I hated computers when I was in school. I mean, I liked working on a computer like watching movies, listening to songs or browsing the net and stuff like that but I really did not grasp coding. No not even the basic BASIC they taught at school. I did not follow it, I thot the LOGIC they taught was illogical. I mostly mugged up the programs. They never asked anything different and i always passed. I did not take Computers in XII and opted for Bio. Even when people forced me to do engineering, I chose only Chemical Engg. coz it did not involve computers. Atleast thats what I thot until 3rd sem when we had to learn C. I somehow cleared C and C++ in 3rd and 4th sems and somehow scraped thru AUTOCAD in 7th sem.
I was hoping for an R&D post in a pharma company but unfortunately that was not available at the time I completed college. They had only vacancies for factory work which I was not interested in. At the time even the financial situation at home was not very good. I desperately needed a job to keep my respect. I applied thru a friend to Infosys and I did not know how, I got through. Infy interview was good. I joined training thinking that definitely I was not going to clear it.
I was the only person in training that did not know the difference between ROM and RAM. Everybody else there seemed to be working magic on their systems. During training, I struggled to catch hold of the concepts. I knew that I had to learn something inorder to pass. I had nothing to lose. I worked hard at developing an interest to computers. Fortunately the batch I was in had a lot of helping people. Gangadhar and Naveen – two of my batch mates… they helped thru the beginner’s concepts and I spent quite some time gathering the basics.
I hated Bangalore. I would rush almost every weekend to Chennai. When the short Duration guys finished training, I was envious of them. I did not know how I was going to go back. Was I going to fail? Will I ever be able to keep my job at Infy? Would I go until Re Viva? The General Compre came and I did the Section A – multiple choice thing very well. I managed something in Subjective Section B. But Section C I did badly. But I knew after completing the exam that I would clear. To my surprise, I cleared Generic Compre with 80% that put me in A grade. That was a confidence booster.
Then came the .NET stream. Nothing that I learned for the general compre seemed to be applicable here. Every thing seemed to be different and challenging. But the confidence I had from the General Compre score kept me going. I had found some friends and I was a lil more comfortable than when I came in. I got my first month salary and that in itself was a morale booster. I felt very good. My cousin got admitted in Australia and my brother got into REC. My dad’s suspension was revoked though he got transferred. My mother was happy. Everything good was beginning to happen. But then it was time for the stream Compre. I knew quite a lot and .NET was easier than i thot it would be. I was able to understand and apply myself better than many in class. I was able to complete my modules and work towards debugging and other areas. I was also able to help others quiet a lot.
But I did miserably in Section A. Section B was good and Section was average. I kept calculating whether I would pass or not. I gave my friends a treat for my university rank but I was mentally prepared for a ReCompre. The results came and I cleared with 68. That was enough for me. I was placed in Chennai and that too in Shols. My happiness knew no bounds. I started the two days after the resulst were announced.
When I joined, I was on bench for a month. I enjoyed that period like anything. But then I was assigned to a project. I was scared. My project manager’s name was Shankar G and he was very friendly to me. I was mentored by one person called Narayanan Ramamurthy. He was very good and hetaught me performance testing. Initially I was very skeptical about what I could and what I could not do. But I did not tell my worries to anyone. I put on a smiling face. But slowly, I learned. My onsite co ordinator was Manivasagam Sundaravelayutham. He was also a very friendly person.
One fine day, Shankar called me and told me that I was to be the sole offshore resource for a project. I told him that I ca do testing but I would want somebody to mentor me. He told me not to worry. That project was a success from my end. I learnt a lot fo things but for thatI had to trouble Mani and Shankar to a large extent. But they put up with me without uttering a single harsh word. I learnt a lot from their characters as well.
They all together made a Software Engineer out of me. I am very grateful to them even today for it. It was very much later that Shankar told me that I was a very quick learner and that he thot I was really good. Initially, I used to count the number of days I have passed in Infosys and I used to wonder how many more I was going to pass. I would constantly feel that someone would tell me that I was unfit to work here.
Then EntLib came and thingstook a radical change. I was out of fear because I managed stuff previuosly. Iwas confident I could do it. I worked under Anand Nagarajan who was a very cheerful and friednly person. I worked very hard to make EntLib a great success and that it was! Then, I stopped counting days, I stopped having fear and I was beginning to get confident.
Infosys has now become my identity and I am thot of as someone who can work well. I feel good coming to office in the morning and am craving for more and better responsibility. I feel good and I have started liking computers. I dont work in Infosys just for the money they pay me. I work here for pride, for my satisfaction.
I learnt a lot of management by watching Shankar, Manivasagam, Mani K and Joyce. I learnt a lot of technical details as well from Mani K. He would give me advice whenever i asked him. He would tell me where to improve and what to do in case of a crisis. Joyce is the sweetest PM I know. The thing that differentiates her most others is the fact she views us as persons and not as resources. And then, I have a great circle of friends in my wing. Mani S knew how to be polite and firm at the same time. His voice still rings in my ears. It is very magnetic.
With the help of a lot of people around, I have become a known person. I have reached a stage where my words count and I as a person am significant. A couple of days ago, the phone rang at my place and I was surprised to hear the person asking for me. No one generally calls me on my extension. Then, the person introduced himself as Narayanan and asked if I remembered. How could I not! He had taught me stuff when I was a no gooder. I was very excited. I was wondering if he had called me to let me know his wedding plans. Why else do people from old projects call?
Then, he said he was deputed in PAG and that he had been asked by onsite to learn profilers and .NET concepts from me. I said ofcourse, I would tell him everything I knew. He then said he would meet me sometime. I was very happy. Life had come one full circle. 🙂