By R K Patil
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.