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IT-Parents

belagavi

IT-Parents!

By R K Patil

Bella Vista Belagavi

Does the title sounds strange? May be, many of you might say ‘yes’. While we are all aware of the much hyped “IT-professionals” or “IT-people” or ‘software engineers” I wanted to highlight some of the under currents in our society. The reason to write about this to expose a social evil that is driving the middle class and the upper-middle class folks crazy.

If one were to attend any social gatherings, functions, marriages, birthday parties etc I am sure you will come across lot of parents who want to boast that their daughter/son is working for one of those big IT/software names at places most likely to be Bangalore, Poona, Hyderabad, Noida etc.

If you stick to the party conversation a bit long I am sure they will tell how their children make frequent trips abroad, how cosmopolitan she/he is in their behavior. If the listening party also happens to be a proud parent of IT-Kid then you can imagine how the conversation steers.

So it is a kind of playing one-up-man ship in social strata for the folks. However there is another part of the story that one will come to know, if the conversation ends up in a friendship and one gets to share more information about their “IT-kids”. This time the story revels how the parents are missing their kid’s presence at home or during festive season. If the It-parents happen to be nearing 60 years of age then there is a chance to hear how even grand-children company is also missed. Some of them will complain about how their kids are staying away from family traditions, how their daughter-in law enjoy the new-found freedom at the expense of being an obedient “ghar-ki-bahu”. In most cases parents end up complaining more than what they have at present. One can sense somewhere the hollowness in spite of having everything!

If one were to sit back and analyze, it is these same parents who encouraged their sons/daughters to take an IT job and nothing else. The sole reason being one gets paid like nobody’s business and of course they can have lots of stories to share in their social gatherings! These very parents made sure that their daughter/son’s natural likings (for career) are systematically sacrificed and set him/her for an always-winning-shining world. By the way I am not against a materialistic world however a balanced life is always cherished.

I come across a lot of budding engineers who happen to be influenced and continue to be guided by their parents dictates for their career choice. In many cases parents go to an extent as to which company their child should work for! It is a story that many a times these very own parents are really IT-illiterate (I am not joking… You can test this out). The parents do not know anything about what their ward is doing in their profession. They simply happen to see the name of the firm/company for which their ward works in a paper advertisement or might have heard in their social gathering or some of them happen to own few shares of the company J

The result is we have youngsters hopping jobs even for paltry salary hike of one thousand rupees or for a short visit (read it as on site project) to a customer who is in Thailand! While this kangaroo hop of jobs continues for few years (by the time they have achieved some maturity in their career) one realizes that they have gained no real knowledge of their domain. Sooner one becomes a victim of global recessions as markets are never known to be kind to non-skilled IT-people!

I do come across a lot of IT-folks who have dared to challenge the dictates of their parents and opting for a sensible career path… but alas it is very difficult to sustain a social pressure to look for greener pastures when the parents and fellow team mates are busy in counting rupees/dollars and shopping in malls.

If only the “IT-PARENTS” look at reality and try to help their sons/daughters to make a sensible choice without being over-bearing parents then we can see some bright spots in the IT-generation coming of age.

The author RK Patil, CEO of Vayavya Labs has over 17 years of industry experience in the domain of Telecom, Embedded software and Semiconductors. For the last eight years he was co-founder of two starts ups in the technology domain where he has held various positions in engineering, marketing and management.

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13 COMMENTS

  1. Sorry for late reply onto this post . Merry christmas and happy new year RK . After reading your article , I was somehow getting convinced with the idea of IT-kids and their parents . But HEY !!! , hold on a sec , there are few questions you need to ask yourself before making up such an article .

    1) How do you say that parents dictates have encouraged their kids to join IT ? Parents only analyze , advice and provide kids the best options available at the time . How many schools and colleges in the state provide you an exposure of the business , science and technology , human values , ethics , ………. ? The best part is , how many kids understand the "words of money" and "balanced life" ?

    2) Coming to the job-hopping strategy , who is going to pay for pursuing your interests ? You need money to do it . How many people have contributed their knowledge for the growth of our country's economy ? Even if someone has attained a great harmony of knowledge and balanced life , what is the medium available to share his knowledge ? Academics ? You know how it works .R&Ds ? It is still dependent on your academic numbers which is totally absurd. To be clear , this is not the fault of the job-hopper . He is doing it because , he has to sustain his bills , ensure financial safety for his family , make savings to pursue his dreams as well as , if any , his kids dreams to some extent .

    3) People have not forgot to visit their parents , or celebrate the festivals , the difference is how many business heads live with the fact that their employees' traditions are to be given some value . Do the business heads take into account for the delay or maybe resources needed to make space in the client deliverable calendars ? The fact is , poor management . No one accepts it because people are made to believe to have the feeling of "I AM THE ONE" .

    4) Parents always boast of their kids ever since their birth. They talk about the first day their kid stood on his/her legs , the first word that was spoken , and many things. So they are into the habit of talking about it . You cant change or differentiate that even as the generations change . The only thing that can change is YOU . It depends on how you treat these words at the receiving end.

    5) What is wrong in going for shopping in malls or counting rupees ? Human desires ? That is how the businesses start and work through to make money, which in-turn provide more employment . right ?

    I completely agree with you on the things you have taken up in this article . But , the article is still a question .

    I am really hoping for a reply here .

    • Dear sir,
      Thanks and it is pleasure to see that you really went through the article in detail and had so many questions. My intent to write this article was to stimulate a thought and debate rather than prove a point.

      Before I answer your questions let me clarify that the article I wrote represents my views and opinions and in no way represents a majority view. One can find an exception to the points that I have mentioned, the more the exceptions the better.

      1. When I mentioned the 'parents' it was in reference to majority of the trend we see especially in middle class. To be more specific I refer to a phenomenon that we see since early sixties ( 19 60 onwards) till very date. In this period most parents always hoped of their children having a secure job that could promise a descent life with "status" in society. A government job ( so called class one officer) was most sought after. Some where in the time line the fad of making an engineer or doctor caught on. Going abroad added fuel to this fad. The result see what most IIT or IIM folks have did in last few decade. Again I acknowledge that this phenomenon has really brought India in lime light… but look at what cost?
      Just to re-iterate the recent movie '3-idiots' story line also revolves on similar thought line.

      2. I always feel earning living should not be connected to what kind of job one does and how much one earns. Sounds philosophical!….. but in the long run one realizes this. So the mantra is follow your heart. Especially for young grads do not hop the job for mere hike of INR 2K. or 3K …. see what you are learning, are you really enjoying your job? are you in the good company? do you get to understand the business you work in?……… there is plenty of job hopping at later stage of life. Once you acquire skills and develop a good personality then you have a much larger playing field.

      3. I agree with you. With changed order of world and simplified connectivity/communication it is not only metros or tier-A cities which offer jobs. One can be at home town and still find job. So this new concept of being in home town or smaller places brings in much closer to the so caled 'family' life that we are discussing in this column.

      4. We need to see the days when parents can boast of how their child has helped to change the world and not to show how they stood first in Engineering/Medicine. We as a society need to project those parents who have encouraged their kids to work in remote villages as doctors, encouraged to work with a NGO, encouraged to become a teacher…….. yes there is a dearth of such parents in our society at this stage and some day we also become one such parent!

      5. As I mentioned there is nothing wrong in going to shopping malls…. after all we are a free and liberated nation. A point to ponder is where does one draws a line between materialism and humility.

      I am sure this can get into a never ending debate and like two faces of coin there are pros and cons. The more we ponder the better awareness.

      Thanks for all your views and opinions.

  2. Here its not only making the IT Parents aware of the fact, but the IT People too have their responsibility in this area, they need to educate their families about the work they do, try to give them exposure of the IT environment/world you work in when ever possible. By this we can contribute towards creating a healthy IT community & clear the Myths and Mistakes about IT the non-IT people have.

  3. Very well written and topical. Great choice of words. Should be mandatory reading for “IT-Parents”. I will do my two bits for controlling the mad frenzy by referring to the article and its contents in conversations. Incidentally, though I qualify as an “IT-Parent”, sense has prevailed as I have had a ringside view of what RK has written about; I work for an MNC IT company. Very often I see youngsters strutting like peacocks when they “travel” and being gloomy when they don’t.

  4. Sir…..rightly said…..we push ourselves into it and then start complaining about the whole issue……

  5. hey what an great thought , i know its hard hitting but at the end of the day its a fact… world has grown in to competitve war ground….we have been making lots of money but unable to buy simle or happiness to our parents.and eventually getting away from our traditional values and beliefes, truly i work in US and associated with 1 of the best Software corporation in the world , i have been managing the most complicated strategies and softwares, But ultimately i forgot which are the festivals we celebrate and what really goes through this festival and importance and deep history of each festival…..Again after been successful , earning palletes of Dollars i look myself and say in american ascent " What you know about your traditions"…Looking forward to read more of hard hitting facts for "IT-KIDS"….

  6. Just the kind of thing I wanted to blurt out. You put it in a very nice way. Parents… are you listening? Live and let live! Let your kids choose their own destiny and shine in what they are really good at.

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