This is a wonderful time to be starting up. You will come across very few people who will give comparisons to all the benefits they get working for big corporates. Its one such time. Hiring will be slightly easier, and retaining them will be even more easier.
Even in the midst of all that, it does seem that a lot of the Startup Companies are hardpressed for resources here in India. Here’s a solution.
A few of us have been talking about putting together a centre that trains people (as blank slated as freshers) on the common technologies that people use while building Web related products – the usual PHP, Python, AJAX, MySQL, etc etc and getting them upto speed on mashups, APIs, documentation, and moving forward. That is the level of skill that most of the startup community folks are looking for it seems. Or am I wrong here?
If I am right, then there is a simple way around it. Every chapter of OCC in the country is doing quite well. I heard from Santhosh that Pune is a 300 people group now (though I do suspect that the turn out ratio would be still less), but who knew Pune had 300 people who would be open to being part of a community right? And the same case has gone on with Bangalore, Kolkatta, Hyderabad, Chennai, Delhi, and even now and then with Mumbai.
Here’s the thought. What if in one of the OCCs a dozen of the startup companies, especially the folks who can code and code really well, commit that they will run a two month training program for people in these languages? It is going to take a bit of time and commitment, but there are a lot of resources already on the web, and with a couple of screencasts, and proper documentation, you could essentially also use it as training material for the next batch of people that you hire in your company later on.
What I am proposing is that a batch of technology entrepreneurs, each taking a week to cover different aspects of the course, could put their hands together to collaboratively solve an issue which is haunting a great many of them.
So if you could fix one of the startups offices as the centre for this activity, Put up a wiki where people can sign up for this course, and these 12 startup entrepreneurs/programmers get a chance to do a round of questioning and if they think that the candidate would be able to perform with some guidance, then the community as a whole comes together to train these few candidates and at the end of it, can assimilate them into the company.
There are a couple of reasons why I think this can be made to work:
1. Most freshers are scared of working for startups. The first question I face all the time is “Will they train us?”
2. People who do undergo any sort of training, usually go for some MS Certification and those courses are expensive. Its not like you can afford to get the developmental licenses anyways, and since they have themselves invested in getting trained, the salary expectations are going to be higher from you.
3. At the moment there are very few people who can talk about these technologies for the mass community to learn from. Perhaps contributing to the general knowledge of the masses to improve their skill level, if reached critical mass, will start churning on its own.
4. More people trained on OpenSource Technologies (that’s really what enables Startups), might also slightly increase the chances of people contributing back to Opensource. *fingers crossed*
5. I also think that most startup founders struggle to explain what they have in their head to others. And teaching concepts to others gets you to that level where tomorrow when you need to grow a community around your product, you can converse in a manner that the people can comprehend.
And of course, none of this has to be done for free. I’d strongly suggest that the teams charge the candidate 3000 – 4000Rs a month for this. That is also additional revenue, so its not technically charity either.
So, there is only one question that lingers. Worth giving it a try? What do you think?
Join the conversation at The Startup Guy, to pitch your thoughts on the matter.
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Just thought that I should leave a quick update here as well on our independent initiative on this front. We are doing a couple of courses out of our Hyderabad facility. The courses are practical in nature and are meant to groom professional designers and developers.
More details about the courses on my blog at http://www.zoyidian.com/introducing-zoyid-web-training/ and also at our company site http://www.zoyidtech.com. There is a separate Training section there.