Report Claims 95% of Engineering Students in India Unfit for Software Development Jobs

Discussion in '[H]ard|OCP Front Page News' started by Megalith, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. Megalith

    Megalith 24-bit/48kHz Staff Member

    Messages:
    9,707
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    That seems like a disturbingly high number, but 36,000 engineering students from over 500 colleges took Automata, a Machine-Learning-based assessment of software development skills, and it was found that over two-thirds of them could not even write code that compiles. The study also claims that only 1.4% can write functionally correct and efficient code.

    "Lack of programming skills is adversely impacting the IT and data science ecosystem in India. The world is moving towards introducing programming to three-year-olds! India needs to catch up," Aspiring Minds CTO and co-founder Varun Aggarwal said. The employability gap can be attributed to rote learning based approaches rather than actually writing programs on a computer for different problems. Also, there is a dearth of good teachers for programming, since most good programmers get jobs in industry at good salaries, the study said.
     
  2. DrLobotomy

    DrLobotomy [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,605
    Joined:
    May 19, 2016
    But they do so well at tech support, who would have figured that?
     
    Doward, Nytegard, Mav451 and 8 others like this.
  3. NeoNemesis

    NeoNemesis [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,860
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    There were two MBA graduates from India in my MBA class because the degree they got from India wasn't worth the paper it was written on.
     
    N4CR, EchtoGammut, Emission and 2 others like this.
  4. EdKiefer

    EdKiefer Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    191
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2012
    Maybe I am dense, but what does being a engineer have to do with being a programer ?
    For sure the engineer needs to know how to use software, but actual coding skills not so sure.
    They also didn't mention type of engineer.
     
  5. NeoNemesis

    NeoNemesis [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,860
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    I assume they are referring to software engineers.
     
  6. Sonicks

    Sonicks Gawd

    Messages:
    887
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2005
    From the article: "Over 36,000 engineering students form IT related branches of over 500 colleges "

    At the University of North Texas, all IT engineering degrees (that weren't Computer Science) took at least enough coding class hours to learn more than the basics. And it makes sense that the students would have a more well-rounded idea of what they were doing even if they wouldn't be coding the rest of their life. So this statistic is still pretty worrying. The percentage should not be that high...
     
    N4CR likes this.
  7. MrTryfe

    MrTryfe Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    288
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    Is there data on other countries?
     
  8. almalino

    almalino [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,458
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    If they make similar research in Finland I am sure they will get the same results. There are MANY people who has CS engineering degree but cannot write a single line of code.
     
    Armenius and Wierdo like this.
  9. Biznatch

    Biznatch [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,384
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2009
    The same applies to local developers from what I've seen working at software development companies for years. You would not believe the amount of developers we have to churn through to find someone who can write good efficient code that meets the requirements. And these were in 6 figure positions.... Typically have to go through 4+ people to get 1 good candidate.
     
  10. M76

    M76 [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,601
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    The real problem is that 95% of them already in engineering and it jobs are unfit for the job.
     
  11. EdKiefer

    EdKiefer Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    191
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2012
    Ah, my bad I missed that.
    thanks
     
  12. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    7,886
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008
    You are thinking they thought it would make them look better to give a software developer skills exam to electrical and optical engineers?

    Programmers are software engineers at their more experienced levels the same as system administrators frequently "grow up" to become systems engineers.

    I'd just be happy if these Indian recruiters would stop shopping out their job opportunities to the entire world without reading my resume that they were "
    so impressed with". Telling me they came across my resume and how they think I would be a good fit for a job as a developer when I am definitely not a developer is stupid. Then they tell me, "if you know anyone who might be a good fit ..." Fuck them, all I do is block their domain. If my time is worth so little to these assholes then I don't give a damn about them.
     
  13. PaulP

    PaulP [H]Lite

    Messages:
    111
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2016
    If this test were administered in the US, the results wouldn't be so dismal, but they would be worse than many would believe. I have taken tests in interviews to prove I could code. These were, to me, very simple tests. But I was assured that many people fail them (and are not hired). I was shocked at first. Now I'm surprised when I see a young candidate that actually can code.
     
  14. dgingeri

    dgingeri [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,976
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2004
    This fits with what my last company experienced back in 2010. We had a development center in India where we hired programmers and trained them in the methods the company used, and they very frequently had to almost completely train them for the job, rather than in just the methods the company used. They'd spend months training these people, paying them standard wage for the duration, and then within weeks after the training ended, they'd take a job with another company doing the same. The company lost so much money doing that, they closed the development center after 4 years of futile efforts, and got absolutely no useful code from them. After that, it took over 10 months to get the servers back into the US because we wouldn't pay the customs people bribes to get them to do their jobs. India is a BAD place to do business.
     
  15. Paladin21

    Paladin21 Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    317
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2004
    I teach (adjunct) at a small University that has a significant number of international students in the IT Masters degree. They are supposed to have programming backgrounds, and their transcripts show such. However, I am completely unsurprised at the 95% claim. Regardless of what their academic records show, the vast majority of the students I work with are unable to program in any significant fashion. Not only that, many of them can't even discuss how they supposedly wrote code in their undergraduate programs (as in, can't tell you what IDE/compiler they used, don't know any tools, etc.). While I'm also frequently unimpressed with American students in the program, their issues are usually more centered around entitlement and work ethic instead of basic competence. The internationals, on the other hand, often have significant issues with basic concepts and English skills (again, regardless of what their test scores say).
     
  16. IdiotInCharge

    IdiotInCharge 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,592
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2003
    I have to wonder about how the test was administered- modern coding is done in IDEs, where you couldn't possibly keep track of all of the objects- are these people facing issues with basic logical structuring that is consistent amongst nearly all languages, or are they asking them to do some complicated stuff with say C# that the IDE would normally do for you?
     
  17. Madoc

    Madoc Gawd

    Messages:
    633
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    And yet these very same people are doing jobs that apparently there aren't enough Americans to fill...
     
  18. Dekoth-E-

    Dekoth-E- [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    6,286
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2010
    Oh no, it isn't jobs that there aren't enough americans to fill. It is that they can hire entire coding teams for less than what 1 american would cost. I used to work as a BA for a company that tried switching all its coding over to india. The amount of shit code and broken stuff we sent back was insane. It was impossible to set project deadlines because they would deliver complete garbage over and over and over. Yet every time I tried arguing this point with management they didn't care because it was still cheaper than a single american employee. The not enough people statement is just bullshit to appease the uninformed masses.
     
    rageFIST, Doward, phillyboy and 4 others like this.
  19. Paladin21

    Paladin21 Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    317
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2004
    There aren't enough people (who will work for half prevailing wages and still be OK with tight deadlines and massive overtime). Business leaders just leave out the last part.
     
  20. gamerk2

    gamerk2 Gawd

    Messages:
    897
    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    ^^ This. I think the largest program I wrote in college was a couple hundred lines for my seminar project.

    I got a job supporting a project with a couple million lines of code, written in a functionally obsolete language.

    So yeah, less theoretical, more coding, would go a long way.
     
    almalino likes this.
  21. arthur_tuxedo

    arthur_tuxedo Gawd

    Messages:
    543
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2003
    Reminds me of the old joke "we lose money on every unit we sell, but we make up for it with volume!"

    As the trend of every company becoming a tech company intensifies, ignorant attitudes about the interchangeability of coders is going to start producing seas of red ink and getting CEO's fired. That's when management will finally start to do their jobs.
     
  22. Parja

    Parja [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    11,354
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2002
    Yeah, it's pretty sad. The developer positions I've hired for don't require a huge swath of coding knowledge, but they require at least a solid understanding of the fundamentals and a general understanding of logic.

    I've given the "Swap the values of two integer variables without using an intermediate temporary variable" challenge in many interviews, asking the interviewee to use any sort of programming language or pseudocode they're comfortable with, and have had so many blank stares it makes my brain hurt.
     
  23. Uvaman2

    Uvaman2 Gawd

    Messages:
    935
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2016
    isnt windows made in india? (not a joke question)
     
  24. bugleyman

    bugleyman [H]Lite

    Messages:
    101
    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    Yeah, that doesn't actually surprise me. Despite several years in a C++ chain gang back in the day, there's no way I could come up with that off-the-cuff, especially not during ab interview. It's actually pretty counter-intuitive.
     
  25. xX_Jack_Carver_Xx

    xX_Jack_Carver_Xx 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,514
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    Where is this Biz? West coast, East coast?
     
  26. IdiotInCharge

    IdiotInCharge 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,592
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2003
    That'd certainly make a difference. Low six figures in my native Texas is living the dream- in San Francisco, NYC, or other elitist enclaves, that's basically still starving check to check.
     
    xX_Jack_Carver_Xx likes this.
  27. Parja

    Parja [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    11,354
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2002
    Seriously? It's a super easy logic question.
     
  28. andrewaggb

    andrewaggb Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    200
    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2004
    That's what I was thinking too... I think it's more like 1 in 10 in my experience who can do any kind useful programming.
     
  29. Biznatch

    Biznatch [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,384
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2009

    Yea that may be closer. I had a huge stack of 'disable user account' requests from all the devs we cycled through. This is in the west coast LA area.
     
    xX_Jack_Carver_Xx likes this.
  30. bugleyman

    bugleyman [H]Lite

    Messages:
    101
    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    Well, I smoked the LSAT (though I never went to law school), easily tested into Mensa, etc. I also don't really see the value of saving 4 bytes in a modern high-level language (since they all routinely waste more than that).

    Of course, it's possible I'm just a moron. ;-)
     
  31. NickJames

    NickJames Viagra Required

    Messages:
    5,900
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    Interviews with questions like that are not a good indicator of someones skillset. I am very skilled at what I do but during interviews I close up and struggle under pressure and either start to ramble or draw a blank. I've even completely mixed up metadata viewing software with a timeline presentation software even though I have used both applications and explained their uses earlier in the interview. This is completely opposite of how I act once I am in a job and become comfortable which my coworkers who did the interviewing agree. I also knew the people doing the interviewing very well (we had farting contests) but asking random questions like that on the spot just throw me off. And that's not to say I struggle at working under pressure, on the contrary, I actually work even better when given early deadlines.
     
    Nytegard, DF-1 and Litfod like this.
  32. andrewaggb

    andrewaggb Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    200
    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2004
    I think it depends what kind of programmer you are looking for. For a C++ programmer it should be pretty easy, for a web developer or front end developer I would expect most to struggle with that, even the good ones. You don't use bit-wise operations and do little arithmetic in that kind of development. It's much more about clean code, organization, readability, etc.
     
  33. bugleyman

    bugleyman [H]Lite

    Messages:
    101
    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    I would (and have) been far more inclined to ask questions that would tell me if the person understands basic programming concepts.

    Like:

    What is the difference between pass-by-value and pass-by-reference?
    What is the difference between the assignment operator and the equals logical operator?
    What is the difference between the heap and the stack?
    What is a pointer and why might I use one? What are the downsides?

    Etc.

    Of course, my POV is very C-centric and I haven't programmed in at least fifteen years.
     
  34. xX_Jack_Carver_Xx

    xX_Jack_Carver_Xx 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,514
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    Do you then hit them with the error cases, out of range result or one of the variables is "0"? .... Trap the stragglers ;)
     
    Parja likes this.
  35. draksia

    draksia [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    7,868
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2000
    Now I am curious how you would do this safely?


    That sad we have terrible luck with the our out sourced developers. We have a local guys and then a few Indian ones to handle bugs and maintenance items but we send back probably 70% of their pull requests.

    Explaining to them what and how to fix things often takes longer than just doing it myself.
     
    Doward likes this.
  36. D-Money

    D-Money n00bie

    Messages:
    33
    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2016
    Absolutely in the same boat. We cut half of our engineering team and out-sourced to a large Indian firm, to take up the difference (as a cost cutting measure). Their work has been so abysmal that only the most rudimentary projects are handed off to them. That leaves a half strength US team doing the bulk majority of work.
     
  37. dgz

    dgz 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,932
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2010
    No, this is solely about shitting on the Indians. Are you surprised? I massaged my eyes preemptively just in case
     
  38. Doc Doc

    Doc Doc n00bie

    Messages:
    46
    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
    This "study" was basically an ad for their programmer testing software.
     
  39. tybert7

    tybert7 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,498
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007

    I wonder how much of this is do to the brain drain with the elite of elite Indians going to places like the US and the UK. We are enormously benefited by this as these are some of the best people around (wish I had indian neighbors).

    Also, even if only 5% of the Indian population is up to snuff in programming, 5% off a large population still generates a lot of high quality talent to draw from as immigrants. Still a problem for the host country though, they need more to scale across the society, and we are taking some of their best.
     
  40. shabazkilla

    shabazkilla Lurker

    Messages:
    438
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2004
    My experience has been the same when companies outsource infrastructure positions. Basic stuff like server builds were a challenge for the TCS offshore team. I spent about 20 minutes explaining what RAID0 was and why it shouldn't be used. And before someone says it, this wasn't Google/Facebook/Amazon scale where individual host redundancy is not a concern.