Industry Oriented Projects by Students

An Approach by Mike Rana

Background

India is renowned for a large repertoire of IT professionals, yet it has not delivered any generalised product worth its worth. We didn’t produce any operating system like Windows, Unix or Apple, nor did we deliver systems like Oracle, Powerpoint, Word, WordPress, Facebook, Twitter etc. Instead, software developers have tried to call largish software as a product, eg Banking software. The only software that can be called something like a product is Tally, yet it lacks the versatility that is necessary. Barring a few Banking or Payment related applications; nothing exists that can credited to Indian professionals. Even the gap is felt by the absence of applications such as Zoom, Uber or Ola or network oriented software for teamwork or for workflow or work-from-home etc.

The much advertised and enormously funded systems such as Income Tax operations, UID cards, Land revenue records and many others have failed to achieve what they should have achieved ie elimination of corruption. For the UID system, PC Chidambram went on to doubt its reliability and its inadequacy to forewarn the terrorist threat. Of course, it is so, since it has loopholes and it allows illegal immigrant to obtain UID cards. Income Tax department still invites people to clarify doubts and even make corrections manually.

So what is required to change the environment?

Current Drawbacks

Software designed and implemented in India suffers from the following drawbacks

  1. Most of the applications do not cover end-to-end support for transactions related to business processes. Manual interventions are required making the systems prone to manipulation and corruption.
  2. Systems are not designed for running 24×7 operations. Standby arrangement, back-up and failsafe arrangements do not exist.
  3. System designers are unaware of the needs of a product-oriented design and therefore they end up delivering applications and not products.
  4. Database design is rigid and it cannot be changed as the requirements change. In other words reference tables or controlled variables that govern a system’s operation are never separated; instead they lie within the software code and cannot be updated sub sequentially with ease.
  5. Changes required in functionality are generally implemented by structural changes to the database and this requires large-scale migration. The migration methodology and technology has been completely ignored.
  6. The existing databases contain duplication, redundancy and gaps and therefore the data contained therein is not reliable. Even the inputs required from the operators require redundant or un-optimized fields or attributes.
  7. On line helps or guidebooks, that can be created with ease are not written nor ever updated so the user is always in a quandary as to what to do, or how to do things.

Potential

India, in particular the IITs, has the potential of training the youth to develop applications, systems and products of world class. The way we must approach this issue is by taking up student projects that deliver directly to the country.  Some examples of these projects are as follows:

  1. Telecommunication Billing that can be extended to billing for any product or services
  2. Flexible Customer Relations Management (CRM) software that can be adopted for any industry
  3. Billing and CRM closely integrated so that billing uses the CRM’s customer database in real time
  4. Software for handling contacts (persons), Aadhaar+, heath monitoring, social security system that is impeccable and sufficient to meet the requirements of the government as well as individuals across the platforms so that people focus on transactions and not waste time changing the data base contents. For example, the current UIDA systems should feed to banking and payment systems, as well as income tax applications.
  5. Real Time integration of intelligence systems of the government of India to tackle the terrorist threats
  6. Cyber warfare Systems etc

The Approach

It is proposed that students of IIT Bombay and NITIE undertake these projects jointly. We do not rule out IIMs in these ventures (For system integration). The engineers design and develop and the MBA students manage these projects. Some others adopt the integration and testing roles. Some students would work on preparing the data warehouses and its migration from one platform to another, as the live operations go on.

Experienced people from the industry become the guides for these projects and operate in a collaborative mode on the internet. Physical interactions should be reduced to barest minimum.

The items developed by the students will be converted to saleable products along with all the necessary literature, manuals, implementation plans and a separate team will actually implement the systems in the industry.

This approach will bring the students quickly and inherently at par with those in the industry, while the product sales will fetch the IITs and NITIE revenue. Here we are talking in terms of products costing in the range of USD 1 Million and more. Obviously, the institutes will acquire great international reputation and India will attract foreign students for higher education.

Organisation & Participation

  1. MBA students to define the business area specifications and requirements
  2. MBA students to manage the software development projects and their implementation using the assigned budgets
  3. Engineering students to design and develop the systems
  4. Engineering communication and hardware students to integrate modern and future devices including  Telecom Switches and Roaming Platforms, Intelligent Networks, VOIP integrators, Activation devices, prepaid platforms, Digital Set Top Boxes etc
  5. External practicing engineers (No age limit)
  6. Projects to be a guided by Professors of Practice drawn from the industry
  7. If required, students could continue with the project post completion of academic period, with stipend from the govt
  8. Appraisal of the students / participants to be done by
    1. Students / Participants upwards, downwards and cross wards
    1. Appraisals coordinated by HR MBA students of the final year
    1. Certification by external agencies for QA, Project Management

Uniqueness of the projects

  • These projects deal with more than one discipline. Disciplines such as MBA, Computer Science & Engineering, Communication Engineering, Industrial Engineering are handled jointly.
  • Implementing concepts of Integration, Testing, Quality assurance, which are not generally taught at university level
  • International orientation of projects including time zones, multi-lingual and multi-currency issues
  • Introducing the concepts of Product Engineering to students participating in the projects
  • Introducing concepts of pre-sales, sales and post sales maintenance of digital solution products
  • Introducing concepts of budget planning and control of digital solution projects (for project, for products and for teams)
  • Practical use of team working and leadership during project progress, in which HRD department of the university / institute will provide support
  • Project Management and newsletter concepts spanning across disciplines
  • Documentation, testing and integration testing standards for the projects and products
  • Preparation of system requirements documents for Request for Proposals
  • Preparing answers to RFPs, Contracts, Compliance documents and customer presentations during pre-sales and sales 

Mike Rana

India – Gurgaon (Near Delhi)

Professor of Practice – Digital Solutions

YouTube Playlists – 1 click to see the content consecutively

Featured

Playlists are a convenient way to see one type of content, consecutively one after the other, according to your mood at present. TAP channel has been divided into a few playlists eg OMC, FULL, Rehguzar, etc

 

1 OMC – One minute Clip for a duration of one minute, the YouTube has started calling it “Short”

O M C on accordion by Mike Rana, enjoy for a short duration

 

2 FULL – the song with full length running enjoy for full length of song

Full Length accordion songs played by Mike Rana

 

 

 

 

The Trendy Video Blogging

Vlogging or video blogging is one of the fastest-growing content sharing strategies on the web. To give you an idea on how big vlogging is today, 44% of all internet users watch a vlog every month. Top YouTube vloggers have millions of subscribers. YouTube superstar Casey Neistat has 10.8 million subscribers. That’s 5 million more than CNN’s channel, which has 5.8 million subscribers.

But what makes a good vlogger? The answer to that will always be the one true king. Content.

If you’re a vlogger, the main challenge you’re probably having is coming up with content that will generate engagement from your viewers. To help you with that, here are 20 content ideas you can start doing now!

1) Do an FAQ video. This will help you engage new and existing subscribers because they want to know more about you. So make a compilation of the questions that your followers asked often and put them in one video! Plus, this can be a perennial content that you can share over and over again.

2) Feature one of your subscribers. Show how much you value your audience by featuring one of them! Choose one that lives within your proximity so you can easily go to their place and vlog about what their day is like. Think of it as an appreciation post for your most loyal subscribers.

3) Try something for the first time. May it be food, make-up, sport, or any experience, try something you haven’t done before. This will show a lot of unscripted and candid reactions that your viewers will definitely love. Remember that authenticity is one of the marks of a great vlogger.

4) Show what’s in your bag or closet. Invite your viewers to take a peek inside your purse or your closet. It’s always fun to share your must-haves because it shows them generally what you like and what you value most without going all too serious. You will be surprised how many followers you will engage particularly those who have the same stuff or style as yours!

5) Do an interview. That person can either be a family member, friend, influencer, or just some ordinary Joe that you met in a store. Featuring other people will add variety to your content. Make sure you highlight what makes that person special so that he or she will have a connection with your audience.

6) Make a tutorial. Tutorial videos, in general, garner a lot of views. Share your insights by making an instructional video on your expertise. This type of content also strengthens your brand credibility. Moreover, it shows your subscribers that you are there to add more value to their lives.

7) Talk about something serious. It can be about a cause you’re passionate about, a difficult experience you overcame, or a current issue you want to discuss. This will show a different side of you. It will show your honesty, vulnerability, and strength. Doing a vlog like this can be very empowering not only for you but also for your viewers.

8) Take on a trending challenge. There will always be a challenge that social media comes up with. Choose one that excites you the most and do it! Prepare to get embarrassed! Just keep in mind that you’re doing this for fun. Make it spontaneous. And if you ever decide to edit it, share the outtakes of the video!

9) Do a “cheap” day. That means you do something with a limited budget. For example, buy a gift for your partner for $5 only or eat out the whole day with only $10 in your wallet. It will definitely be challenging but it will be worth the adventure! Your viewers will definitely enjoy watching you stretch your budget.

10) Attend an event and make a review. Take your viewers out to a special event and do a review right after. Take them through your preparations and some VIP access (if you have any). Make an honest review about the event and share your experience with your subscribers, including some do’s and don’ts. More importantly, make a recommendation if they should go or not.

11) Compare something old and new. It can be a gadget, appliance, place, packaging—anything that has distinct changes. Highlight the good and the bad of each item. You can even do a vlog series on this and categorize it! You can also invite people who can share about their experience with the older stuff and let them try out the new ones!

12) Make gift suggestions. From birthdays to anniversaries, graduation, Mother’s/Father’s Day, and holidays, create a vlog on gift suggestions to help your subscribers pick the perfect present. This can be a perennial content that you can share yearly. It’s also a good opportunity for tie-ups with certain brands.

These are just some of the many vlog ideas you can try for your channel. Innovate as much as you can. Ask your subscribers what kind of vlog they would want to see, too! Vlogging will only get bigger in the coming years and the competition for views will be tighter. Be authentic, creative, and relevant in every vlog you create and you will engage your audience. It’s not enough to just showcase who you are, your followers also want to have shared experiences with you.

The No 1 mistake you are making for work-from-home

According to recruiters

Job prospects may seem bleak, but there are still a lot of good reasons to continue job searching right now, even before our new normal has shifted back to a simpler normal. In order to job search effectively, you may need to make a few adjustments to your approach.

  1. You’re coming off as desperate – Focus conversation on the job opportunity and leaving personal details out, same as you would ordinarily
  2. You’re going for quantity over quality – The only problem is that most businesses today continue to use applicant tracking systems to weed out candidates on autopilot. The result is that the human eye will never see your application if you send out a generic resume. Create an extensive master resume and include all the skills, certifications, work experiences you have. Then, just trim the fat and tailor it for every job. Go through the job posting and see what the company wants (i.e. look for keywords). Go back to your master resume and keep the things (e.g., skills, certifications) the job is looking for.
  3. You’re applying for multiple positions within the same company – Start with applying to one position. If you believe you aren’t being considered for that role — either because you’ve been eliminated following a round of interviews, or your application never received a response — then it’s safe to start expressing your interest in one of the other openings.
  4. You’re forgetting to make recruiters part of your job search network – In other words, you are ignoring recruiters. A good recruiter can help you get the job and negotiate the best salary.  Craft your social media presence in a way that attracts recruiters. LinkedIn is an obvious place to start, but you can also build profiles and stay active on more niche platforms where recruiters are looking for talent.
  5. You’re plain-out ignoring recruiters – Whatever the reason, don’t forget to respond to recruiters who’ve made a point of reaching out to you. Even if you’re somehow certain the recruiter won’t have anything of interest for you, respond and thank them for getting in touch. It’s the polite thing to do.
  6. You’re only looking for jobs in the usual places – Many companies do not advertise in a standard way but look for employees through word-of-mouth, recommendations, social media platforms or job boards specific to the industry. Others might be on a temporary standby but still building their candidate database.
  7. You’re thinking too long-term – Think about how you can channel those skills in different ways that you didn’t consider before, but that are still relevant to job openings at this time. Also, seek jobs where you can aid and add value to others. This is a great intention to set when looking for work-from-home.
  8. You’re expecting an immediate response to your application – Build in the expectation that timelines at most organizations are going to be extended, and when submitting an application, go ahead and add follow-up reminders to your calendar with that extended timeline in mind. Reaching back out after a week and a half is most likely safe.
  9. You’re plugging away at the job search without giving yourself space to process and rest. – Focus on setting small, achievable goals each day, lean on your community for support, act quickly, and be flexible with where your search takes you. Something like putting together a resume, updating a LinkedIn profile or even reaching out to your community can feel difficult to do.

5 outdated resume rules you need to stop for work-from-home

With record-rates of unemployment, more professionals than ever are gearing up for the great job search.

This critical document is required in all industries and serves as in introduction to your background, brand, and potential. Even though this is widely used throughout every stage of your career, many professionals miss the mark by following outdated resume tips. Here, is an insight on what is no longer relevant—and what to do instead.

Don’t include your full mailing address

When you were fresh out of college, your university counsellor likely recommended including your home address on your resume. Ever since it’s stayed at the top… but why is it necessary?

If you are searching for a job close to home, include your city, state and zip code to illustrate your locality. But, if you want to relocate or you’re applying for a remote position, remove it altogether.

Don’t use a resume objective statement

Decades ago, this would often dictate your purpose for applying to a specific company or explain your ultimate goal within your professional trajectory. These vague sentences don’t really help an employer determine whether you are qualified for the position or worth pursuing. So, skip it!

In its place, consider mapping out a professional summary.

Rather than illustrating your ‘wants’ and ‘needs,’ this paragraph creates a career narrative. Rather than putting it in your resume, it can be used in your cover letter or as your ‘about’ section on your LinkedIn profile. ‘In three to five sentences, summarize your qualifications for the role you’re targeting and provide examples of how you’ve used the skills and experience you’ve gained to produce results and provide value to your previous employers.

Don’t Offer references

Does ‘references available upon request’ sound familiar? After all, it’s sort of jumping the gun. ‘Employers won’t ask for your references until you’ve made it past the initial interview rounds, and they know you’ll provide this information if they request it.

Probably you likely to have read it and you’ve written it at some point in your job search. Four words may not make a huge difference but if they are in a completely separate paragraph? That’s valuable space on your resume that could be used for something more impactful.

‘Instead of wasting resume real estate with these details, prepare a list of at least three references on a separate sheet of paper that can be provided to a prospective employer at a moment’s notice.’

Don’t restrict yourself to only one page

Contrary to what you may have heard, it is unnecessary to condense your work experience down to a one-page document. Most professionals—whether they have eight or 18 years of experience—should aim for a two-page resume. The feedback of recruiters, hiring managers, and human resources professionals, suggested they are 2.3 times more likely to prefer a two-pager over a one-pager.

Don’t include a personal story

The hope of a resume is to be awarded an in-person interview. With this in mind, this document should catalyze further communication. Much like dating, the reader should be left intrigued and wanting more, without knowing your full story.

‘Psychologically, you are unintentionally diluting and diminishing the key points of your resume when you also include details about your personal life and interests,’. ‘Instead, focus on writing a resume that represents you in all your dimensions of your professional life, which is what the purpose of the resume is supposed to be for.’

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