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Showing posts with label Company Interview Tips. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Company Interview Tips. Show all posts
10 Rules for Developers to learn English

10 Rules for Developers to learn English

Today's world is about distributed teams across the globe. A team member sitting in the Indian Silicon Valley or a software company of the financial capital of India might be reporting to a manager sitting in Microsoft Headquarters in Redmond, Washington (a suburb of Seattle, Washington, USA). This is almost as if you have traveled around the world. Hence, long-distance communication has become prominent over the last couple of years.

How it matters

But I am technically strong, so how does it matter to me?

Well, if you are really interested in moving up the career ladder then communication is the key. For instance, if you want to be promoted to be a Tech/Team Lead then good communication skills will help in the longer run.


Good communication demonstrates good leadership skills and so helps you to pave the road to new roles and responsibilities. Would you like to send a software architect to a client or listen to him on the phone when he can barely communicate; would you like to work with a team/tech lead or on-site coordinator that can barely explain what the client wants? I am sure not. 

Why English has become so important

Do I really need to explain that? If you are reading this article of mine, then you are in the same boat as I am. In other words, the software development field. English is a global language to communicate with anyone whom you don't know how to connect with. Besides, if you are planning to travel, work abroad, deal with higher management in your company and pave your road in a highly competitive society then a good command of English is like “Cherry on the Cake".

Many deserving candidates are rejected every year for a USA visa (H1B, L1B even studying abroad) in their interview because they can hardly communicate well and can't impress the consulate person who is interviewing the candidate.

Consider that, even for technical interviews, how to express that you are a good candidate and understand the technology. That time is gone when you can cram for the questions and spit them out to the interviewer. The trend of interviews has changed. For instance, now people don't really ask the difference between “Abstract class and Interfaces”. Instead, they will ask you a scenario where you choose to implement an interface instead of an abstract class or vice versa. Even, based on your project description they drag you into a totally un-imagined situation and ask for your views. Such just-in-time situations and scenarios are hard to cram for, or even prepare for. So you end up sharing your thoughts or thought processes during the interview. Do you feel little sweating in your palms or forehead?

Techniques to develop good English communication skills

So what's the technique to have good English communication skills?

The following is the Rule of Thumb as it applies to those candidates whose Mother Tongue or Native language is not English, just like me.

Don't panic about or fear English communication; rather work on it. I can share how I (a small town's boy of Hindi medium from northern India) made it possible. 

Rule #1: Focus on learning English grammar to strengthen the fundamentals. If there is a need to improvise your English grammar then work on it for some time and the remaining can be learned by listening and speaking with others. Here is a good E-Book to strengthen the fundamentals from the basics to the extreme expert level.

Rule #2: Don't focus on accent (American, British and so on) immediately; instead focus on grammar for the correct usage or words and accurate sentence formation. Accent will come automatically later when you work with people across the globe and have developed a good grasp of the language.

Rule #3: Your skills building, in other words learning, must be by using English only. For instance, I see some people prefer to learn technology in their native language. I don't understand how learning .NET or any other topic will help you better in your native language, because most of the terms are English only; C#, CLR, Framework, Language, Compile, Code, Debug and so on. So why to worry so much for some of the plumbing or the gluing together of words in the middle to make sentences.

For example, if I need to learn what is .NET then what is it you won't understand in: “.NET is a platform and framework that allows you to build applications using many .NET compliant programming languages and even deploy and run those on many non-Microsoft platform OSs”.

I am totally against the reading of novels and so on to build an English vocabulary. Instead, start a book of your choice on MVC, .NET, C#, ASP.NET, WCF and so on cover to cover. Yes, cover to cover; you read that right, from the About the Author to About the Technical Reviewer to the Acknowledgement, Dedication and so on and the chapters of your choice. I guarantee that the first few sections has much to teach you about general-purpose English communication. So your time is better invested into building your skills with books of your areas instead of reading a 1000 pages fiction novel like Harry Potter, especially for this cause.

However; if you wish to read a book other than for your technical benefits then reach out to me, I can guide you to some good books that might be helpful in various ways.

Rule #4: Listening is very important. When I was in college I heard people saying that listening to English songs will help you to learn English; well to be honest I never found time to double up my efforts to listen to English songs and then learn my study topics in English. By the way, I also don't recommend listening to English music and trying to read English material at the same time; it could turn out to be pretty messy, especially at the beginner level.

So listen to some of your favorite speakers for the topic of your choice. Listening causes great learning, especially in terms of the usage of words, sentence formation, accent, pitch, pace, sound quality and so on. My YouTube channel MyPassionForDotNet has a couple of videos from 10 minutes in length to 2+ hour-long sessions. 

In your free time, even listen to the people in your office, market, shops, conference calls, elevators, parking and so on. 

Rule #5: No slang language; say “Yes”. I have often seen people saying “yeah” “bro”, “You know after each line”, “cool” and many more terms. Well, I suggest always say “Yes”; believe me this has an impact on your way of building skills. When you are good with English communication then an occasional use of yeah is OK. Basically, this puts you into a habit of strictly respecting the core of the language and also teaching your tongue what to utter, which is very important.

Rule #6: Hang out with the right people. If you know someone that can help you to polish your communication skills then find such people if possible. Well, I was not able to find any because I grew with people like me but time has changed. I am sure you might have someone around you.

Rule #7: Think big, start small. If you are in a discussion then start whatever you can using English and see how far you can go. Anyways, in our native land we speak in a mixed mode (some English and some native language) so instead you should focus on speaking only the English part and as precisely as possible.

Rule #8: Go slow. I have observed many people think that good English communication is all about speaking fast. Actually, that's a myth. I have earned a large amount of my professional experience working outside of India with people from various English speaking continents. One thing I have found common in all of them is that they speak slow, soft and clear. 

Rule #9: Pronunciation, when speaking no matter what language you are using, the way to utter a word is very important. It becomes very important when you speak in English. Here is a great pronunciation tool to help you learn how a specific word is pronounced. 

Some examples; I would like you to try and see what you thought was and actually how these must be pronounced. For example Scythe, calcium, pronunciation.

Rule #10: Get away from your native way of pronunciation. Our native place (town, city, country) has a huge impact on how we learn how to pronounce a word; many times we continue to speak the same way, but with an associated cost with that approach. If you have been speaking incorrectly then it can take a while to practice speaking it right.

For example, most of the Indian people, even Doctors, pronounce Calcium as “Cal-Shi-um” but actually there is no “Sh” sound in it. It's just a very small example of how our native culture has an impact on our way of speaking. Many people have the tendency to add the sound of other letters when speaking something. Try again how most of the people say “Pronunciation” and compare that with the tool I referred to in Rule #9.

Such issues can be fixed with caution, awareness, and practice. There is nothing a human mind can't conquer or achieve. 

So let's summarize the rules:

Rule #1: Learn grammar for better English communication.
Rule #2: Don't focus on Accent immediately
Rule #3: Learn technology in English only; strictly books, audio, video and so on
Rule #4: Listening results in great learning.
Rule #5: No slang, use words that reflect a respect of the language.
Rule #6: Right company, connect with people who speak good English.
Rule #7: Think big, start small.
Rule #8: Speak slowly but steadily and you will win the race.
Rule #9: Pronounce correctly; this is impressive in its own way.
Rule #10: Go global; to some extent, get away from your native tongue and pronunciation.

10 Mistakes done by the developers

10 Mistakes done by the developers

Learning from the top 10 mistakes developers make

I present to you a list of a few common mistakes new devs (and sometimes even experienced) usually do. I believe that learning from these mistakes would be of some help to you. So, here is my pick of the Top 10 mistakes.


10. Trusting user’s input
Never trust the inputs provided by the end user. Also don’t blame them, mostly they do it unintentionally. We all make mistake mistakes. This might not be of great concern to them but a piece of bad data could potentially bring down the application or cause compliance-related issues. Apart from naive non-technical users we also have users with a certain level of technical know-how which they could potentially use to circumvent the system and get their work done. These are the users who pose a threat to your application and application needs to be safeguarded against the malicious activities.

The only option to save from landing into trouble at a later stage is to build a strong validation with self-explanatory and human understandable error messages. Cryptic messages hardly help the naïve user accomplish any task. Validation should be done in both user interface and database level just to be sure that even if by some means front-end validation was turned off the application still does not accept trash values.

9. Manual unit tests
Code changes that you do, needs to undergo unit testing and further rounds of Quality Assurance testing. All tests or at least a few minimum number of tests need to be done to ensure that the changes you made in one unit of code do not have side effects on the others. This is a necessary evil. Having automated unit tests and integration tests save you a lot of manual efforts in validating side effects of the changes.

8. Skipping documentation
The evilest thing that you can do is skipping documentation. Off course you can read the source code and try to understand the functionality. Reverse engineering the functionality from the code is a daunting task. This is good enough for a tiny functionality but definitely not a go for the entire application.

"Requirement changes, code changes and more frequent - members of development team change."

Knowledge about the application might not be transferred 100%. Sometimes people just forget. You need not create dozens of documents, create only a few like requirement specification and technical document and make sure to keep them updated, this should be a part of a stringent process which needs to be followed at any cost and must be accommodated in the project planning. This would help at later stages when the application is in support/maintenance phase.

7. Forgetting about Audit and Error logging
Not all end user/stakeholder would be bothered about cross-cutting concerns like audit logs and error logging. A stakeholder would simply come with a one-liner requirement which you would have to drill down till it becomes good enough to work on and deliver a solution addressing the stakeholder’s problem.

Data change audit and error logging might never be a part of user’s requirement but is implicit that it needs to be maintained. One fine day user would simply approach support team and ask them to provide data related to access and roles or some business critical data required for compliance or audit purpose and then you would have nothing to share.

Error logging is also crucial, you might do defensive coding but you never know what might fail in such cases effective error logging comes in handy. Monitoring error logs and trying to work on resolving recurring error would help in making your application more stable.

6. Careless use of privileged access
First and foremost, full control and access should never be provided. The system cannot protect itself from malicious activities if you leak the superuser or privileged account passwords. Risks involved in the reckless usage of privileged access should be a part of learning for inexperienced new members of development or support team. There might be times when you would have to make a modification to production database and having privileged access can lead to many issues.

“With great power comes great responsibility”

I remember once unintentionally deleting data from the master table and the query was auto-committed. I went cold but soon realized I had taken backup of the data, phew! It is always good to provide limited access for data modification via an interface which keeps data backup. One should also note that this tool should also be capable of doing bulk operations, else you will find yourself doing manual updates for a very long time.

5. Configuration menace
Scattered configurations in different files and database is a menace. Change in a configuration which affects multiple applications would have to be replicated in many files and databases. This probably is not much of an issue if you have a handful of applications but would soon become an overwhelming task when you have hundreds of application in an enterprise environment. Moreover, naked passwords in config files are yet another threat. If configurations are database driven then it reduces the later hazels also safeguards sensitive configuration entries.

4. Hard-coded time bomb
Hard coding values in the program are definitely a bad practice. Strange issues could occur because of the hardcoded value which silently sits there in your source code. One such incident is when you make use of hard-coded values for some maximum number, assuming that the maximum will not be hit. Such cases could take months or years to raise an error. Combined with no error logging and you will be in a very bad situation. Try to avoid hard-coded values. Move them to configuration variables if needed or try to completely avoid situations which would require them.

3. Prevent Burnouts
Working continuously without any breaks will just lead to burnouts. You should always take breaks at regular intervals. When you are overworked even doing simple things take a whole lot of time.

Set small achievable milestones for yourself and don’t forget to reward yourself for it. Chocolates, cakes, quick games just about anything that makes you happy and feel free. Learning how to prevent burnouts will make you more productive.

2. Code / Suggest for building resume
Having a strong resume with a listing of all new technologies is great but don’t just do it for inflating the resume. Learn them but use them only if you see the benefit and high maintainability over the existing things. Sometimes adding new tech options would not even be required.

Increasing the complexity should at least pay off in providing ease of maintainability. So I strongly believe that when you suggest some solution, check if it makes the application easy to maintain and makes everybody’s life easy.

1. Finding comfort zone in just one technology
Being a ninja in one technology is awesome and is always beneficial. But don’t stay limited to one technology. Try to expand your knowledge, sure there is a learning curve but challenging yourself helps you become a better technologist – a person who uses various technologies as effective tools and provides business enabling solution.

Times change, technology may become obsolete but your learning should never stop. Always try to explore new technologies and try weighing the pros and cons before using it as a solution for solving a problem.

I would like to hear about your views on these points. If you have any experiences to share, go ahead and post a comment. Remember…

The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing. ~ John Powell

This article was originally published on Skill Hive Blog
Free Aptitude Test Practice resource

Free Aptitude Test Practice resource

Folks,

It was a pleasure to add PracticeReasoningTests to our Aptitude Practice Website List upon request to add, from Mr. Edward Mellett, Founder & CEO of PracticeReasoningTests.com






It is always our pleasure to add and recommend free resources for the betterment of the student's fraternity.

PracticeReasoningTests.com

-Admin.

Ways to combat Stress

Nowadays, almost every other person is battling stress, regardless of age or income levels. Stress is amongst the biggest killers and is linked to many diseases including those related to the heart, immune system, digestive and hormonal functions and many more. The mind-body connection is more and more being acknowledged and a lot of research has gone into figuring how stress affects the functioning of our bodies. Though most times we cannot control the external factors that trigger stress, we surely can control our reaction towards the same. Here are some ways you can combat stress and lead a more fulfilling and happy life.


Live in the moment and practice mindfulness.  All great philosophers have advocated this seemingly simple but difficult to follow principle of living in the present and not ruing over the past or fretting about the future which is beyond our control. 

Instead of lighting up a ciggie and going for that one peg of your favourite hard drink, hit the stairs or go for a quick walk. It is a better way to channelise the excess nervous energy. In the bargain, you not just charge yourself and also get the necessary exercise.

Do not aim for comfort foods which give you a temporary rush due to refined carbohydrates and sugars, apart from adding those extra kilos. Chomp an apple or a banana instead.

Meditate and look inwards. The path to peace lies inside and not outside. Meditation has been proven to reduce blood pressure and improve the immune system and quell anxiety. It recharges your body and mind.

Do deep breathing as it helps lower cortisol - the hormone which is released in response to stress.

Follow a regular routine to bed and adhere to the same. Practising yog nidra helps relax muscles and slows down the heart rate and aids in getting better sleep. A well rested body harbours a stress free mind.

Do something new. Engaging in a  new hobby, learning to play an instrument or even simply changing your hair style helps to pump up the mood and boost one’s happiness quotient. Listen to music; it helps soothe the nerves.

Exercise. Exercising releases endorphins—which helps to sleep better and thus reduces stress.

Take a break. Even a short holiday helps break the chain of stress and diverts the mind.

Hang around with friends and do things together. Spending time with friends increases the sense of belonging. Having friends who exude positivity has an enriching impact.

Take up a social cause and volunteer. People who engage is giving others have an elevated sense of fulfillment and happiness. Like Mahatma Gandhi said “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

Nurture a pet or take care of a stray animal. Being around animals and nurturing them not just makes us happy but also impacts our health positively and wipes out stress.

A little bit of stress is inevitable and can be managed with these tips. However, if things are getting out of control, it is best to consult a doctor and get the requisite treatment.

Winston Churchill once said “When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.”  Don’t be stressed about being stressed about stressful things which never existed or possibly will never ever exist. Life ultimately is mind over matter. If it is not in your mind, it will not matter.
Get Recruited Faster

Get Recruited Faster

It is a useful tool that offers career clarity and opens up new possibilities.

Love them or loathe them, in today’s competitive scenario, there is nothing more adequate than a psychometric test to understand one’s persona, mental make-up and skills. All it requires is to analyse the answers to a specific set of questions.

After completing their board exams, choosing the right subject for graduation can be an arduous task for students. Scientific and easy-to-use online assessment tools such as psychometric tests can be instrumental in helping them choose the right career at the right time. Students can get a personalised report based on their answers, which is then matched with the available career options, gradually charting the path to economic growth for the nation.

The right path

Measuring educational progress through examination results is passé and inadequate in today’s competitive scenario as these results are influenced by a wide range of factors. While it makes sense to pursue careers that play to a student’s specific abilities, exam results alone should not define their career choices. A psychometric test focuses on changing this traditional mindset of people and setting them on the career path that suits their personality. Focusing on the key aspects of an individual such as personality, interests, values and behavioural traits, these tests are successful in determining the inherent passion of students. They are based on the understanding that students can do wonders if they indulge in the work that comes naturally to them. The results of the tests highlight the weaker points of the candidates, so that they can gain knowledge and select careers that play to their strengths and needs. Candidates are also likely to gain the confidence to highlight their abilities at interviews.

Psychometric tests aim at providing better career and recruitment choices not just for students, but also for working professionals and corporate houses. Firms, as well as colleges, are embracing these cutting-edge assessment tools to support their hiring process. Education is one of the main pillars on which the economy of a country thrives. However, the real educational journey starts when students have to choose the subject of their choice, go for further studies and then choose a career line. This is when psychometric tests come into play, guiding students and early professionals between 15 and 30 years of age and assisting them in optimal career planning. They offer career clarity during school and college days and through initial jobs taking into account candidate’s interests and personality. This ensures appropriate hiring for organisations and long-term sustainability in the chosen career path for individuals.

Changing requirements

Psychometrics is considered a sophisticated tool that almost all recruiters favour over the traditional interview, reference and CV method, owing to its accurate indication of how a candidate will actually perform at work. For an HR of any corporate house or a start-up, the biggest challenge today is hiring the right people. Attracting good talent is not considered enough anymore. A prospective candidate must be pronounced as a ‘good hire’ and needs to be the perfect fit. This test makes sure that the recruiters do not end up paying a heavy price for quick, wrong hires.

Recruitment is expected to evolve from a fragmented ecosystem to players implementing ways to work closely with their clients’ requirements. In a positive move, recruitment companies are likely to give up sourcing appropriate candidates to acquiring the right ones by using psychometric tests to shortlist prospective candidates. As this industry is growing at a breakneck speed, start-ups and big corporate companies are now deploying techniques like multi-level assessments, psychometric tests and roping in external partners to make sure they assess potential employees accurately and appoint the right candidate for the required post.

We all make assumptions about our abilities, and one may not completely trust someone else’s judgment with regard to choosing one’s next career or being adjudged on being a perfect fit in an organisation, exclusively on the basis of this online test. However, it is a useful persuasive tool for checking out that career move. Even if you have no idea what you’d like to do, it’s a fun way of getting at a few insights you might never have thought of by yourself. It can throw up unexpected results that open up new career possibilities.

The writer is Chief Operating Officer, CareerCo.in - Source The Hindu.
Wipro Interview Tips

Wipro Interview Tips

Folks,

Making the Right Impression in Your Interview  

Do you find that the jobs that you want are constantly eluding you? Do you feel that you have all what it takes but somehow nothing happens after that first interview? The truth is that you might be entirely capable of the job, but if you are not well-prepared for a killer interview, you might as well not have the qualifications at all! There are plenty of people who get passed over for the jobs that they deserve simply because they do not interview well.

The first thing that you need to consider when you are looking at giving an amazing interview is research. Besides knowing your stuff, it is important to know about the company in detail. Take time to understand their domain, their challenges, strengths, growth patterns over the past couple of years and so on. It means a lot to the interviewer if they don’t have to spend time taking you through an overview of their business. And if you’re able to come up with a suggestion on what you can bring to the table and how you can help with their challenges, it will go a long way.

Do you trust someone with shifty eyes? Always remember to take a moment and make eye contact with your interviewer(s) as soon as you step into the room. Do not ignore anyone when you are looking at getting a panel interview. Make sure that everyone has copies of your resume and let them know that there are more available. A confident (not cheeky!) smile and a willingness to say hello gives the impression that you’re not nervous and believe in you.

Be confident and sure about your abilities, but don’t forget to be respectful of your interviewers. They have achieved a lot in their professional lives and might hold very senior positions in the organization. You may know more about the latest tech trends, but they have deep business experience. Respect them and don’t get into arguments.

Memorize the names of the people interviewing you and their job roles (remember to ask who they are when offered an interview) to help you remember who they are during the interview. Also make sure that you know your CV/resume and a description of the post you’re interviewing for really well. Make a list of expected questions and your answers to them, as well as questions you could ask. Intelligent questions never fail to impress the interviewer.

Practice your answers to questions aloud and rehearse the interview with a friend. Ask your friends to check for any pet phrases (such as "you know", "actually", "I mean"…) or annoying habits (playing with your hair, fiddling with a pen, shaking your leg and so on). Practice without these habits and pet phrases.

Different people belong to different cultures and religions. Regardless of the interviewer’s opinions, never pass comments that either praise or belittle any community, culture or religion. You will come out as someone who is intolerant and incapable of working in environments of mixed cultures. Similarly, it’s important to respect the values of the organization and culture you are applying to work within. All of this is important to research and understand prior to an interview.

Remember to look at the dress code that the company puts out. Dressing smartly is important, and you should remember to look polished and professional. Take some time to dress and make a good impression. Below are the basics of appropriate professional dress for a job interview:

Men

Regular formal shirts, preferably in solids (no stripes or checks)
Coordinated and sober/conservative colors
Ties in India are not a practice
Belt should be the same color as your shoes. If wearing black or navy blue trousers, wear a black belt, black shoes, and black or navy blue socks
A watch and/or one ring can be appropriate
Formal shoes should be polished and in good condition
Ensure that your clothes fit you well
Undergarments should not be visible
Clothing should not be transparent or form fitting

Women

Formal shirt or blouse with formal trousers/slacks
Indian formal wear (salwar kameez/sarees) is fine but should be sober
If you are wearing a skirt it should be knee-length or longer
Jewelry should be minimal and subtle
Neckline should be conservative and not low
Shoes should be a dark color (black, brown, navy), closed-toe, with a low or flat heel
Undergarments should not be visible
Clothing should not be transparent, nor form fitting
Handbags should be well-kept, moderate in size, neat in appearance

In case of a telephonic interview, you have the advantage of not being seen. On the flipside, you can use only your voice to make an impression. Give the most appropriate contact number which may or may not be your mobile number. Make sure you are in the right environment during the interview. Take the call in a quiet room with no ­distractions. Don’t smoke, eat or chew gum while being interviewed. Don’t fit in the interview call in a packed schedule. You can’t cut short the call if you have another appointment. In a call, it can be tempting to talk about what you want to talk about, rather than what the interviewer has asked. Keep your answers concise, relevant and informative. Don’t feel the need to go into every tiny detail. Smiling during the interview helps keep your tone friendly.

Quick Tips

Be on time.
Make sure you have the HR/recruitment team member’s contact number handy.
Carry extra copies of your CV/resume.
Give a firm handshake.
Be enthusiastic about yourself, the job and the company.
Be positive and confident. Remember you are selling yourself.
Be honest.
Speak slowly and clearly, and project your voice.
Take time to think about an answer before giving it. Use phrases such as 'that's an interesting question' to buy some time
Never say anything negative about previous employers.
Make eye contact.
Control your body language.
Follow-up afterwards to check on the status. Solicit feedback in case you don’t get the job.

-Chief Administrative Officer.