Disclaimer: This article only depicts what I’ve seen in Indian IT industries based on my one year of experience suffering in it(and continue to do so), so take everything I say
with a grain of salt as legitimate facts.
Yeah, that’s pretty much it for the disclaimer, you may proceed.
- “i’M aN iT PrOfEsSiOnAl”
- Trainee Masochist
- Software Engineer – A Dream Come True!
- The Managerial Side
- The Corporate Reality
- I Call Upon The Lord And Savior MBA To Save Me From Eternal Damnation!
- Human Resources = Yes, You Are A Resource.
- Sales and Marketing, Your Money Makers
- Big Brothers
- And That’s Pretty Much It.
“i’M aN iT PrOfEsSiOnAl”
I bet you’ve been wondering what IT professionals such as yours truly, do to get paid.
Do I code in Java, C#, SQL? Do I create awesome websites with fantastic looking UI? Do I get to interact with a highly motivated and ambitious team of developers than work each day to add quality to the software they’ve been working on? Do I wake up every morning, energetic and ready to show up to work?
Not all IT engineers necessarily have to code, but all of us without an exception are motivated to wake up early and show up to work on time, because if we don’t, then the HR will reward us with an LOP for that day.
Like as if paying us peanuts wasn’t bad enough.
As for getting paid, I work diligently to get my monthly salary.
I endeavor tirelessly each day to put out quality work and impress my managers. Some of those activities include getting down on my knees, bawling my eyes and begging that they don’t fire me because putting out quality work doesn’t mean shit.
You only get to retain your job if that quality work includes stroking your manager’s overblown egos.
I worked overtime for an entire week to resolve those technical issues and as stressful as it was, I couldn’t have done it without the help and support of my managers who were generous enough to provide me with-Yours Truly
untold misery and threats of getting firedthis opportunity to prove myself…
I’m so good at what I do, that I got transferred across two departments within the span of one year. That, my dear friend, is an achievement .
Also, it happens to be an achievement not worth achieving.
But enough about me.
There are many species within the IT kingdom, and like any other kingdom, its hierarchical in nature. Let’s start from the bottom of the totem pole, and gradually inch our way up.
When you first join an IT company, you are taken in as a trainee, and forced into projects. This is what usually happens in mediocre India IT companies, where they spend the first month or so training you by not training you.
Once you make it past that grind, you are put into bins depending on your performance. If you perform well, they might consider putting you in a developer or consultant role, and if you don’t then you end up as a tester. Also, if you bag the all too coveted developer role and stop performing, that too could lead to you getting exiled to the land of testers.
Nothing wrong with testing, only that it is dwindling market, and the trend has shifted towards automation, so testers these days have to dabble a bit in coding to use automation tools like selenium if they like the idea of receiving a paycheck every month.
Only problem with testing is that it doesn’t sound as sexy as Developer or Consultant.
Your actual training starts when you are forced into projects, because that’s when the deadlines and politics pop up, with you being the pawn pushed onto the frontlines.
You are essentially a slave, who has to do whatever your seniors tell you to do because you are just starting off, and have nothing to show for yourself so you’d better shut the hell up and learn to behave.
Your seniors will push their work onto you so that you will learn about more about the software and about its architecture, while they take credit for all your hard work, which is a fair trade-off for the experience they are letting you gain by having you work on tasks they were assigned to handle.
While you are busy busting your ass, trying your best to improve your performance, your seniors and managers won’t hesitate to screw with you every once in a while for not working hard enough, even though you just joined the company and know next to nothing about the software you have to handle or develop, because the training trained you by not training you.
Such is the life of a trainee.
Software Developer – A Dream Come True!
Once you end up in those bins, you are officially a techie.
Now you only have to work on upgrading yourself, by improving your coding skills, and learning to cope with the stress of having to deal with asshole managers who have every intention of working your sorry ass into a coma.
And let’s not forget the asshole seniors we might have to deal with! They will screw you over with as much tenacity as your managers will.
Once you make it past that stage, you are exceptionally skilled and can slowly start inching your way up the ladder and become a solutions/enterprise architect in about 10 years or more.
Yes, you read that correctly, it takes an average of Ten Frickin’ Years.
You could even move into the managerial side, if you have to right connections and play your cards right.
If you don’t work hard in the bins you’ve been placed into, and show the assholes who have got you by the balls that you are working hard, chances are they will toss you into the QA dump, which is a role for testers.
The Managerial Side
Seeing how saturated with mental abuse the corporate zone is for techies, wouldn’t it make sense to transition into the managerial side? Why not play it safe, and be the one doing the abusing, instead of being abused?
That’s why most get MBAs, not because they wish to one day lead innovative endeavors, but so that they can escape from hell.
Only problem is, there is no escape.
Only Jesus can save you, and that is after you are dead.
Believe it or not, there is a reason managers are always stressed and pissed off about everything. They are under a lot of pressure and have a lot on their plate, ranging from resolving client escalations to deriving results that match their superior’s expectations.
But the pay is pretty good, and you have a special ability that comes with being a manager. Once you activate that ability of yours, you can automatically push your work onto the techies reporting to you and even blame them for your incompetence.
Funny story, I once got screwed badly for not approaching my manager for work. I thought it was their job to assign tasks to me, which it was, and I didn’t ask them for any because I assumed things would work out like they do in theory.
I was handsomely rewarded for my assumption by having my department switched, right after they included the HR in a call and indirectly hinted that I wasn’t performing at all while omitting the fact that they didn’t give me any damn work to begin with.
But that’s how it is.
And that’s why I call it corporate slavery.
Corporations don’t give a damn about you, and don’t reward you for your dedication and obedience – they demand that from you.
Why wouldn’t they?
There’s a crowd of people out there who will gladly fill your position and work themselves to death for a lesser pay, so what incentive do large organizations have to keep you around?
If you work hard, you are expected to keep working hard for the same pay. If you work exceptionally hard, thinking maybe then they will increase your pay, think again. They will expect you to perform at that level with the exact same pay.
You have to keep your eyes wide open, and mouth shut tight. Never forget that your workplace isn’t a “workplace”, it’s also a warzone. Every time you interact with your managers or colleagues, you are swimming with the sharks, and they won’t hesitate to chomp off a sizable portion off of you, of you let them.
I Call Upon The Lord And Savior, MBA To Save Me From Eternal Damnation!
Keeping that in mind, wouldn’t it make sense to pursue an MBA, segue into the management side and start chomping down on fishes dumb enough to cross your path?
Getting an MBA isn’t going to magically transform you into a great white shark. People aren’t born knowing how to manage people – it is a skill that comes with experience.
That degree of yours will get you an interview, but won’t determine how far you will fare in that interview.
Human Resources – Yes, You Are a Resource.
There exists a special breed of managers that exist for the sole purpose of making every employee’s life miserable, and they are the Human Resource Executives, or HR Managers. They have a very good reputation of pissing everyone off, which is why no one likes them, even if they’ve never had to work with them.
Not all HR are out to cut your payroll, some are actually hardworking and do whatever they can to bring in the right people, while supporting those in the workforce who are struggling with their work.
But that doesn’t change the fact that the only time we have to see the HR is when we have been blacklisted for not meeting a given target or for performing poorly. Interactions in those situations are never pleasant, and hence the reputation of HR.
That being said, most of them don’t give a damn, and care more about what you wore to office today, than with actual issues that could impact the entire organization at large.
Sales and Marketing, Your Money Makers
The management isn’t comprised entirely of managers, they also have a sales and marketing team who are responsible for closing deals and drawing attention to their business.
They are often in the high earning bracket because if it weren’t for them, the developers won’t have any projects to work on.
Unlike developers, marketing and sales executives have targets to achieve; targets if they don’t achieve, the company will find someone else to achieve. There’s your tongue twister for the day.
Marketing and sales isn’t for everyone, which is why most of them stay away from this sector, even though the incentive to work is massive. You earn a certain percentage for every deal your team closes, and those percentages are huge.
You also earn a great deal of respect, because marketing isn’t a job any average Joe can handle. You are responsible for creating leads, closing deals and remaining on the constant watch for fresh leads and opportunities.
Last but not the least, we have reached the ones running the whole show.
I introduce to you, the Vice presidents and C-level executives.
Their asshole games is so strong that they are more than capable of handling the entire company on their own.
They not only know how to manage, which is an achievement in itself, but also know how to take things forward because they have a vision as well. They decide what technology to invest in, which company to acquire, and which areas to expand into.
These are seasoned veterans who know their stuff, and have managed to retain their curiosity for the field they have devoted their life to. You can’t run a company merely by following a fixed set of guidelines, since the market is incredibly volatile. What works today, may cease to be of any use tomorrow, so they have to keep learning new trends, technologies and how to leverage them to their benefit.
That is what makes you a C-level executive. You are the Chief of a given domain, and everything rest solely on your shoulders. The CFO is responsible for the company’s finances, the CTO is responsible for how and what sort of technologies the company invests into and implements and the CEO is responsible for making all major decisions and behaves as the main communication channel between the board of directors and the C-level executives.
These positions come with massive responsibilities. It’s not a position that can be filled by any Tom, Dick and Harry or even Hermione. Your gender doesn’t determine whether you will take the company forward or bury it in bankruptcy. It’s the ability to manage, lead, adapt and to take things forward in a volatile environment that determines that.
With these skills, Tom could become the CFO, Dick the CTO, Harry the CEO and Hermione a feminist hero giving talks at the HeforShe campaign about how men ought to check their privilege before waving their magic wands at her.
And That’s Pretty Much It.
If you are starting for the bottom, it’s a long way up. Don’t let that intimidate you; good things don’t come easy, and if it takes a while to get there, then it’s definitely worth the struggle.