Saturday, February 28, 2015

Build skills, young woman

The title is a play on Go East, Young Man - as applied to people in the Indian IT industry. As Karthink observes in his very perspicacious post, it is the End of Experience.

As someone who has been in this industry doing various roles including Leading Java modules without knowing to code to searching nonexistent flex fields in Oracle applications so that I could satisfy business needs (this role, was indeed quite satisfying) to Implementing a useless ERP for a firm that couldn't care less on the supply side to a firm which was not interested in the system anyway to Leading a testing team to charge down whatever the developers coded (how I loved this role) to  Chief Form filling administrative officer in a multitude of useless sytems that measure useless metrics to be viewed by no-one in particular. And then I was the chief form filling officer for an entire business unit where I got a hapless team to fill out complex excel sheets without using a single formula but using all the colors offered by Microsoft.

The last two in particular were eye opening experiences. Till then, I was learning something each day and I was into solving problems one way or other. I tried. I even gained myself a worthless certification on how to be chief form filling administrative officer. However, I realized that this was not going to take me much further. Apart from the sub plot that I did not enjoy coming to work every day and that I gave myself a designation one step from CEO to DEO - Data Entry Officer and kept myself busy while coordinating a million presentations to important visitors who paid our bills.

At one point, I realized that as the delivery manager I had no idea what my team did. To my credit, I did add value to the team, developed a couple of fine individuals, honed good talent that is doing well in the industry today, discovered ideas to make those ideas faster and saved the company good money. All said and done, I still was not building any skill. And that made me think.

One thing led to another and I eventually discovered that my skill was in problem solving, training, learning and development among other things.

But along the way, the IT industry had also changed. And today, if you don't have skills, people don't want to hire you.

So, if you are a young professional seeking a job in the Indian IT industry (whose death knell is being sounded today - and I don't believe it), build skills, young woman and you will never regret it!

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