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Article Begins Here:-
The Engineering and Professional graduate programs in India include Summer Training with the following objectives
* Correlate courses of study with the way industry or potential workplace operates its business or work using technology.
* Work on implementing what has been learned in school, especially true for Computer Science under-graduates.
The engineering and professional courses including MCA, B.Tech, B.E., BCA amongst others during 2004-5 had an estimated half a million under-graduates needing internship in fields of Computer Science, Electrical and Electronics, Mechanical, Civil, Bio-Informatics disciplines every year. The students for professional programs are required as a part of the courses to undergo a 8 week or 6 month training.
For a long time after independence(India) the lack of industrialization meant that many of these young professionals had to go without proper training during internship period earmarked in the under-graduate programs. The world moves from industrial age to intellectual property based wealth generation structures i.e. factories replaced by call-centers and technology companies viz. chip design, software and bio-informatics. Tools for generating this wealth in the form of software, [patents] and documented processes is available easily in the hands of people hitherto on the wrong side of longitudes and time-zones or urban-rural divides.
In today's world the interns or trainees, the future professionals need to re-orient the traditional approach to searching for a training or internship.
The traditional approach being defined as :-
1. Look for name brands and try and get a Training Certificate.
2. Put your dad-mom 's, uncle's and aunt's social network to work and land an internship. This normally gets you a certificate and usually not much as else as someone is merely obliging your relatives.
3. Your seniors sometimes can help place interns in the companies they work for, this generally works if you happen to belong to elite institutes like IITs, IIITs and NITs.
4. Your institutes placement cell:- Unless you need a 6-month training placement, the companies normally don't bother offering training through placement cell. Again works better if yours is an elite institute.
5. Paid training to learn a new technology or a knowledge upgrade at an educational institution of repute like NITs which organize training programs for their students and accept outside students to work at their labs. This type of a training is a useful upgrade to theoretical knowledge but actually counts as "back to classroom" rather than an internship.
6. Training under a Full Professor/Researcher: a rarity in the stream of Computer Science, most of them went to the industry to earn their megabucks or went to US to pursue further research.
The best that this approach gets you is:-
After starting to look for summer training 2-3 months before you need to start it and finally reach a good enough company or workplace just in time or delayed by a week or two. Having reached a name brand or the coveted big corp, most interns end up doing menial chores no one else wants to do.
The interns are either ignored or given totally useless jobs like inventorying the IT equipment, making a survey of problems faced by home-owners in a factory owned residential area for its workers, making spreadsheets etc under the ruse that they are not qualified to handle a real job of programming or its equivalent in other areas of work.
The brave new world demands a radical new approach to summer training or internship. US of A is still the leader of Information Technology and contrary to popular belief it is not about to surrender its technology leadership to India or China anytime soon. Slashdot a popular site for technologists with a primarily US based audience lists some of the things which interns did this summer here.
Some of these things apply not only to the interns in US but are globally applicable.
In the indian context, this might be a good strategy with variations suiting individual tastes, essentially it boils down to.
1. Learn Open Source technology as a user of technology.
2. Apply that technology to improve the college infrastructure, remember those creaky Novell file servers or virus ridden windows backend boxes can be replaced by good Open Source alternatives.
3. Look out for bounty programs from Open Software sites and add new features to open source softwares and earn money in the process of learning something.
4. Or scratch your favorite itch to create something new which reaches thousands of downloads as soon as the beta is out.
5. Watch out for influential Open Source organizations like your local Linux User Groups or Development oriented groups and convince the managements of such organizations to offer you certificates of training for releasing Open Source projects (new or patches) under their patronage. This is a win-win for Linux User Groups as well as interns. Typically a few vastly superior geek minds can be found at the Linux User Group mailing lists and can be convinced into mentoring you during the summer training period and possibly beyond it.
5. Setup a development environment using free software, not only because it is a richer environment for developers and there is a lot more to learn on a free development platform but also because many of your future employers consider these as essential skills. At the minimum try and use a version control system like RCS(if not CVS). A hotshot IDE like Eclipse, and webserver like Apache or Tomcat. Typical unix like environments such as Linux are extremely rich in available documentation and sophisticated tools. It is a reasonable assumption that a potential developer needs to learn to use unix for any serious shot at the programming career.
6. Get well worded endorsements from your mentor and other developers of Open Source projects to which you contributed to, and snapshots of CVSWeb GUI's showing your source commits accepted for opensource projects to include into your project reports for that extra effect at the training/internship viva back at your institutes.
More articles advocating taking control of your own Internship
Update: I noticed atleast a few people offering Summer Training to students. Please do so at
Training Offers after reading the instructions.