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The IT industry is a big employment generator for the Indian economy with last year’s hiring numbers from Indian IT hitting a record. Soon after the nationwide pandemic unlock, hiring was quick-paced with 163% increase in June 2021, as compared to June 2020. The big three companies among the Indian IT companies – TCS, Infosys and Wipro offered around 1.05 lakh jobs between 2021 and 2022. For freshers, landing a job in any of these companies would be an ideal way to kickstart their careers in the IT industry.
Bangalore-based IT services giant Infosys registered the highest hiring numbers in the first quarter ended June 30 of this year, as compared to its peers in the industry. The Narayana Murthy-founded company onboarded 21,171 employees during this tenure. Needless to say, when the company announced openings for the roles of specialist programmer (SP) and digital specialist engineer (DSE), freshers applied in hordes.
However, college applicants were in for a rude shock after attending the campus hiring test for the company. Social media was rife with heated discussions between job aspirants, who had either appeared for the online assessment (OA) coding test or professionals who had heard of the test.
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Harder to crack than FAANG?
One look at the ongoing dialogue and memes signalled a split debate. Many were predictably disappointed with the sudden increase in difficulty levels. Freshers, who normally use platforms like CodeNation to study or improve their coding skills, said that the test had problems that were tougher than the ‘tough questions’ on these platforms. Others complained that the problems in the Data Structures and Algorithms test didn’t seem like it was meant for a job at an Indian IT service company, but rather for a product-based company like Google. Angry aspirants remarked that the test was more apt for a job with a payscale of “Rs. 1 crore rather than one with Rs. 6 lakh p.a.”
On the other hand, some professionals commended the difficult test noting that it only pushed aspirants to prepare intensely for aptitude tests with other companies. Some even argued that if aspirants were anywhere close to cracking the Infosys coding OA, they would be able to crack the technical rounds at FAANG (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google) companies with greater ease. Arsh Goyal, a senior software engineer with Samsung and Youtuber said, “Infosys >>> FAANG. Everyone is a gangster until the real gangster arrives – Infosys.”
Open to all
A bunch of commenters jumped to Infosys’ defence. Software developers said that instances of mass cheating had become rampant since the company began the OA tests a couple of years ago. Contrarily, others spoke about the problems that an easy test would lead to. For an organisation like Infosys, which has thousands of applicants rushing in at the same time, an easier test would mean a big percentage of them making the cut. This would obviously pressurise the hiring resources of the company.
A bunch of commenters also reminded applicants that Indian IT companies like Infosys, which drove employment on a large scale didn’t bar anyone from attending their entrance tests. This was very different from the hiring methods at FAANG companies, which is next to impossible for freshers to get through. Developers tend to apply for jobs at these Big Tech firms after years of honing their coding skills at platforms like CodeStudio and CodeForces and taking online courses to upgrade their soft skills.
For students who have graduated from mid-level colleges, even appearing for the OAs for product-based companies right away is unrealistic. Big Tech companies have a rigorous screening process. given they only consider freshers from premier institutions, if at all. On the other hand, the application process for Infosys does not require candidates from a certain pedigree only. In the current job market, software service companies like Infosys that are filling the unemployment gap must be acknowledged.
As is often the case, there were exceptions to this rule too. There were former aspirants who had attended the Infosys test and gotten rejected but were eventually picked up by tech giants like Amazon.