Year 2002 .Com Brust and Iraq war double whamy , recessionary period for IT sector. I had just finished lecturing a college Master’s classes. Evening I would group up with professional for Web development although business was very weak for vendors.
Daily Routine was very strict as Salary were very low (70 Euro per month) So I needed to patch up with other things like preparing for Entrance Exam like CAT/GMAT, read 3 business magazine on Saturday/Sunday (popular Business World India regularly since 18 yrs old so spent by then 6 yrs of reading (600 magazines at rate @1 each fortnight), Business Today and Business India was occasional addition).
Year 2003-4 Was my First full time Software Product development job. people advised me not To learn Java as during .com burst it will never recover. I used to tell to my student that this infact precisely the reason you should learn more of it. (Most other people started considering .NET) But I Sticked with java as I know Demand/supply would come in picture due to my Exposure to 600+ business cases which I read.
Actually same happened in 2003 there was huge demand for Java professional but since not one studied/preferred during there graduations there was huge gap in Market between demand and supply. And My student will come back to me validating telling that “your suggestion was right”.
So In 2003 i got into Java product development position owing to right decision.
.com burst started with “supply will create its own demand” Ended. Now its balance of demand and supply which was in play i.e. supply of .com (websites) constraint by its demand.It was small team precisely 5 people. Salary 70 Euro per month (5000 rupees) in Delhi designation Software Developer. We were making Operation Research based software to optimize space in Physical Warehouses. Software was already in C++. we needed Java on top C++ middleware as using JNI as (as java was becoming popular again as internet Enablement provided connectivity and Ease of use/deployment/Installation).
Java XML API, 2 D graphics (2 print of area), 3D (visualisation of 3D space).
People at home were Critic of my curosity to join new types of courses through new open Education platform. Through which I did 1 post graduate course in Operation Research which was also a contributing factor for my first job requirement may be somebody might have Recommended also Which I am not aware.
Recommendation Culture is very prevalent Even now in India. only 10% jobs would be given without recommendation for any level.
I knew i did not had fancy degrees to support me so I needed to work hard. And get into manageable salary range. IT was my first job outside Home away from parents. I had to send some money back also in that range (saved 14 euro every month to send back home). There were no online tutorials then for J2EE neither I had system So 14 Euro will go in J2EE classes and system access Every month. Rent was 28 Euro for Hostel breakfast was free. so 14 Euro was left for diner/lunch and monthly Expenses.
My routine morning 5 am start at Hari Nagar, Delhi grab seat (read J2EE book on way) in first bus start at 5:30 to work place 3 hours journey reach Hari govind Enclave near preet vihar. through traffic jam private buses.
Finish work by 6:30 move to NOIDA for cheapest and best course in J2EE if u got luck bus was not full hanging in door with bag. at 8:30. walk from Telephone tower reach by 9PM . If bus reached on time and I rushed walking fast i would reach 15 minutes late other wise class gone.
But It was risk worth taking as there was no other option.
Class start at 9 AM finished at 9:45 most of it was initial 15 minutes. So bus delay which I had no control was where my luck would hang if i could get space on the door to hang. So then I had to go back to Hari Nagar Extreme End of Delhi then slow traffic. I would reach by 11.30 at night. Saturday was not off but no classes on Saturday.
It was Extreme tight schedule. To save time and protect from disease I would eat only fruits on Lunch time during work hour.
So Next month I moved near to work place in Laxmi Nagar, just 15 minutes by bus. It saved morning 2 hours to study in New Hostel. New First Work demand also Escalated as work progressed. So mornings with J2SE and night end with J2EE it there was no prolonged stay due to work.
There was urgent need to move to better job after 1 year. I got chance to work on ERP by company which would train me on Peoplesoft ERP in year 2004. As you know due to my curiosity I had a course in ERP as well in Academics back in year 2000-2002. Infact I was only student in whole state writing that paper in DOEACC ‘A’ level Exam. Along with my 3 yrs Masters in Computer Application MCA.(another long story for it pending….Next time)
Market was demanding j2EE but I was in j2SE (So Started learning night classes)
Year 2004 was When IT was recovering from .com brust period. Iraq war had just ended petrol prices started stabilising and Java was in Demand. I got into people soft ERP with java Exposure behind. Company was in new place Gaziabad but it provided cab facility.
So It was my first Mid size company with 200+ people.Third job salary increased to 170 Euro(or 220 dollar or 12,000) rupees per month designation ERP Analyst. Demand from home was increasing as Both Sister looking for Higher Education a cut of 5,000 or 70 Euro Every month. I was back to almost same level with now 30 euro Extra for spending left.
But a new Twist in story Training was not enough to get on work. So I needed to learn People-soft from outside company at my own cost. 400 Euro distributed to 3 months.
So Effectively I had no Earning left even to send back home as I need to pay 130 euro pm to trainer. and left same 70 Euro for Food+Rent+Travel.
After six months things look stabilising although no savings. Then While I was in home town on week end I met a friend who used to prepare with me MCA Entrance Examination just completed MCA from BHU belonging to Dalit communiy. I used to be regular visitor to their home and I knew everyone his home and few issues related to Education and Employment. His Mother told me he got graduate but No job
“Why you not take him with you? ” So same week End he is now with me in Delhi searching job. Only I had salary So we took small house rent 30 Euro a month. Now Combination Dalit, a rajput and Brahmin in single house. We never had fight even single day. Owner of house was Muslim and his son was regular feature in house.
Jugalbandi in Running:
Sharing house 4 boys :A Dalit, brahmin, rajput and muslim .
We all lived quite happily enjoying music, party, dance etc.
Unlike UP in Uttranchal There was no discrimination against any caste. So I was never aware of the Caste Equations and clashes.
All people were from different state as well. And we had no issue at all.
Owner Son a muslim wanted to become Actor. Wanted me to help find school from him.
I told National School of Drama NSD, New Delhi. He brought bike we went there. He had hesitation So I started Enquiring. The Director Was Some Sharma. (forgot First name).
He thought I wanted to be actor So he asked me question:
“Are you Kapoor or Muslim otherwise chances of moving up as actor is rare?”
I told I do not want to be actor pointed toward owner son and said he is muslim and wanted to be actor. So His training begin. We were living in Dilshad Garden.
But I had to plug in Money for Rent,sometimes food and other things a for them As I was only Earner in house a cut for about 50 Euro a month. Which was Okay for me for few month till they got job. 220-50 contribution-70 home left me : 100 Euro for food, living Expenses per month. saving 50 Euro Every month first time in 3 yrs career as IT professional.
After few months the complexity of living in metro came to me.
First incident: Found that Dalit friend had secret affair with his mother’s brother daughter.
Which was hided from me. I used to work in shifts I was not aware what’s going on in room.
Suddenly one day His relative banged he door searching for him. I opened door found that they all are angry and searching for him. Them picture become clear for me that This guy was duping his relative daughter in house. I told them I was not aware what is going on in house? After convincing them as soon he arrive I will inform you. after 4 days he returned.
For next 2 months I had take extra care for him for his love failure and bear all his expenses.
After he become okay. I left house without informing them because I did not wanted to suffer again un-necessarily.
Also there was another development. My office staff I was reporting to Yadav as manager Who worked there 6 yrs. After some time he wanted to put his own community people there which I was not aware. So he told me your department is changing and you will report to A manager Who was Muslim.
I was not aware Yadav belonged to political party which has huge muslim support base.
So Script was simple. Every day a new task a new tool was given.
Also he began spreading rumours. I had built up some knowledge in Peoplesoft by then but if new new areas were given it was difficult to work across. So some day I would spent 3 days 24 hours in office. trying to figure those new task. Atlast he can claim that I am not able to understand properly but since I had PS knowledge he could mark it as Not hving good English skills.
Also to get leverage using his vast political clout Samajwadi leaders of Muslim leaders spread rumours. My crime I praised Mayawati Dalit Rule not being aware that this guy is actually opponent and has political links.
So I was sidelined as Dalit who has changed name to Brahmin Name. I was my first blush with Casteism and community politics in India. Where people can be grouped against some person with no reason by political clout.
Anyhow it was like election canvassing I was new in company and in city. So Everyone was given some different version to get support from them. As most people then has experience only in peoplesoft support only and no development exposure including the old hand So they were very weary of anyone with development skills. It was percepetion in their mind so they thought I had good Java+peoplesoft skills by now. To help it further I new they are planning something I started putting more material in their mind by touting that some guy from MNC is mentoring me on peoplesoft.
I had good Java skills for sure which so of the people there with java background became aware. So i could have easily with Peoplesoft knowledge made up something to buy more time.
Coincidently the person who was teaching me Peoplesoft was also their agent as they offered him job in Hewitt So they were aware of any of my skills.
Peoplesoft got Acquired By Oracle same time. And Oracle cancelled support license of whole company. And now the sword was hanging on Everyone not only on me.
So company had to reduce staff from 250 to just 50 in 3 months. 200 people needed to get out. I was looking at God what a Stew.
Break in Jugalbandi: Peoplesoft Acquisition : all 4 parted ways.
So now All these 200 people needed to find new job. So I Went to Hyderabad without informing these guys at home in Delhi left job and started learning BI and Datawarehousing Tools which I did worked at my stint in Peoplesoft SQR, Oracle production reporting.
My goal was to cover Maximum foot print. I Did learned 5 top BI tools (SAP BO, Microstrategy, IBM Cognos, Actuate , Oracle discoverer) and 5 Top ETL tools(Data Stage, Informatica, Terradata ETL, Ab-initio, SAS ETL,SAP ABAP/BI). Then Oracle Apps technical. day and night I would spend in Lab.
Joined My Fourth job at Ness Technology As Sr Software Engineer in year 2005.
This was my First Job with MNC with around 8,000 Employee where I had comfortable 500 Euro a month Salary.(double from previous job). Leaving first 2 months paid for Loans from learning Expenses.
I was staying in Hostel Then I Experienced another level of politics from people from previous company interfering here as well but now I was determined to cut all politics after long hard work. And I was determined only to look at technology every time people run around playing politics.
Spruced up saying Job was in Bangalore. First time I had taste of multicultural India and also regional politics with group formed inside company based on regions in India.