On this August 11th, I completed the third year I've been working in the software industry. My first day shall forever be burned in my memory, for that was day my ideals died. If I seem too cynical, too pessimistic about the software industry, it all started from day one. For that was one day that caused all five of us to leave eventually and destroyed any vestiges of loyalty we might have had. I don't regret having gone through all that, because I learned a few valuable lessons, just a few hours into the job.
So, all of us were picked up from campus on the very first day of campus interviews. We were all satisified and never attended any of the off-campus interviews that our friends who had got into Infy and CTS were going to. I even lost interest in my GRE score and that pacakge from Georgia Tech is still lying on my shelf unopened. So all idealistic and eager, we arrived in their Electronic City office, around 8:15 AM on that fine monday morning.
We were part of a batch of 68, who were all joining on the same date. There were students from all over - Pune, Coimbatore, Allahabad, Mangalore and Bangalore. So our exams ended by late June and the lab results for us weren't tabulated till date. Of the group, all eight of us and three others from Pune didn't have our final year marklists. After the employee IDs for four of us were generated, some guy realized this fact and literally threw us out of the hall.
"You didn't inform us that your marklists weren't out. We will call you back when you have a degree" - those were his exact words. We were told to go home and that we would be called back along with the October batch of new joinees. We were more scared than pissed off. Fresh out of college and with no job, we were pond scum in the job market mill pond.
First thing we did was call up our parents. We even called up our principal and placement officer. The latter earned our eternal scorn by washing his hands of the affair. And to compound the issue, there was an ongoing student protest in the university college.
In the midst of the rioting students, policemen with tear gas, my father and Joe's father managed to find that our marklists were ready to be tabulated. They managed to find the clerk in charge of this, drive him to the uni, get it tabulated, got him to take it to the VC's house and get it signed & stamped. And all this, they did before 2 PM.
After making 800 rs/- worth of phone calls and such heroics from our parent's, the marklists were faxed to the HR by 3 PM. We were very reluctantly admitted and our employee IDs generated. We had gotten in and we assumed that it would be a smooth ride from then on.
So the training began. Most of us spent the days on the back-row playing virtual pool, copter and other flash games. And it really pissed off our trainers when me and Sreekrishna walked out of the half-hour C++ exam about two minutes after it began, with near perfect scores. Hardly did I know that we would pay dearly for those stunts.
We were informed about a week into september that we were going to be posted in Hyderabad for a Telecom & Internet reqs. And I mean, just the three back-bench wise-asses. And when I asked about openings in their embedded wing, I was told that "In bangalore, there are only testing openings" (for freshers).
Off to Hyderabad, I went. Only to discover that after all this drama, I had been posted to a testing job. My job involved filling in an excel sheet with PASS/FAIL depending on whether my button mashing on the mobile phone caused it to dump core. And all three of us started working on our resumes rather than our day jobs. And then came the rejections. Sometimes outright rejections when I was passed over for people from known colleges - IITs, RECs, BITS and elsewhere. Talent just didn't seem to matter and mine was very hard to measure in an interview (I am useless on paper).
After six interviews and no job, especially that Unix & C rejection, I was disillusioned about a career in software. I decided that day and then that if I manage to escape, I'll never again work in a services firm as a cheap brain for clients somewhere.
Nothing motivates a man more than to see his boss put in an honest day's work.