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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. 

From a software organizations’ perspective, given that there is a resource constraint, what should one do? My thoughts …

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Problem Solving in IT Series – Who To Hire?

July 4, 2009 5:44 pm 0 comments

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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. 

From a software organizations’ perspective, given that there is a resource constraint, what should one do? My thoughts are as follows…

Software engineers are software engineers for a reason. Making money aside, a software engineer (a real one anyway) has the inate desire to use technology to solve a problem. They want to work on something cool, cutting edge and praise worthy. Stick them on a payroll project when they’re 5 years into the job and they will switch the first chance they get. It’s that simple. No really, it is! For routine work, you need to keep code monkeys around. Again, apologies for being blunt, but that’s how it is.

The solution?

First off, identify who you want? Do you want creative, problem solving people who can apply knowledge instead of just replicating code or do you want people who can just produce code? That basically depends on the kinds of projects you do and the products you develop. Keep one thing in mind, whoever you hire will remain with you till they feel satisfied at their jobs. The day they stop feeling satisfied, they will leave.

Netsol realized this difference early on when they were establishing NTI. Their idea was to create software ‘technicians’ and not software engineers for the routine work. These would be relatively low skilled/low paid employees, who would be starting off in the world of IT. Netsol would train them for 6 months, hire them for a couple of years and then let them go. They would be responsible for the day to day ‘boring’ work of writing routine code. Then they hired and trained software engineers to actually be creative and solve the really hard problems. I think that was a very well thought out strategy. A number of firms do that with interns actually, but gradually move them up to more interesting portions of the projects instead of letting them go.

The way netsol designed it, if a technician leaves, then they loose a low paid and low skilled employee, that they can easily replace. So that’s not a big problem, but if an engineer leaves, they lose a whole lot more. So for these people, netsol keeps starting up initiatives that’ll keep them happy and satisfies and also utilizes their work. I know of one person, for whom a whole new line of business was created, just so that he’d stay on with the company. It’s been 4-5 years, and the guy is still with them.

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