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Job hopping. Icing without the cake?

- An exclusive interview with Saumitra Das - Director Software Development, Netscape Application Server, USA. (Sun - Netscape Alliance)

Saumitra Das
Director Software Development
Netscape Application Server
USA. (Sun - Netscape Alliance)

The rules for obtaining and retaining IT talent are becoming more complex. The IT arena today is filled with consultants who tend to identify themselves with their profession rather than with their companies. Thus they are on the look out for projects that increase their market value. The net result being Job-hopping.

The Career Enrich team explores this issue through an exclusive interview with Saumitra Das - Director Software Development, Netscape Application Server, USA. (Sun - Netscape Alliance)

What is the implication of job-hopping for the IT consultants of today in India?

The IT professionals of today want to rapidly shift from one project to another to enhance their employability and marketability. In the process they do not pick in-depth knowledge of any of the skills. The bottom-line - 'Skills dearth'.

Are IT consultants solely responsible for this?

I would say that both the employers and the employees need to share the blame in equal proportions. The employers tend to shift their consultants from one project to another according to customer demands at that point of time. On the other side, employees also shift their project on a recurring basis to increase their market value.

Will experience in multiple projects pave way for a job overseas?

There has been a strong misconception that multiple skills would provide a smooth gateway to USA. The reality is that in India, the projects are primarily service oriented. The scene is totally different abroad, as the products out there are application oriented. Hence an in-depth knowledge of the current skills with a combination of sharp thinking skills would be the only passport for migration.

Today, there is a high demand and hence large numbers of Indian professionals are able to survive. However, quality rigor backed by in-depth skills can only facilitate long-term growth.

What are the future challenges for this Industry and its consultants in India?

Equal efforts need to be made both from the employers and the employees. Software development involves creativity and requires a passion for work. Unfortunately I find toady's professionals lacking this passion. The employers also should constantly aim to keep their associates updated with the current skills. They will have to actively pursue and implement programs that help IT workers expand their skills, and not their paychecks alone. It is dis-heartening to note that many of the consultants today, are paid ahead of their experience because of the demand and supply situations.

A total paradigm shift has to occur from both the sides to take our country ahead in the near future. Otherwise all 'Jewel Crown' projects will be carried out abroad leaving the conversions and maintenance projects to Indian companies. Unless there is quantum jump in the infrastructure and connectivity, the Indian IT industry will not get critical projects thus depriving our consultants of the rich experience.

However, I am glad to note continuous improvements in IT sector in every visit of mine to India during the past fifteen years. There does exist a vast potential for the professional's. All we need to do is to give utmost priority for developing quality products.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by Saumitra Das are in his individual capacity and do not reflect his organisational views

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