Hiring at Sharda University, Noida

November 27, 2010 at 5:22 pm (Uncategorized) ()

The nivio team decided to go to Sharda University (Noida) to hire a few interns. I was asked by Deobrat to tag along, so I did. I set a few C questions for the written round.
It felt good to visit a college campus after such a long time. Saw a lot of young clueless people. Young and clueless are synonyms really.
Out of the initial 72 people 13 people cleared the written round. Then came the interviews.
I interviewed 5 people. 3 of them declared that they did not know programming. I did not have much of a discussion with any of them. One of those guys said that he was interested in Linux but he actually did not know much.
Then came Pannelal Kumar. He came across as a diffident and timid man. He struggled to blurt out a few words of English courtesy and took his seat. He told me that he has been a java programmer for some time now but he actually hated it. He said he liked C much more but he was putting up with java and .net crap because his MCA syllabus demanded that of him. He said that he looks for problems to solve in C top keep his interest alive. He said he read algorithms and data structures from the ‘Cormen book’. I knew we have a good candidate.
I asked him about a lot of algorithms. I also asked him how dynamic programming is different from greedy algorithms. He knew it. I asked him to write a program that converts a decimal number to binary and uses recursion for the same. He wrote that too. I was impressed and I immediately marked him as a HIRE. I then introduced him to my manager Deobrat. I knew he would be happy to meet him. He interviewed him for another half an hour and he was very happy with his skills at the end of the interview.
At the end of the day we hired 2 people.
This incident reminded me of Swapnil Sonawane. He was a brilliant programmer in my college days. He is at Amazon right now. I remember how he became a celebrity in our college after Amazon hired him. He was truly a gem waiting to be discovered. He was an introvert.

I used to be a good programmer when I was in 1st year of college. After that i decided that i do not want to be a programmer, but that tag stuck. I wanted to be a system builder. I did not want people to expect great things of me but they inevitably did and I failed to stand up to their expectations in college. Now I am doing fine. Things turned out well. Tomorrow is uncertain but today I am happy with my work.

I felt that there are hidden gems like these at so many colleges across the country and all of them need to be rescued. I use the term rescued because for talented people such as these the normal mundane jobs of the truck-load hirers are like soul killers. It is sad that talented people lose the ability to dream big once they are through with their 2 year stints with these companies. We were happy to be able to select these 2 talented people to work with us on some really cutting edge cloud computing technology.



  1. Abhishek Gupta said,

    “I did not want people to expect great things of me but they inevitably did and I failed to stand up to their expectations in college”

    You have always been a role model and you are still my role model 🙂

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