Archive for the ‘Mysore Campus’ Category

Rock Climbing

Saturday, September 22nd, 2007

Wall Climbing 

Highlight of the day was heading into class (yep, on a Saturday!) to finish off some assignments and find about 18 people there too! It’s all good though, it’s handy to be able to help each other.

The funny thing about the rock climbing wall is the stunned Indian faces passing by when someone is climbing. There is an instructor there at all times when the wall is open for climbing. The grounded belay device that is used automatically grips the rope if the climber is pulled by gravity, but at the same time frees the climber when going up. The wall was designed by a top climbing advisor from Mumbai.

In the evening some of us watched the third ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ film. It had some good action and special effects but overall wasn’t really that impressive.

Photo: HP climbing on the outdoor wall.

CEO’s Speech

Friday, September 21st, 2007

 Go Karting

The CEO gave a speech today to the Indian, US and UK trainees. He was a very good speaker as one would expect. I was pretty amazed a busy guy like him, effectively making decisions that are affecting over 75,000 employees of the company, even had the time! He talked about how the company started, where it is now, challenges for the future and answered questions put forward to him. The major points I remember was how the appreciating rupee was increasing costs; the possibility of a campus in the US; how Infy are working with about 300 colleges in India to improve standards and also how customer relationships and “emotional intelligence” was important when facing clients.

The evening was fun, HR arranged a night out with the US. The ticket was a bit expensive but I thought it was a good deal in the end with the food and venue. There was also a go karting track nearby. It was a decent track with good karts and only 120 Rs. for 10 laps, that’s like £1.50! It was nice to take some tight high speed corners. I managed to spin into the tyre barrier once though!

Photo: The go karting track. An overtaking maneuver in action too.

Basketball Competition Final

Thursday, September 20th, 2007

 Basketball

Today was good: training was a good refresher in C, went to a club quiz at one of the massive conference rooms (we did pretty badly though!), went climbing on the outdoor wall with HP, watched the campus basketball competition final and also won 200 rupees on a bet that the new Subway isn’t open on campus! It still isn’t. There is at least another week to go before it opens.

Photo: The winning team from tonight’s basketball competition final. There was some live music at the courts and a fair turnout. There were quite a few Americans on the winning side. Actually, as expected, there were a lot of Americans playing in the tournament in general.

First Class Test

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

Pool

Everyone I spoke to passed the first class test today. I got an A! But so did most people who did computer science. I think Infy has filtered the hardware concepts useful for industry quite well. I think the computer hardware and architecture course taught at Surrey was good but not as applicable to industry. I guess since Infy knows what industry knowledge is necessary (by being in the industry itself) and is a business relying on it’s intellectual expertise, it has far more of an incentive to teach the core applicable knowledge. In short, the training is good. However, the non-computer scientist graduates amongst us were a bit annoyed with the pace and quantity of information … but most of them passed (some did better than me) so I think the training has been balanced well so far.

So today news reached us of this and this. Quote from the Guardian:

“How did he find British graduates to deal with? Indians, he says diplomatically, tend to be a little more flexible.”

A friend who has been interviewed by the media and has been working hard to represent Infy well was understandably upset and requested an explanation from HR. A few hours later we were addressed by HR that the comments were misquoted surrounding the flexibity of locations. I should think so to be honest. The CEO only spoke to us for a 10 minute video conference on our first day in Mysore and we’ve only been here two and a half weeks! In my view, the very fact we are here in India for 6 months shows we are flexible. Once returning to London some will be likely to travel around Europe/Middle East/Africa and they are looking very forward to the prospect. Who wouldn’t? The chance to gain experience abroad, work on different projects, meet different people is not only beneficial but exciting too.

It was Mark’s birthday. He shared some good chocolate cake (yum!), the later we ate out and some went to High Octane (again!) but I felt tired and got back early. I rode the scooter in the night a bit too. Riding in Bangalore is easier than here in the outskirts of a smaller city. I feel this is because in Bangalore it is busy but predictable; here it is quiet and rather unpredictable with the bumps and the odd car or motorbike going by. Jason’s riding advice is handy too. It’s all good though.

Photo: The swimming pool on campus with the GEC (global education centre) in the background. We are training inside there at the moment.

Morning View

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

 Morning View

Classes are getting into more or less of a routine now. Tomorrow we start a new course so should it be interesting. A few of from the American batch have informed us that there is a lot of breadth and depth in the training.

Photo: Morning view of the mass commute to classes.

Accommodation

Wednesday, September 12th, 2007

Room

The first day of software engineering training started today. I liked it: there were thoughts on what make a good software engineer and approaches to problem solving. Our lecturer used to work for the Indian space agency (ISRO) and gave us a real life example of how a software bug can be critical to a space rocket’s success or failure.

The rooms are really nice here. There are many TV channels but not the BBC unfortunately, however CNN will do. I’ve been getting good sleep thanks to the AC. The rooms are cleaned and tidied up for us during the day. Even my toiletries are order by height in the bathroom!

Photo: A view of my room.

Pavement Plants

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

 Pavement Plants

Today was the last day of induction training. We finished off with presentations on comparing the Indian and western cultures. In the evening we ate at a restaurant that cooked some excellent chicken roasts. It was also Gaurav’s birthday, so there was everyone from the UK batch and some from the US at High Octane. Gaurav seemed quite merry as expected. I rode the scooter in the evening for the first time too. It was fun as always but takes a lot of observation, especially at busy cross roads where there are no ‘Give Way’ or ‘Stop’ signs. There are also all these unexpected bumps that are visibly hard to see at night.

Photo: A view of a road on campus that has flowers every 50 cm. This is how literally all the pavements are here. They are groomed manually with scissors by the gardeners here. That’s Jason there.

Chicken 65

Thursday, September 6th, 2007

ILI

Today we discovered differences in cultures such as those that have monochronic or polychronic people; low power distances or high power distances between people; and individualist or collectivist societies. For example, countries like Germany, UK, US are generally contain high number of individualists (people tend to do things on their own) as opposed to Japan or India where people are generally more collectivists (people tend to do things in groups). I hope it helps in the workplace in understanding why different people from different cultures act in certain ways.

In the evening we went to a local restaurant. The food was really good again! I discovered a new Indian menu item: Chicken 65! Jason hyped it up before it arrived on the table … and yes, it did live up to expectations … though quite hot, but enjoyable to eat. Apparently 65 chilies are used to prepare one kg of chicken! However, this might not always be the case. 

Photo: Another shot of the Infosys Leadership Institute. The previous photo didn’t include the trees.

Indoor greenery

Tuesday, September 4th, 2007

Indoor Greenery 

Today there was more induction training again and another good day overall.

During lunch we went to the food courts again and met more Indians. We met three women that went to IIT (this is India’s equivalent to the American Ivy league)! We asked kindly if it would be okay to join them of course … Jason and I were not sure how they would react, but they were very welcoming. They started a few days before us in a batch of 850 new freshers, one of Infy’s highest ever single intake apparently.

After work some of us played football except it was inside a track and field area which is still being built. It is just next to a futuristic ‘origami’ building and more like it … I keep pinching myself I’m in India here. The match was between ‘The West’ Vs ‘India’. The Indian Infoscions thrashed us Brits/Americans!

Later in the evening it was Peter’s birthday at the floating restaurant. There was a cake for him, a signed card by everyone and afterwards he got chucked into the outdoor swimming pool for kicks!

Photo: This was taken just outside the conference room our induction training has been taking place at. There are quite a few fountains and lots of greenery inside the Infosys Leadership Institute building. L->R: Kusum, Akhil, Jason, Rick, Ecta, Sanket, Sumit & Keval.

First day at work

Monday, September 3rd, 2007

First Day 

Well actually it was more of an induction day. We learnt about the company, had a team exercise (which included getting to know some Indian names by role playing family members – I was “Uncle Bottolanda” ), setting up bank accounts and last but by no means least we got to ask the CEO questions via a video conference!

For lunch Jason (a friend from Colorado) and I decided to eat what most Indians eat here instead of the really nice food at the “floating restaurant” (a restaurant that is on a moat) which costs four times the price of a meal at the food courts. We ate with our hands and sat next to some friendly Indians. It was nice meeting them and understanding what the South Indian food was, which tasted great, and learning where they are from in India. They are in production now and are working on a cheque processing system for a Canadian client.

Later we played badminton, table tennis and went bowling which cost 50p! There were high quality bowling lanes with couches, air conditioning (as are most buildings) and they played Ibiza music too. A friend, named Rizwan from the American batch, got lots of impressive strikes. The campus record here on the white board is 268 I think.

Oh, the UK batch here is great. Everyone comes across open mindedness, humorous and generally very friendly.

Photo: One of the team activities was to have one member of the role playing Indian family to be dressed up by only using newspapers, a stapler and sellotape. My team transformed me into a Roman soldier with sword, shield, a stylish skirt, toga, hat, a ring, necklace, shoulder pads all in 15 minutes. Thank you to Kusum for the picture!