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

Megalith

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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.
 

EdKiefer

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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.
 

Sonicks

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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.

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...
 
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almalino

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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.
 

Biznatch

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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.
 

M76

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The real problem is that 95% of them already in engineering and it jobs are unfit for the job.
 

EdKiefer

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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...
Ah, my bad I missed that.
thanks
 

lcpiper

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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.

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.
 

PaulP

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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.
 

dgingeri

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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.
 

Paladin21

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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).
 

IdiotInCharge

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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?
 

Madoc

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And yet these very same people are doing jobs that apparently there aren't enough Americans to fill...
 

Dekoth-E-

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And yet these very same people are doing jobs that apparently there aren't enough Americans to fill...

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.
 

Paladin21

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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.
 

gamerk2

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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.

^^ 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.
 
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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.
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.
 

Parja

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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.

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.
 

bugleyman

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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.

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.
 
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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.
Where is this Biz? West coast, East coast?
 

Parja

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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.

Seriously? It's a super easy logic question.
 

andrewaggb

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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.

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.
 

Biznatch

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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.


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.
 

bugleyman

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Seriously? It's a super easy logic question.

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. ;-)
 

NickJames

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Seriously? It's a super easy logic question.

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.
 

andrewaggb

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Seriously? It's a super easy logic question.

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.
 

bugleyman

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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.

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.
 
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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.
Do you then hit them with the error cases, out of range result or one of the variables is "0"? .... Trap the stragglers ;)
 
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draksia

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Seriously? It's a super easy logic question.

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.
 

D-Money

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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.
 

Doc Doc

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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.

This "study" was basically an ad for their programmer testing software.
 

tybert7

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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.


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.
 

shabazkilla

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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.
 
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