I was just browsing through one of my dear friend’s blog bidding farewell to the company which gave us the first taste of money + career + good times.
It was a myriad of memories that gently touched and flew past me. I just felt like writing about those as they pluck me and tend to give out a musical melody in me.
It all started all of a sudden, sometime in the middle of August. It was, August 13th 2005 if I remember the date well (maybe a 0.2735% buffer is allowed – lesser mortals can count it as 1 day out of 365 possible days in a year). Actually, saw none of the people whom I would work for the next close to 3 years i.e. until 17th of July, 2008.
Hurriedly, I rushed to the office at Begumpet with all my Engineering Marksheets and the paraphernalia resplendently visible for a Graduate student in search of a job. I laugh as I recollect myself now, since, those were the days where following a certain dress code and carrying certain pen and even the route you take to reach the destination used to matter. Not for any practical reasons, but those can be considered as emotional cries to the man upstairs to keep things in place and have it the same way as they used to happen in those lucky to escape unscathed situations(read as ‘Engineering Entrances/Exams/Interviews/etc’).
As soon as I arrived there, I found a fair number of faces like me, and a little more number of faces that were not so like me and huge number of people that were not at all like me 😛 After a bunch of questions that Geoffrey Boycott’s mom would have easily nailed, the whole screening for a Software job has ended.
Result – Cleared it and was invited for the next round.
I thought of seriously avoiding the second round on August 15th, but couldn’t manage to avoid. We were planning to go out on a trip on the same day, that plan got cancelled and I ended up giving the test according to the initial plan. I gave the test in C/C++ and English (actually couldn’t even comprehend the reason English was included at that point in time). Suri also gave the test on the same day, and it was heaven to see my close buddy at that place and I think, I had a strong feeling that I would be working at that company for some time along with my fellow mate.
Result of this test – Cleared and Suri also cleared(but the result was conveyed very late, don’t know the reasons though).
Next round was Group Discussion. I seriously never opened my mouth in the regular class environment, apart from passing on some stupid comments and ridiculing someone who is sitting ahead of us. It was never an ‘exercise’ which I enjoyed – participating in concocted scenarios and people monitoring you to see who ‘bitches’ best and who ‘ridicules’ the other best. It ends up as a plain drama which the recruiters safely tend to name it as a practice to pull out the leaders from the lot. For reasons only known to them and best explained by them, I can safely say that these practices might be useful if only they are recruiting someone for a role in the Management or at least a leadership role. But however, with these kinda thoughts I was groomed and was apprehensive about the role which I was planning to take in this part of the interview. All I did was spoke to Suri (my savior) and inspite of waiting anxiously for his turn in the next round, he told me what to do. All he said was to ‘Just speak’ and ‘Speak sense’ and ‘Conclude’. I didn’t realize it was that simple and to be frank just implemented as I was told.
Result – Found another friend Hemanth (took his email id that day) and somehow was confident of both of us to clear this round. Lucky for me, Suri also got a chance later and nailed this round later.
The final round, as we were told, was around 23rd August 2005 I suppose. I don’t even remember exactly as to how I went to the interview. I mean to say regarding the preparation. Found another good friend – Pabbu at the interview place. Hemanth was next to me in the order of the interview candidates. Pabbu was going to have it in the afternoon. The interview was a couple of puzzles involving probability and geometry and a bit of common sense (as always with Math), and a programming question – tough one I must say, since it was to write a program for finding if a string was a Palindrome or not. I didn’t even care to debug the code – I thought and wrote something which was I guess good enough for them to hire me. I remember my interview panel, it was Mr. Shivaji Biswas and Keshav Kumar Achanala. Sweet people they were, and when I had my chance to interview them, they were really funny. Suri on the other thread was also having equally good results and he too had a chance to meet them for the interview or maybe some other people as well.
Result: Found Pabbu one of the good friends at Sonata, shared my interview experience with Hemanth, and drove back to Uncle’s engagement in a hurry. Completely forgot about the interview and the job experience. I was just concentrating on my GRE and TOEFL that were due on 18th and 14th of Sept ’05 respectively.
August 28th, 2005 (or maybe inaccurate but the last week of August for sure). I get to hear a voice from M/s Sonata Software Ltd., by that time I could get their voices and pick them. That was irrelevant anyways, the point is I got the offer from that company I never applied for, I never knew it existed, I never even knew if I wanted to work for. I was invited to collect the offer letter and then proceed with the formalities.
Result: I gladly accepted the offer of working as a proud Graduate who turns out to be another Software Engineer in yet another software company, wearing a tag bearing his photograph and who writes/manages/verifies/validates code for his livelihood. I was paid 157,000 INR for my first year as an Engineering Trainee Graduate at Sonata Software Limited in their Hyderabad campus. Met Krishna, Mahita and my dear friend Suri (fever struck) and went back home to flaunt an offer letter from a company and with that screwed my plans of studying further and killed the Electrical Engineer in me through the process.
I don’t know how much BL Therejas, CL Wadhwas, Hayt and Kemmerleys would have loved to have me in the field of the real Engineering, but I bid farewell to them – once for all.
September 8th, 2005 – A fresh batch of ETGs joined (and me and Suri were late to office :P, the first day itself) around 9.15am we stepped into the office and then started the wonderful journey with wonderful people all around.
Cannot forget the wonderful set of people in the order of my memory picking them from randomness 😛
Krishna Hemanth, Hemanth G, Kamal, Azhar bhai, Saraswathi, Tanuja, Joshi, Suri, Shiny, Archana, Vijay, Mythili, Deepak (logic gupta), Pabbu, Srinivas yadav, Seshu, Pradeep(absconder :P), Rajat, Vamsi, Mahita and Prasanna.
Result: Had a great time seeing these beautiful people on a daily basis, enjoying the coffee breaks, enjoying birthday parties, enjoying movie times and what not. We used to celebrate our anniversaries and have lunch together and many more great memories similar to those.
I learnt one thing though. Life has never given me results when I practiced and prepared hard for it. It was always like that. Yet, I tend to plan and prepare to find the path it offers me and enjoy the surprise it has in store for me. Especially the call for the interview came out of the blue – When I was least expecting it(I bet, I didn’t even apply for this job – Thanks to Freshersworld.com for randomly picking me from their profile list), and then as they say – it was fate. It was sweet. That’s all I can say as I recollect now. Aaawwww….those days, they are memorable.
I can never forget Murty VVS and KK for their support through out my life at Sonata. They were really really helpful and encouraging.
More on topics like these as I get inspired…
Photo courtesy: Pabbu
Buhbyeee!! 🙂 🙂 (I know some one will claim a copyright here! but I can pay back anyways :P)