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Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Rigmarole

I was previously employed at IGate Global solutions(currently Capgemini) but I quit the organisation because I wanted to try out new things.I really wanted to see new avenues and was not content with what I had at that moment.True my time at Igate was eventful. I thoroughly enjoyed my time during the training period in Chennai.


The High

It was my first time away from home and was quite enjoyable.I roamed throughout Chennai.Almost every weekend I and my friends used to go outside.I saw the Crocodile park, Kovalam and ECR beaches all within the week. I went to the Vandalur zoo. It was a  first-hand experience of the corporate world for me and the experience was quite enlightening. I was in Siruseri district in Tamil Nadu and I had stayed at Oaktree apartments.I had made a good set of friends there.I also went to Mahabalipuram with my Verification and Validation batch. I saw nearly two movies a week there. I really wish I had started blogging earlier so that I could have given a better perspective of my adventures in Chennai.The highlight of the stay had to be our trip to Ooty. I enjoyed the toy train ride and the sightseeing in the Neelgiris.

The Good

After the stay in Chennai came the bench days at Igate. For the uninitiated 'bench' is a term associated with a software professional who has not been assigned any project.The infrastructure at Igate is very good with a huge campus and separate building for employee recreation.The 'Employee Relaxation Centre' is equipped with carrom room,table tennis courts,steam bath,gym,yoga,badminton courts,pool tables,chess and foosball. The facilities were state of the art and befitting the organisation of the stature of the size of Igate Global solutions.The Airoli office is called Igate Knowledge Park(IKP) housing over 5000 employees according to my estimate.

In addition to this, there was another building 'Gigaplex' which housed another 1000 employees.I would certainly peg the number at 6000 but I am not sure how many are really there.Bench days were really blissful.Absolutely no supervision,salary in your bank account plus all the facilities previously mentioned.It was a surreal experience.I was actually paid to play!!!

This continued for a month and a half. After consulting with my HR I was transferred to Pune Hinjewadi office. Hinjewadi phase 3 is a remote and barely accessible area.The office at Hinjewadi is well furnished with Employee relaxation centre on a much grander scale.There is a basketball court,volleyball court,tennis courts,table tennis courts,badminton courts, carrom, library, gym, chess and a swimming pool to boot. All facilities are top notch and well maintained. However, during my time at Pune, all these facilities were still under construction and therefore I could not avail much of it.

The majority of the time I had to stay cooped up at the desk of my team lead who was away at Mumbai for training purposes. It was here that I first conceived the idea of my blog. It sprang from a desire to something more than ordinary. I always wanted to preserve some record of my life and have held a lifelong passion for writing. Combining these two I came out with my blog. My previous attempts at blogging were very feeble. I tried out Tumblr and Wordpress but they both were not accessible from office. That is when I turned to blogger. Within the month I had six blog posts. I was on a roll. Blogging had become an obsession. I carefully edited the look and the feel of the blog. I chose a template that I felt would best suit me as the blog was to be a reflection of my own personality.

After about a month in Pune, I was itching to get back to Mumbai. I was really uncomfortable with Pune as a city as whole and I found in lacking in infrastructure compared to Mumbai.Besides, the weather there did not suit me at all.

I and my colleague then hatched a plan to head back to Mumbai. First off we requested our reporting officer in Mumbai to grant us a project there.We told her that we were on the bench in Pune and we had no tasks assigned to us. The reporting officer was convinced and we were promptly transferred to Mumbai the next week.We had a good laugh when the next day when our bewildered project lead called us and inquired about the status of our tasks. He was completely taken aback when I furtively told him that we were in Mumbai. He tried to track us and bring us back to the project but by then we had been tagged in the system for a new project and it was too late for him.

The Project

I was put in a project in Gigaplex complex.The project was a web application for a handheld device of a company. I had signed non-disclosure documents so cannot reveal much about that.

As a software engineer, I was responsible for testing of web pages of the application. I was also given the additional responsibility of testing of the installer.

My tasks included the creation of test cases,execution of test cases, visualisation of scenarios both pass and fail,defect identification,defect tracking ensuring the bugs were fixed and regression testing.
It was quite a challenging task for a freshly graduated candidate to come and hit the ground running. The sword of Damocles was always hanging over our heads. The pressure was really there to see.

We were suddenly thrust into the responsibility and were initially at sea,what with all the processes, meeting deadlines, giving demos, facing office politics, keeping a calm head under difficult situations and maintaining a good impression under the management I did not realise how eight months simply passed me by.We had Project lunch every quarter. The venue would be a swanky food restaurant every time. I had a taste of authentic Chinese cuisine for the first time(not the 'Chinese' we Indians pass off most of the time). I used to play table tennis almost every evening and also participated in table tennis tournament held once a year. I greatly enhanced my table tennis skills and was quite on the way to becoming a virtuoso in the sport. It was fun while it lasted.

The Low

It was at this point I was slowly growing disillusioned with IT life.Monotony had set in and I did not see myself doing the same things over and over again. It was getting agonising for me. I wanted to follow a career path that would do justice to my capacity and capability.
Sure I was doing well and my technical lead, manager and delivery manager were pleased but inside it was an altogether different story. I could take it no longer. Things came to a head and I quit from my organisation. At that point of time, I was not sure what path life would take and I had no plan. I was simply blowing with the wind and unable to adjust my sails.
Call it young blood, rash impulsiveness, or just plain stupidity but I quit my organisation. Along with the resignation came the service agreement I had taken up at Igate global Solutions while I was in  their employ. All my savings were wiped out. Thus, I ended my association with IT on a somewhat tepid note.

My health took a hit for the worse and in the coming months, I was looking down the barrel many times.
It was a time of severe introspection. I tried appearing for entrance exams and went to Hyderabad for the purpose of learning. Alas, it was a knock on the wrong door and it took some time for it to register in my rather thick skull. I returned to Mumbai sullen and dejected.

The Turnaround 

There is light at the end of the tunnel. I did find my silver lining.thought about what I wanted in life, started job hunting, got employed with Packt publishing and thus started a new innings in life.

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