and Amit and two girls - Aishwarya and Divya. So, each batch (my batch as I mentioned previously was T08 - had 40 participants) is divided into teams or groups of 5, with whom you have to work on case studies and projects - during the evenings after work. We used to crowd the restaurant in our hostel after dinner to work on our case studies - it is really a sight to watch - each table being occupied by a group of 5 - trying to work together. It is really a good team building exercise. There were teams which worked until 1 in the morning. Fortunately, my team did not!!

Systems Thinking is an OK course but business orientation is really pathetic - if it is taught by someone who can make even the dullest of classes enjoyable - then you are lucky. Unfortunately for us - we had 3 faculty members (some courses could have more than 1 faculty teaching - happens when one of them is busy with some other work) teaching us and all made us go to sleep during the course!! Systems thinking is about how to be a good consultant. You will learn about the views of different stakholders that have to be considered when you come across a real time situation. Business Orientation brushes you about business concepts like marketing, finance and so on. I feel like yawning when I talk about business orientation!!

There are other short courses - like good programming skills, OS, programming techniques and UNIX. If you get a good faculty teaching you, you will really enjoy these courses. We had one guy called Rishi who actually was a TCS employee with 2 years experience. He was too good in teaching - he taught OS concepts to us and believe me, he was an amazing teacher. The other courses are 2 session courses like iQMS - which is Integrated Quality Management System, TBEM - which is Tata Business Excellence Model and others, which are not so great - but they might make you go to sleep (just warning you!!).

About the CRs - as I said there are 4 CRs and it is just voluntary - if you want to become the CR, then you just have to volunteer. If you have tough competition, then the HRs may decide who gets to become the CR. The HR CR has a lot of work in the first few days - like collection of personal files, collection of PAN card forms among others. My batch had Vignesh as the HR CR and he was really patient enough to do his work. The library CR has to collect the handouts for each course before they actually start. Mostly, all the technical sessions have handouts - which are nothing but a copy of the PPT of the course being shown to us. The library CR then has to distribute the handouts to all the participants in the batch. The Infrastructure services CR literally had no work - if your computer in the lab doesn't work, you know who to contact - you should contact your IS CR. And finally, the ILP CR (yours truly was one) has work related to the ILP. And among many works, one of the works is to collect the attendance sheet for each course from the faculty room, take signatures from all the participants in the group for each slot, then take the signature from the faculty and then keep it in the faculty room (tough job, :( really). Then at 5.30 in the evening everyday, the ILP CR must collect the feedback forms for all the courses that have been completed by that day and ask all the participants to fill it and then submit them the same day!!!

Please switch off your cell phones when you attend the sessions in the ILP center, or atleast keep them in silent mode. Some of the faculty members take this seriously and if your cellphone rings in the classroom - then you will have to generously contribute to the MOBILE FUND (TCS named it like that) - you have to shell out around 100 bucks for the first time and if you are caught again, then 300 and if for a third time you are found with a ringing cellphone in the classroom - you need to contribute Rs.500/- only. This affects the PVA of your batch.

PVA - Professional Value Add is something you have in TCS - all batches are evaluated generally on discipline, on prompt submission of feedback forms, on active participation in any particular course and on many unknown criteria. Each week, each batch is given points on how they have fared for the last one week. And at the end of the 9 weeks of ILP, the batch which has the highest PVA is awarded the best outgoing batch.

At the end of 25 working days - you will have a test on the technical courses - the test would be for 50 marks and would contain around 30 to 33 questions with each participant getting a different question paper. This is the only exam we would have in the entire ILP. After this exam, you finish with the Induction phase and you go on to the Integration phase. The integration phase is where you will have project specific training - it could be J2EE, mainframes, .NET and some others which I am not aware of. Along with the project specific training you will also be taught a foreign language which could be German, French or Japanese.

I was with TCS for less than a month but the experience I gained was really good. I miss my batch - even in that less time, we all really gelled together. It was a great batch and I am sure it would be awarded the best outgoing batch. Guys and girls of TVM01/T08 - if you are reading this - cheers to you all........

When I submitted my resignation - I really felt bad to be leaving TCS - as it was my first job. I had to submit my ID card and my smart card, and on going out of the ILP center, I was asked to sign the visitor's register because I was no more a TCS employee - but just another visitor.....

Monday, October 11, 2010

Google Docs: With enhanced translation & smartquotes, that’s my doc!

Smartquotes, for those who aren’t familiar with them, are the curved quotation marks that appear in some document editors in place of the standard straight quotes. They’re generally desirable, but it seems that the smartquotes were mucking up these reporters’ content management systems, and there’s been no way to turn them off. They aren’t the only ones with this issue, either — there are multiple topics on Google Groups complaining about the same thing. Well today, Google has announced that it’s giving users the ability to undo smartquotes. Try to contain your excitement.

To activate the feature, hit “Cntl Z” on your keyboard (Cmd Z on a Mac); Google also plans to soon offer an option to turn smartquotes off entirely. It’s funny, because while you’re probably rolling your eyes right now, there are going to be a few readers who are elated — finally, you’ll be able to use Google Docs without having to worry about it messing up your custom CMS or archaic form generators or whatever it was that didn’t know how to process smartquotes.
(Source: TechCrunch)

Friday, October 08, 2010

Sunday, October 03, 2010

TCS 2010 Offcampus Joining Dates

The process of giving out joining dates for the offcampus candidates seems to be slow but have started. It is just a matter of time now before each an every one of the remaining candidates get their joining dates. Discussions and sharing of news are as always continuing on the various social networking sites. The data shared below is done by hundreds of TCS candidates in their facebook community. For more information click on the ‘What’s Hot’ menu above.

The offcampus candidates had been a little disappointed for sometime now as their joinings weren’t at the same pace as their oncampus counterparts till now. But now that the scenario is changing it is going to be a pretty good month coming up for them it seems. 

Apart from the spreadsheet below, all updates are now shared in just one place. Read this to know more. Predictions and dates will be added there soon. Keep watching that space. It is only going to get more useful with time, if not less. 
Update: Tentative joining is end of 2010.

This sheet is owned and updated by them.

Saturday, October 02, 2010