[FoRK] What‘s the shelf life of a techie? Just 15 years

Stephen Williams sdw at lig.net
Sun Dec 2 23:12:14 PST 2012

This is why India et all aren't going to be much competition to a real tech center.  (Windows on every computer doesn't help...)
As soon as you call it "retooling" or "retraining", you're dead.
Shades of a cargo cult.

> "The shelf life of a software engineer today is no more than that of a cricketer - about 15 years," says V R Ferose, MD of
> German software major SAP's India R&D Labs that has over 4,500 employees . "The 20-year-old guys provide me more value than
> the 35-year-olds do."
> Some companies guide technical professionals towards taking on more managerial responsibilities over time. Ravi Shankar, chief
> people officer at MindTree, says he advises employees to map their career graph into a 5-5-5 formula, three blocks of 5 years
> each. In the first five years, the employee is a technical contributor.In the next five, he or she moves on to become a team
> leader or an architect , understanding the P&L (profit & loss) requirements of the company. Subsequently , the employee takes
> on much stronger leadership responsibilities , with technical skills upgrade.
> Naveen Narayanan, global head of talent acquisition at HCL Technologies, says there are roles where the employee is not
> developing technology, but architecting a solution for the customer to solve a business problem. "You are taking a managerial
> role," he says. Texas Instruments' Thakurdesai says the domain knowledge that older engineers have often works well in
> defining the products and features required for a particular domain.
> But everybody agrees that even managers have to upgrade their technicalskills to stay relevant. As Ferose says, "I can't be
> just a manager, I have to be technically handson . If I have to have a conversation with my CTO, and if I say Idon't
> understand technology, then there is no conversation ."
> As Indian services companies increasingly move towards platforms and products , such retraining will become even more
> important, and the programmes will have to be more intense. Microsoft'sMohan says many technology professionals in the US
> have ingrained the idea of retooling themselves. "This is still not visible much in India. This is an era of
> hyper-specialization . This means upgrading yourself constantly, even on weekends," he says.

> rktv2000(signed in using yahoo)
> The article conveniently forgot to mention what Bond says to Q :"Youth is no guarantee for innovation" Yes but in India
> barring few product companies could the industry create jobs / roles for senior techies.Like in US do we have a 20+ years
> experienced guy calling himself a SW engineer or DBA. Most of the jobs outsourced nowadays don't require great technical
> skills unless one is working on R&D or product development which we don't get to see much. Techies in Indian environment are
> often forced to move faster in to the management track within 5 years.They carry forward only that much experience what they
> could gain on hands-on job in 5 or less years. This article however should be an eye opener for all to introspect in multiple
> perspectives.

> Madhusudan Sarma <https://www.facebook.com/madhusudan.sarma1>
> Well Said !!! There is no true software product development in India. 20+ years experienced s/w engineers in India, a
> non-entity and in western markets, they are most sought after. It is only an article taken into consideration of Indian
> Services companies. Not for true product based software companies or research oriented organizations. Ravi Arimilli of IBM is
> an astounding example who has 350+ patents in his name and around 30 yrs of exp. and still works as a hard-core engineer (s/w
> E,that is..:-)). Even in our company 26+ yrs of exp. engineer works as an architect and a true developer. So, in the true
> software development perspective and in global scenario, I feel, this article is plain rubbish !!!

Samreen Adil <https://www.facebook.com/samreen.adil>· Software Engineer
<https://www.facebook.com/pages/Software-Engineer/109542932398298> at Yogaan Technologies
+1 to this "college hiring is a priority for the company because "freshers learn fast and do things differently, without the
baggage of past experience".

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