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Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare • Dec 2, 2005

Microsoft CTO on Quality of Software Engineers in India

Taken from 'Rediff'
Not many can deny that Indian students are creative, innovative and scientifically inclined. When it comes to mathematics and the physical and biological sciences, Indian schoolchildren are ahead of their counterparts in developed countries like the United States.

Many bright Indian minds opt for computer science in college to become part of the Great Indian Tech Boom story.

But companies like Microsoft -- which has a full-fledged India Development Centre in Hyderabad -- are not happy with the computer engineers they are recruiting from college campuses.

Here is more proof, in Mundie's words:

* 'India produces a lot of engineers. But the production of computer science engineers is low, pro rata.'
* 'India did not have enough software companies nor are enough companies developing India-specific applications.' The reason, Mundie argued, was the poor quality of the country's software engineers.
* 'There are so few Indian software companies developing local software. That is a negative reinforcement, because there is no local software and no new applications.'
* 'The problem with the engineers can be attributed to policy issues… Universities in India, did not get proper funding for research and were not directed towards software development.'
* '[Indian] Computer engineers are more into theory and less in managing businesses, building businesses or writing source codes, the key to software development.'

Experts agree with Mundie.

India's software engineers can work cheaply and quickly, but when it comes to quality, industry experts are unanimous in their opinion: Few Indian software engineers are probing new frontiers, raising the bar or exploring new horizons.

Professor J G B Tilak, senior Fellow, National Institute of Education Planning and Administration, New Delhi, says the gradual withdrawal of government support, with increased private participation in technical education, affected quality and led to commercialisation of education. The NIPEA is the Indian government's apex organisation of education planners specialising in policy, planning and management.

The main concern, Tilak argues, is the "declining share of government expenditure on technical education in the total education expenditure, which presently hovers around 4 per cent, as against over 5 per cent 12 years back."

Compare this to the 15 to 30 per cent that every major economy -- including Taiwan and Brazil -- spends on national research and development. China's research and development spending, especially in engineering fields, for example, is a good 10 per cent, says a recent Forbes study.

Retired engineering professor K S Madhavan says research and development in engineering has been in a state of decline in the last few decades because of the poor state of affairs in India's colleges.

Engineering colleges in the country have been growing at 20 per cent a year, while business schools have grown at 60 per cent annually.

Five Indian states -- Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Kerala -- account for 69 per cent of India's engineers. Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Orissa account for only 14 percent.

From its 113 universities and 2,088 colleges -- many of which teach various engineering disciplines -- India produces nearly 350,000 engineering graduates every year. All of Europe produces 100,000 engineering graduates a year, and America produces only 70,000.

But, the quality of Indian engineers is questionable, says Madhavan, who has had a career spanning four decades and is now advisor to several engineering colleges in Karnataka and Kerala.
"That is because of the lack of trained faculty and the dismal State spending on research and development in higher education in the country," he says.
Software Engineers! what you gotta say about this?
Jerry
Jerry • Dec 9, 2005
I do not agree

I do not agree with Mundie. I will wait for others to post their opinions. πŸ˜‰
Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare • Dec 23, 2005
Cummon guyz! Speak out whatever you feel !

This thread is kinda dead for sometime πŸ˜€
Dionysus
Dionysus • Dec 23, 2005
Re: I do not agree

Jerry
I do not agree with Mundie. I will wait for others to post their opinions. πŸ˜‰
And why not?

Would you agree that being an engineer in India is not exactly a privilage, but a mandate for most? A goal which is achieved with minial efforts, without maybe, even having to appear for any competitive exams? That every nook, cranny and maggot ridden, sore infested crack in India is oozing with engineers, who are not only sub-par, but also apathetic to the idea of what being an engineer entails? Being an engineer is not a matter of choice, but a trend, as a direct result of which, the actual purpose of pursuing a higher education has dwindled into obscurity. Federal funding is a distant second, when it comes down to evaluating the actual cause for this notorious intellectual downfall. The primary reason is undeniably the fact that most people couldn't be less interested in pursuing this career, but continue to do so, because it's the politically correct thing to do, and in most cases, a safe bet which will eventually land them a cretenious job of writing COBOL for a financial conglomerate in the US.
Jerry
Jerry • Dec 24, 2005
easy easy!

Easy there! Dino ! πŸ˜€

Mundie talks about special species - Indian software engineers. Those few who I work with are really good & I got no doubt about their technical capabilities. I am not sure how things are in India (never been ther 😁 ).

and microsoft :roll: if they got problems with indian software engineers, why are they expanding in hydrabad ? i heard its the second biggest microsoft facility after redmond headquarters.

... i've a feeling that this thread is going to turn into a debate. 😲
pradypop
pradypop • Feb 13, 2006
I really digged this thread out, didn't i?

Its difficult to generalize the issue but there's some truth to the allegations of Mundie.

The crux of the matter is that the universities do not have their priorities sorted out. People study too many subjects and end up being Jacks of all trades and masters of none. These people can't contribute much to the industry straightaway.

But same people who work for an year or so in the industry turn into excellent professionals and do write quality software. These are the people Jerry met as his collegues.

The industry does not contribute much to education and government cannot afford to do more. Student ends up doing lots of theory without getting grasp of implementational issues.

So, Mundie's critisism holds for freshers from universities but not for entire community of developers in India
Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare • Apr 17, 2006
People study too many subjects and end up being Jacks of all trades and masters of none
I agree. Probably we have an educational system that 'blocks' the creative thinking. Look at our exams. Even in Engineering, you can mug all the formulas & theorems and manage a boundary 40. Well, is that engineering all about?

Probably, we need people who can *think*. People who can study 5 things & think of a 6th which combies the best of all 5.

What do you say?

-The Big K-
xheavenlyx
xheavenlyx • Feb 19, 2008
Re: I do not agree

BRINGING IT BACK FROM THE DEAD! After reading Biggies post on this:::

* The sorry state of Indian engineers*by*The Big K's Superblog

Dionysus
And why not?

Would you agree that being an engineer in India is not exactly a privilage, but a mandate for most? ... but also apathetic to the idea of what being an engineer entails? Being an engineer is not a matter of choice, but a trend, as a direct result of which, the actual purpose of pursuing a higher education has dwindled into obscurity ... The primary reason is undeniably the fact that most people couldn't be less interested in pursuing this career, but continue to do so, because it's the politically correct thing to do, and in most cases, a safe bet which will eventually land them a cretenious job of writing COBOL for a financial conglomerate in the US.

This is very agreeable. My and one of my friends studying Computer Science in a banglore university always talk about this! Most of them take it for a safe bet.

And I just figured out why SO many people say "we" are "desired" by huge U.S. companies and blah blah blah. Thats because the creative process is already done. The program has already been structured. It is just the writing-the-code part and testing and iron-out-the-bugs, that is left to do. That is given to the cheap and abundant labor.


The friend I am talking about sometimes gets very depressed over the state of his college. BUT he says there are a few 5-6 people in his class who are craving to do something creative, and do it. Those few are the once who either get an average CGPA or even less!


One guy here in Dubai (BITS Pilani - Dubai, its just the name, nothing more) made a full fledged moving robot costing about 20,000 Rupees. The Director took it away after the technical presentation saying it is the college property now. He made a few more projects after this but got very de-motivated after the scenario. He had 20% attendance (we need 50% to pass the year and 80% to avoid monetary fines) somehow he managed to get through engineering after repeating about 5 courses in total. CGPA dropped from 9.8 of first year to 6.something in the final because he wanted to concentrate on the projects and the learning part, not the mugging up. He now has a company in Dubai for engineering consultation.
xheavenlyx
xheavenlyx • Feb 19, 2008
Very well said!!

I have a friend, when asked why she took electronics and instrumentation (not to mention that she had no aptitude nor the interest), her answer? She giggled for a few seconds and said "Ese hi tick mar dia! Aur kya leti? Computer wala full tha" TRANSLATION: "I made the selection for the heck of it. What else could I chose, computer thing was full". I felt like slapping her, but that would be stupid. Cant blame her. This is the trend.

And yea, what about every other 2nd person doing MBA after a B.E/B.Tech?

The_Big_K
I agree. Probably we have an educational system that 'blocks' the creative thinking. Look at our exams. Even in Engineering, you can mug all the formulas & theorems and manage a boundary 40. Well, is that engineering all about?

Probably, we need people who can *think*. People who can study 5 things & think of a 6th which combies the best of all 5.

What do you say?

-The Big K-
xheavenlyx
xheavenlyx • Feb 19, 2008
For the record, I am an Indian.
Prasad Ajinkya
Prasad Ajinkya • Feb 20, 2008
Craig Mundie is bang on! How many amongst us have the guts to put their money where their mouth is πŸ˜€? How many engineers that India has churned out have actually gone back and busted their rears in a start up? Yes, the number of engineers who have the potential are many, but how many of them use that mind of theirs? How many of them think?

Answer is only a pitiable few. The rest of them choose to take up jobs in an MNC where they do not have to bother about responsibilities. I do not blame them as such. Given a choice, its always easy to take the simpler no-hassles option ... and so do many.

What I would like to know, is why are there 5 engineers here in this thread who do not agree with Craig?
mahul
mahul • Feb 20, 2008
i completely agree with Mundie. i'm still a student and the main focus seems to be on mugging up well enough to maintain good gpa's. Even the other driving factor, ie campus recruitment focusses more on such issues rather than the quality of ur project work. Maybe that's why that is why we churn out engineers with lots of knowledge but little creative application.
xheavenlyx
xheavenlyx • Feb 20, 2008
Lol, the ones who disagree are few, and are not Indians I guess. Read the whole post, its interesting ( πŸ˜” I know its bloody long...)

EDIT----

Crap you were talking about the Polls. Yea, correct, why did they disagree. Didnt even leave their comments I guess.
mathew720
mathew720 • Jun 19, 2010
Not a software engineer just an enthusiast '



Well i totally agree with whatever he told its true , Indian students IQ in high school is high than international average ,...... i believe its due to the family pressure and peer pressure some even through own interest ,...fact is that basics of most Indian remains strong when he finishes his high school , now problem starts when he jumps in to engineering .i can blame it on culture ,students themselves ,parents,govenment well blame game never ends but though good to know why to blame'm, .
But i think mundie missed something to mention or someone deleted what he said , collage graduates are not seasoned , that's why a company holds training period , eventually company ends up with a bunch of good engineers , its up to company to chose them , i don't know how many are kicked out at training sure would like to know from u guys ...



Even though some factors of India should be blamed
i do believe local applications are less in India a land of software engineers , for sure privet telecom providers could be more providing better broadband services eventually which can be controlled by government lowering tax in telecom could bring more users in India . ........same goes for wireless service providers too...

Government Exam regulatory authority should have a higer level of expertise to provide nation with quality engineers ,questions should be ones which one can actually be useful in real environment , thus making good outcomes than trend ....

Parents should show let kids pursue their dreams support and guide it ,not a game freak ,maybe that too ...

Outsourcing is much more than local market growth , economical growth for intense can be blamed for this , but not a good reason if there is enough software enthusiast ....

Even some other countries are facing same situations , china as an example produces more engineers than India tough its outsourcing is less than India , china have twice over computer users than in India with plenty local resources ,even economic growth and government supports its local market

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