Sunday, November 4, 2012

Choosing a Software Career - For a fresher

Recent news that Infosys has deferred the joining dates for its on-campus new hires prompted me to revive  a deep thought that i have been having about the choice of a software career for a fresher. Whether to stick to an offer from a big brand or to go for a small but promising brand? Here, am not talking about international brands like FB, Google, Microsoft..etc. my view is limited to my knowledge and experience, Indian companies. Based on my experience, I personally think that the best option is to go for a promising career than a big brand.
With big brands, the good thing is that it is easy to enter, i mean the interviews/recruitment process and also the initial training especially with Infy, but after getting in, it is difficult to grow, by grow i mean the career/technology, it can happen only if you push your self against all odds or have the guy Mr. Luck by ur side. In simple logic, the big company with a lakh (lets say)employees, has to someway restrict the growth of its employees to limited numbers only then can it show a better financial result for its self. But ofcourse, that limited numbers (employees) will be the most benefited as they work for the best organization with best facilities and a great growth, the question is, how long they themselves could sustain their growth? There is always this politics that could pull you down, even the best techy if he isnt smart politically. I dont mean that a career with big company shouldnt be considered at all, infact such an experience with a big company is a must for a software guy, but he better have it for a shorter period only and not necessarily as a fresher

For those like me, to get through an interview as a fresher was a nightmare and these big companies are a blessing. Adding to my personal fear with interviews becoz of my grt communication skills, with electrical engg, i just couldnt have dreamt of a software career if not for Infy. I couldnt then even afford for a software course and i was already struggling to get to daily internet browsing. And into the big company, it also gives you the opportunity to travel, yeah travel Onsite. I believe, this is one of the most important things which drives the success of the big brands in retaining its employees, where the company lets the employee earn in dollars/pounds. But this is usually influenced by the visa restrictions and the usual internal politics.. When it comes to the technology in work, as most know, its only a small percentage of projects that run on cutting edge and also big companies are proud on their dummy maintenance/support projects rather than intelligent developments as their most revenue is from them, you can even call it their backbone. An american/western company would never want to take such maintenance ever. Remember we cant deny though that it is these maintenance revenue which had paid so many software engineers, but we are restricted to discuss about an individual's career. Last but not the least, you have these appraisal frameworks with incapable, short sighted and self centered managers, which fights well to demotivate even a good employee.
When it comes to small companies, i dont deny that they do have politics and low pay.But some promising,  would pay you good, even if not, most of them get you prepared for a future as you would be taking more responsibilities with more interesting and challenging work. They might not give you the onsite opportunity, but the growth has to be certain to atleast retain you. Over a period of time, you would become more capable in a small company and the reverse could happen in the big company.The question is, how many good and promising small companies do we have? and how could we find the right one?Only way i cud think of is to get in touch with ppl who are in this career for sometime!
A single company in the whole career for a software guy, is practically impossible, but since am now talking for a fresher, i would still ask him to go for a small promising company to start with if he could get through their usual tough recruitment process and is ready to take big challenges in his initial career, all for a better future. If you are only looking for a comfortable initial start and a probable onsite after a 2/3 years, then ofcourse big companies are there, and at the least be smart enough to handle politics.
To comment on the source of this post again, deferred join dates for freshers, i would suggest the joinees to not waste 3 months (deferred period) of their career. In a software career, even a week might cost you bad, for eg: the promotions and yearly compensation reviews, are actually based on the joining date of the employee. And the company without even giving an option has asked the hires to take online training. is the company ready to pay them during the deferred period? oh yeah, you are lowering 2 months of training period, but is it possible for every hire to afford the online training which is supposedly 10 weeks, wouldnt it lead to inequality in getting access to the training? isnt it also not fair if not illegal to get them to your training without paying and also not counting it on their resume when the training is in fact gonna benefit the company directly?

Be aware of the scope!

This is my 50th post in the 5 yr blogging! :-)

Note: In the above post, I only encourage people to be smart enough to handle politics but not be the reason for one. I only wish and hope for politics free work life for everyone anywhere!

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