Indian Education!!

13 03 2007

Seems like there is a lot going on on the Education System in India. I had written a short blog on this a long time back and thought would explore it more now that it has become a hot topic. So, would love to add my thoughts on it too. 🙂
The education system here has evolved mostly around a few basic fields of interests – engineering and medical being the main in these. I would attribute the growing trend of these to the lure of a steady life and the money these offer. Parents are more enamored by the life they see of the few who have made it good and the stories they hear of the wealth made in these professions. Although, these days the trend is changing in the larger metros, we still find the young crowd being more attracted towards these professions. In regard to these professions only have risen the IIT’s and IIM’s of India. These are good institutes, but the basis of their teaching here is to make better people out of people who already are!! I ask what is the principle behind these institutes which make the person toil over exams and more practicals and then expect them to churn out the same which has been taught by ‘rote/mugging’ onto the jobs they take up. Yeah! sure these people are chosen few from the various exams which are initially conducted to chalk out the cream muggers from the average muggers. As aptly pointed out by a colleague, these guys destroy their creativity in trying to learn the various heavy books through which are educators are wanting to make us learn on topics which may have little or absolutely no value in the job life. Engineering colleges teach on what not subjects like Compilers and Operating Systems, and the person lands a job creating application software in Java, not a systems job of creating those OS or compiler products. Where are we taking the nation? People have pointed out that these are the premier institutes, but they are more in name than how things are taught. Nowadays the person who graduates from these is looking for more value to himself than to add value to the Organization. Attrition rates have risen and along with that so have the salaries of people engaged in those activities. I don’t say that is bad from my prospective, but it is not a good thing also.
To cope up with these the creative try and emulate them; and they end up getting more frustrated and sending their siblings and offspring’s on the same path where they saw the lesser frustration and more money. I have a friend in IIT doing her master’s, all I hear the lament from her is she has an ‘xam or a practical which is coming up and she is awake for the last 2-3 days working on it??!! Isn’t that stifling the actual creative mind? The teachers these days don’t have time to read the so called ‘xams which the students are put through. So, they adopt a cardinal rule of the thumb. How long is the answer? Does it have any illustration and does it adhere to the kunji or answers that they had given the students in the class!!
If the student tries to be creative in the answers, he/she is punished by a lower grade or a negative marking.
On the topic of IIT’s and IIM’s, whom do they think they are churning out!! Ok, there are a few exceptions who after coming out apply their brains and come up with ideas, but is that enough? Are they really creative or just logically coming to conclusions from their brains which have become mechanical after all that ‘rote/mugging’ sessions? I think the later is more to the point. IIM graduates boast of big salary packages, but are they actually making a difference also? There is a comment on Joel’s site [of Joel on Software fame] about MBA making the Organization bloated and fail!! I agree with him somewhat in that. We really do need to access the kind of education we are imparting and not gloat over the fact that Indian kids are doing better in maths and sciences than the American kids.

Thought Processes

11 09 2006

They say that we are the thinking brains and hence we have risen to wherever we are today. Now, if someone wishes to stop that thinking process and make us all into just workers, what will happen. This is the thought that has been crossing my mind for a long time now. Specially since there have been many new developments at my workplace which are leading me along that path. I have often wondered on the aspects of Software Development, is it only just coding and testing that code that goes into it, or is there something else also involved. I always had the thought that it should have a lot more than just the coding and testing aspects. Then came the day when I entered the world of Software Development. Luckily for me the experience started with a lot of thought process going into it and also along with that a lot of logical reasoning and documentation.

The process in initialization into this field was not an easy one and that is what I had thought the way it should be. Just when I had started to feel that I had started to learn what goes into making and creating good software, I was introduced to the life of a mundane worker, who just is a glorified typist. This person has to follow whatever is being ordered of him and follow those instructions to the T. Forgotten were the previously taught things about logic and applying your own thinking power to create something. It all boiled down to deadlines and the best possible ways that you could go ahead to the challenge of meeting these and appeasing the top bosses. Although in this regime, you never got the credit for the long typing hours you spent trying to get tunnel carpal and eye fatigue. All the credit went to the guy who showed the top bosses the snazzy presentation slides made out of mindless mambos of jargon and technical quotes which neither the guy presenting it nor the people listening to him croon, could make any sense out of. But, all just nodded their heads in the fashion that they really were doing something great and had finally got near to achieving this too. [never understood till now that it was just another bonus cheque in their pockets]. This is when I revolted and ran to the next place which came across as a place where I would be allowed to think. And so it turned out to be until the time came when that same type of people again flocked back over me…

This is real frustrating when the person above you informs you to please shut down all thinking senses and start working according to set down rules and regulations!! What can one do in this case except change and expect that the new place will be a lot better and let you think??!!

Work @ Acmet

15 06 2004


Seems like a long time ago I planned to start with this… Anyways, now that I have settled down to this new job, I think I can start planning and doing atleast (if not all) the things I had planned for…

What I actually wanted to start off with is what am I actually doing the whole day… But, now I think I will relate to the incidents and my learning a new computer language (new for me, Oldie for all those who are there or have used it… )

I start with my first experience with the computer language Java. It was first thrusted on me with the advent of a JVM for an Embedded Platform, which was to be built for a normal training project. This project was basically to start the new MCA (Master’s in Computer Application) trainees who would come to our Company for a basic 6 months of Course training. My Project Manager thought this would be a great way to teach them about the processes that we are following and also get them into the mold which would be followed, if they were to join the Company. Thus, started the great experience… I thought that I would have to start studying Java language and started off with just that… It was a great time as I started with the Java Language reference and then got on to the Java Code… that is where i drew a blank as till this time I was reading only the Preface and the Introduction… 🙂

Well! I think that is enough of my ramblings for today will start again tomorrow…

What we do!!

2 04 2004

I have started work on a new concept in the development arena. It starts with developing something which inspires you to create something which just kicks ass!! I have gone through that experience and have regretted that… 😦
My Manager is a real good disciplinarian and I give him full credit for making me into what I am. I have been brought up in a sheltered and disciplined environment by my parents [especially Dad] and till I don’t have someone to force me I tend to slip. In work, my Manager came to know of my this tendency fast enough and got me in the right track fast enough. I have realized that in Software documentation is the first thing and then are the logical and analytical abilities which come out in the form of comments to the code. Code should be the last thing in a developers mind. If he gets his basics right in comments, code will be a breeze!!
Do/Will I follow his principles when I advance??!! I sure hope I do…