Sanjay Ramasamy

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since Oct 12, 2005
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Recent posts by Sanjay Ramasamy

Ram Bhakt,What do you mean by 90/10..I dont understand the term..Can you say about that please?
14 years ago
The below post is not my post..I am just doing a Ctrl-c Ctrl-v of the previous link

IIT Grad == Excellent Programmer?

This is something I have never been quite able to resolve. Logic says (hey the IIT BTech guys apparently work through SICP early and if that doesn't upgrade your programming skills I am not sure what will) they should be better programmers. And Google India apparently hires only IIT Grads, so there is probably something to that argument.

On the other hand, in my experience, this "superiority" of IIT grads never really showed itself as a real world phenomenon. Most (but not all) of the really good programmers I see, seem to have a BSc (or other non-BTEch-CompSci) background, and are almost uiversally self taught programmers.

While I was in Thoughtworks, I even went through this strange phase in which TW interviewed about 40 IIT Grads after a company that used to hire only IIT grads went bust, and ended up making an offer to one guy (and he was very very good. I knew him from my Aztec days. He eventually went to July Systems)

It is all very puzzling. Because I do know many bright people from IIT but they are almost all in the USA. So maybe that is one explanation? The best folks from IIT go to the USA and the people a Bangalore based company interviews are probably the "lesser" ones of a batch? Especially in the "enterprise" space? I really don't know. But is there really such a huge difference in the capabilities of people who studied in the same batch?

Of the 40 or so people TW interviewed,(and didn't hire), one interview really stands out. There was this guy who claimed a lack of knowledge of "enterprise" coding but was, in his own words, a "specialist in Compilers and Mathematical/Scientific Programming". The interview team consisted of me(very very interested, and fairly knowledgeable in compilers) and a colleague, JK Werner who graduated in Mathematics.

Those days, In Thoughtworks, one of the guidelines for interviewing was "If people don't know something, that's fine but what they say they know, they better know and know well". So the candidate not knowing "enterprise" stuff was fine(It is all fairly simple anyway and an otherwise competent programmer can pick it up fast).So JK and I proceeded to have a conversation about compilers and math and the interview was .... terrible. This person was just mouthing "buzzwords" without having any deep knowledge.

question(me):- "Ok so after lexing and parsing you get an AST what do you do then?"

answer:- "hmm... I am not sure.." (his cv claimed he'd written a full fledged "parallel compiler")

question (jk): "Your cv says you have worked extensively with Vector Spaces, so here is simple question to start off. What is an Eigen value"?

answer:"hmm well I never got that far" (!!). (as per his cv he did all sorts of fundamental Linear Algebra related stuff)

This was the most disappointing interview in my life. Other interviewers narrated horror stories of "Senior Architects" who didn't know what "classpath" was!

So I am forced to conclude, being bright, and getting through IIT(those entrance exams are tough) and even working as "Lead" or "Architect" or whatever on large projects does not necessarily make you a good(forget great) programmer.

Also "enterprise" work and that too in India is probably not attractive to the average IIT graduate who has so many more interesting options.

So these days I just dismiss the educational background and look at coding skills exclusively.

Still, it is all very strange. If anyone has any insights, please enlighten me!

Update

Joe Williams was kind enough to point out a possible misinterpretation (you can see Joe's comments in the comments section).

What I am saying

1. I used to think IIT graduates (and students) were way above average in programming ability.
2. I expected, given a fair (but tough) interview, about 35 (of 40) or so would get through. When only one did, I was forced to re examine my belief (see above)
3. When I examined the best programmers I knew and their schools, I found that most(but not all) were BSc/non comp-sci graduates.
4. This is possibly a perception issue. I am asking for clarification
5. Logically , I now believe that programming ability and schools are not correlated

What some people think I am saying

1. TW(India) is an uber cool company
2. Anyone who doesn't get through in TWI is a poor programmer
3. Most IIT folks we interviewed didn't get through
4. Therfeore IITs suck and any IIT ians are poor programmers

Needless to say what I am claiming is the first list of assertions. Anyone who claims the second list as "true" has no clue.

Thanks, Joe.

Now I have more questions, if 40 MIT graduates interviewed (say in Google), how many would get through? The question remains, does your school have a correlation with the number of people who are excellent programmers?

Hopefully now things are clear.
14 years ago
Eveyone from IIT are great engineers but not necessarily great programmers..I have seen many IIT'ans get eliminated in the first round of interview in my company..
14 years ago
The Company is MNC with 30 employees in india with head quaters in USA.Interview was very tough with 4 rounds

Hi Rashmi! sounds like the company where I am currently working..Does the name start with F..

Anyways think twice before posting such messages..If the HR or the person who took your interview reads this and if he is shrewd enough you may get into trouble...

Anyways g8 to know that you are getting a hike of 160 %
14 years ago
Two of my roommates are working in GE-healthcare..They come home at odd times aometimes they come at 2am...

in my opinion i-flex would be a better choice...
14 years ago
Amit..
Thanks for your suggestion..What you said is true..Even I was thinking in similar lines..I did my M.tech in IIIT-Bangalore...and am planning to give my GMAT shortly..I am specifically eyeing MS Financial engineering/Computational finance...Hope things work out the way I plan..Yes, as you said there is a risk but I dont want to miss the opportunity again and regret later..

Manish..
Basically there is a specific point for each satisfying criteria..
for example..if you have a masters degree you get 30 points..if you are between 20-40 you get some points..if your Toefl/Ielts score is above a certain mark you get some points..similary is the case with Australia..for Australia the qualifying criteria is 115 points..If you are an IT professionl you get 60 points straight..New Zealand also has a similary policy..Singapore's policy is also based on points system but it hasn't been made public...It looks like Singapore is much more hassle free..
UK has hsmp(highly skilled migrant programme)..you can get more details from the site..

check out this link..This will give you an idea whether you qualify for Canada..

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/skilled/assess/index.html
14 years ago
Amit,

I dont have any idea about the pay package in the countries I mentioned..The countries in the list are the ones that have simple immigration policies..I am interested in US but I didn't mention that in my list because it is difficult to find a sponsor for H1-B visa..Someone said me that nowdays they give H1-B visa's only to people with US master's degree...I did my master's in India..
14 years ago
Deep Arora Thanks for your suggestion..

Ab parashar,

I believe that there is nothing wrong in being ambitious....The only mistake I did after my BE was to have studied in India..I got admit in a couple of US Universities and reputed Indian Universities..I decided to study in India..Many of my classmates who went there are now comfortably settled in US..I desire to earn like them..So now the only option left for me is to either go there to study again or to find a job and immigrate there..Right now I am a fresher with just 3 months of experience..so now I am little short of the qualifying score for immigrating to other countries..but withayear's experience I would very well cross the barrier..

I may sound greedy..but i dont want to hide anything ..It is just that I am being Frank..Of course money is equally essential as your career...

My original intention of starting the thread was to get an idea about job market in other countries..It is easy to advice others to stay in India and work but as Karthik said how many of the people who suggest this are ready to come back inspite of the market here being good...
14 years ago
Stuart Ash,

Ok..let us look at these facts..

Cost of a descent car in india Rs 4 lakh
Cost of a 800 square feet apartment in Bangalore =around 22 -24 lakh

My present pay package is 4.75 lakh/annum..consider an annual increment of around 10%

Assume that I save around 3 lakh /annum..and it rises 10% every year..How many years will it take me to accumulate 22 lakhs..By my conservative estimate around 5-6 years..By the time I save this money the property price would have tripled or quadrupled..So it would be a rat race..

This is the only reason..the situation here is not like what is in US or in UK where you can get a car in your 1 month salary..

Now what do you say..?
14 years ago
ab Parashar,
I do agree that India is the most hot place to work now..but the pay package isn't too great..That is the only reason that prompts me to look at other countries...anyways i dont have any intention to permanently settle down in any of these countries..I just want to work there for max 10 years save substantial money and then come back to India..
14 years ago
I basically did an analysis on the immigration policies of various countries..

As per what I find the Countries that allow immigration of skilled labour are
*Canada
*Australia
*New Zealand
*Singapore
*UK (HSMP)

In all the countries listed above skilled migration is allowed subject to crossing a specific score..
For Canada it is 67 points..for Australia it is 115 points..Similar is the case with the other countries too..
Can someone please throw light about the IT job market in all the above countries...Can you please rank the countries in the order of attractivness of the j2ee job market..?

How about other countries like japan,malaysia,Germany,France,Netherlands etc..Is there a possibility to move from India to these countries..?
14 years ago
Uday,

How easy is it to get a PR status if I manage to get a job there??
14 years ago