TCS Split Wide Open - Part II
First day at work
TCS ILP center at Trivandrum was just like how it was in the pics I had seen. We went inside and there were around 300 guys and girls - all of them trying to have a glance at a notice board kept at the entrance. The schedule for the day was put up - I was in batch T08; our batch numbers were already told to us at the hostel reception when we checked in. There were 8 batches - T02 to T09 and batches T02 to T05 were asked to gather in an auditorium and the remaining batches from T06 to T09 were asked to gather in a class room - shouldn't be complaining but already a discrimination - T02 to T05 were the CS/IT ppl and the remaining were the non CS ppl.
So around 150 of us gathered in the classroom alloted to the four batches. The schedule for the first day was induction - from the admin, HR, MATC, ILP and finance (I don't remember exactly - forgive me for my poor memory) - after breakfast. TCS canteen is run by a private contractor. Let me tell you that the food is bad - but quite cheap; you get -
Bread and butter (two slices of bread and butter @ Rs. 6/-),
Bread and jam (same price as above),
Vada (Rs. 2/- each),
Idli (Rs. 2/- each),
Puri (a plate @ Rs. 10/-),
Dosa (Rs. 9/- a plate),
Milk (a glass @ Rs. 10/-),
and some more stuff - some days there is channa batura, some other days there are other dishes as well. TCS gives free tea/coffee coupons - which can be used any time of the day - mind you, you cannot exchange the coupons for milk or any other beverage (some of my friends tried doing it ;))
The daily schedule will have 4 slots with 2 tea/coffee breaks and 1 lunch break and it may typically be like this
9 to 11 - A Slot
11 to 11.30 - Break
11.30 to 1.15 - B Slot
1.15 to 2.00 - Lunch
2.00 to 3.30 - C Slot
3.30 to 4.00 - Break
4.00 to 5.30 - D Slot
5.30 to 5.45 - Submission of feedback forms/meetings
The timings could vary but not a lot - it may be around 15 minutes either way. Each batch has two coordinators - one technical and one life skills coordinator (will tell you about technical and life skills later). Our technical coordinator was Koshy and for life skills it was Nisha Dev (the faculty insist that we call them by their first name :) - no more Sir/Madam formalities).
So, after breakfast, we proceeded to our induction sessions. Let me tell you what Induction actually is - it is nothing but a formal welcome by all the departments of TCS - the admin induction was by Col. Nair, who is the admin incharge of TCS, Trivadrum. He's a very lively and jovial chap - he welcomed us to TCS, Trivandrum and then he went on to talk about the rules and regulations to be followed in the hostel as well as work - like for example he said, guys ought to be back in the hostel by 10 pm and girls ought to be back by 9 pm. And also that, no guy must be found in a girl's room and vice versa. The admin department handles things like accomodation, transport, food in the TCS canteen and so on. And then we had the other inductions - by HR, by MATC - which is Manpower Allocation Task Committee who handle our allocations after training (it was by a female named Sheena - she's one ruthless lady - the first thing she told us was that WE WOULD NOT BE ALLOCATED TO PLACES NEAR OUR HOME TOWN for our project - so you know her character now).
ILP induction was by Mr. Koshy Vaidyan (who later became Koshy - our technical coord.) - he told us about the ILP in general. Let me digress to tell you in detail about the ILP at TCS. From this year on, i.e from 2006, the ILP pattern has been changed - it is for 50 days for all branches (earlier CS ppl had ILP for 33 days and non CS for 44 days) - now mind you - 50 days means 50 working days - which would mean that the ILP is for 63 days (9 weeks), coz we would get around 12 or 13 holidays (Sundays and alternate Saturdays - TCS works on alternate Saturdays). So, this 50 day ILP schedule is broken up into two phases -
The Induction is the same for all the batches - it basically deals with the fundamentals of software engineering and other courses. Here is the unofficial TCS schedule for Induction phase -
Induction phase 25 days
HR Induction }
LS Induction }
Admin Induction }
Finance Induction } 2 days
IS Induction }
MATC Induction }
Library Induction }
Process Models 4 slots
Requirements Analysis 5 slots
Design 5 slots
Testing and Debugging 5 slots
Good Programming Skills 3 slots
UNIX and C 4 slots
Data structures and Algorithms } 3 slots
Programming Techniques }
Operating Systems 3 slots
Oral and Written Communication 11 slots
Professional Grooming and Etiquette 6 slots
Business Orientation 10 slots
Systems Thinking 3 slots
Ultimatix and IPMS 1 slots
TBEM 2 slots
IQMS 3 slots
ISecurity 2 slots
Business Continuity Planning 1 slots
The integration phase is also called the project specific training - about which I shall tell you later.
At the end of the first day, I could make the following observations -
1. You should be proud to be a part of TCS and generally as a part of the TATA brand - because that's the aim of the first day's induction schedule.
2. TCS has an ERP tool called Ultimatix which can be accessed at https://www.ultimatix.net - you cannot do anything with it now though if you are not yet a TCS employee. Ultimatix is the ultimate ERP tool - it is through Ultimatix that you will have to claim your reimbursements, apply for leave, view your paycheck, fill in your time sheets (this is after training i.e during your project after allocation).
3. TCS also has a global helpdesk through which you send all your requests - like activating your TCS mail ID, or reporting some problems with the computers and so on.
4. You cannot access public email clients like yahoo, gmail, rediff, hotmail and even sites like orkut and many others from any computer in TCS - they are all blocked by the server.
The first day at TCS ended - it was a stress to the mind - listening to the history of the TATA group and that of TCS - during every induction made us feel bored to hell. Overall, it was a good day - my first day @ TCS - came to know a lot of things. The next day, we had our documentation scheduled - which is the verification of certificates and collection of the service agreement among others.
The 2nd day @ TCS in the next post - sooooooon..........