The Tomorrow Beckons

This blog has little bit of everything...

Monday, May 15, 2017

Focus On Your Next Career Move Not On Your Next Salary Hike

Most software professionals focus on the next salary hike they can get from a potential job switch or from an upcoming appraisal cycle. Due to this mindset of moving from one salary increment to another they miss the point of focusing on their career progression. There are other challenges as well. The software engineer title appears to be misleading at times. All that glitters is not gold, here are some bitter truths about Software Engineers:
  1. The job title may be Software engineer but you may not engineer any software at all.
  2. Some software engineers don’t write any code they just solve support tickets.
  3. Some software engineers don’t know what to do after they have become so called “Senior software engineer”.
  4. Some don’t realize that they need to reskill and upskill to become a “Lead or a manager”. They just want to become one without putting any effort.
  5. Some of them use this logic for getting salary increment per year: Salary should be more than or equal to the total number of years of experience. That is, if I have 11 years of experience then I should get 11 Lakhs per annum. Huge misconception.
  6. When there is a lay off situation most folks tend to blame the company and not look within themselves for areas of improvement.

Before we make an attempt to find a root cause or a solution to this situation of software engineers let us take a look at the history:
Offshoring of IT business started to grow in the late 1980s and 1990s. A lot of professionals from other industry/ domains jumped into software industry by learning Cobol and DB2, those were the days of mainframe computing. Few of them got a jolt in the layoffs of 2001–2002 when the dot com bubble burst occured. Some of them reskilled and survived, others went back to their original industry.
Few years later with the surge in ERP software a lot of professionals with experience in finance, manufacturing, retail etc. switched career into sofware industry by learning packaged software like Oracle Apps and SAP.
But now when the IT industry is 30+ years old a lot of IT professionals get stuck in their careers because they are challenged and pushed by a much brighter younger generation(who can provide the same service at a lower cost).
Imagine a 12 year experienced professional with above average software development and design skills but with no inclination towards people, process and project management. A software engineer with 6 to 8 years of experience can deliver the same work and output as compared to a 12 years of experienced professional. For the employer it makes business sense to get the work done by professional with 6 to 8 years of experience and hence the professionals with 10–15 years of experience get stuck.
Where do these people go?
While some of them are able to climb the ladder of success in management roles, others have to take a detour. Some of these professionals migrate to jobs overseas, few switch into training and education and few into research. For details you may want to read Anand Vaishampayan's answer to Why don't I see senior citizen in IT sector in India, even though one gets paid handsome salary in it ?
What is the solution or alternate?
Yes, some folks do take a decision to work at a low salary and survive and few others keep changing or upgrading their skills to stay relevant. Fundamental issue is the lack of focus in planning and making the right career moves. Just focusing on the next salary hike does not help in the longer cause. The scenario may be different in Non IT sectors but in IT the tough time for professionals with 10–15 years of experience has just begun. Its time for them to focus on Charles Darwin theory: It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.
Reference good reads:

You may also like to read this to find out some futuristic perspective…What Will Have A Bigger Impact On The IT Industry: Digitization Or Donald Trump?

Monday, April 17, 2017

No Matter How Good You Are, You Can Always Be Replaced

Have you ever heard these quotes?

Everyone's job is important, but no one is indispensable.

No one is indispensable. Even Me.

If you think you are indispensable, think again, because you might be wrong. Few years ago, IT giants used to layoff workforce based on poor performance and at times due to the pressure of global economic crisis. But now with the rapid advances in technology low level jobs might be under threat from software programs called BOTs. These BOTs are powered by artificial intelligence and have the ability to self-learn. Yes, digitization is the new normal in Indian IT Services Industry.

Your employer runs a business and every business needs to be profitable. You might be doing a great job for your organization but in the rapidly changing context it is better to get yourself a reality check. Here are some tough questions that you should ask yourself:

1. Is your job going to be relevant in the next 5 years or is it candidate for automation or digitization?

2. Will your skill or knowledge continue to contribute towards making your employer's business profitable?

3. Can a professional with n-1 or n-2 level of work experience do the same job that you are doing today?

4. In future, is there a probability that the customer may not pay as much money as they are paying today to get the work done?

5. When was the last time you learned a new skill or a new process or a new technology? Are you getting outdated?

Your honest answer to these questions will tell you the exact situation of your job/ career. Your answer to these questions may be a call for action for you because no matter how good you are, you can always be replaced due to circumstances and changes that you don't control. Here are some of the actions that you should take immediately...

1. Identify and work out a Plan B for your future. This Plan B can be an alternate skill that you will learn or an alternate part-time business that you will run in parallel to your job.

2. Save enough funds for the difficult times. At least have 6 months of salary in your bank account to face any adverse situation in case you lose your job.

3. Predict the future of your industry. Read relevant articles published by top research companies to understand where the industry is headed and what are the potential job/ career opportunities of the future. Forecast your learning and training needs and be prepared to reskill yourself.

To summarize, with changing times one needs to be prepared to do more and at the same time do something which is futuristic and acts as a differentiator. Sitting comfortably with the same job for years and years may mean that you are flirting with danger. It is time to not only think outside the box but also it is high time to act outside the box.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

How 43 Dislikes Earned Me $24.24 Of Passive Income On YouTube?

I posted my first and probably my worst YouTube video on 14th Feb 2016 that is on Valentine's Day last year. It had nothing to do with Valentine's Day.

Here is that video...

As of today, 3/25/2017, this video has over 38,689 views, that is, some 65,468 minutes of watch time, 98 Likes and 23 Dislikes resulting in $13.69 of revenue. If you do the math you would know that it took around 2800 views to earn $1. So if this video gets 2800 per day then it can generate $1 per day, that is, around Rs. 65 per day, equivalent to Rs. 1950/- per month. Wow, that is a good amount considering that it has 23 dislikes and rightly so because I consider it as my worst video till date. 

Now, let us just imagine if I have 10 such videos. The revenue generated would be 10 times, that is $10 per day or $300 per month. In India it would be Rs. 19,500/- per month. This is a great amount of money.

But the fact of the matter is that my video didn't get 38K views at the rate of 2800 views per day. The rate was a lot slower, it was somewhere around 100 views per day. So the math done above is valid but the rate at which the revenue is generated depends a lot on the rate at which the video is being watched. Of course search engine optimization and promotion on social media makes a lot of difference.

One more fact is that not every video that we prepare may get even 100 views per day, some of the videos don't get any views at all and some may just get 10 or 15 or 100 views in their entire lifetime. Such videos don't generate any revenue. 

So what should be done? 

Simple solution is to prepare 10x videos, that is, prepare 10 times more videos than what you think you need to achieve around 3000 views per day. Rough calculation goes like this, 1 video gets 100 views per day then you need 30 videos to get 3000 views per day. But in order to create those 30 successful videos you may need to actually create 10 times more videos, that is, total 300 videos. Wohoooooo, creating 300 videos is a lot of work. Isn't it? Indeed, it is a lot of work but remember it is just one time effort, if you are able to do it once then the same video gets you continuous revenue for your lifetime. This is a great example of passive income generation.

Before I leave, here are some of my successful videos along with some statistics of how they have performed.

Coconut Shell Toy, created at home, best out of waste: 38179 views, 44709 minutes watch time, 103 Likes and 12 Dislikes. $6.95 and counting.

Eggless Condensed Milk Cake Recipe, 5170 views, 11293 minutes of watch time 19 Likes and 4 Dislikes. $2.20 and counting.

I hope by now you have realized that it is NOT just the number of view counts that generates the revenue, what also matters is the watch time or the number of minutes your video has been watched. The geographical region from where it is being watched also matters a lot. So if in my example I had to get roughly 2800 views to earn $1 then it may not be true for others, some people make the same amount in comparatively lesser number of views and few others may even take a lot more than 2800. The data shared above is just my example for your reference purpose, there is no guarantee that it would work for you in the same exact way that it worked for me.

This directly relates to the quality of the content in the video. If your content is good there is no looking back.

Oh but wait, I didn't tell you yet how the revenue is generated? It is pretty simple, you generate the revenue by signing up for the Google Adsense Program. Through this program you allow Google to show advertisements on your YouTube videos and in return Google pays you a certain share of the revenue gathered from the advertisers. Google has an eligibility criteria and specific guidelines for registering publishers on its Adsense program. You may want to visit Google Adsense website to learn more. 

There are many more ways to generate revenue by creating video content. One such example is  Lorecart - LEARN EVERYTHING ONLINE, this platform provides you the ability to upload your own videos and sell them online.

To summarize, it doesn't matter whether you are a chef or a mechanic or a teacher or a home maker or a beautician or a techie or a management professional. Opportunity is equal for all of us. If you are ready to put that little extra effort then you can make the most of Video sharing technology and The Internet sitting at your home.

I hope you find this helpful, if you have any queries, feel free to post a comment and I shall respond with details.