Sunday 26 June 2005

Not quite Borg, but still...

Okay people, I have (actually, had) made it five in a row. By this, I mean that I've given 5 'company aptitude tests' (or whatever else krap name you want to give it), and gotten through to the interview on all 5 occasions. While this is not exactly any sort of reason to break out the bubbly, it gives me something to post about :)

1) American Megatrends India Pvt. Ltd.

Two tests, actually. First one was the proper thingy which everybody in college wrote, with quantitative, analytical and technical aptitude. The people selected through this wrote a second test in either Java or 8086 Assembly. Turned out this test was just a farce, and didn't really matter, except to determine what kind of personnel you would be interviewed by.

The next day we had to go to the AMI office (at Sathyabhama Instt.! Ack!) where we had a group discussion and a technical interview. The peeps shortlisted from this were further subjected to an H.R interview. Yeah, I made it through, and everything was going swimmingly, till he noticed that I was from Bombay, and was giving the GRE, TOEFL and the CAT. And finally they decided to pick only 4 students, obviously rejecting me for 'wanting to desert the company'. And that's a quote. No wonder I 'wanted to desert the company'! Add to that the word straight from the horse's (the co. head) mouth that any form of growth in the technology sector is only possible after 2 years. Now *this* is a backward looking company...

2) Virtusa India Pvt. Ltd.

Again, Sathyabhama Instt. :( But the test was amazingly structured. The quantitative aptitude part required you to give reasons for your answer, without which it would not be accepted as correct. Following this there was a section on 'Programming Ability', which I think should be on the papers of all company recruitment drives. Problem statement given, no need to 'write code', just a suitable algorithm will suffice. Nice! And lastly, there was an essay section. No limit on number of words, so methinks this was just an eyewash exercise.

Got thru the test (duh!) and went thru a painful group discussion the next day, followed by fairly short technical and H.R interviews, but which required excrutiatingly long waits. Got into the company. This was August 2004. They said we'll be joining June 1st, 2005. On May 26th, 2005, they call us to a meeting where we are informed of 'changes in their resourcing plan' which will require us to join only by January 2006. Tentatively. Talk about setting the cat amonst the pigeons!

3) Verizon Data Services India Pvt. Ltd.

After hurried preparation of a demand draft for Anna University and even more hurried resume printouts and marksheet photocopies, and even even more hurried borrowing of tech books, clothes and shoes, the Virtusans wrote the test. Which was pretty much standard, with all the usual components. The only thing slightly unusual was that it was outsourced to a small firm called MeritTrac.

The next day saw me all harried due to the lack of proper clothing. So I gritted my teeth and wore bottle-green flatfronts to the damn thing. I thought I could run thru the tech material once I got there, but noooo, I was 3rd on their list, so had to go in up front. And what ensued had to be the most grilling half hour of my life. This was shorter than my one hour ordeal in AMI, but it covered a lot more than just C, C++ and Java. We went through the entire gamut of topics available under the umbrella of Information Technology. And nobody was more surprised than me when I heard, much later, that I'd gotten through! And even better, no more interviews - just sign the offer letter and it's done!

4) Honeywell Technology Solutions Lab

This required me to fly down from Bombay to take the damn test. And I did it, as I didn't know I was through to Verizon then. And what a test! Filled with problems lifted straight from early Computer Science GATE papers! Came out feeling awful, but the day got better as I got news of Verizon then. And won a Landmark gift voucher (however unethically), so yeah.

When I went back to Bombay, saw that HTSL had indeed selected me for an interview, which was to be conducted in a hellhole known as Madurai. But too late, I was a Verizon-ian then, so 'twas a no-show :)

5) Temenos India Pvt. Ltd.

Gave this one for a lark, 'cause friends were doing so. Easiest test I've written in my life! Must've got at least 35 on 40... Also didn't attend interview for this one.

In hindsight, turns out that not attending the interviews for the last two were wise decisions. Tha starting pay was 4 digits per month!

I'm officially retired of writing these tests now. Tried yesterday for a company called Data Patterns, but it was too crowded, too mismanaged to be worth it...

And just so you get a picture about that company, click on the company hyperlink :)

Sunday 5 June 2005


Almost forgot to mention

-->>     THIS     <<--

Mandatory Update

Lots of things have happened since my last post two months ago. The most notable of them being Virtusa's volte face on my job offer :( Oh well, life goes on at Verizon, or so I would like to think. Interesting to see in what general direction my life will be headed...

Oh yeah, and just so that saved message in my cellphone outbox isn't wasted, here's a list of all the places I visited in the period from May 13th to May 28th (or roundabouts that time..) :

  • Papanasam
  • Kalladaikurichi
  • Vallioor
  • Tirunelveli
  • Salem
  • Kunnathur
  • Trichy (aka Tiruchchirapalli)
  • Thanjavur (aka Tanjore)
  • Varagur
  • Swamimalai
  • Kumbakonam
  • Veppathur
  • Kidathalaimedu
  • Pudukottai
Of all this, only Vallioor and Kidathalaimedu are worth mentioning.

Vallioor town itself is strictly okay. But the estate that we own [part of] is pretty amazing, to say the least. No, actually, it rocks :-) What with all the lack of 'amenities' like electricity and gas stoves, we had to eat stuff cooked in battered aluminium vessels over a wood fire. Food actually tastes better that way! The occasional hints of the existence of certain nocturnal wildlife were suitably hair-raising, as were the weird noises that would be heard at night outside the shack we were staying in. Noises that everyone would laugg about, but never go to investigate. I'm proud to say that I was the bravest one - I needed to pee and actually walked in the middle of the night to the ramshackle toilet hut thingy :-D

Kidathalaimedu [KTM] is worth mentioning simply for the fact that it has the audacity to call itself a village. Pudukottai is a village. KTM shouldn't have a name. It's all of one temple and four houses. That count exactly. What's amazing is that it even has it's own postal code!

The rest of my life has been pretty much the same - eating too much, getting abused by hijras on the train to Bombay, eating some more, sleeping, eating and reading blogs. And eating again. Which would explain why I weigh three-quarters of a century in kilogrammes :-(

Oh yes, one more thing, that I simply *have* to mention. I have a new person to totally adore the writing of [is that statement even correct? Oh well..] - Uma Mahadevan-Dasgupta.

Thank you for bringing Bombay to me in Chennai!