A lot of people have their opinions on what would make IT flourish in the country. From academics, individual & company certification all the way towards marketing, there are a lot of varied views going around. There are a lot of problem statements and few solutions floating out there, so let’s document some of them. This is an ongoing series of articles which will focus on a specific area in each post. If you have any idea’s of your own, please feel free to put them up in the comments section.Â
The last couple of years, a lot of people running software houses as well as managing IT departments have had one compaint in common. Not enough manpower to deliver projects.While most of this is attributed to the academics side of the equation, i think the problem is actually two-pronged.
On the one had, academics do lag behind in terms of the demands of the industry. Kids graduating from universities and technical institutes around the country are not really capable to take on commercial projects because they are weak in concepts. Universities, on their end, have tried to incorporate various technical languages into their courseware, from teaching java to dotnet to it’s students in a bid to get them good jobs. While the students are also more eager to learn the latest ‘language’ out there, in this rush, many of them tend to forget the basics of what make up a programming language and the platforms on which these languages run. Without these basics, many of the graduating classes have only, in my opinion, ‘time-bounded’ skills, which decay at an exponential rate. A student who has learn how to program only in dotnet, without having a clear grasp of, lets say, object oriented programming will only be useful till s/he has to write using a framework that uses inheritance as a core principle. And as soon as new frameworks and concepts crops up, they pretty much require a steep re-learning curve.
This problem doesn’t stop here as teachers are pretty much to blame as well. While i’m slowly seeing teachers who can be termed visionaries, many of them are just followers without an original thought. I’m sorry to be sounding to blunt here, but that’s how i see it. Not having a background themselves of the concepts they teach, many are just shoving book content down their student’s throats.
So overall, a bleak picture, but thankfully, there are still quite a few students and teachers out there who want to excel and basically teach themselves to above and beyond the requirements of a particular course and get into the nitty gritty of the subject. And when such a student-teacher pair develops, the results are plainly obvious. These are termed superstars and are the only actively recruited.
While i will not say that i have the perfect solution, i’ll present one which i think might work. It’s already in implementation at quite a few places and needs more attention. Instead of focusing solely on the students, the teachers are the one who need focusing on. We can’t get to a hundred thousand students all at once, but maybe we can get to a couple thousand teachers.
In order to develop these superstars, a relationship with a good teacher is essential. There are a few superstars in almost every class around the country, but without teachers there to nurture them, they miss out on their potential.Once we develop teacher skills in various IT concepts and languages, then the chances of developing superstars in universities increase manifold.