Saturday, July 16

Indian Software Industry - a dissection

The upsurge in indian economy is buttressed by the buzz word - BPO ... to be more precise "OutSourcing" ... not just the software industry ... even pharma, bio-tech, and so many other are joining the band wagon ... whats become of the software industry moulded by moorthy's and preemji's ? what has becomes of those in association with them? ...

The Bright Side of the Coin

The economy is booooming today more ever and more ppl are inclined to just earn @ the least 6/7 lpa and lead a happy life ... no more taking hassle of travelling abroad to study ... the companies right here are gonna keep people on rotation ... so I get all that I want ... amazing deal isn't it ... it truely is ... company sponsors everything and you are well taken care of ... pay during onsite visit is on par with (more often more than) the entry level candidates ... n they get their ticket back home ...

one thing most people cannot stand is doing the same stuff all the while ... people want change and at their work as well ... they want to keep doin different things ... different technologies ... learning new stuff all the while ... n slowly without having to do an MBA they enter the manegerial cadre ... all you'v got to do is slog for the organization and your reap is scad ...

the best part of todays industry is the number of product and RnD based companies springing up ... Google is the chartbuster in this list with their India Code Jam being their lure for the great minds ... plenty of such companies esp many startup harbour the great minds ... the opportunities are so voluminous that the ppl dictate terms more than the firms now a days ... a switch to a better offer is right around the corner ... gone are the days of long association with an organization ...

India today pretty much stands amoung the top countries in everything ... no one can disregard us if @ all and like they used to ... the brain power in india is unsurpassed ...

Or Is It? Does that catch phrase still hold true?

The Flip Side of the Coin

These arguments are from my personal experience and hence only reflects a part of the industry proceedings ... this is not meant to deprecate any body or any organization ... the negative connotations are meant to instigate thought amoung us as to what we truely are ...

What the software professional want dictates much of what is happening in the industry ... all that most people care is money, facility and good work ... @ the beginning of career we take up the more lucre path ... only after reaching 30 you begin looking back and think "What have I been doing all these years?" ... this is a very common apprehension I'v noticed ... n others "WOW!!! people have aspirations in life, I'd rather like to keep things simple" ...

well lets get to the 1st downside of the industry

1) People are counted / numbered / accounted for just as poultry animals -

This activity starts right ar recruitment ... if u havn't heard of the recruitment spree then u better check a recent record that appeared in tabaloids ... unscrupulous recruitment is the order of the day ... the industry badly needs MAN POWER ... gone are the days when BRAIN POWER was valued ... my alarms rang when I underwent the same ... I am in constant pursuit of an idealistic world ... my latest recruitment was a disappointment ... the bad feelin then did manifest into much larger apprehensions ... brashly said most of the candidates are taken into the company if they are OKIE ... i.e. they are not blatantly DUMB ... this can be attributed to yet another revolution which goes by the name of process and standards which is detailed later ...

once the guy is into his dream job ... the 1st one year is spent by most candidates in getting acclimatized to the corporate world ... n most people get rusted here ... n then their name goes up the auction boards based on their rankings ... the managers pitch-in n say ... hey I need these many heads for this activity (as in so many masons for this construction job) ... then the shepard says alright ... u ... u ... u ... go there ... ur fate is decided @ random with least regards to ur skill ... n it continues ... later more jargons spring up ... u get to be known as a 'resource' (to be sapped) ... complete 3 years and ur tagged for "Body Shopping" ...

the company advertises - "Software Professionals no Sale!!!" ... n the rebates hold all through the year ...

n some people undergoing it rationalize the whole thing by saying "U'v got to be flexible" ... n slowly the truth unfolds ... "the client is paying for every hour of yours so ur r liable to any activity that they assign you to" ... does this ring anything in your mind?

n during this entire exercise I'v witnessed many talented individuals giving up all they'v learned for money ... n the companies take advatage of this ... not that they let u free if you choose not to ... either you dance to the tunes of the company or ur done for either way (some wud even consider not providing future opportunities) ... for many they just cannot advertise their capabilities and the company becomes their agent n its mutual benefit ... for those who want to live out a life ... indian s/w industry is a haven ... n I truely revere those who accept this ... the
sad part is most people would deny it outright for they are not ready to hear this ... n proclaim me as the inane and a qioxotic misfit

2) The repercusions of the CMM flavour -

The process defined by various organizations are known under various flavours ISO, CMM, CMM-I, PCMM so on and so forth. This is where indian software companies score in the international market. Let me highlight the crux of each CMM level -

1. Initial (processes are ad-hoc, chaotic, or actually few processes are defined)
2. Repeatable (basic processes are established and there is a level of discipline to stick to these processes)
3. Defined (all processes are defined, documented, standardized and integrated into each other)
4. Managed (processes are measured by collecting detailed data on the processes and their quality)
5. Optimizing (continuous process improvement is adopted and in place by quantitative feedback and from piloting new ideas ands technologies)
(courtesy: valuebasedmanagement.net)

no wonder companies looking to oursource choose indian firms ... but how effective is it ... most people would counter argue to my comments that having something in place leaves us in better shape ... but my point is the complacency that seeps in ...

I am ashamed to say that the weakest of indian attitudes is that we PROCLAIM THAT WHICH WE ARE NOT more often ... basically sham ... but how does it work? ... here is how it goes -

the company takes few projects on audit n gets the certification ... when bidding for projects our gentlemen bid for at impractical schedules to secure the project ... once the project is in the pressure is mounted on the so called valued engineers of the company (to whome every project is a nightmare) ... the engineer hardly having enough time to practice the process yields to getting the job done ... after all "Client is GOD" ... so the team ships the product with plenty of known issues ...

meanwhile the management having shown prospect of competence secures firm ground with the client ... who is not dependent on this company ... voila now the outsource'e starts dictating terms nicely now that hes in control ... having delivered the product with plenty of bugs the client gets back asking for a project towards bug fixing ... voila more $money$ for the indian firm ... okie now we need our engineers here to get it done ... n the circle continues ...

Is this Good Work Ethics? the process that they preached once holds no longer true ...

well n what has happened to the people ... the valued engineers? ... the CMM mantra w.r.t. the engineers is that "There are no Hero's in an organization" ... i.e. the organization is not dependent on any single engineer's talent (which by far does not hold as such) ... every engineer is replaceable ... the spirit of CMM is to ensure that the process can enable another person of similar skills to catch up and get things done with minimal impact ... but how it works is any available engineer is pulled in ... no specific criteria ... n of course availability and possesing a valid VISA does rule ... this again gets back to point number 1 ...

I highly value process ... unfortunately not following them in full spirit is tarnishing the reputation ... the client are having apprehensions with the companies and so are the employees who are liable to do any god damn job ...

Where we go from here?

What am I trying to say ... are the companies evil n treat people as cows n sheeps ... NO ... this is something brought about by the people themselves ... as a matter of fact there are so many incompetent people to whome these companies are providing work and salaries ... yet at the end of the day believe it or not the competent and the incompetent are railed and commended to the same extent ... the incompetent railed for what they are and the competent for not having worked more (the company is never satisfied not matter how much you work) ... in incompetent gets away and has a happy life ... the competent who tries to live up by slogging messes up his personal life ... fails to njoi life as much as he should have ... n finally looks back and says "I missed those day which I should have enjoyed" ... life suddenly seems unfair ... money seems to have less value now ... NO life is NOT unfair ... the choices u made have paved way for it ... so demand for a brighter today and not just a brighter tomorrow ...

having said all this ... something more to think about ... has the industry really slowed the BRAIN DRAIN?? I'll buy the fact that not many people choose to go abroad today but for business cum jaunt kinda trips ... but whats happening to the people here ...

many of the top companies have loads of talent on bench ... which is good for the economy and the country coz this means excess resource and more business ... imagine the scores of people put through this ... during this many people tend to belive that this is the very nature of the industry and they become sloths ... so that's a percentage of people lost ... many get rusted by the time they are into some solid work ... they are incapacitated ... that's another percentage lost ... n a good amount outa an idle mind begin to settle down in life ... never again in a position to think as much as needed ...

n yet there are those such as I in endless pursuit of the ideal company ... so many offers from bangalore we get everyday ... most of them from big MNC and the feedback I get from the junta there... menial tasks or no work at all for prolonged periods ... but the pay works ... only until u guys turn 30 ... when taking another path is 2 late ...

now lets get to the traditional BRAIN DRAIN argument ... our junta abroad is making scores of success in all fields ... now is that good or having excess of people right here and turning them into a rut (sounds like an exageration??) better?

as for the companies ... better ethics should prevail ... we as professional should emphasize it and demand for it ... in a recent survey I heard about in a company some people said this company is not a fun place to work while few other say itz amazin ... on querying the difference the happy camp says people who leave his company are terribly unhappy ... quite frankly many people are happy for the fact that their current job does not entail much ... n yet pays ... this is the generation that is grooming up in india ...

the above 2 points were just 2 conspicuous items that caught my attention ... n I presume therz much more to this ...

think people think!!! ...

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