My Writer Hat

Preparing for an IT Job, Why Not Simply Code?

June 08, 2016

It’s the season in India when Engineering batches pass out, and many of them look out on a hunt for job. IT being the hot sector is the destination for lot of graduates from many branches. I’ve myself been through this phase last year and once again looking at graduates passing out this year, there are a few things I feel we can collectively do in a better way.

It’s not necessary that everything relates to you, or may be you want to do things your way. I see a lot of people these days ask me about hiring tests like eLitmus and AMCAT. There are a plenty of them passed out in 2016. While I wrote eLitmus in January 2015, and I believe that these exams and what they are trying to do is conceptually mind blowing, but how the engineering grads are taking these things and whether it is actually helping the society is something I’ve been doubting lately.

So I’m going to keep this one simple. If you’re looking to work in the IT, simply learn the craft. Things have been made a little complex. I’ve seen folks passing out and preparing for aptitude. Like seriously? If you’ve passed out from college with a degree in engineering, and looking for an IT job, and you’re solving Arun Sharma, NOW, somewhere something is wrong. I don’t know whether it is the eLitmus effect or what, but it hurts to see people not coding, and doing everything else around it to get a job. The common argument is, that they want to have a safe eLitmus or AMCAT or whatever score first, and then, “prepare for technical” and appear for jobs. Well, the first thing is, not to offend anyone, part of aptitude comes naturally, it can’t be prepared. Well, it’s okay to practice Arun Sharma, Shakuntala Devi and stuff, but why now? Why should this thing not have been taken care of before?

Whenever I have a talk with more senior people regarding this, the general thing I observe is that they were technically more prepared. They were aware of the craft more. They knew software development, the methodologies, design patterns, the real thing. The point that folks “prepare” for aptitude specifically and give it so much time, instead of just coding, hurts me. Why not join industry as a more ready engineer. I’ve been into recruitment drives from the company I worked with, and I know, the people on the other side are happy when you know about the real thing.

I am not against eLitmus or these tests. I’ve seen how things work there, and I actually admire the concept. I’ll be specific to eLitmus because I’ve been through the complete routine of it. Are we missing a trick in judging it? To be clear, it’s a natural ability test. They say it clearly, that it’s entirely a natural ability test and a minimal practice is sufficient to write it. From their part, they are trying to do a magnificent team. They have good recruiters as their clients, all genuine ones. You don’t have to worry about authenticity of the calls you get from there. They have so many of the recruiters, that seekers will have enough opportunities to sit for the companies always. For students from colleges with less campus placements, it’s a wonderful opportunity to prove their worth. But don’t forget the real thing, it is the software, THE CODE.

It’s okay if you are writing eLitmus, but don’t just keep preparing for it and keep writing it until you just get a 99 or something. A decent score in eLitmus would place you into the short-listed candidates for most of the companies. After that, your score won’t matter. Companies want those with good skills and good knowledge about the real thing and NOT ones with good eLitmus score. A decent score or even an excellent one, would only get you short-listed. After that it goes whichever way the companies want it to go. Don’t let technical knowledge become a bottleneck there. You have to practice code, you don’t have to practice aptitude. Just give it a thought, and I hope you get the point.

Be skilful, get a good grip on the real thing, the Science of the Computers. Simply practice coding, you’ll be so much better software person. Go to interview as if you just can’t get rejected. I wish you all, a very good luck in whatever you’re trying to achieve.