Thursday, August 30, 2007

Industrial tour

Many years ago, when I was in an engineering college, study tours were in vogue. You went to a trade fair or a factory and saw the machines that were being used there. You interacted with the machinists, supervisors or the trade fair chap. It helped you see the practical application of a, say, automat, shaper, lathe and also see the advances that technology had made. The factory visit got you used (either positively or negatively) to the environment and at the end of the tour, there were two groups - one a positively elated and the other, "how am I going to work here". The trade fair visit got you similar two groups, one which felt amazed at the machinery and an other which had no clue what was what.

Cut to today. I recently chanced upon a college that did an industrial tour of an IT campus. So, great, what did they see? Rows upon rows of cubicle farms, blinking monitors, shiny white or black keyboard and server rooms from a distance. They saw training rooms, cafeterias and spoke to a few employees. They were not allowed to see a single line of code nor an insight into any process (proprietary, you see). Except for being dazzled by the campus, there is zero insight into how a company works or what is the practical application of any software. Wonder why IT compaines encourage industrial tours when it is really, just a "facilities tour"?


manoj said...

its like amovie trailor.. the students in the impressionable ages gets mesemrised by the work environs, good looking and well dressed crowd , good food ...what more does a kid in his early 20 needs ..they indeedd would like to join in the software co. in this the manufacturing sector indeed loses out

seeing the codes written is real drudgery whihc constitues work...

Anonymous said...

Perfect reasoning from the perspective of the IT companies - if you cannot dazzle them with the work, make the campus do it for you :)

But, what is the incentive of the college to do this stupid tour? I guess the answer to that is also in your point - the colleges get to show an industrial tour conducted, the company person gets it on their appraisal and they all scratch each others back ultimately :)