It is good to see you blogging after a break. Now that you have got the rant off your chest, I hope you are feeling better. Catharsis does work.
You ask, somewhat rhetorically, as to why you should bother ? There are a lot of layers to that question really. Should you bother about coaching your peers and juniors in the “right” things ? Or, should you be bothered about the employment bits that make all the education and years spent so irrelevant ?
I firmly believe that you should bother. In fact, I hold on to the theory that you should get agitated enough to be bothered more than you are currently. There is no escaping the fact that the world is changing and, with it, the patterns of employment. Traditionally, Indian IT companies of the SWITCH and now TWITCH group have hired freshly minted software engineers by the ark-load. In fact, there are times when I have wondered about how do they end up managing the task of the massive hires. When you hire at that quantum, the focus is less on skills and, more on whether there is “aptitude” as measured by some tests devised by the departments involved. And, since there is an extensive “training” of the new hires involved as part of the cycle, it is comfortable for them to assume that basic knowledge would be drilled into them eventually.
It isn’t really about Python. I guess the issue here is do the folks whom you guide and, for a very valid reason, feel responsible for, realize and accept that there are opportunities outside of the traditional TWITCH group ? Or, that, given accomplishments, they can actually be spoilt for choice in terms of assignments they land up with ? Sadly enough, my experiences have been somewhat negative. Since getting into a services sector job hasn’t been too difficult, students seem to have become complacent (and, yes, I know that this is a grossly general statement) and, decided not to exercise their choice to “be excellent”.
Choosing to become a zombie is an easy decision. Choosing not to and thus striking out a path for themselves requires courage. So, the question I ask is – what can we do to instill that courage in the folks we encounter ? What can be done so that they can be brave enough to reject a call to mediocrity and, embrace the discipline and strength needed to really “innovate” ?
It is a sad fact of life that B players generally hire Cs. So that they can appear smart to the outside world. How can we coach the students to aspire for nothing less then being an A and, demand the very best of their employers ?
So, the question isn’t really “Why should I bother ?” – it is “What can we do to change the system ?”
The number of comments on your blog does prove that there are a large group of people unhappy with the current state of things. The larger that group is, and, the more work that gets done, would be the starting point of things changing.
ps: Be bothered. That’s the only path to sanity.