TCS Split Wide Open - Part IV 

TCS Split Wide Open - Part IV

ILP, Life and Fun..........

Day 3 @ TCS - Monday, May 29, 2006

Unofficially it was the first working day for us - the schedules had been put up. We knew that we had a tough day ahead. TCS is not so strict about it's dress code, but it's better you follow the dress code coz probably you won't be following it after training. We were supposed to be in formal clothing from Monday through Thursday which meant - A formal shirt with formal trousers, with tie, belt and shoes. We were told in detail about the dress code in the first class of Profressional Grooming and Etiquette course. It seems it is better to wear light colored shirts, preferably plain as formals. Some other things - which most of us knew were that the belt and the shoe should be of the same color and that brown shoes are generally not considered formal. The socks should match the color of the trousers. The whole class was about the ways of dressing for guys and girls. It really was informative but became monotonous after a few minutes.

TCS ILP Center at Trivandrum has around 4 labs - which are in the top floor each having around 90 computers. There are around 12 classrooms - including 2 classroom having 35 computers each. All classrooms are fully air conditioned (this is for those who demand specifics). And there is an auditorium which could seat around 150 students.

In a day, you may have 2 technical sessions and 2 life skill sessions, or in worst cases - you may have all 4 technical sessions - which can be very taxing coz you tend to fall asleep what with the AC also on ;). Technical sessions can get really boring. We had most of the fun during the life skills sessions. Life skills mainly includes the written and oral communication and the professional grooming. Our faculty for communication was Minnette Mathew - she was a very sweet lady - and she really made us feel good about the ILP - coz somedays the technical sessions become so unbearable that we need atleast one life skill session to literally wake up from sleep. Believe me, when you attend your first Oral and written communciation session - you will realize that you are back in school. You are taught about tenses, about writing skills, about speaking skills - let me warn all those who have a problem speaking before an audience that you really have to prepare yourself coz in almost all sessions of life skills, you are required to speak. For life skills, TCS follows continuous evaluation which means that you are continuously evaluated - there is no exam for life skills :D. In our ILP, there was one session in which we were asked to introduce ourself in the communication course and we were evaluated for it. Evaluation means that you will be given individual feedback on the way you speak (believe me - I always thought I spoke well, but to my shock - I got a lot of constructive critcism in my feedback - really made me aware of the areas where I was lacking). The last two sessions for oral and written communication are for the book review which is also evaluated. So, this is the second time I'm reminding you to prepare yourself for the book review. PG & E, which is professional grooming and etiquette was taken by Nisha - she was good too. Like I mentioned earlier, PG&E is all about personality development, the way to dress, the way to talk, about the importance of global culture and last but not the least about Dining Etiquette. We also had a practical dining etiquette session. A proper business lunch is supposed to include 7 courses - and each course has it's own way of being eaten. So I got to know of many things which I was previously unaware of!! PG&E is really enjoyable.

The four main courses in the technical section are - Process Models, Requirements Engg, Design, Testing and Debugging. Depending on your luck, you could have a proper teacher teaching these or a TCS employee who is on bench teaching. All these courses can be found on

Frankly speaking, very few technical sessions are really interesting. Almost all these 4 technical courses have a minimum of 2 case studies - which has to be worked upon by you and your team. Team members are decided by the HR or your life skill coordinators. My team had me, two other guys - Shreyas and Amit and two girls - Aishwarya and Divya. So, each batch (my batch as I mentioned previously was T08 - had 40 participants) is divided into teams or groups of 5, with whom you have to work on case studies and projects - during the evenings after work. We used to crowd the restaurant in our hostel after dinner to work on our case studies - it is really a sight to watch - each table being occupied by a group of 5 - trying to work together. It is really a good team building exercise. There were teams which worked until 1 in the morning. Fortunately, my team did not!!

Systems Thinking is an OK course but business orientation is really pathetic - if it is taught by someone who can make even the dullest of classes enjoyable - then you are lucky. Unfortunately for us - we had 3 faculty members (some courses could have more than 1 faculty teaching - happens when one of them is busy with some other work) teaching us and all made us go to sleep during the course!! Systems thinking is about how to be a good consultant. You will learn about the views of different stakholders that have to be considered when you come across a real time situation. Business Orientation brushes you about business concepts like marketing, finance and so on. I feel like yawning when I talk about business orientation!!

There are other short courses - like good programming skills, OS, programming techniques and UNIX. If you get a good faculty teaching you, you will really enjoy these courses. We had one guy called Rishi who actually was a TCS employee with 2 years experience. He was too good in teaching - he taught OS concepts to us and believe me, he was an amazing teacher. The other courses are 2 session courses like iQMS - which is Integrated Quality Management System, TBEM - which is Tata Business Excellence Model and others, which are not so great - but they might make you go to sleep (just warning you!!).

About the CRs - as I said there are 4 CRs and it is just voluntary - if you want to become the CR, then you just have to volunteer. If you have tough competition, then the HRs may decide who gets to become the CR. The HR CR has a lot of work in the first few days - like collection of personal files, collection of PAN card forms among others. My batch had Vignesh as the HR CR and he was really patient enough to do his work. The library CR has to collect the handouts for each course before they actually start. Mostly, all the technical sessions have handouts - which are nothing but a copy of the PPT of the course being shown to us. The library CR then has to distribute the handouts to all the participants in the batch. The Infrastructure services CR literally had no work - if your computer in the lab doesn't work, you know who to contact - you should contact your IS CR. And finally, the ILP CR (yours truly was one) has work related to the ILP. And among many works, one of the works is to collect the attendance sheet for each course from the faculty room, take signatures from all the participants in the group for each slot, then take the signature from the faculty and then keep it in the faculty room (tough job, :( really). Then at 5.30 in the evening everyday, the ILP CR must collect the feedback forms for all the courses that have been completed by that day and ask all the participants to fill it and then submit them the same day!!!

Please switch off your cell phones when you attend the sessions in the ILP center, or atleast keep them in silent mode. Some of the faculty members take this seriously and if your cellphone rings in the classroom - then you will have to generously contribute to the MOBILE FUND (TCS named it like that) - you have to shell out around 100 bucks for the first time and if you are caught again, then 300 and if for a third time you are found with a ringing cellphone in the classroom - you need to contribute Rs.500/- only. This affects the PVA of your batch.

PVA - Professional Value Add is something you have in TCS - all batches are evaluated generally on discipline, on prompt submission of feedback forms, on active participation in any particular course and on many unknown criteria. Each week, each batch is given points on how they have fared for the last one week. And at the end of the 9 weeks of ILP, the batch which has the highest PVA is awarded the best outgoing batch.

At the end of 25 working days - you will have a test on the technical courses - the test would be for 50 marks and would contain around 30 to 33 questions with each participant getting a different question paper. This is the only exam we would have in the entire ILP. After this exam, you finish with the Induction phase and you go on to the Integration phase. The integration phase is where you will have project specific training - it could be J2EE, mainframes, .NET and some others which I am not aware of. Along with the project specific training you will also be taught a foreign language which could be German, French or Japanese.

I was with TCS for less than a month but the experience I gained was really good. I miss my batch - even in that less time, we all really gelled together. It was a great batch and I am sure it would be awarded the best outgoing batch. Guys and girls of TVM01/T08 - if you are reading this - cheers to you all........

When I submitted my resignation - I really felt bad to be leaving TCS - as it was my first job. I had to submit my ID card and my smart card, and on going out of the ILP center, I was asked to sign the visitor's register because I was no more a TCS employee - but just another visitor.....

More on my thoughts about TCS later............

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Comment hey.. good work Sai.. very informative.. but finally u left me thinking about the farewell..

Sun Sep 17, 2006 10:42 pm MST by Rama

Comment Thanks saishankar , Great work ! I will defenetly go through it twice . Your writing was very impressive . Best of luck to u for PG .

Sun Sep 3, 2006 12:39 pm MST by Sunil

Comment u did a marvellous job by sharing every bit of information regarding ILP at TCS.Really ur experience with TCS for a month will help us for the do's & dont's . u did a gr8....... job . keep it p!!!.

Tue Jul 25, 2006 4:39 am MST by pradeep

Comment its really nice to know that there are people who take so much pains to jot down the finest of all details selflessly. i admire u and ur work . i believe that the best comes to people who work selflessly for others. keep up this spirit in life. wish u success in everything u do.

Mon Jul 24, 2006 5:34 am MST by akanksha

Comment A very good write up on ILP at TCS. I've been a faculty at ILP for the last 8 years. Koshy, Nisha. Minnette and all are my colleagues. Haven't seen such an exhaustive wirite-up. It's amazing that that you remember the finer details and you've taken pain to jot them all... Good work! All the best for your higher studies !!!

Sun Jul 23, 2006 5:24 am MST by Anonymous

Comment Great blog dude...thank u got so much of info...i am joining tcs in 2007

Sun Jul 23, 2006 1:55 am MST by Anand

Comment superb sai!! really gr8 for sittin patiently nd writin all these!! real cool..:)

Thu Jul 20, 2006 11:57 pm MST by aishwarya

Comment well done..........................and thank you for wht u have done...............

Thu Jul 20, 2006 11:33 am MST by bhumesh

Comment i read all 4 parts . great effort!! HATS OFF 2 u!! did they accept ur resignation right away? did they make u pay ?? could u have left without them knowing ??

Thu Jul 20, 2006 2:55 am MST by

Comment Did you have to pay the bond amount????

Wed Jul 19, 2006 11:43 pm MST by Anonymous

Comment I really admire ur dedication and patience.How many of us actually take pains to write so much for others even when no longer affliated with the firm!Let alone when IN the firm :) My sincere thanks to you for such an enlightening diary!Keep up the good work dude...

Wed Jul 19, 2006 11:30 pm MST by Guru

Comment hey y did u leave tcs.....

Wed Jul 19, 2006 9:40 pm MST by Anonymous

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