Category Archives: management

A person is much more than what we see and feel

In the recent days, many incidents have been reported where either wife kills Husband or Husband (or others) kills (or tortures) Wife and all the other combinations of relationships. In most of the incidents, neighbors and friends are surprised about the fact that “this” person could not have don’t that. Or the person whom we know could not do this “bad” thing. In other times, some parents are heart broken to say that, “We never thought our son-in-law could torture our daughter. He seemed to be nice.”. Readers can very well get the context in which one would be surprised to see what other person did to them or others.

The recent Tiger Woods story is flying around the media for a few months now. Tiger Woods is an American professional golfer whose achievements to date rank him among the most successful golfers of all time. Currently the World No. 1, he was the highest-paid professional athlete in 2008, having earned an estimated $110 million from winnings and endorsements. Woods has won 14 professional major golf championships, the second highest of any male player, and 71 PGA Tour events, third all time. With the recent setback on his career where he was exposed with a Sex scandal with his wife and (many more) mistress. Millions of people worldwide were devastated that their favorite “Tiger Woods” was exposed to the media. They are never to believe that Tiger Woods could do such “bad” things. All the earnest he earned with hard work of few years was lost in few days.

SPS Rathore and Ruchika case is also one of the most popular and saddening news in 2009. SPS Rathore is the Inspector General of police who was the top law enforcer of the state of Haryana. Ruchika was a budding tennis player. The 14-year-girl was so traumatized by the experience and intimidation from authorities to silence her that she committed suicide in 1993. Probably this is not the right forum to discuss, if the 6 month jail and Rs.1000/- fine is what one should get for this inexcusable mistake. However, people were shocked to see that a IPS officer and an ex-DGP could do such a “bad” thing to a little girl (same age as his grand-daughter may be).

Mohammad Azharuddin and Ajay Jadeja were two cricket icons who many many Indians and other cricket fans adored and respected. In the year 2000, when  all these cricketers were hit by the Match-fixing scandal, many where angry and surprised how these seasoned cricketers are able to do such stupid actions.

The Monica Lewinsky scandal was a political sex scandal emerging from a sexual relationship between United States President Bill Clinton and a 22-year-old White House intern, Monica Lewinsky. The news of this extra-marital affair and the resulting investigation eventually led to the impeachment of President Clinton in 1998 by the U.S. House of Representatives and his subsequent acquittal on all impeachment charges (of perjury and obstruction of justice) in a 21-day Senate trial. President of a lead nation falling pray to such practices made the entire US and world look at this guy with shame. He is one president who has great charm, had influenced many nations on nuclear treaties, strengthened relations with India and many more. A person of such magnitude was/is never expected to commit a mistake which would play with people’s feelings.

Bollywood’s hero Salman Khan is/was respected and adored by many Indians and people abroad. On 28 September 2002, Salman was arrested for rash and negligent driving. His car had run into a bakery in Mumbai; one person who was sleeping on the pavement outside the bakery died and three others were injured in the mishap. On 17 February 2006, Khan was sentenced to one year in prison for hunting an endangered species, the Chinkara. The sentence was stayed by a higher court during appeal. His turbulent relationship with actress Aishwarya Rai was a well publicized topic in the Indian media, and had constantly filled gossip columns. After their break-up in March 2002, Rai accused him of harassing her.

In the above examples, you could see that variety of people in various walks of life have committed what we generally perceive as “wrong” doings. This brings to discuss an interesting idea of “A person is much more than what we see and feel”. There will be many instances in life where we are surprised by some “action” that our close friend or relative did. You would be shattered to know that a person that you KNEW was totally different to what they were in ACTUALITY.

That said, it is interesting to see some components of what makes a person what he is today. Following are some important components that we all believe that a person is made up of and perceived.

  • Childhood
    • Parents treatment
    • Teachers treatment
    • Neighbors treatment
    • Relatives treatment
    • Friends Influence
    • Learning from Hobbies
  • Adulthood
    • College Environment
    • Friend Influence
    • Delta of Parent Influence
    • Delta of Faculty Influence
    • Learning from Hobbies
    • Learning from Travel
    • Experiences @ Work
    • Learning from Boss
    • Leanings from Co-worker

Also, it is very important to understand that a person plays multiple roles in his life time. And Responsibility for each role is UNIQUE.

A person is a combination of his upbringing stimulants.

A person is a combination of experiences from his birth time till death.

A person is a combination of positives traits

A person is a combination of negative traits

Very often, people don’t understand this fact and mix up the facts and assume the following…

  • He is a good Son. So, He will be good Husband.
  • She is a good Daughter; So, She will be good Mother.
  • She is a good Daughter; So, She will be good Wife.
  • He is a great Person at Work; So, He will become good Husband.
  • He talks very nicely with people; So, He will LOVE his wife.
  • She is a nice person; So, She should be loving her Husband.
  • He has done his Ph.D; He will take care of his Wife and Kids nicely.
  • He is nice person to talk to; He may be loving his family a lot.
  • He takes care of his Wife; He he must be taking care of his Parents too.
  • She talks nicely with her In-laws. She much be taking good care of them.
  • and many more you could think of…
Clearly, such statements tend to prove wrong (in most cases) and we are either surprised or disappointed when something goes wrong. It is necessary to know and understand a person in various aspects of like rather than based on what we perceive. A simple analysis of a person is rather depicted by the Johari window that talks about the multiple aspects of a person. Of course, this is in no way a complete analysis of a person. However, this gives us a frame of reference to KNOWN and UNKNOWN aspects of a person.
A Johari window is a cognitive psychological tool created by Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham in 1955 in the United States, used to help people better understand their interpersonal communication and relationships. It is used primarily in self-help groups and corporate settings as a heuristic exercise.
There are definitely several other analysis tools. But Johari window is a simple tool to understand and analyze a person. This took helps us in two different ways. This tool is helpful when the person and his family/friends contribute what they about the person.
Room 1 : This is the part that most of us see in one person. This room contains all the traits of a person that he knows and others also know. e.g. A person is full of energy and jovial all the time. These traits are known to him and others too.
This room makes it possible that a person is known to other people and is open to suggestions on his personality improvement. The idea is when a person knows he is “impatient”, he is more open to accept when other suggest him to be “patient”. When you know, it is easy to accept.

Room 2 : The aspect of some personal traits known to others and not to you, prevails in this room. It some times leads to pain, as others may know that you are not trust-worthy and sway away from you and you have no clue why you cant make friends. No one even tells you and you don’t know about it.

Room 3 : This is the dangerous space of all the rooms as these traits are not known to you or others. This might lead to a scenario, where an action of yours may cause pain to you and also others. Because, you are worrying about that fact that “I am not that kind of person” and others are worrying that “He is not that kind of person”. No one knows about these traits and as the number of these traits in this room increases, there would be more and more embarrassing and shocking instances for you and everyone.

Room 4 : This is a private scenario where one is aware of a particular personal trait and they don’t reveal it to others. One can be “violent”, “vulgar” or “unethical” and not let others know about this. They always try to cover these traits with some other personal traits. If the number of items in this room increases, then a person becomes more and more secretive and its very difficult to gauge a person depending on what you know. Because, you don’t know the root of his action could be his innate trait that you are not aware of.

A gentle urge is to consciously understand a person and not judge based on what you see and hear about that person. For all that you know, he is very good socially but he is a highly unethical or vulgar personality. There are many many aspects of a person to be closely seen.

My Decision on Business (MBA) school in Bay Area!

This post is supposed to be a private notes. However, i thought this post would help many more out there who are deciding between colleges. The decision of choosing the college is a mix of quantitative, qualitative, personal and emotional analysis. One might get so many conflicting opinions and finally one may be totally confused about the DECISION.

I applied for 4 different colleges in Bay Area. # UC Davis Bay Area Part-time MBA program # Santa Clara University Professional MBA Program # University of San Francisco # Golden Gate University. These 4 universities are more or less famous in the Bay Area and i see many colleagues and friends who did their MBA and are in good positions in their respective organizations. I had discussions with many students from each of the university that I applied and debated a lot on one over the other. Trust me, I had almost 4 months of decision time and research. I did also attended the guest classes from each university.

Without wasting your time and my time, following are the considerations 🙂

  • Reputation of the School
    • Is this school recognized out side Bay Area ?
    • Is this school recognized out side California ?
    • Is this school recognized out side USA ?
  • Total Cost of the Program
    • Is it affordable? Is it Worth ?
  • Campus
    • Is it necessary to be in Campus ?
    • What do you want to do with Campus ?
    • Do you have much time to hand around in Campus ?
  • Alumni
    • Do you have powerful Alumni ?
    • Is Alumni active ?
    • Can you benefit from Alumni ?
  • Industry Connection
    • Does the school provide good exposure ?
    • Can you get connections from School ?
    • Do you get access to best people from Industry ?
  • Diversity of Students
    • Do you want same mind set of people or different ?
    • Do you want to stick to same field of profession even after MBA ?
    • Do you respect the opinion of a person in other profession ?
  • Faculty
    • Do you have a guest faculty or a full-time faculty ?
    • Do you get the professors from undergraduate program ?
    • Are they well qualified and well experienced in Industry.

Once I had the criteria, it was easy for me to decide. I never had the Commute or Schedule as the critical criteria as most of the classes are over the weekend and i don’t mind the commute at all. I also had the “easy factor” in the application process. I definitely wanted to join something that i felt “GOOD” and “CONVENIENT”. Following is my general impression on the application process for each University.

Golden Gate University : Had to send the GMAT score, TOEFL waiver essay, 2 Recommendations, 1 Application Essay/Statement of Purpose, Transcripts directly from University and the application fee. It was a very smooth process and i had no issues with the communication or the way they handled the application. They offer an MBA with in 21 months and the tuition fee is relatively less in Golden Gate. I had a personal interview with the director of the program where we discussed my experience, why i want to do my MBA and my future aspirations. All in all, it was a nice experience.

University of San Francisco : Had to send GMAT score, waived the TOEFL, 2 recommendations, 2 application essays, and Transcripts sent to WES (World Education Services) and application fee. This is one University that made me bit frustrated. I had no idea why this university asks people to send the Transcripts to WES where as ALL other universities asks them Transcripts sent directly to them. The problem is the WES support system is very lousy and i hated interacting with them. They have a customer support and email that does not respond. Repeatedly interacting with them just made me frustrated and angry most times. They also charge around $260 to review your transcripts. I have no idea, why this university does this. My university sent the Transcripts to all the universities including WES and the WES says that it had not got it (where as other universities got them). Also, the fact that i had to put so much of pressure on USF to get a reply from a “person” (and not IVR) from WES was too huge and not desired.

However, my experience with this university was tiring and i don’t recommend this for International Students.

Santa Clara University : This needed GMAT score, waived the TOEFL, 2 paper based recommendations, 2 application essays and the Transcripts sent to them directly. I loved the campus and the class rooms (i took guest student class) and the professors looked very knowledgeable. Students that i talked to gave a very good impression of the program. This program has mostly students from the IT/Software industry. Probably people looking for diversity may not find this as a best choice.

My over all impression was that this is a great school and i had a smooth communication. The admission team is nice and professional.

UC Davis : This needed GMAT score, waived TOEFL, 2 recommendations, 2 long-essays, 3 short-essays, 1 personal interview and the Transcripts sent to them directly once you get admitted. Bay Area campus is an extended one in San Ramon and i liked the class rooms too. Santa Clara University and UC Davis Bay Area had similar class rooms. UC Davis is known for the diversity of students and it stands in leadership position in the Industry and events. I had to go to the San Ramon campus for my personal interview. I had an interview with the panel and a 5 minute presentation with the panel. The presentation topic could be any thing and i talked about my parenting experiences.

My overall  impression was great and very satisfied with the way they answer the questions/queries about the program.

Of course, i finally decided to take the admission in the UC Davis for the various reason i discussed above. Everyone have their own priorities and expectations. Depending on what your goals are, the decision parameters and the end result might differ. However, it is worthwhile to consider all the options available and take a careful decision on the MBA program that’s going to get added for rest of your life. I consider deciding an MBA program is like decision of marriage. One needs to be very careful with personal expectation and the spouse’s. If your mess up the expectations, you screw up the complete relationship. It takes a lot of effort to analyze and decide what each one of us wants.

My decision is my decision. I want any readers to take my opinions with a grain of salt and use your own discretion. My situation may not be your situation.

Next 3 years at UC Davis for my MBA !

Finally the moment of triumph is here! I decided to join the UC Davis part-time MBA program and today (08-Apr-2010) i got the confirmation.  Officially I am admitted to the program and i will need to go for the UC Davis orientation on August 28th. I am really excited to see the fellow students, professors and the campus. The feeling of going back to school is exciting and also challenging. For my under graduation, i had no responsibilities and the only thing i did was to study, enjoy and workout ;). However, in contrast, i am married and have a 10 month baby now. Yes, with a young family and work during weekdays, it is very challenging to balance everything.

I am glad that i worked hard to get to to this DAY! Giving GMAT, Writing Application Essays, Looking for Recommendors, Follow-ups with the Recommendors, Deciding the Schools, Preparing for Interviews and finally DECIDING a SCHOOL really gave me a different perspective of my self. Though it all took 1 year 4 months of process, i fell so happy that i did it. This is the indication that i was very serious to do my MBA this time and all the effort had paid off. The complete MBA Application process makes you think a lot about your self.

The UC Davis part-time MBA usually takes around 3 years and may be some Heros do it in less than 3 years. This year schedule is already out and the Classes start on September 10th and ends by December 11th. Wow, after 10 years i will be writing my exams again. Need to see if these exams are in anyway different than the undergraduate ones. I like the Facebook updates from the UC Davis MBA Graduate School which are very crisp and informative.

I am super excited to go to school and get the business fundas. I cant wait anymore to attend classes which i have been waiting from past 7 years. In 2003, i took a complete GMAT orientation and i had to give my GMAT in a week when i got an opportunity to go to Germany for long term project. I was somehow more fascinated to go to Germany than doing my GMAT. And after 6 years, i decided to give GMAT and continue to live my dream.

For now, my MBA expectations are very clear.

  • Understand the complete Organization, Business Functions and their dependencies
  • Get the fundamentals of the Entrepreneurship (my planned specialization)
  • Increase the Business network in Bay Area and get help from vast UC Davis alumni
  • Find like minded people and venture a start-up by the end of MBA program
  • Finally, to live my dream of MBA!

Why Few Executives Are Skillful Managers

Cross posting from HarvardBusiness Blog. Very interesting problems with Senior executives…

1. Delegation
It is your job to delegate as much as you possibly can: your ultimate goal should be to delegate everything, find a successor and move on to a bigger job. If you are having trouble letting go or trusting others, try to remember how it felt when you were given the first big challenge of your career. Did you relish the challenge? How did you approach it? Did you succeed? What did you learn about the job and yourself? How did it help you to move forward in your career?

Remember that however talented you are, your career is likely to have stalled had your boss not trusted you with a challenging piece of work. He took the risk and delegated: now it’s your turn to do the same. No excuses, just follow the rules.

2. Managing distance
One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a manager is to spend too much time either in your team or away from it. If you are too close, you risk becoming a micromanager, you can lose perspective on the business, you can become too friendly and lose authority within the team, and your team can become over-dependent on you. Being too distant, on the other hand, can result in a directionless team, potential crises, lack of control, and you being perceived as too remote or political. Also, maintaining social distance is an important discipline for managers that should not be overlooked.

3. Visibility
Visibility and personal profile are important for your career as well as your team, so make sure you are being seen and heard in the right places. If you don’t manage your reputation and profile, someone else will do it for you — and they may not have your best interests at heart. Take time to network, share your successes, and ask to be included on steering committees or cross-functional initiatives to create opportunities to showcase your talents and your team’s achievements.

4. Work-life balance
It’s incredible that this point still needs to be reinforced. Remember that you are a human being, not a machine. You may pride yourself on being able to work long hours, never taking a holiday and putting your company before your own health and well-being (and that of your family). But be very clear that you cannot do this forever. Sooner or later your health will give up and you will no longer be in control. Burnout is a one-way ticket, so be sensible. It’s smart to look after yourself. Work reasonable hours, keep the weekends sacred, leave early one evening a week and build in an exercise schedule. Not only will this help you keep effective, it will make you easier to be around and probably prolong your career.

5. Continuous learning and reflection
Adaptability and being able to flex your style as your company or situation changes are critical. Seeking feedback, identifying your development needs, and monitoring your own progress are all vital if you are to develop as a leader and a person. Lasting behavioural change requires time, patience, dedication, and support, so don’t expect it to happen overnight. One of the best things you can do to support yourself is to give yourself time and space to reflect: try to schedule a meeting with yourself for an hour each week for reflection.

Can you do effective Context Switching ?

Everyone in Software and IT industry are exposed to the what i call as “Context Switching” problem. Bosses are so adept in giving different kinds of tasks to the “makers”, they often dont realize whats involved in the context switching. Before i move on, i was reading a very interesting article from Paul Graham on the “Maker’s Schedule; Manager’s Schedule“. Indeed, he was right on to the point of where the programmers (aks Makers) and managers spend their time and what does “meetings” mean to each of them.

We very well assume that most of the programmer’s have 8 hours of work time in a day and schedule all the work according to it. What we very often forget to take in to account are the obvious and non-obvious tasks. As Paul says, programmers one piece of work/task is normally in the 1 day chunk  (for some at least, it’s in 1/2 day chunks) and any disturbance in that 4-8 hours of time proves to be very costly. We all want to concentrate and make sure that the entire program is in our head till the time we are done with it. This phenomenon is very well explained by Paul in his article “Holding a program in one’s head“.

When you start your brand new day at office thinking over a problem or a algorithm, your boss calls up and asks you for a status update because his boss asked for a team update. Well, that is the request you need to honor without a question.  Usually the calls will not be 5-10 minutes but goes for minimum of 30 minutes to 1 hour, because we are trying to solve a problem over the phone or in the meeting room.

  • Meetings,
  • Weekend vacation talk,
  • Extended Lunch and coffee time,
  • Status reports to manager,
  • Status report to customer,
  • Helping the Sales and Marketing Team,
  • Attending the personal calls
  • etc… (i am sure there are 100s of such things)

The tasks, your manager thinks of as 10 minutes actually takes 1hour and after sending the sweet report or tools comparison to him, you again head down to start writing your program and after 1hour you get a call to say that the report format should be changed so that he can submit it right away to his boss. Phewww…. you did that one too. Now the time is almost, 2.00pm and you really want to concentrate and do the REAL work. All in all, When i analyze the average programmer probably gets around 5 hours of quality time out of 8 hours in the day time. No wonder, we often end up working late nights just before the delivery. Many programmers has the similar habit of working in the dark/late hours. Yes, that works perfectly. No one to call you or ask for reports or for help. The only thing that you really think of is the problem before you.

I work on a project which has a very tight dependency with the environment(installed software on the machine) . Every thing installed on a machine matters and a lot of legacy code is maintained from past 15 years or so. The environment is so critical that if one installed the required software in anyway other than the prescribed order, you may need to burn the mid-night lamp to find some non-obvious, strange and scary system behavior. Of course, initially i was under the impression that the software system MUST not depend on the environment, but as i got into the system, i believe that some times the dependency just exists (due to several legacy apps and unimagined integrations of different products).

Context Switching is one project impedement that Agile Methododlogy and Scrum claims to remove. Scrum recommends the values where the team has a specified time for meetings and tries to decrease the buerocracy in th project against the traditional adhoc meetings  and untimely calls for context switching. Of course one can say they are following Scrum and still do the traditional way, but i have seen this working in my experience.

Did any of you have such problems of Contect Switching ? What do you do to come over it ?

Organizational Growth and Freeway Traffic

Did you every wonder any kind of correlation between the Organizational Growth and Freeway traffic ? As i travel a lot on the freeway over the weekends (to Southern California especially on the Route 1), i found an interesting correlation among these two.

Everyone of us would want to do great jobs and grow in an organization; Be it a small or big organization. Every once aspires and dreams to take some dream jobs and work towards it. Your success at work is mainly a function of yourself, organization, boss and job. How many times did you ever wonder that if i had a better boss, if i were in a  better project, if i was in “ABC” organization, etc… I see some of these scenarios and could not resist to compare it with the why we drive on the freeway.

Your Growth and Boss : For many of us Boss is the “Company” to you. As he is the person, everyone looks at a company. If he gives us a good feeling, you feel happy about the company and if he is bad, you are screwed. Boss is the one who recognizes the stuff in you, promotes you at the right time. Your growth pace is directly proportional to your Boss and his work. If Boss is sluggish and slow, so is your growth rate and opportunities. Many a times his speed is your speed (I often hear that many people leave the company because of the Boss and NOT because of the Organization).

Now compare this on a single line freeway with no turnarounds and no way to pull out of the road. Your Boss is the Vehicle in front of you. You are following the vehicle and your speed is DIRECTLY proportional it. If the vehicle in front of you is going fast you are going fast; if its slow you are slow. There is no way to bypass or move into another lane. You need to wait till he takes an EXIT and you are driving on your own. Does it ring the bell.

Corporates and Freeway : Many people that i know work in corporates so that they have the flexibility to move around the globe (with the companies multinational presence) and take on different areas of work (which could translate to different departments, business verticals and corporate divisions). When you typically work in such environments, if you do not like your boss or you want to move on…. you always have the OPPORTUNITY. Move to a new Division or Department or new Geo Area…. you are most probably set. You do not worry about being stuck to your SAME Boss for a long time.

Now look at the Freeway with multiple lines. You are driving in one lane and your vehicle in front of you gets clogged, move on to the other lane and drive ahead. You have many possibilities in terms of how you want to go and at what phase you want to go.

Of course it is the ultimate BAD LUCK, if ALL the lanes are busy and there is no way to escape :). The only thing you can do in this scenario is either to complete the travel or take an EXIT and move on to another freeway.

Oversight : We all want to do the dream job and in any organization there is a job that is most sought after. We all are in that QUEUE to get that job and achieve our goals. But we seldom see a job that is less sought after, BUT takes you to your destination much faster. We are so obsessed in doing our RIGHT job, we often forget that there is a less trodden path which would also take you to the destination.

Its easy on Freeway. We all want to go FAST, so we take the “LEFT” most lane. There are so many people who wants to drive faster, you see that the LEFT lane is full of vehicles and the other “SLOWER” lanes are almost empty. Even when we can move to the other lanes to avoid this big QUEUE, we don’t. It takes a little bit of insight and smartness to move from the LEFT lane to the other SLOWER lanes and reach the destination FASTER than the LEFT lane.

Dont you thing this happens with many us ? I will be glad to hear your experiences and such analogies.

Consulting vs Fulltime job

Before you read this blog, i would request you to have a look at my site so that you get an idea of what i have been doing. I have been introduced to many challenges to choose between the consulting and fulltime positions when i moved to USA from Germany. I was with product development companies all the while and its little strange for me the “idea” of consulting. I did quite a bit of research on different companies and what kind of job should i choose. For the rest of my blog, i do not want to take any of the company names. I hope that you would be able to relate what i am saying to your own experiences. I would be glad to hear more experiences and your views.

Before i say anything, I want to clarify what i am referring to as a “consulting job”. You are working on the payroll of a consulting company, which does not have any product behind it, but just acts as a head-count machine. They do have some direct clients and you are placed with one of them. Its purely on your luck that you get a long-term contract and you are not fired from the job from time-to-time.

By “full time job” i mean, you are working with a Product development, Services, rarely some consulting companies on their payroll. You might work for their own product or might do services to customers. You can be “fired” at any point of time but atleast they will give you 2 weeks notice (i guess this is a norm).

And now i want to share few categories that i considered before i decided my path. Hope this helps to some of you who are looking for a change.

  • Work Experience
    • Fulltime
      • You work with a single product for a long time. You will get to see to see entire system and some times you might get a chance to build the system from scratch.
      • Depending on the companies technology direction and its vision, one need to constantly change their technology area.
      • You might some times consult your customers to implement your product, train them and others. Still it might be with the product of your company.
    • Consulting
      • You are with clients, helping them to achieve their goals.
      • You might not have any say on the product direction or what the customer is doing. You are considered purely as a resource who is supposed to execute their instructions.
      • Your are at the customer site because you are a specialist. If you dont meet their expectations, you need to search another job.
      • On the technical level, you will see different systems and get to learn customer’s environment.
  • Influence
    • Fulltime
      • You are given certain responsibilities and you as a fulltime employee and you have the right to influence your organization.
      • Every action you do, every decision you take has a direct effect on the organization.
    • Consulting
      • Mostly customers do differentiate the fulltime employees and consultants. Social life with fulltime employees might be difficult.
      • You as a consultant normally will not have any influence on the project.You are there to help the project. Thats it.
  • Compensation
    • Fulltime
      • On the industry average fulltime employees are paid less than the consultants counterparts with same technology and experience.
      • Some times waiting for bonus and performance reviews can be frustrating.
      • Compensation is the last thing that you would discuss with the company.
    • Consulting
      • Consultants gets paid more as their clients pay more on the hourly basis. Its very important to know that the “client” has absolutely no liability to wards the consultant. Client might do all his decisions according to his whims and fancies.
      • Its unlikely that you discuss about the exact compensation in the first call.
      • Your consulting company might not be able to pay you at the right time as there is always a lead time for him to get paid by the client. Unless its a big company which has life of credit, its difficult to trust.
  • Interviewing Process
    • Fulltime
      • Normally companies will post the job description on their own web site or some of the job posting sites. They do not prefer to go via vendors / recruiters.
      • Candidate takes a phone interview – HR, phone interview – Technical, personal interview – Technical, phone call to finalize the offer and then a complete background check.
      • The entire process is normally around 1-2 month duration. At the end of this, you can still say NO to the offer that the company made.
    • Consulting
      • You normally decide on the hourly rate in the beginning of the process
      • Your consulting company or other vendors first talks to you about the job and then they SUBMIT you to the client.
      • They insist you to have all the KEY WORDS that the client is looking for in your resume. If you dont have it, its a crime.
      • In the event of multiple vendors marketing you, its likely that you have multiple resumes. (you might not like it, but it happens)
      • You typically have a phone interview and then the client decides if you are in the project or not. In the ideal case, the consulting company has to SCREEN the candidate, do the BACKGROUND CHECK, get BEST of the available technical brains.
  • Miscellanious
    • Fulltime
      • I do see many people who got stuck in the companies in the full time positions.
      • If you stick to a company for a long time, be sure that you update your knowledge and also be aware of whats happening out side your company.
      • Some complain about the bureaucracy in the company and they are not able to grow for a long time.
    • Consulting
      • Its pity that some times your friends might suggest you to have a Java, Oracle and Microsoft certifications in your resume, where as you have not given those certification exams.
      • If you are of 1-3 years experienced and what to apply for a job via a consulting company, they might ask you to put a minimum of 6 years of experience. In the end if you see your time line in your life, you have more experience than what you can.

At the end of this exercise, its very important to understand that your priorities are very important. You need to decide what you want to do depending on your passion and previous experiences. All the topics and points i have raised are purely result of my study and 3 months of job search for some good project and good company.

I wish everyone — who is looking for a job — all the best and make a wise decision. Luckily i did make a decision and i am glad for what i did.

Competition and Self Identity in India

Competition : An occasion on which a winner is selected from among two or more contestants. Are you a Winner. Ofcourse, most of us are winners at some point or the other. Thats the time we have felt the top of the world, a little high, proudness, recognition in the crowd/society, increased respect from the family members, and a lot more. I am sure we do agree that all these are the factors that drives us to be competent.

Self Identity : Its a set of qualities and passion that distinguishes one from another. e.g. BillGates and Myself 🙂 . I have my own and he has his own identity. This is also a result of mental state and perception that we have right from the childhood.

I am sure all of us depending on our backgrounds and ethnic grounds, we have dreamt of many things. I wanted to be an Actor. Believe me….i always dreamt of to be a best actor in the world (till 13-15 years of age). Right from my 8th grade, i wanted to be a scientist. I wanted to do something with the fundamental and astro physics. Was verymuch interested to see if i can increase the days length. Instead of 24 hours, it shoudl be around 48 hours. I wanted it coz, i want to spend more time with my Girlfriend in school and also can get more time for Cricket. Neverthe less that never happened. And finally after all these years of becoming this and that….Ya… i am a Software engineer 🙁

After some time i get to see lot of world outside my home, city, state and country. I was one of those young people, to get to travel to many countries. And all the time i was thinking i have achieved a lot and i am gr8. But when i saw the world outside, i have started “thinking“. In the due course of time, we all get into a kind of competitive mood, to get into Engineering, Medicine, Law, etc… And now ritght from the 10th grade we have been PUSHED to get good grades and show that u r capable. Its the result of peer, family and society pressure. When i got an average of 80% in my +2, the postman in my area, has made a remark that his son got around 90%. Wow thats great, for a moment i felt deminished. Anyway, who cares…thats what i have got and thats what i am.

Inida is a country with 1.3 billion people. As i know tehre are around 200+ engineering colleges in the state Andhra Pradesh. Now you can assume the amount of the crowd that comes out of the collage every year. Now all thse kids need to be placed in soem companies 🙁 .

The irony is that, from 10th grade we stop every thing. Literally every thing. Dont do excercises; Dont go to dancing lessons; Dont play; Dont watch TV; Dont attend parties; Dont go to Swimming lessons; No social work; All these are a waste of time. Inshort, anything thats not books related is a time of waste. Wow…by the time we come out of the collages and getinto the jobs, we are worthless kids. Except the work related topics, we are not good at ANYTHING else.

And what we also lack is the realization that we are becoming too focussed on studies and letting other side of the life near to EMPTY. Ofcourse all this while we are so focussed and so TUNED towards this kind of “lifestyle“, we believe thats THE LIFE. Instead of giving our kids all the necessary KNOWLEDGE thats required to lead a successful life, we give then only a CAREER. In my view the CAREER is a part of the life but not the LIFE it self. We dont train them emotionally. Else, we woudlnot see so many suicide cases, coz they did not get through a competitive exam. Thats funny right…

Do any of us remember days when we actually set aside out official work, coz we want to spend time with kids, parents, wife/husband and friends. Did we fight at office saying that, i cant do this work coz i want to attend my gym/trecking/longdrive/painting/social work. I am not saying that we dont do it. But how often and how passionately we do the other things in life.

The Society that we have….this is a real tricky part. When we go to public gatherings or fucntions, did we ever see ourselves talking something other than our professional topics. A person who has done medicine cant get close to a engineer. We say..ha…his attitue and ideas are different. I cant talk to him in terms of engineering design, mechanical structures, the 8th wonder of the world i have in mind.

I am just wondering why dont we BE what we are. Its important ti be competitive and at the same time we also have to give importance to over all development and SELF IDENTITY. If all software engineers, if all are doctors, then WHO AM I. Do i have a recognition as a PERSON, other than my profession….