Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Irritating Imbalances and a post for the rest of us...

I hate beginning posts like this..but hey, what the hell?! A good friend once wrote on his Facebook wall, the easiest way to get people's attention is by saying Jobs on an admissions guidance forum. This good friend possessed an insight not normally possessed by people, but then again, that's why he is presumably a good friend. Now, everyone knows there are in fact two ways to get any average college-goer's attention. The first involves shouting "X Lakhs per annum" at a random spot inside the college(replace X with a suitable double digit number), the second involves taking your bra off.

Since I do not own a bra, and would find it highly reprehensible(not to mention morally questionable) to be found in possession of one, I must take the former route.

70 lakhs per annum, is a sum of money that most of us would find a little incomprehensible to digest(or spend). I mean not all of us are MLAs or drug dealers or Facebook programmers. The whole point with the salary explosion now faced by the average Computer Science student is that it is so bloody unsustainable it makes me want to throw somebody into a fire(preferably someone from Goldman Sachs). While salaries for those in CS have climbed up to nearly unscalable heights, salaries for the remaining few of us have stayed near about the same or have actually worsened. It can't be considered a surprise either, we are hardly facing the best time in our economic growth story.

The question now is, have these recent big shot recruiters found some topical analgesic for the world's economic woes? Can they afford to go to far flung countries and recruit the best brains in the world and throw insane amounts of money at them for no apparent reason? The answer is, obviously not, and that we are sitting on probably the worst bubble in internet history since the 2000 dotcom bust. But that still doesn't solve the problem. You see the problem with these bigshot recuiters and India's screwed up foreign exchange situation is that they have artificially widened the divide between CS and non CS into the bloody Grand Canyon. If you have heard the question,"Beta, X branch me scope hai?", you may now reply confidently enough, "Nahi uncle, bas CS me scope hai..baaki sab branches toh timepass ke liye khol rakha hai".

This skewered system is not only bad for the mindset of students in the country, it is downright reprehensible. This is like giving the mechanic a middle finger and a sad chuckle, and giving your house to the guy who puts a TV screen in your car. There is no easy solution for this, except to be pragmatic, and remember that the industries that actually USE computers do not actually employ computer engineers. Computer engineering, and more particularly the creation of software is kinda like putting together a big jigsaw puzzle. It's tough, its mentally demanding, and it just wouldn't be possible without the idiots who made jigsaws, or the idiots who made the room you're putting it together in, or those other idiots who keep the fans running. You really cannot have software engineers, without the other sort of engineers, the boring kind, that wear hard hats, and black shoes and shirts with collars.

While currently all that those particular engineers have to go on are a sense of pride and a passion for the job, it is important to note that the bigger picture needs to be taken into account. The monetization of social media, and the boom that has been piggybacked with it, is essentially nonexistent. That while the imbalance between some particular breed of CS students may seem large right now, it is much better, and much safer, to do what the smart people have always done.

Stick to what you're good at. You won't have to do it for free(unless you want to of course).

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