Saturday, October 06, 2012

CloudMagic – Search all your accounts in the internet

An amazing website that the cloud over the internet had so far been missing, had gradually come into existence. With CloudMagic, you can virtually search any information that you have for your accounts over any of the social websites.

Just visit CloudMagic and then login or add the extension to your Chrome browser and enjoy.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Skydrive with a refreshed interface, ready for Dropbox and Google Drive

Skydrive has recently updated it’s interface with a soothing breezy version which resembles outlook.com, it’s mailing portal which has also been revamped off late. It will be really interesting to watch out to see if long standing users of Skydrive who were really turned off by Skydrive suddenly reducing the storage from 25GB to 7GB sticks with it even after these changes.

Google Drive currently being the best player in this field, it’s looking tough for Skydrive to even pose a challenge this time around. Another lost product, Microsoft.

 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

HTC Wildfire S low internal memory solution

The users of the superbly popular phone model HTC Wildfire S might have faced a issue with low internal memory now and then if too many apps are installed. There’s no straight away solution to it but definitely a few steps that you can take.

The first step is obviously to clean the cache of highly memory consuming apps. But more importantly, if you are using contacts sync turn it off as all your information from Facebook, Twitter and Plurk will get synced in the background even if you don’t want it. By doing that, you will easily save about 10-15MB of internal memory after refreshing your phone.

Apart from that, if you have any tips, feel free to share.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

HTC Windows Phone 8X: The Flagship Windows Phone

The brand which boasts about quality and quietly being silent has brought yet another flagship phone to mark it’s presence in the smartphone market. With the news 8X which proudly runs the Windows operating system is definitely going to keep users amazed.

 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Samsung Galaxy SIII takes a dig at iPhone 5

The two companies had been going the distance filing lawsuits and patents against each other for infringement. And it is not going to anytime soon. Here is what Samsung had to advertise to mock the hype regarding the Apple iPhone 5. Check it out and share it, you will love it for sure.

Friday, September 14, 2012

TCS 2012 Batch Joining Dates

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The candidates of 2012 batch have started getting their joining dates after waiting for some time. It’s really a time to enjoy for them now that the prestigious organization of their dreams have started providing them the joining dates. The candidates are maintaining a spreadsheet as found in several social networking sites. I am providing it here hoping you might find it useful.

 
The atmosphere is certainly positive that people have started receiving their joining dates much before their previous batches of 2009 batch and 2010 batch apparently. It will only be a matter of time before they get their joining dates. The joining date prediction tool have already helped thousands and is sure to give quite an idea about the probable joining date after getting which candidates may also feel like predicting their ILP score here.
It will be interesting to see how long it takes for the process to complete. Provided the global scenario and other factors right now, the current situation couldn't be better. It will be up to the candidates how well they utilize the time after the joining during the training to prepare themselves for the challenge in this big corporate world. Lots of hot discussions are going on now in several online communities regarding the joining process and what will happen after that. The mood surely is optimistic.


Update of Joining Dates (This document below is owned and updated by members from the TCS 2011 batch where over 450 TCS candidates regularly share the updates of various colleges across India, just thought sharing it here would be useful to everyone. For complaints click here.):

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Dropbox seems to be waiting to raise a hurricane

There was a time when file storing in the cloud was almost synonymous to Dropbox. Provided it’s amazingly simple plans with storage, there is absolutely no doubt user’s are going to love it. Along with it, add the seamless sync facility for all our files from your local computer or laptop, without a single glitch. But provided all that, Dropbox seems to be letting it’s competitors get the edge recently.

With SkyDrive and Google Drive taking by storm over the last few months, and along with incredible pricing offers that set the pace for the cloud sector, Dropbox seems to be a mute spectator with its plans which cost over 4 times than it’s nearest competitors. SO unless Dropbox is working secretly on some serious upgrade, they are just aiming to lose the market share.

But provided Dropbox’s record, I firmly believe there is going to be some sort of improvement over it in the very near future. Because organizations that become so much a household name will always stand up to a level of quality that has set it apart from the rest over such a long period of time.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Will the new Outlook be a dark horse?

The new version of Microsoft's new mailing service, Outlook, has taken the internet world by storm. And should it not! It’s the first ever big boost Microsoft has given to one of it’s platforms in over the last 4-5 years, apart from it’s Windows operating systems obviously. The interface just looks amazing, it feels like it wants to blend with all the services you use, without trying to push you much to use the Live services.

The mail service, termed as emailing technology of the future, surely has got some brains put behind it’s development team. It’s just not another mailing platform with a new name. If you haven’t discovered yet, it’s time to really try it out.

What’s little discovered though, you can rename your email id and get some new ones easily (eg. yourname@live.in). The best part? Right now you can even get your name while renaming the id, since it’s new to the users and many haven’t discovered this feature yet.

However, it’s not likely to pose any serious threat to Google or for that matter, even Yahoo. Because Microsoft has been known to start flashy and big a number of times but stumble when it comes to the big matches. So it will be really interesting to look how Google and the other giants take this challenge head-on, which they will surely! In the mean time, am happy to say that I just bought a Google Drive storage of 100GB and happily enjoying my files sync :)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Mamata Banerjee interview in CNN IBN a total mess due to CNN IBN’s traditional biased approach

The show ‘Question Time Didi’ which was so much hyped about due to the walk out by CM Mamata Banerjee had been grossly misinterpreted by most sections of newspapers and media. The channel CNN IBN, known for it’s biased approach towards Kolkata and Bengalis, had the complete set-up to annoy the CM to the limits. Read on to find out why.

In a set-up like this, the atmosphere should have the perfect spirit of harmony, where people are willing to accept other’s points of views. Questions like whether you are given due credit for your achievements are fine. But people should learn to go soft on sensitive areas where they know it had hurt before. People should frame their questions intelligently, so as to disguise it amongst pleasant facts. Why was the issue of freedom of expression being repeatedly asked by different persons in different ways? If you have questions and topics at hand, then why not move on instead of waiting for the other person to react! What was most surprising was that in the 10th minute 16th second Sagarika tried to bring out from Mamata’s mouth that she was giving out the message of ‘intolerance and dissent’! If the show is on ‘Question Time’ then why not also ask about the exceptional progressive policies and ideologies CM Mamata has taken up for the state. What is most hilarious is that someone says she came back to the state after 20 years to serve the common people, but she has decided to go back after observing for 1 year. Is she completely out of her minds?? Can the mismanagement of 34 years be removed over an year? And what an aggressive pessimistic bunch of audience, Kolkattans are really amused at what CNN IBN is doing show after show with Kolkata!

India has very few ministers like her to boast about. True she sometimes comes out with sentences we feel would have been better had she not said, but such small matters happen when your head is crowded with ambitions sky-high and you are surrounded with petty politicians and nagging media channels who constantly keep on defaming you. Moreover, every condition and crime in the state today is being blamed upon her. What an age and mental condition have citizens and media come to! Infant deaths, water logging, farmers suicide, things which probably happen more than Kolkata in the most developed cities in the world are being hyped with no basis. Have these things started happening suddenly since May 20th 2011? Was everything hunky dory prior to that?

Mamata Banerjee does the absolutely right thing, ignore them totally and throw away such provoking and negative topics down the drain. When you are asking questions to the leader of the state, it’s best to leave it open-ended, and not question in a way where the answer is implied. Phrases like “Don’t you think…” are like asking on petty issues to just anyone around you. When you are aware, that this situation has created a furor previously, why not the students frame the same question in a better way! Rather than taking the names of specific politicians and expecting the CM to bow down and admit guilt is the most stupid way I can think of asking. Add to it the elderly people barring Suvaprasanna, Amit Mitra and some others, CNN IBN surprisingly had yet again set up a killer interview set-up, deliberately organized with pre-determined one-sided questions to say the least,  to malign the image of Kolkata and Bengalis at large. I really would have wanted to watch CNN IBN but have shifted to TIMES NOW recently. At least TIMES NOW is not biased against a state and community.

CNN IBN was not in a state to acknowledge the achievements of Mamata Banerjee at the very least I believe. Today only when I was watching this channel, the first thing they started saying on the topic of ‘Mamata’s 1 year completion’ was the plight of a farmer in Singur. How this poor farmer had been living his life since he lost his land. The reporter was someone called Sougata Mukhopadhyay, I mean, come on!! There is a limit to this isn’t it? You mean to say this is what represents all the efforts of the Mamata Banerjee government over the last year? What really really surprising is how a national TV Channel can be so much biased towards a particular community and state! True, the facts you are stating, but where is the other side of the coin? CNN IBN, I believe you are going to see an increased viewership in Kolkata pretty soon, the figures might just match with that of a local opposition party CPM channel called 24 Ghanta.

Mamata Banerjee is the only leader to have ousted the hugely powerful CPI(M) with her lone struggle. Coming out from grassroots, without having any political past, it’s a Herculean feat! Indira Gandhi had Jawaharlal Nehru, Sonia Gandhi had Rajiv Gandhi, but Mamata Banerjee had no one with her. West Bengal is the most happening place to be right now. Old age mentalities and fixed mindsets will no doubt take time to change. But in the run, people and even channels like CNN IBN will realize what they are doing is poor journalism. Mamata Banerjee’s walking out of CNN IBN show is thus absolutely justified. I believe this is just the right kind of treatment this show deserved with such fixed mindset and pre-determined notions.

Rajdeep Sardesai, Sagarika Ghose, a small message to you and all other editors, if you are not at fault, then team who is providing you with information is surely not providing you with the correct data for Kolkata at large. If you have correspondents in Kolkata, please ensure they are capable enough to get the vibes of the local people and not follow some pre-conceived notions before anchoring and reporting.

If you have anything to say, feel free to comment below, or you can email me directly by clicking here.


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Flickr photo upload feature just took a huge leap forward with awesome HTML5 interface

Flickr is sitting on top of the photo sharing world for over quite a few years now. As it watches from the top, people have been trying to jump and reach them ever since, but failed to topple them. Unlike many services that become complacent, Flickr, with it’s fresh employee infrastructure and management is moving further high. So much so that, it will become impossible for others to even think of reaching them.

Flickr launched it’s mind-blowing interface to upload photos recently. It goes as far as beating it’s desktop uploader hands down. With the tremendous simplicity embedded into it, and the options for editing various attributes of the photos before uploading makes it so much dearer to the heart. No doubt why camera enthusiasts and professional photographers will stick to Flickr for a long time now.

Madhyamik 2012 Exam Results West Bengal

Results for Madhyamik examination 2012 are due to be announced any time starting from 21st May, 2012. This was the first time that students had to appear for the exams based only on Class X syllabus instead of both Classes IX and X unlike previous years. Students are at the end of their patience now since it has already been about 75 days since the exam ended. One of the most important exams of their lives, the Madhyamik examination is virtually an examination of the entire family of the candidates. But hopefully since this is the first batch of the new system, there is not going to be too much strict marking.

Keep watching this site for my tweets and updates once the result is announced. ‘Like’ this page to get updates on your Facebook wall or you can also ‘Subscribe’ via email.



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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Dropbox vs Google Drive - The War Begins

When the emperor is proudly marching forward conquering everything that comes it’s way, can he leave behind a kingdom that is being defended securely by its rivals over the years? Definitely not. Despite rumors that kept on emerging over the last few years, Google did not launch it’s  Google Drive until this year. And launched it has, with seamless integration into all it’s services making it right away the cloud storage candy for computer lovers.
 
But the war is yet to be won, it’s just the army that has been prepared and war has been declared. Stiff competition is being faced from it’s closest rival, Dropbox (not to mention Skydrive here which finds itself difficult to  enter the scene in the absence of a desktop app). With the existence of an already huge reader-base, Dropbox is going to face it’s biggest challenge in recent times. No doubt they are going to cope with it strongly as they have proven to be supremely loyal, stable, perfectionist, professional over the years. But Google is going to come with guns blazing down as this is the territory that was pending from them over a long time, and with all of their services integrated into it, they already have an edge since so many of potential users might already been having a Google account. 

There are a lot of scenarios and facts that needs to be taken into consideration to analyze the battle between these two hugely powerful services. Every aspect has to be looked at from more than one point of view. So here you go with a face-off between the two giants:

Aspect
Dropbox
Google Drive
Free Storage  18GB (2GB initially, for every
friend you refer, you get 500MB
bonus space, i.e. 32 friends)
 Sign up for Dropbox here and
get 500MB bonus space
 5GB (no referral system)


 
 Sign up for Google Drive
 Availability Dropbox is available for iOS,
Blackberry, Android, Mac OS X,
Linux, and Windows.
Google Drive is available on
Android, Mac OS X.
 Sharing Dropbox allows you to share 
your folder very very simply, it’s 
like the same folder exists on
your friend’s machine.
Google allows you to choose
every single id with whom you
want to share your stuffs.
 Linking Dropbox seduces you with it’s
awesome feature that instantly
generates a link to a file.
Google allows you to share the
file too but it takes a few seconds
and clicks/tapping more.
 Sync Drop has an array of apps, and
Dropsync will do magic in
syncing your Android phone with
your Dropbox folder.
Google Drive allows sync, but it’s
not yet at par with the vast
number of apps that Dropbox can
boast about right now.
 Accidental
Deletion
Dropbox has taken extra step to 
prevent this very common 
activity in shared files. It keeps
30 days history of all your files
Google also keeps a revision 
history of all your files for 30 days.
 Paid Storage

Storage – Rate/month

82 GB - $9.99
132 GB - $19.99
Dropbox Team feature:
Unlimited Storage -

$795/year 
for first 5 users (i.e. $66/month)
$125/year for each additional
user

  Storage – Rate/month
 

25 GB - $2.49
100 GB - $4.99
200 GB - $9.99
400 GB - $19.99
1 TB

-

$49.99
2 TB - $99.99
4 TB - $199.99
8 TB - $399.99
16 TB - $799.99


So to decide a winner is definitely a tough choice. But for now I will be sticking to Dropbox because of it’s simplicity and no-frills professional service but keeping a close watch on both Dropbox and Google Drive to see how they both progress and come up with new features to stay in the competition.

Friday, February 24, 2012

TCS ITIS and ITIS Frequently Asked Questions

Related Posts: What is TCS ITIS    IT vs ITIS

This is a guest post by Saransh Saxena. The views expressed are entirely of the author.

What exactly is IT Infrastructure and IT-IS?


In Information Technology and on the Internet, infrastructure is the physical hardware used to interconnect computers and users. Infrastructure includes the transmission media, including telephone lines, cable television lines, and satellites and antennas, and also the routers, aggregators, repeaters, and other devices that control transmission paths. Infrastructure also includes the software used to send, receive, and manage the signals that are transmitted. In some usages, infrastructure refers to interconnecting hardware and software and not to computers and other devices that are interconnected. However, to some information technology users, infrastructure is viewed as
everything that supports the flow and processing of information.

Infrastructure Services range across a pretty decent array of technologies and tools ranging from the smallest bug in the system software to the mainframe server systems, from cross-platform compatibility of a software to the networking functionalities of a widespread network of workstations. They all come under the Infrastructure services. There is virtually unlimited amount of potential in this field and TCS has probably taken one of the smallest step in one of the most gigantic field of opportunity and is undoubtedly destined to some outstanding performance in ITIS in years to come. I think it will be pretty soon when ITIS services will overtake IT services in terms of total profit and revenue. 

Is ITIS inferior to IT?

This is the most frequently asked question which you'll find at every TCS group. The stuff posted in this document will help you get answer to this FAQ. The answer is as simple as question. NO!!
Both are different. Hence no comparison can be made. IT deals with development or coding part whereas ITIS deals with networking or server or administration or maintenance part. Both have good scope, the only thing is that ITIS is comparatively new in India. This point actually turns out to be an advantage as in ITIS, there're more onsite opportunities. For further doubts on this, read the entire document and post your query as a comment. 

What does TCS offers to its clients in this domain?

ITIS ranges currently across most of the industries like banking, healthcare, retail, telecom, etc. It promises and undoubtedly delivers an enhanced quality of service to help their clients experience the perfect ITIS solutions they can yearn for. Major offerings includes:

Business Effective Infrastructure Readiness Assessment IT Service Desk Data Center Management End User Computing Services Database Services Application Management Services Converged Networks Managed Security Services ..... and even more
(Courtesy: TCS brochure)

Who others are there offering Infrastructure services?

IBM
Capgemini (http://www.uk.capgemini.com/services/outsourcing/infrastructure-outsourcing/)
Wipro (http://www.wipro.com/services/ims/index.htm)
Infosys (http://www.infosys.com/offerings/IT-services/infrastructure-services/)
Microland (http://www.microland.com/infrastructure.html)
HCL
and many more....
This proves that there are lots of opportunities in this domain. 

What is the scope of ITIS in future?

Today's business world and everything around it requires IT to survive in this competitive world, be it the local restaurant or the aerospace center all require IT to process their daily work, so an IT guy is never out of the job, may the IT development have hurdles, but the maintenance will never. This can prove evident that IT Infrastructure has a huge career growth, so don't worry... we ITIS guys will be in equal demand with the IT development guys. 

Why TCS?

Being the child of TATA group of industries it has lived up-to its reputation in the global world, it has always bagged the big govt. projects, also it is a buzz around that on-site opportunities are more compared to its competitors, after all... we are working for the INDIAN company.... TATA is the pride of the nation, so why step back when you have opportunity. 

About ITIS Training (ILP)?

As this is confidential, there will be very less to disclose...

IT – Infrastructure Services in TCS has branded its Learning & Development program as c-Develop Program. (Competency Development).

The basics & the fundamentals of computers that you may know already are taught.

Microsoft Windows, Linux and Data Networking will be three leading areas in which the concepts will be taught. This will cover installation and configuration of Operating Systems like Windows 2003 & Linux and configuration of Cisco routers and switches. There will be introductory sessions on IT Security, ITIL Standards, Service Desk, Storage, Enterprise System Monitoring etc. 

What sort of projects fall under this domain?

Infrastructure Services projects fall under this domain, i.e network monitoring, system administration, security, servers, maintenance, deployment and stuff like that. Besides these, there are some internal TCS projects too which falls under ITIS. When talking about working sectors, there are many big shots, projects of banks, pharma companies, health care, retail, finance etc. 

How one can rate ITIS on a scale of 10?

Rating depends upon individual perspective, if you have passion or interest in these technologies then you can opt for it and if you are good in coding and wanna be a developer or programmer then choose IT. Its totally upto you.

From above questions and their answers, you can easily see that ITIS is not at all an inferior field. Rather it's an upcoming field with good future and onsite opportunities.

This document is an effort to organize Frequently Asked Questions with their answers. Hope you'll find it useful enough and it'll help all new ITIS recruits.

I'd like to thank Praneeth Varma for assistance in creating this document, Kartik Manocha for assistance in updating it. Some points were also referred from this blog's earlier made post regarding ITIS.

Have a happy stay at TCS-ITIS.
Cheers!!

More Details about ITIS here.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Software Engineering best practices we do ‘Not’ follow at our own risk

Software engineers all over the world were at sometime or the other taught in their initial days some best practices to treat as the Bible while developing software and writing codes. But most of the time, we fail to undertake these steps. Due to lethargy, or time constraint, or taking things too easily, we skip the so very essential part of the best practices which can lead to some immense trouble and loss to others in the future. We will be discussing some of these serious issues now. And how we can focus on fixing our habits. 

Commenting

Often we will see Oracle, Java, Unix or for that matter codes written in any technology, often named without following the convention and reveals little about the utility of the piece of code. A coder when looks at the file in the future will have little or no idea as to what it was written for until he goes through each an every line of the code. Imagine the amount of time lost for the simple task of getting to know the functionality of a few hundred lines of code. Always include at least a few words of comment for each code block, naming conventions,  snapshot of the code (with the author name, version history, purpose). A few seconds taken by you will save many people in the future from putting their brains out to figure out the purpose of a code.


Development team in UAT
The role of the development team should be up to code delivery and implementation. At most they can guide the user how to proceed with the testing. Rest scenarios should be entirely left in the hands of the user. For obvious reasons, if the developer is involved in his own work, he is bound to influence the testing scenarios of the user unintentionally on a subconscious level. This is not to blame anyone, but something pretty natural by human behavior.

Allocation of due time for each phase in SDLC
Each of the phases in SDLC must be given due weightage and time. It often happens due to strict timelines, the analysis and design phases are shortened. But this can lead to severe consequences as the solution approach might prove to be unsustainable on the long term. All sorts of feasibility, cost, adaptability, flexibility study should be completed with proper discussions and brain-storming which will also benefit in team-building.

These practices need to be strictly followed by budding engineers and experienced professionals alike. It’s ought to be like the untold rules of software engineering.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Team work and the odd ones out in IT sector

The IT sector boasts of team work and team spirit at the very core of its values. It comes as no surprise that the kind of work that is being done inevitably demands absolute team work. A perfect mixture of the experienced and freshers in the team is the ideal scenario when it comes to effectively cost-planning a team. All experienced professionals in the team would throw the profit out of the organization. All freshers will be an obvious disaster.

istockphoto_6103831-hands-togetherNow coming to team work, people are really considered lucky here if they are in a good    team. That is because there are many teams where people suffocate into and are forced to look for other options. A nice team to start with in your professional career is truly a boon. You get to learn a lot of things which will help you in your career in the long run. Things you learn not only helps in you current job role, but also to grow as a working professional. People get less tired mentally and even physically when they are into a good team. Productivity of an employee increases by leaps and bounds when colleagues around him are always ready to help and cooperative. The productivity of the team as a whole rises inevitably amidst such positive atmosphere.

According to popular studies of human psychology, people tend to feel stress a lot less when they know there are people around him whom he can rely upon in times of distress. Your  body would thus respond more positively in case such a stress situation arises. Working in a istockphoto_16748991-cheering-hispanic-business-people-in-officegood team also teaches you interpersonal skills which are vital in the service sector.

Getting to know people from all sorts of backgrounds is another advantage in a team. Sometimes we need to adjust ourselves just a bit to move along with the team. These all are lessons in their own way. It seldom happens that all the team members are from the same region or have the same tastes and values. It is pretty normal for them to differ and that's why individuals are individuals. Your team member might get stuck in a tricky assignment which you are pretty aware how to overcome. It becomes your moral obligation and duty to help him out. Well, if you are selfish, then also you need to help him out. Guess, why? Here comes the tricky part.

We human beings always perceive of others as a neutral being from the beginning. Even if

istockphoto_10547363-headache

we converse, and seem to be friends, it’s what in the subconscious mind that defines what we do and when we do. Your helping hand to your colleague in the time of distress will etch a mark in his subconscious mind about the supporting hand you lent out. When your time of stress comes, he will not hesitate to go beyond the usual limits to help you out (just in case he is not too generous, in which case he will help you out even if he doesn’t know you and you should consider yourself superbly lucky to have such a gem of a team member in your team).

Also, another trick of the trade is it always helps to share your knowledge with others. Who know, who might come handy when you are on a holiday or vacation! This is not the intended reason, but it always help because knowledge sharing always enhances one’s knowledge and acts as a superb value addition to the team.

istockphoto_704547-bad-day-at-the-officeNow coming to the odd ones who find it difficult to cope in a team. Their stress level undoubtedly rises. If he’s the good guy finding himself or herself surrounded by a sea of politics and work is being extracted out of him and passed on as other’s work and his visibility to his bosses is being reduced to the minimum so that everyone else gets the credit for his work, it is indeed a nightmare for him. He is the sole person working. He cannot raise his voice. This is when it gets out of hand. Because we cannot keep on accepting injustice forever. Everything has an end to it. The higher management would be informed about this sooner or later and actions are bound to be taken. If that is not the case, unfortunately and inevitably, the person will try to move someplace else.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Small mistakes get hyped, no mistakes (read work) get hyped too!

In the professional world of the corporates, there is an invisible network of thoughts that is spread all across. The wavelengths from different individuals, each uniquely different from the other, cater to it’s ever-growing richness and complexity. You ought to be smart enough to get a feel and sense of the wavelengths that are invisibly travelling right under your nose. Sounds familiar? Well, it won’t if you are a newbie or you remain always focused in your machine all the time. It’s the sixth sense that prevails.

The sole reason you were hired is for accomplishing the work assigned to you. This is the basic activity which must be performed. Your supervisor will see your work, and accordingly gather an impression of you with time. This is the after activity when you finish your work. The tricks of the trade lies from the end of the basic activity till the end of the after activity. Let’s say you are a brilliant coder, your other team member is a brilliant photographer. He sees creativity and art in everything, and loves to stay updated with the latest cricket scores. When Sehwag hit 200, he was the first one to update everyone.

You tried to get the message across to him many times, but failed. So you get back to work, glued to your monitor. But your friend continues to keep a shadow update of the progress of the assigned task. The smallest of your mistakes, is blown out so much out of proportion, that everyone suddenly feels “What the hell are you doing! Your friend is so much more better at doing the same stuffs! Why don’t you just damn hand him over the responsibility?? Are you nuts?” You start to feel guilty. And try reassessing yourself.

This scenario to an observant onlooker, will become clear as crystal. You should be reassessing your surroundings instead of yourself. The sad part is, your supervisor isn’t always an observant onlooker, since he has lot of responsibilities on his shoulders, and can hear only the louder of the noises a team or different teams. Your friend has successfully played his game which he is best at. With one shot, he down-played you, as well as up-played himself. You are left to ponder over your shortcomings like a needle in a haystack.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Achieving and performing without working in the IT sector: Tribute to the ‘a class apart’

There are no end to deadlines in the IT sector. If you are working on a development project, you have deliverables and codes to complete within the timeline. If you are working on a support project, you have to provide support as and when it is required to meet the demand of the hour. It is always a race with time. You always feel you do not have enough of it to complete all your tasks. Same is with your supervisors as well, in fact it is so for most people in the IT industry except few lucky ones who only need to spend the stipulated 9 hours daily and leave without any pressure of deadlines.
 
But there is an elite group of people who are a class apart and who can achieve he impossible, defying the law of conservation of energy. They get to accomplish tasks that require lots of effort by not giving any effort, well, almost.

istockphoto_362114-hatching-the-idea For them, work is just a wastage of effort and time. As some of them claim, they love to be ‘around’ work, not ‘doing’ the work.

Let’s get it straight now. They act as the coach of the team even though they are the captain of the team! He wants his team members to do the job for him as he lazes around. Occasionally, and let me put that very rarely, he acts to provides moral support to his team members! Not that he is bad at that though. If required he can pour his heart out at help his team members out of the trickiest most troublesome situation, that’s his best side. He might spend hours until he achieves what he wants to do, be it in his own work, or helping out his own team members or members of a different team. But, as you already might have guessed, that happens very rarely. It will be a very big day and almost everyone (yes, everyone including PLs and GLs!) is going to raise their eyebrows seeing him work, or being sincere (seemingly trying to be).

It seems a pretty useless and unwanted person he is in the team. Isn’t it? Apparently, he is. But that’s not the whole story. In fact, it’s only a part.istockphoto_14428635-heroic-man-in-city There’s a lot more to him than meets the eye. He can read you inside out when you are talking with him. His brain collects signals of your likes, dislikes, hobbies, your close ones, their food preferences, holiday preferences, your shopping habits and what not. The cumulative data is used to process out some vital information that is required to make the best impression on you. Something that will make him appear to you so close that you can share anything with him (don’t take in the wrong sense!).

This is a gift. Really lucky are those who possess such innate quality of impressing people. It can range from your immediate boss, your group leader, your onsite client whom you met at a party. It helps to have this great impression which gives you an edge over the others even when you underperform (well, that doesn’t mean you deliberately underperform and roam around). It makes you appear really an efficient resource. It helps you bag a greater points in the eyes of your boss, hence a nice perk. It favors you on having onsite opportunities.

Well, it does pay off you see! But there are a number of cases when such larger than life images backfires. You can well imagine any scenario when an apparent Jason Bourne, is send on a mission when actually, he is, Adam Sandler!

Did you have any such experience or know someone with such gifted qualities? Feel free to comment and share below.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Work culture in the IT sector

All characters are imaginary. Any resemblance is purely coincidental.

Over years of observation, like any other sector in the professional world, the IT sector too boasts of a chameleon of cultures in different companies. It varies so much across the different companies, across different projects in the same company, and even across different teams in the same project that often colleagues are astounded as to how such diversity can exist at one place. Yet it happens, and like always, we have to adjust to it, or for the luckier ones, pray that it lasts like this forever!
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If you are into one of the biggies like IBM, TCS, Infosys etc, you are already amongst the luckier lot, well, apparently. It gets interesting as you get exposed to this big (not bad, but I prefer to call it rather interesting) corporate world and get to see (I don’t expect you to learn anything, until unless you have spent more than a year here) the rules of the game.

Let’s look at it from the perspective of a game we all love, cricket. There are the coaches (leads) in the team who are really an important part and who gets to drive the team towards its goal. Now how many types of coaches have we recently seen, John Wright and Greg Chappell (come on, we don’t know Duncan Fletcher yet!). The perfect examples to provide us an insight into a generic lead in this sector. We see the leads who take a stern istockphoto_15415482-businessman-using-megaphone-to-talk-to-female-colleague look at you when you enter office at 10.01am and raise her eyebrows as high as her receding hairline when you say you are leaving after 9 hours of strenuous work. We see the calm-faced well-dressed Mr. X give you a thrashing personally after calling you into one of the meeting rooms (oh how I wish one of these rooms writes an autobiography, even Ram Gopal Varma would have got some new plot for his next film!) when he felt you might not be able to meet a deadline, using words and phrases you never knew he could use them (or still better, you don’t know them yourself!). Recollect Chappell showing you the middle finger and tossing the players in and out? Well, there couldn’t be a better comparison, you are the scapegoat and you are in as long as you are worth some codes! 

Well, not to say everyone is a Mr. X, there is Mr. Y and Mr. Z as well. Mr. Y is the perfect example of Hitler in a different form. Work is a different interpretation to him. He istockphoto_11086631-young-businessman-has-stress-and-screams-in-telephone interprets work as something divine. Those who are showing 99.99% efficiency must die immediately. I wonder how the extensions phones and the desktops remain intact around him. His anger knows no bounds. He is angry if it is raining during monsoon or the AC has been switched off for 5 minutes or if it is too cold. He is angry if he doesn’t get to go onsite. There’s one particular case when all hell breaks loose, it is when he is assigned some work to be done (talking of module leads here, if you are not aware of the hierarchy, it is fellow worker->module lead->project lead and so on). His eyes are fire. Remember saint Durbasha in the Mahabharata? Well, that Mr. Y for you here! When nice, he is the best help you’ve got around, technically sound and working non-stop until your problem gets resolved. But well, it all comes down to ‘when nice’.


Now coming to Mr. Z or Mrs. Z, he comes early in the morning before everyone and goes deep down the throat of his monitor (I would rather give my wife a 5lac worth Tanishq istockphoto_1320879-frustration-at-work necklace rather than let her be a Mrs. Z!). Yes, you heard right, early in the morning when all the lights of the quadrant are still off. He sits like a zombie checking his mails and doesn’t notice when people enters or leaves, only thing he is concerned is work and work and work and work. When he looks at you, he doesn’t see ‘you’, he sees the ‘work assigned to you’! Such is the height, if you wish him ‘Happy Birthday’, he replies back ‘Hi! Did you complete the work assigned to you before you left yesterday?’. You start thinking ‘Did the #@$% hear me just now!!!! x-( ‘. But you keep a calm face and answer, ‘Yes Z (#@$%), I am looking into it’. Management is something to him as golf is to Sachin Tendulkar. Technically immensely sound with decades of expertise under the belt, but that had come for a price, null value for management skill!

I will try to share some more experiences I have heard from my friends across different IT companies. This is not to undermine anybody but just a critical presentation to give a glimpse of what might await thousands in the coming days.

Good looks pay off in the outsourcing world?

The popular concept that hard work is the main key behind success might take a small backfoot in this discussion. True that there is no alternative to hard work, but apart from that, there are some X-factors that come into play when you are looking for success in the outsourcing world. It comes more into play when you are directly interacting with some of the people whom you need to convince and get a deal or something done.

One of the many factors that come into play is how you look, your overall appearance. Apparently a less prioritized concept, but believe me, it helps a long way in quite

a number of circumstances that you might well believe it to be unnecessary

in. A good-looking associate, male or female, is always one step ahead when it comes to deal making and in the marketing and sales area. A nice looking face and figure will always be a pleasing presence in front of the opposite party. If you know the tricks of the trade and is already experienced, then you will know how to utilize it by smiling and talking with gestures to make the situation even more warm. It is always beneficial and most people know to put the best face forward when the priority is to put up a nice image and get the job done. It is not that the good looking guy or girl is best fit for the job, but he or she is the need of the hour.

It is not a biased opinion. Skill and success can never be measured by looks. But in the outsourcing world, when grooming and cut throat competition looms large, these factors are coming into play. It does not mean clothes which betray the official dress codes, but it strongly means the more than perfect official dress code and perhaps some more improvisations which will take you a notch apart from the rest. As you might have guessed already, it has a lot to do with the attitude as well. Because, as Desmond Morris puts it, you will always be talking more by your body than your mouth, and your body talks what you think, your attitude speaks through your body.

It’s always a tricky niche to discuss on. Yet this is how it is. Do you have any insightful opinion on this?

Infosys to meet target of hiring 45,000 in FY12

Infosys had earlier set a target for increasing it’s resource base this financial year. They have quoted recently that they are comfortably on their way to achieve their mark. This surely showcases a positive ending to this financial year as far as demand and outsourcing is concerned.

During the October-December 2011 period, the company hired 9,655 employees, while nearly 6,389 exited the organization during the period, taking the net addition to 3,266.

“The attrition rate has come down from 17.4 per cent in October—December period of 2010, to 15.4 per cent in the quarter under review,” Infosys’ Member of the Board and Chief Financial Officer, Mr V Balakrishnan said.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

‘Onsite’ and the ghost in the IT industry

The term ‘onsite’ is a favorite in the IT industry. Everyone wants to go onsite. Such is the madness, people start dreaming of onsite even before entering the company. It has cast a mysterious spell on the IT sector. It was not meant to be this way in the beginning. But it has happened starting from way back in 2007.

For beginners, here is what the scenario is like. The client is generally from outside India. They have outsourced their work to an IT company in India. It is allotted to a particular istockphoto_3826600-airplane-above-the-clouds branch of the company in a particular city. But this distance factor often comes in the way of smooth communication between the client and the Indian company. For reason, someone from India is sent to reside at the client’s location until the job is done. The salary at the client’s location is normally 3-5 times of what you would be getting at ‘offshore’ (term used to denote the location where the work is outsourced to). It depends a lot on what your job role is, where you are going, and most importantly, what your designation is. The factor that decides who will go and what effect it has on others is the most interesting part to be discussed now.

Normally, it happens such that there is an experienced professional at offshore, or a pretty capable team at offshore. The other person with generally more than 2 years of experience ist2_9438408-close-up-of-a-young-woman-looking-excited-against-white-backgroundleaves for onsite. He might be having a relevant skill set required to the job done, or might have handled such projects very well in the past, or belongs to an elite team in the organization which handles such onsite positions, or have been waiting for onsite for quite some time. This is what happens in most cases.

The excitement, hype and happiness that comes with the first onsite travel is pretty obvious. It’s as if you have found the real meaning of your existence at last. You have found the real meaning of your getting a job at last. I don’t believe in it. But people seem to give the priority to money and wealth even above their own happiness. It is good no doubt, but not worth so much celebrations. Anyways, it apparently came down as a God’s blessing on him and he leaves happily for his new task feeling lucky and blessed. People at offshore feel confident with him at onsite and are sure about getting the job done.

The scenario gets a bit cloudy when people at offshore do not feel confident enough about the efficiency about the person who just left for onsite.istockphoto_14455683-eye It might as well happen that the person truly lacks the credibility to go for onsite. Well, then, there must be something which led him there, right?

The first and foremost things that comes to mind are contacts with higher management. Such contacts can prove very much useful and more so if you know actually how to make contacts. Secondly, in many companies, there is an elite section of reserved associates for such special roles. Once you enter them, it’s always a cakewalk to get such opportunities.

Not that he will be unable to deliver, but that will be far below expectations. But that won’t be noticed by anyone as the offshore team delivers slightly more than expectations and that compensates more than enough for the total effort by offshore and onsite. But the discontent and grudge that is created amongst the offshore team members is something vital and it affects the team a lot. People will constantly curse and hope he is being thrown out. Well, that seldom happens truly, as you might be guessing by now.

A different aspect that needs to be reflected upon is what happens to many people when they do not get to visit onsite.istockphoto_736395-stress It doesn’t happen generally, but there are cases where people simply lose their mind when it comes down to not getting an onsite opportunity. They would get angry easily. They would blame their onsite counterparts (even if the guy or gal at onsite is capable and deserved the opportunity) for every possible opportunity. Frankly speaking, this person have sacrificed his inner peace for the sake of not getting an onsite opportunity. Not to mention, the team spirit (if it exists at all in such a scenario) suffers. The situation turns worse if this person has been sent back from onsite for some issues and then someone else has been sent in his place.

Well, we all got to learn from such situations we continue to face in our lives or hear from others. Had any such experience? Feel free to share below.

Friday, January 13, 2012

What will be your hike on FY12 completion?

The current volatility of the market has made quite a foreheads ache during strategy planning across all sectors.

But however, salary hikes are pretty optimistic across most sectors, with the predicted hikes varying between 10-14%.

The IT sector might see a 14% salary increment, followed by 13 % in healthcare sector, 12% in retail and 11% in engineering and manufacturing. But despite this assuring figures, most managements and CEOs are extremely cautious and calculating to stay prepared for any unforeseen scenarios. The wage hikes at the end of FY12 can thus be scrutinized further and figures might vary a little.

For example, TCS has been taking each step very carefully and when about 1/3rd of its revenue is spent on employee costs, it’s really something to watch out for before giving stupendous hikes. So although, hiring would continue as planned, TCS wage hikes might not be that exciting on FY12 end.