Monday, April 03, 2006

Software Training Institutes

Having lamented about the quality of software training institutes in the city in an earlier article, I had the opportunity to experience the kind of education being dished out by these institutions.

We needed to fill some positions very quickly a few days ago and not having much luck with walk-ins and other forms of recruitment we decided to go to some of the institutes and see if they had anything to offer. We contacted a few of them and they were more than willing to accommodate us to come to their institute and conduct interviews to recruit. So we decided to hold a test which consisted of a couple of simple school assignment kind software programs and an essay of 100 words. We administered the test for a 100 people and we short listed just 6 out of the 100 only to realize that the 6 that we short listed were unfit too. It was an absolute waste of time and effort.

What was wrong with them? To put it in a nutshell - 90 % of them could not even write 10 lines of code. The ones that could write the 10 lines of code could not write 10 lines of decent English. So what are these institutes teaching these so called students? If you ask me from my experience I would say NOTHING!!!

I know this is a very drastic answer to give but I strongly believe that they are teaching them NOTHING and this is why I say that - none of them knew the basics of computers - we were recruiting for C# and we asked them to write a program to sort 'n' numbers and they could not write that program. If there was 1 or 2 that could not write it after attending a training program of 3 months I will believe the course thought something but when you have 90 % of those that took the test have no idea where to start writing the program then I have every right to say that the course taught NOTHING !!!

These institutes are in my opinion creating hope in students when there is none. They spend thousands of rupees getting trained on everything under the sun without knowing the basics or having the inclination to code. I had the opportunity to look at one course being offered and out of 10 modules being taught 7 of them are mostly add-ons or advanced topics that are rarely used in projects. These students are spending 70 % of their time doing stuff they will never use. Secondly when the student does not understand the basics which are 30 % of the course there is no use teaching the remaining 70 % which depends on the 30 %. Hence the whole course is a waste!!!

There are a few that do get out of these institutes and do get good jobs - these are the ones that had the aptitude and inclination to write code and only needed the knowledge. I would call this the gifted lot and I will not put this as being more than 5 % of those being trained.

What is this doing to the industry? In my opinion - its doing immeasurable harm to the industry. The reasons being
  • There is a whole segment of so called trained work force being created that is useless to the industry and the industry wastes hours and hours sifting through this lot.
  • A whole lot of so called trained work force is getting disillusioned by the lack of jobs available to them. This in turn creates a bad reputation for the industry that it is picky.
  • There is a shortfall of good resources in the industry because this so called trained work force has not been trained right.

What is the solution? First of all the institutes need to align their courses to what the industry needs. The industry should create a legitimate grass root training programs by tying up with educational institutions. Let the education that these students get in school and college train them to be fit to code the day they join. If we do this I am sure we will go a long way in making off shoring a dream that will never end and effectively remove all competition from other countries.

2 comments:

Shankar said...

nice post. i hope some controversy will be generated by this. Most institutes take people for a ride.

goldmen said...

Sudeep, a realistic view of the current training institutes. most people who join the institutes today don't know where they are going to land