Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Mentoring Trainees In Java

Every year we at 4S have a certain intake of trainees. They are asked to do a Java EE course at a training institute during their vacation before they join the company. The students do go to training institutes and come back with certificates. But when asked practical questions, we get blank faces.

Despite whatever reputation and revenue they have, the Ameerpet training institutes just cover theory in classroom sessions. In fact, students are not even made aware of simple things like where to put the app files or the war file in the Tomcat container. This happened with the last year’s batch of management trainees too.

Me and my department were asked (by our CTO) to coach this year's batch of six joinees for a month. The intention was that they should join the product / project teams and be productive quickly. Our mentoring had to happen in parallel to the regular training sessions conducted by the training department.

Three of us - myself and two colleagues, Narayana and Nandini - teamed together and conducted a training program. What we did was do rapid coverage of a lesson and then gave exercises on that for practice. We conducted quizzes after every two topics. In the last part of the training program the trainees had to do eight end to end Java EE assignments - mini projects if you will - covering client side screens, validations to persisting in the database with everything in between like Ajax, transaction management etc.

The training was completed on 27-Sep-2012 and Sanjana from HR organized a lunch to mark the same. We went to the nearby Hotel Daspalla. The photo below was taken at the hotel.

[From L to R : Narayana, Bala Ganesh (BVRICE, Bhimavaram), Rohith (BITS Pilani, Hyderabad campus), Vinay (BITS Pilani, Hyderabad campus), myself, Mohan Krishna (BITS Pilani, Hyderabad campus), Sanjana, Abhishek (NIT, Warangal), Padma Priya (BVRIT, Hyderabad), and Nandini.]

After the lunch, Padma Priya sang a beautiful Carnatic song. In fact, she said that she learnt Carnatic music while studying at college in Hyderabad, but her guru was in Warangal. The lessons are given over, gasp --- Skype!!! Never heard of that before. If someone had told me that they learnt music through Skype, I wouldn't have believed in the outcome. But the mellifluous rendition of Padma Priya put all doubts to rest.

Our MTs were an energetic and thinking bunch of youngsters. They took the training inputs and practicals seriously. And asked a lot of questions and discussed various technicalities with zeal. Which made it interesting for us also.

Teaching Java to trainees is such a nice thing to undertake. In fact teaching anything to anyone is a delightful experience.

The remaining photos at the lunch are available at this link.

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