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From Sir to hey, Mister X

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

/ by Srikanth Eswaran

Wondering what this post is about? Well its about the transition the people within the industry have undergone since the yesteryears of 1990s until now. When we first joined a huge services firm, a team of four were assigned work on a project involving cable modems and drivers for the modems. The prospect itself was so thrilling for us on the first day.


At the induction lunch gathering, the four of us went and met our would-be project manager and told him, “Sir, we will be working UNDER you on this project”. The very tone of that statement gave us away as innocent students treading into office culture and as a bunch unable to bear the culture shock and the sudden difference. “No one works under anyone, you can say we are going to work with you, thats enough” said my project manager.


Since then in the past ten years, this industry has seen so many cultures, so many changes, so many upheavals and so much downfall that today its a matter of either existence or excellence, nothing in between. Nothing goes on without teamwork, no matter who it involves, whether engineer or manager. Boundaries have been shortened, and managers are slowly turning into mentors for youngsters. The entire strictness associated with projects has now been simplified to such an extent that today its a matter of saying “Hi Mister X, I ll be working with you on this project from now on”.


In those yesteryears though we had confidence to take up a given task and do it to the best of our ability (when straight out of college), we lacked the maturity and guidance on our approach towards any given problem. No one ever corrected our courses were they to go wrong. Thankfully that’s not the case now. Not only has the approach of juniors changed radically, the experience of senior mentors also compliments the requirement of guiding juniors towards good solutions for complex problems in the projects.


From even thinking ten times before saying anything to the project manager in the yesteryears to sharing business concerns over a cup of coffee, or just on a mere one-to-one talk, life sure has changed a great deal. A few guys from the colleges in Bangalore were recruited to my company, and on the first day, when they were assigned their new roles, their excitement was at an all time high - “We will work hard on this project Sir, and achieve success on assigned tasks”, they said. Life sure has travelled a full circle isnt it ?

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