SOURCE : www.economictimes.com
DATED : 27/07/05

Ritesh Kapoor had been working in the steel sector for close to five years now. He had stuck to the same company in Delhi over these last few months. Recently he was offered an opening with an oil retail giant. At the same time he was due for a promotion in his present employment.

He was in a dilemma regarding which offer to take up. Which of the two offers to take up? If he took up the ‘oil’ offer he would be posted to his hometown, be with his family and take up a challenging job. If he continued with his present company, he would be a senior, be comfortable in a ‘known’ environment, continue to maintain his present lifestyle and be close to friends he had made over the last few years.

Kapoor chose the first option as he felt that his family was the most important thing in his life and he would consider himself lucky if he could be back with them.

A B-school finance graduate, Amitabh Sen landed a job in a UN organization, as a research associate. “I always wanted to work in a bank,” he says. So when ICICI offered him a job as officer, retail liability group, he submitted his resignation without a second thought, though many people would never let go of a job with the UN.

“I knew what I wanted to do all my life so I never had any insecurity about this switch. I knew I would be happier and content in with my new job profile” says Sen.

Choosing ‘that’ specific offer out of many is not an easy task. One should try to think and analyse strategically to reach to a final selection. ‘Money’ should not be the driving factor if it is a ‘career’ you want and not just a mere job switch.

Impulsive selection should be avoided as one cannot revert to earlier times. Playing games with your job profile is certainly not advisable.

Experts say that the most important factors which cross the mind of an average employee before making that crucial selection are brand name, job profile, location, compensation, other benefits, peer group and an opportunity to grow.
Factors to be kept in mind before making that ‘final’ selection:

Brand – The image of the organisation is a very important factor; it is always advisable to work with a growing organisation. If you care for a switch in the future try moving to a known ‘brand’ as it will add weight to your resume and put you in a favoured position.

Compensation – Money is the biggest motivating factor. One should be amply rewarded for his or her inputs, and assessment is done on the basis of peer group’s status. One should also keep in mind the cost of living. For example, it is no use moving from say Meerut to Mumbai for just a Rs 5,000 hike. Factoring in living expenses, especially if one moves to another city, is a must before one decides to switch jobs.

Job profile – One should always choose a profile that is interesting and challenging. Try to get as much information on the job profile. Nobody wants to move to a new position and find boredom creeping in. This will have an adverse effect on your performance levels.

Office environment – This is a sum total of aspects such as office hours, dress code, work space, co-workers, employers, organisation’s interests and beliefs. Be clear if you want to be part of the prospective organisation’s work ethos. Otherwise you might stand out like a sore thumb.

Benefits – This includes the variable part of the compensation such as bonus, incentives, group insurance and pension plans, medical allowance, conveyance allowance, etc. At the outset one should have a clear idea of what the new company offers. Your new employers will consider you extremely unprofessional if you join and start haggling about benefits.

Growth prospects – This is one of the most important aspects when you are looking for a job switch. It is calculated both from the view of growing inside the present organisation as well as in terms of a probable job switch in future. Check where you will be five years hence. Does your new organisation have a clear earmarked promotion channel? Will you be likely to be given additional responsibilities? Will your work in your new organisation add value to your CV? These are some of the questions you should ask yourself before you sign on t he dotted line.

Says the HR manager of a leading BPO, “Although compensation is a driving factor, paramount is the brand name.” He goes on to add, “Financial compensation is not the only reason for people to switch. They should aspire for something more. Managers in your new organisation should treat you well, and the office culture is what matters”.

In today’s age very few people look out for long-term stability in one organisation. For today’s young people constant growth is what pushes them on. Many people opt for jobs which will help them in carving out a ‘growing career path’. The present company should be strong enough to open arenas for offers from other big brands in future.

Vijay Kranti, GM, corporate communication, Essar says, “One should go for a company which offers professional growth prospects and offers challenges.” He adds, “I would choose to work for lesser compensation with a good brand as it certainly is a huge motivating factor.”

An employee after deciding to switch should inform the present company of the same, any sort of sourness should be avoided. Also, he should make the organisations from where he had other offers know that he would not be joining them. After all one never know ones next destination!!!!

Let me start from the scratch.Everyone starts his career from the lowest and this is true in each and every field be it IT or Non-IT field.So consider that you are in the software field so it means that you will start your career from the post of Software Trainee and may reach to some height in your career as the time keeps on progressing.Now the question which arises in mind is why a fresh graduate or post grad needs to start from the bottom of the career ladder and climb upwards.

Can’t he not directly go to the top of the ladder in one shot.The answer to this question is very simple and it is a straightforward “NO”.So what does a person gain when he starts climbing this ladder.As you have guessed it is “Experience”.So what does this complicated terminology “Experience” mean?Seems very difficult.Isnt it.With Experience,the person gains knowledge about the various business aspects as well as his brain keeps on maturing each and every second.This knowledge growth will help him reach higher positions in his career and the maturity will help him scale new heights in his career.

So,now the question arises is whether every “Experienced” person is “Mature” or does he have enough knowledge about the business.The answer to this question is again “NO”.That is why we have only one person like Bill Gates,Larry Ellison.They have used their experience in the enhancement of business by study of the various aspects of business.So,who accompanies them in various decision making activities.It is the Management Level of the company.Now what is this “MANAGEMENT”.It is proper execution of your activities.Every person is a Manager in his day to day life since he/she has to do various activities everyday but not every person who is a Manager is a “Successful Manager”.One one hand we have people like Vivek Paul(Vice Chairman of Wipro) who has helped Wipro scale new heights in all businesses be it IT or BPO.What could be the reason for his success.Does he have his own “Management Mantras” which help him?The anwser should again be “NO”. So, what qualities does a Successful Manager have?The simple answer is all qualities of a Manager plus some other qualities.

I would list down some of the qualities,which have come to my mind after few years of IT experience.Experience is always “Few” since everyday we have something new to learn and would appreciate the contibution of the readers of this article towards this area.

1.
Manager is a normal Human Being(and he is also bound to make mistakes) and whatever he/she says is not always TRUE and so, it is very important for the listener to analyse his/her statements.
Conclusion :
A “Good Manager” should be a “Good Listener”.

2.
Since people work under him so it is his reposnsibility that every person in the team has some work irrespective to the quality of the work and he/she should not be on “Bench”(IT terminoloty to refer to a person who is idle).
Conclusion :
It is the sole responsibility of the Manager for the assignment of work to the various members of the team.

3.
We expect only things to be said about us.Whereas when we have people working with us(or may be under our leadership),we should expect people to come out with our bad qualities as well.
Conclusion:
The Manager should be on the look out to improve this own managerial skills as well as the attitues and gelling between his team members.During this course there is a high possibility that people in the team may come out with his weaknesses.So,in short Manager should be Open Minded and should take things in the correct way.

4.
There is always a difference between people who work and people who pretend to work.
Conclusion:
He should keep not only his eyes open as well as his ears open since,everywhere we have people who work and some(or should i say most),who pretend to work.

5.
Some issues need discussions whereas some can solved without even stepping into the Discussion Room.How many people do we see who are active as well as attentive in meetings?Many people pop off all the elements from their Mind Stack(Could not help myself from using Technical Language) when they enter the Discussion Room.
Conclusion:
It is Man-ager’s responsibility to forsee whether meeting is required to get the solution for a particular issue else only mockery will happen inside the room resulting in wastage of time.So,call for meetings only when required.

Google blogger has left the building
By Evan Hansen

Source:
http://news.com.com/Google+blogger+has+left+the+building/2100-1038_3-5567863.html

Mark Jen, a blogger whose candid comments about life on the job at Google sparked controversy last month, has left the company.
“Mark is no longer an employee at Google,” a Google representative said in response to an inquiry Tuesday. Efforts to reach Jen for comment were not immediately successful.

Jen’s departure comes less than a month after he joined Google as part of a wave of new hires and began recording his impressions of his new employer, including criticisms, in his blog.

Employee blogging is on the rise, sparking increasing clashes between workers and management over the line between appropriate and inappropriate commentary. In one recent dispute, a Delta Air Lines flight attendant lost her job after posting photos of herself in uniform on her blog.

A Microsoft contractor lost his job last year after he took some pictures of Apple G5 computers being unloaded onto the software company’s campus and posted them to his blog.

Friendster, known for breaking new ground in online social networking and promoting self-expression among peers, fired one of its employees in August over her Troutgirl blog.

The employee blog issue is doubly sensitive for Google, which became a prominent booster of blogging through its acquisition of Web logging pioneer Pyra Labs in February 2003. The company also has made a point of putting ethics before profits in its business operations, suggesting it holds itself to a higher standard of care than the average for customers and employees.

While details of Jen’s departure are unclear, the newbie Googler ran into trouble at the company almost immediately when he decided to record his impressions of Google on a blog called Ninetyninezeros–one zero short of the mathematical term known as a “googol.”

Jen began making entries in Ninetyninezeros on Jan. 17, and soon drew the notice of other bloggers. Curiosity spiked when the postings temporarily disappeared about a week later.

On Jan. 26, an edited version of the blog reappeared on the site, with a new entry explaining the on-again, off-again commentary. Gone was the first day’s post explaining his reasons for creating the blog, as well as a description of an employee orientation event that vaguely touched on discussions of Google’s booming business.

At that time, Jen denied he made the change under duress, insisting that Google “was pretty cool about all this.”

News of Jen’s job status was posted at Google Blogoscoped. According to an anonymous message in the blog forum, Jen was let go on Jan. 28.

Source : www.businessstandard.com

Richard Waters & San Francisco / London May 21, 2005

Google unveiled a new service on Thursday that lets users combine some of the company’s internet offerings into a single package, a move that takes it closer to the portal model used by rivals such as Yahoo! and Microsoft’s MSN.

The new personalised Google homepage, which allows users to select elements they want to add to the pagesite, also represents the first alternative Google offers to its distinctive clutter-free search engine.

Under a project labelled “Fusion”, the company said the personalised homepage was part of a series of moves it was planning to bring its fast-growing range of services closer together.

Until now, Google has offered each of its web services, from its news service to Gmail, on a standalone basis, rather than as part of an integrated package of services for internet users.

The option to personalise web pages has already become a big draw for some other internet companies.

According to comScore Networks, which measures web traffic, a quarter of the visitors to Yahoo! also visit My Yahoo!, the company’s personalised service.

Explaining the decision to offer an alternative to the familiar stripped-down Google web site, Marissa Mayer, director of consumer products, said that Google now offered enough “push” services of its own, which deliver information automatically to users, to make it worth aggregrating the information in a single place.

Users of the new homepage, available in test form, can add boxes containing things like the latest news headlines from Google News, the latest messages received in their Gmail accounts and information supplied by Google’s weather service.

Google said the new service would eventually incorporate web content and services provided by other companies.

Like My Yahoo!, the company said it planned to let users select “feeds” of information from other websites to display on the homepage. It also hoped to offer internet email services by other companies, though technical issues still needed to be resolved, Mayer added.

GIZMO GALLERY
Source : www.businessstandard.com
New Delhi May 18, 2005

If you want a home wireless network that’s powerful and supports the latest Wi-Fi standards, check out the Linksys Mimo wireless G broadband router.

Mimo stands for “multiple input, multiple output” and it’s a new technology that uses several antennae to deliver better signals.

Connect the router to your cable modem and it will deliver powerful coverage without dead spots. Linksys claims that the Model WRT54GX, delivers three times the range of comparable products.

A router costs around $200 (versus a normal non-Mimo router for about $75) and it’s another $120 (versus $50) for special PC cards.

But it works with any built-in 802.11 compatible device and claims to be compatible with the new 802.11n protocol. The Mimo network allows robust encryption; so security should not be a problem.

Whiz phone

The Samsung SGH-D500 mobile handset was rated as the ‘world’s best mobile phone’ by the 3GSM Association World Congress held at Cannes in February 2005.

It’s a new generation device equipped with a host of features that will probably become the industry standard.

The Samsung SGH-D500 is a tri-band, mega-pixel digital integrator.

It includes 96 MB of user memory, a 1.3 Mega pixel camera, a 1.9 inch TFT screen that offers 2,62,000 colours, video recording and messaging facilities, Bluetooth, Wi-fi, email and syncML connectivity, a speakerphone and an MP3 Player music player.

The phone has received rave reviews in the European market and it’s being released in India at around Rs 23,000.

For Apple buffs

“Apple I Replica Creation:Back to the Garage”, by Tom Owad, is a must-read for geeks of a certain age. Owad offers DIY schematics for recreating the original Apple 1 circa 1979 from spare parts bought off the shelf and assembled in a garage just the way the original prototype was.

The next step is redeveloping the original Mac software – Owad offers instructions on rewriting the entire OS from assembly language.

Then he teaches the reader how to play with the newly reconstructed Apple. This is a nostalgic trip down memory lane for those who like solder on their fingers.

Light and neat

The HP Compaq Tablet PC TC1100 is a juiced-up version of the older TC1000 with 1GHz Pentium M processor.

This 1.3 kg, 11”x8”x1” device is among the smallest, lightest tablets available. With the 450 gram detachable keyboard attached, it’s like a 1.7 kg ultralight laptop.

The 10.5 inch screen tablet can rotate 180 degrees for viewer convenience. The keyboard can also be twisted and hidden behind the tablet, and the entire set up folds into a docking station cum monitor stand with space for secondary storage drives.

You can also attach a full-size keyboard into a USB 2.0 port or the dock. Alternately, you can use the stylus onscreen.

Source :www.economictimes.com
Date:12/05/05

Success is 1per cent hard work and 99 per cent public relation. All of us know this but never knew this will strike the technology professionals also. And if you thought this is just one of the tips management gurus give, here are the facts.

“The world belongs to those who are a complete package and that’s true for the technology sector also,” says Geetanjali Khatri, global head, recruitment for Kanbay Accurum. Companies are more keen on recruiting techies with good communication skills now than ever because of the increasing client needs.

“This is the second coming of the IT sector which is propelled by real business needs. Clients and consumers are the most important and so is interacting with them,” says Rajul Garg, COO and VP of Induslogic.

Garg says that given a choice he would actually recruit for a person who can interact with the clients and communicate the company’s stand.

Anuradha Chowdhary who specialises in recruiting people for the technology sector says, “Clients actually impress upon candidates who are good talkers apart from having the desired skill sets.”

She goes on to add: “One of the candidate who I placed in a Gurgaon-based MNC is earning more than many of his peers, just because he was able to sell himself well.”

Kanbay Accurum has a well-planned group discussion and panel interview to check the level of communication skills in a candidate. “We basically test a person’s ability to tackle a difficult situation in panel discussions,” says Khatri. “We look for lifetime learners who can understand business goals and have skills to put them across to other people,” she added.

Many technology companies actually have the position of a business analyst for someone who is a combination of a technology professional and a business manager. A technically qualified person with a decent management experience and understanding of how to drive technology to attain business goals can become a business analyst in a tech company.

The starting salary for such a rank is about Rs 7-8 lakh per annum and of course increases with experience. Software companies sure need programmers. But what will the programmers do if there no projects. To get new projects you need people who are glib talkers who can sell ideas and attract new businesses.

Hence project getters are definitely more required than project implementers. So, you could be a project getter along with a programmer.

Founder, chairman and managing director Virinchi Technologies Ltd, Vishwanath Kompella says, “You can be from any industry but you definitely require a sound and deep knowledge of that industry, network within the industry and also have above average communication skills.

With that, if you are also a top people’s person you automatically become a hot cake for the recruiters! Recruiting you would be big news for the software company. Your appointment will appear even in press the next day and you still can get away saying, ‘Java for me is an island for reclusive holidaying’.”


INDIATIMES NEWS NETWORK[ MONDAY, APRIL 25, 2005 01:18:57 AM]

From workplace to news to matrimonials – the technology professionals are the talk of the town in more ways than one. They can solve the trickiest of problems with utmost ease. They have the skills and the world is ready to pay for it.

Going by these standards all the companies should have been ruled by the techies. All of us know that is not the case. Techies don’t want to be managers. Programming and being in touch with technology is what gives them the most satisfaction.

But there’s a flip side to it. What about Bill Gates, Nandan Nilekani and Azim Premji? These are the names people swear by when it comes to technology.

They have all the problem solving and trouble shooting skills needed to be an ace manager. But, do techies really want to be managers? Or being hands-on with technology the sole aim of their lives?

We have tried to deal with the problem objectively. Read on for both the perspectives…

Once a techie, always a techie

“I miss being a complete techie”, this is what Ravi Rajav had to say when asked about his new profile as a senior manager in a tech company. Rajav has over eight years of experience, in which he had various roles within the tech arena.

Anu Chawla is yet another example of the geeky types, who would like to stick to her role as a senior software developer, despite being offered a larger role as a senior manager.

Like these two, most of the techies prefer to be close to technology and not switch to senior management levels. She was recently offered a job at a BPO to head the technology team which would involve people management. Despite an attractive salary she declined the job offer.

So do techies hate to be managers? Let’s deal with the issue objectively like any techie will do!

Trained to be geeks

Techies come to this profession with a frame of mind. They are programmed to outdo even themselves when it comes to knowing or creating new technologies. So strong is the urge to stay close to technology that many from the new tech brigade get into freelance. The freedom to choose what they want to do is unbeatable.

Managerial controls

Management roles as the name suggests involve management from top to bottom. The goals and the roles flow from the top. Hierarchy at times is so tight that creativity is stifled in following the channels. Geeks want to be left on there own when it comes to decision or let a senior geek take the decisions for them and not a manager.

Job satisfaction

Many people can differ on this one. But don’t we all know that technical jobs give more satisfaction. “The feeling of knowing something first, which will change the future for the world, gives you a great high”, says Rakesh Luthra a senior software developer at a Gurgaon-based firm.

With all due respect, techies are more in demand as far as today’s scenario is concerned. Because of the increasing demand, technically qualified people can move around more and work on different projects. You can move around and work on more interesting projects, suffer less on bad ones and make more money to boot. For a manager it’s difficult to move to a new project or a firm for which they would really need to sell themselves.

“I wouldn’t have been able to go back to my tech role if I had assumed the senior manager position in my company,” Luthra adds. “One can assume a manager’s role at any point of time. But after moving out of technology it’s very difficult to go back to the techie role.”

From the ace techies

“I think geeks should stick to more geeky roles. Even if you move to higher position one should make it a point to stay hands-on with technology. Technology is what will make all the difference at end of the day”, says Rajul Garg, COO, Induslogic.

“In my 18-year long career I have moved in all the divisions of the organisation. I was trained in computer science and that is what I came back to. Creating a product according to your clients needs gives me a lots of satisfaction,” says Radha Shelat, CTO, Veritas.

“I could have got the position of a project manager in my previous company. My parents got a shock when I left that well-established company to join this start up. My answer was simple – once a geek always a geek,” says Alen Fernandes who left a Gurgaon-based software firm to join a start-up in Bangalore.

HR perspective

Though most of us will agree that a company needs both great managers and technical expertise, techies swear by the latter. “When we are looking at a candidate to head a technology company, we do expect some amount of technological skills,” says Anuradha Chowdhary, a senior HR consultant.

To take strategic decisions for an organisation, where technology is both the end and the means, even a manager has to have some technological orientation. This is important to realise the scope and limitations of what technology can do for the company and the users at the end of the day.

Moreover, most of the companies in India need to communicate with foreign clients. A techie CEO will always be better placed to take the global perspective.

The bottom line is the world today needs unbeatable technical skills and is ready to pay for it too. And the tech brigade today is very well aware of this fact and is ready to make the most of it.

The flip side : They want and can be great managers

Do techies want to be managers? Tell us.

Tech, people, jobs: Geeks manage it all too well!

Problem solving comes easy to Shantanu Mitra. While the rest of his peers in office spend hours in a huddle trying to come up with solutions, this geek manager applies logical thinking to solve complex problems. And that is what sets apart Mitra and his ilk from the rest of the bunch.

“Since software pros are naturally blessed with a scientific bent of mind, it helps in looking at problems and arriving at solutions from a different angle,” say Mitra, who works for a leading software company in Gurgaon.

Intelligent, sharp and having a tremendous alacrity to soak in knowledge – God’s own army of geeks have successfully combined effective management skills and tech knowledge to emerge as good managers.

Coupled with an ability to rationalise and hunt for simple and logical solutions to complex problems, tech CEOs like Naryana Murthy, Nandan Nilekani, Azim Premji, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, (to name only a few), have helped obliterate the stereotype that techies are better off coding and decoding in their technology hub.

Instead, moving away from their wired domain, tech professionals have proved that they make good managers. Thanks to their inherent ability to connect better with processes at the technological and logistical level, geeks make good trouble-shooters.

Add to that an ability to pre-empt difficult situations and take preventive action in time, and geek managers are heavily recommended to lend an iota of sanity in Scott Adams’ Dilbertish office space!

Don’t let trouble trouble you…

“Most geeks are able to save a huge effort that would go into troubleshooting issues because they could foresee them at the beginning of the project and plan resolutions well in advance,” Yogesh Jagal, associate project leader, Perot Systems, says.

“What sets apart a tech manager from the rest is the fact that he works from a solution perspective. German scientists had spent thousands of dollars to discover a writing instrument that astronauts could use in space, since a pen does not work there. The US scientists simply went ahead and gave pencils to their astronauts! Similarly, tech professionals also function with the solution approach in mind, and this is what helps them score over regular B-school managers,” Sujit Singh, country manager, Dax Networks, says.

Solutions approach is not the only quality that makes our geek gods perfect manager material. The ability to stick to deadlines (burning the midnight modem in this case!) comes naturally to tech professionals and it is this innate goodness that helps them score over others.

However, sticking to deadlines does not mean any compromise on quality. And innovative and out-of-the-box thinking ensures that geek managers are ahead of their non-geeky counterparts.

As competition gets tighter, it is the survival of the fittest. And for most geeks, aspiring to be in the manager’s seat is a natural extension of their mindset and skill set.

“In order to survive in the rat race, techies, who usually aspire to head the technology division in a given organisation, are learning to club tech and administrative skills. It is this lethal combo that makes them good managers,” Singh, who has been in the IT industry for the last 17 years, says.

Being in control

Delhi-based Jeevan S Bisht, location manager, Wipro Infotech feels that techies have a natural penchant for being in charge of situations and devising solutions.

“Techies like to be in control and that is what makes them good managers. Although a tech professional’s first love is his line of action, adapting administrative skills is not an issue for them,” he adds.

Although Mitra feels that making the transition from technical skills and focussing on outcomes and interpersonal skills become difficult when techies crossover to becoming managers, Jagal, of Perot Systems, feels that “geeks make excellent managers as they have a better understanding of their work, people (subordinate techies) involved and their needs and demands”.

“Geeks are better at troubleshooting than regular managers, whether it’s a technical project problem or a people problem within the team,” Jagal says.

Like any other creative souls, our geek gods are also a sensitive lot, especially towards their work. And it is this sensitivity that makes them better managers, as they strike a perfect balance between working 24/7 in shifts, trouble shooting problems and maintaining deadlines.

Courtesy : EconomicTimes, 16 August 2002

Bangalore: BPL Mobile, a leading mobile service provider, and Navinmail set up by
Sabeer Bhatia, co-founder of Hotmail, have joined hands to introduce two new products in India using the voice-messaging platform.

The products, miVoice and MPAS (mobile answer phone service), on mots (BPL Mobile prepaid card service) will be introduced soon. The new products incorporate
technologies of Telivoice and Telipower, belonging to Navinmail, a creation of Bhatia.

Navinmail Service (India) Pvt Ltd is a 100-per cent subsidiary of Navin Communications based in California and founded by a team of Indian-American entrepreneurs.

miVoice allows BPL mobile subscribers to send and receive voice messages to the ISD destinations such as the US and Canada and to all subscribers in networks in major
metros of India at a very low rate of Rs 3.95 and Rs 1.95, respectively. MAPS allows

BPL subscribers to be reachable even when their handsets are switched off, busy or
when no answer comes from the handset.

BPL Mobile president and CEO F B Cardoso says: “Customer feedback has shown that SMS service has a language barrier and is impersonal. With miVoice, we have removed these barriers by allowing the subscribers to send a message in their own voice at almost the cost of the SMS.”

Navinmail co-chairman Bhatia says: “Having a dynamic voicemail facility on the
cellular network is as powerful as having an e-mail facility on the Internet.”