IT Slowdown Talk Dominates Day 1 Morning at Java Conference

The 3rd Conference on Java Technology kicked off at Sun-n-Sand Pune. The meet started off with Mr. Harshad Oak giving a general introduction and then taken up by Mr. Ganesh Natarajan (Chairman NASSCOM, CEO Zensar Technologies) where he talked about “How the Indian IT-BPO industry is facing the current global uncertainties”, highlighting the ways how the downfall can be handled by belt tightening, salary moderation, expanding to 2/3 tier cities, domestic market, creating new products; tackling new verticals, end-to-end service. and by not being just US centric.

Mr. Natrajan also sighted the fact that NASSCOM has identified 43 cities in 2/3 tier including Aurangabad and Nagpur from Maharashtra and 20 new I2ITs to enhance skills along with other finishing schools and the need for introduction of Faculty development programs.

Sighting a problem with the of the lack of talent available in the market, Mr. Natrajan cracked a whip on the Tier-3 Colleges which are gradually coming up, said “Tier-3 colleges in India are terrible and NASSCOM is starting various initiatives to tackle this problem”.

Mr. Natarajan, told that our closest competitor China which is still way behind the Indian IT market with a share of about 19 billion USD compared to the Indian Software Market which is a whooping 52 billion USD.

So, “Will the meltdown in the financial markets and the slowdown in all sectors make all the projections by NASSCOM irrelevant?” is the question that comes to the minds of most of us.

As, Mr. Natarajan also sighted that the downfall will affect the markets worldwide in the year 2009 and all sectors including Finance, Banking, IT etc. will be hit by the slowdown and the salary increase will go down to about 7% compared to 13.5% last year. Sighting that about 10 lakh job opportunities will be created in India in the ext 10 years but not denying the fact that India will have about 47 million surplus manpower by 2020, compared to counties like USA and China who would be facing the shortfall of the manpower, when India would be recording about 20% growth in the year ending March 2009 and the prediction that the Indian IT industry will expand to a whooping 400 billion USD in 2020 from the current 50 billion USD.

Mr. Natarajan’s session was followed by Mr. Anand Deshpande (Founder, Persistent Systems) where he spoke about the industry trends and other context which will affect Java Programmers.  According to Mr. Deshpande, programmers must take advantage of hardware. multiple core cpu’s and caching.

Mr. Deshpande said: ” More people use mobile devices (phones, PDAs) than the number of people who use toothbrushes. So write programs with them in mind!”

As an advice for the programmers, Mr. Deshpande said “Mobile device + cloud computing is the platform of the future. So, programmers must program for that”

Narrating Rich Internet Apps (RIA) and Web-2.0 apps as the future of IT Industry, he termed them as exciting areas to work upon.

When it came to open source, he promptly said that Open Source is on the rise and as programmers, you must have a good understanding of various open source licenses. He talked of how few in India are looking at the demands for Gaming and Entertainment software, where countries like Japan and Korea are already doing really well.

When the Q&A went into talk on the slowdown and careers, Deshpande said that if someone wants to succeed in IT he has to be great at atleast one of the following –

1. Managing people

2. Great at Technology

3. Getting new business for the company

As for effect of the slowdown, he felt that there will be “more serious job cuts in the industry in the next 6 months” but the programmers can get the best opportunities for him/her during the recovery phase and need to be prepared for it.

An advice from Mr. Deshpande for the audience: “Don’t be mediocre. Be the best at what you do. Don’t worry about how your career will shape up.”

Answering a question from an audience if “Jack of all trades is better or a master of one”, Mr. Deshpande promptly replied that “Master of one is always better and you should be the best at at least one thing”. He insisted on the fact that one should be motivated to be a part of the community like CSI, IEEE, etc.

— By Varun Arora


Conference Sessions / Presentations From Day 1

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