On 31st August 2006, I visited the Carmel Polytechnic College, Punnapra, Alappuzha. (Visit Carmel Alumni Association website.) I was invited to inaugurate their Computer Association, named CLIP and to conduct an seminar on Information Technology and Internet for the Computer Engineering Diploma students.
The Head of the Computer Engineering Department is Mr. Sreenivasa Panicker. He is retired from government services and now working in Carmel Polytechnic. Would you believe when I say that we were classmates in Thiruvananthapuram engineering college? Yes, we were! It is not that I am as old as him or I am using some permanent hair dye! He had attended the B Tech course while he was a lecturer in a Diploma College.
The inauguration ceremony was at 11 AM. I tried not to bore the students with my speech! Primarily I talked about the difference they feel when moving from academic to professional environment and what needs to be done. I made just two points.
First is communication. Most of the students from Malayalam medium restrain from using English, mainly because they are worried about making grammar mistakes. Also they think in Malayalam and then try to convert the meaning in to English. There it get stuck with grammar and nothing comes out! I advised them not to worry about grammar and starting talking in English using the verbs and nouns they know. As long as the other person gets what you are trying to say, it is communication. We cannot improve on communication until we start communicating!
Second is attitude. Need to have a ‘can do’ positive attitude. In professional environment we work as a team, not as an individual. Individual gain is important and it should align with the team objective. The whole team need to success in order for a team member to succeed.
With these two points I concluded my speech and inaugurated the association activities by lighting the lamp. The function was presided over by the Principal.
I conducted a seminar cum Q&A session on Internet, Information Technology, IT Industry, Software Development and ASP.NET. The students did participate very well asked a lot of questions from various areas. Really bright students.
This was my second visit to the college. Earlier in February 2006 I visited them and took a seminar on ASP and ASP.NET.
Now I am seriously thinking of a part time teaching profession (not for salary), in Thiruvananthapuram itself. Narayana Murthy of Infosys Technologies, who has retired as Executive Chairman, is planning to teach in business schools. I think should not wait for my final retirement from IT at 60 for the teaching profession. I get more satisfaction when I interact with students and see the glittering of their eyes than managing software projects! I am planning to spend 1 or 2 Saturdays per month for interacting with college students.