Friday, January 30, 2009

Alternatives to pay checks

A few days ago, I asked all my friends around the globe for some brainstorming help, especially since my tank was going empty. The excerpt from that email follows -
A lot of students especially from the IT background who were selected into blue-chip companies through campus recruitment are now jobless. Some of them have received rejection letters while others have been kept waiting from joining their companies. The situation is quite bad and the batches of students coming out in the next few months are also clueless about their future.

I am writing to you as I need your ideas to help these students. What's available is a young workforce with great talent and intellect. This is a great opportunity for achieving something extraordinary. What we need however is direction and mentoring. How can we help to make sure that this resource doesnot go waste? Of course, some of them can get into further studies, but most wont.

This list is a summary of all the ideas I have received so far. Some offered valuable pointers to people and resources while others also have offered to mentor and help students. Thanks to all of you for your active contribution. I am working towards putting this across to the student population.
  1. Become a part of any open source project that interests you and actively contribute; be it in terms of code, documentation, bug-fixing or just technical support.
  2. Get into institutions as research assistants like IISc where there is active research being done. These institutions may not pay very high salaries, but the exposure is beyond compare
  3. To look at other institutions like the Indian Defence forces, multimedia, or other art forms that you have a real liking for and develop skills.
  4. Work with organizations such as "Janaagraha" and help them build systems like volunteer management system that would help them operate better.
  5. Contribute and volunteer to help non-profit foundation called "" which create software systems that are used by municipalities to enable smooth governance.
  6. To help microfinancing institutions to spread their reach.
Some also suggested that professional bodies like NASSCOM should play a more active role and help students in this matter, if they can go to them as a group. A friend also suggested that the big players could create a software foundation which would train and use the talent for open source projects which in-turn would benefit the industry.

I will write more about the reaction of the students and how we intend to take this forward. If you can come across more ideas, please keep them flowing. You can either write to me or leave it as a comment.