Balgates’s Weblog

I’m Wat I’m!!!

Top IT skills that can get you a better job

With the job markets opening up, it is time for all the aspiring techies to be equipped with the right skills that can land them in a job now. Recently, several reports have indicated that the job market is booming again after the slump due to the economic slowdown. Based on inputs from some industry watchers, Silicon India has come out with the list of the Top IT Skills currently in demand.

SAP
The surging demand in the ERP market is expected to increase the adoption of SAP in organizations around the globe. “The demand for SAP market is currently booming and with many companies adopting ERP these days, SAP continues to dominate this space,” says Harry CD, Executive Director-Operations at 3G Labs India. Currently, SAP and Oracle are the two major ERP players, however the former is having an advantage over the latter when it comes to the demand in the market. The reason behind this dominance of SAP in the ERP market is because of the customer satisfaction, according a study conducted by Panorama Consulting Group. Analysts have also predicted that SAP’s Business ByDesign offering will do well this year, which will drive the demand for more SAP professionals.

Some of the applications developed by SAP that are seeing major demand are:

SAP Web Dynpro: It is a proprietary web application user interface technology developed by SAP. The increasing number of web applications around the globe needs professionals having this skill.

SAP Plant Maintenance: It deals with the preventive maintenance of manufacturing equipment that accompanies a streamlined production process. SAP PM also monitors downtime of equipment, workforce production hour as well as the time, materials and labor necessary for such maintenance.

SAP Advanced Planner and Optimizer: With the boom in the retail segment this is one tool that is bound to see growth in the coming days. Advanced Planner and Optimizer is designed to help a company improve production planning, pricing, scheduling, and product shipping. It works by getting real-time updates from retailers about customer demand.

SAP Governance, Risk management and Compliance: Today, every organization must chart its own course to embrace governance, risk management and compliance framework, weighing critical business requirements with organizational maturity and top-level commitment. Companies may choose to start by identifying one or two high-priority risk areas and initiate a business-specific or initiative-driven deployment of the applications.

Java
Today, Java is being used in more than 4.5 billion devices around the world and the usage is expected to rise further because of the growth in the number of mobile phones, personal computers and smart cards. Java applets help to have an improved functionality while browsing the internet also making it more attractive. “Java is in demand because there are more companies developing user interface and web applications for their clients. The rise in popularity of software as a service (SAAS) model is also giving the edge to Java professionals,” says Rishi Das, Co-founder and CEO of CareerNet Consulting.

C++
Many believe that the demand for C++ has always been there and there are not many signs that show the fall of this computer language in the near future. Satish Kumar, a HR executive with an IT firm believes that the demand for programmers like C++ remains constant because these are used in segments such as automobile, healthcare and communication systems, which are always in the growth trajectory.

PHP
PHP, which facilitates the production of dymanic web pages, was created by Rasmus Lerdorf in 1995 and its growth has been phenomenal. Last year, PHP was estimated to have been installed on more than 20 million websites and over one million web servers, the number would have multiplied today considering the current surge in the online world. Today, there are several companies that are getting into this space that is driving the demand for professionals with knowledge about PHP.

Top IT Skills

IT Infrastructure Management
With more companies identifying the importance of infrastructure management services, there is a great demand for people who are specialized in this space, says Reuben Prem, an IT Recruiter in Bangalore. According to research firm IDC, currently investments in infrastructure management have the largest single impact on an organization’s revenue. Today, some of the top IT firms have also entered into this segment by identifying the opportunities that are available. Recently, TCS signed a five year contract with Malaysia Airlines for managing the airline’s datacentres, IT networks and IT security.

Oracle
Though there seems to be more demand for SAP professionals compared to Oracle, the demand for professionals in the overall ERP software market is on the rise. Forrester Research predicts that ERP software revenue from new licenses would have fallen 24 percent in 2009. However, 2010 looks good for ERP for several reasons such as the growth in open-source market and players like Microsoft broadening its ERP offerings. Anuj Agrawal, Director of Zyoin believes that the acquisitions that Oracle has been making in the recent past, especially the Sun Microsystems deal, may alter the ERP market and give some advantage to Oracle over SAP. In the financial services space Oracle applications still holds a high position with Oracle Financials, Oracle HRMS, Oracle Projects, Oracle CRM and Oracle PO considered as the most widely used applications and demand for them is moving upwards.

.NET
Since the birth of multi-core computing, there has been a requirement for parallel-programming architecture. Incidentally, almost every programmer considers .NET Framework 3.5 as getting distant and out of the way. To prevent its programming market fiasco, recently, Microsoft released the beta version of .NET Framework 4. Primarily, the MSDN site shows that the parallel extensions in the .NET 4, has been improvised to support analogous programming, targeting multi-core computing or distributed computing. Thus, making it the right time to be equipped with the .NET skills.

Embedded C++
The increasing demand for embedded systems is driving the growth for Embedded C++, which was defined by an industry group to address the shortcomings of C++ for embedded applications. The official website states the goal of Embedded C++ as to provide embedded systems programmers with a subset of C++ that is easy for the average C programmer to understand and use. “If your interest lies in embedded systems, having the knowledge of Embedded C++ will surely get you a job,” says Kumar.

C
C is still one of the most popular programming languages though it was developed nearly three decades ago and there are very few computer architectures for which a C compiler does not exist. C has greatly influenced many other popular programming languages, most notably C++, which originally began as an extension to C. “For all those who have been working on C, the demand still exists in the market because their application is wide,” says Prem.

Courtesy: SiliconIndia.com

April 6, 2010 Posted by | Business, General, India Related, IT, Science, Software, Technical Writing, Technology, USA Related, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Infosys Layoff – The IT giant Infosys Technologies fires 2100 employees

With companies keen on maximum utilisation of employees and low tolerance to poor performance in the backdrop of global economic turmoil, nearly 2,100 employees in software firm Infosys have faced the axe.

“Some of these employees have been asked to go while some have left on their own,” V Balakrishnan, CFO of the Bangalore-based company, told PTI on April 11, 2009.

Prior to asking the employees to leave, they were put on a performance improvement course and those who showed no improvement were asked to leave while some others quit, he said.

“Tolerance to poor performance is very low given the current economic scenario,” said Infosys CEO Kris Gopalakrishnan.

Usually, the employees who showed poor performance were given some more time to improve themselves, but this time there had been no such consideration, he said.

Both the officials said the sacking was part of annual routine, which usually formed five per cent of the total number of employees but this time it was much lower.

Some of the employees had been “outplaced”, Kris said, which refers to the firm hiring the services of placement agencies to help the employees to get placements in other firms. Infosys has a workforce of 105,000, including trainees.

April 13, 2009 Posted by | General, India Related, IT, Software, Technology, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Barack Obama nominates Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State

Obama nominates Hillary as Secretary of State

US President-elect Barack Obama on Dec 01, 2008 named former Democrat rival Senator Hillary Clinton as the Secretary of State in his incoming administration and retained Robert Gates as the Defence Secretary.

The team of Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden also officially announced other key members of their cabinet, nominating Eric Holder as Attorney General, Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano as Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Susan Rice as Ambassador to the United Nations and General Jim Jones as the new National Security Adviser.

“In this uncertain world, the time has come for a new beginning – a new dawn of American leadership to overcome the challenges of the 21st century, and to seize the opportunities embedded in those challenges,” Obama said in a statement issued by his transition team.

To succeed, a new strategy should be pursued that skillfully uses, balances, and integrates all elements of American power — military and diplomacy, intelligence and law enforcement, economy and the power of “our moral example,” the country’s first African-American President said.

“The team that we have assembled here today is uniquely suited to do just that. They share my pragmatism about the use of power, and my sense of purpose about America’s role as a leader in the world,” Obama, who will be taking office as the 44th US President on January 20, 2009, said.

December 2, 2008 Posted by | General, Politics, USA Related, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Banks safe, but economy may slump: PM

Manmohan Singh says tackling inflation remains goverment's priority.

HIS ECONOMIC ADVICE: Manmohan Singh says tackling inflation remains goverment’s priority.

Indians banks are safe and depositors need not worry for their money, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has told Parliament for the first time after the worldwide financial crisis.

“Our banks, both in the public sector and in the private sector, are financially sound, well capitalised and well regulated. There should be no fear of a failure of any bank,” Singh said in the Lok Sabha on Monday.

“I wish to assure depositors in our banks that their deposits are entirely safe.” Singh, however, warned that the economy might slow down.

“The financial storm has shaken confidence in the system and precipitated a steep decline in stock markets. It has produced a sharp slowdown in economic activity, with the prospect of a prolonged recession in industrialised countries,” he said.

There is enough capital, but “nevertheless, we must be prepared for a temporary slowdown in the Indian economy”.

Singh said the precise impact of the global financial crisis was difficult to estimate but the economic slowdown in developed countries is likely to have an “indirect impact” on the Indian economy.

Some estimates projected GDP growth to reduce to 7.5 per cent in the current year, but “our effort will be to minimise the negative effect of the financial crisis… to return to the growth trajectory of 9 per cent.”

The Prime Minister said the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Government were carefully monitoring the flow of credit and would ensure that the additional liquidity infused into the system translated into actual credit.

“We will not hesitate to do more, if needed. While the capital adequacy ratios of all our banks are well above the Basel norm and above the RBI stipulated norm, government has promised that it will help banks, which have lower ratios, to access funds to increase the capital risk-weighted asset ratio to 12 per cent,” he said.

October 20, 2008 Posted by | Business, General, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why Lehman Brothers went bust ?

$362 bn Lehman brothers went bankrupt today. Merill Lynch was sold to Bank of  America for merely $50 bn.

Lehman and Merill were 2 of the 5 biggest investment banks in US. Both are history now. 26000 employees working for Lehman lost their jobs in one day. It was  a big news on all TV channels showing the Lehman employees packing their stuff, clearing their desks and closing their offices on the Wall street. NYSE rep said on TV that Stock holders of Lehman will not get anything.

The economists say this is going bring a worst economic depression of this century. And of course it is going to affect global economy.

US economy is supposed to slide further down and get worse till next June.

Why Lehman Bros went bust; what it means for you


L
ehman Brothers is not more. Merrill Lynch has gown down the Bank of America maw. AIG too could go belly up. With a doubt, these developments in America are the most shocking events to have hit global financial markets. So where did it all begin? And what does it mean for the Indian stock markets? Find out. . .
What is (or was) Lehman Brothers?

America’s fourth-largest investment bank Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc has filed the biggest bankruptcy petition known to mankind.
The 158-year-old firm was founded by brothers Henry, Emanuel and Mayer Lehman, Jewish immigrants to the US from Germany, in 1850. Henry set up a general store in Alabama in 1844 and was later joined by his brothers. In 1850 they set up the merchant bank in New York after having made money in railway bonds. So what went wrong?

Lehman Bros, which till June 2008 had not reported a quarterly loss even once, had earlier survived many an economic crises, like railroad bankruptcies of the 1800s, the Great Depression in the 1930s, and the collapse of Long-Term Capital Management in the 1990s.

Thus the collapse of the giant investment bank came as a major shock for the entire world markets that plunged after Lehman filed a Chapter 11 petition with US Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan.

The $613 billion (some estimates put the size at $639 billion) bankruptcy thus throws up the question: why did the Wall Street giant go bust? Here’s why. . .

Why did Lehman Brothers go bankrupt?

The giant investment bank succumbed to the sub-prime mortgage crisis that has rocked the United States and the global economy. Lehman was strangled by a massive credit crisis and fast plummeting real estate prices.

The gargantuan $60 billion loss in bad real estate loans forced the bank to file for bankruptcy.

However, the fall of the 158-year-year institution that started cotton trade in US before the American Civil War and financed the railroad that built a nation, got hit by a large dose of bad luck, pride, arrogance and greed. Primarily, the pride of its chief executive office Richard Fuld.

But there were more reason. Check out what they were.

Lehman’s collapse was also triggered by the refusal of other banks to do business with it because of its complex and, at times, opaque ways of trading. Housing loans made by the bank to people with little support made these loans very risky, and when interest rates rose, these borrowers could no more repay Lehman. This led to huge losses, the extent of which is not yet clear.

Thus other banks stopped trading with Lehman. This led to it losing almost all business and triggered its fall.

The final straw for Lehman was the fact that both Barclays Plc of the United Kingdom and Bank of America Corp pulled out of takeover talks. BofA bought out Merrill Lynch for $50 billion.

However, Barclays has now said that it is in discussions with Lehman Brothers about buying certain assets of the stricken US investment bank.

“Barclays confirms that it is discussing with Lehman Brothers the possible acquisition of certain Lehman Brothers assets on terms that would be attractive to Barclay’s shareholders,” Britain’s third largest bank said in a statement.

When other banks do not want to buy Lehman, why is Barclays interested?

Barclays wanted to buy Lehman out at a discount, so to speak. But when Lehman CEO Fuld decided that his bank was worth much more than what Barclays had apparently offered, Barclays stepped back.

Now that Lehman has filed for bankruptcy, its assets are available fairly cheap. However, the biggest problem is to take on Lehman’s enormous liabilities.

How far is the CEO of the company responsible for Lehman’s fall?

Wall Street analysts believe that it was the ‘hubris’ of Richard Fuld, the 62-year-old CEO of Lehman, who did not take the telltale signs of impending doom very seriously. Fuld, nicknamed The Gorilla for his foul temper, intimidating presence and tough talk, rejected many bids to save Lehman because he thought that the sinking giant was much bigger than Wall Street was giving it credit for, and wanted to get more price for the sale of the company.

Analysts say if the bank was sold just a week before it went kaput, it could have been saved the ignominy of a bankruptcy, but Fuld was far too adamant to see reason. Result: the end of a 158-year-old financial giant.

Could the United States government helped, like it helped Bear Stearns in May this year, and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac earlier this month?

The US government could have helped, but US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said that it would not use up any more taxpayer dollars to bail out Lehman Brothers as it would lead to investment banks getting away with their gambling ways. Paulson had bailed out Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Bear Stearns, saying that if the government had not done so, the US housing loan market would have collapsed leading to gigantic losses for hundreds of banks all over the globe that have invested in US property.

Paulson, however, believes that a brokerage major like Lehman, which does not have a direct connection with ordinary people who have taken on home loans, need not be bailed out as it would not cause any systemic damage to the US economy

Will everyone in Lehman lose their jobs?

The bankruptcy administrators, PricewaterhouseCoopers, feels that as Lehman’s operations were essentially centralized at New York, the folding up of the investment banker in the US will have a telling impact on all its operations globally.

Over 5,000 employees in the UK have already lost their jobs, while about 20,000 in the US might as well forget going back to their work stations. About 2,500 Lehman employees in India too face the axe.

Will the whole bank be liquidated?

Unlikely, at least for now. The US Chapter 11 that deals with bankruptcy says that PwC, the administrators, can go about taking its time to find good offers and buyers for Lehman’s ‘least affected businesses.’

The entire exercise can take months before all of Lehman’s assets are sold, given the complexities linked to the bankruptcy.

What about the Bank of America and Merrill Lynch deal?

Merrill Lynch’s buy out by Bank of America is also a shocking development. ML, saw the writing on the wall once it guessed that Lehman was going bust, and decided to sell out before it actually has to file a bankruptcy petition..

What about the insurance giant AIG?

The world’s largest insurer, American International Group, has been downgraded by credit rating agencies and is racing against time to find a multi billion dollar infusion to stay afloat. US Federal Reserve officials and two leading banks, JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs, were negotiating to put together $75 billion package to save the insurance giant to stave off crisis.

AIG has sought $40 billion in bridge loan to stave off the crisis. But the Fed rebuffed the request. AIG’s ills came to fore, when three leading credit rating agencies – Standard and Poor’s Moody’s and Fitch – lowered the company’s credit scores.

Who could be the next to fall?

Some Wall Street analysts, reports The Guardian, name Washington Mutual as the next financial major to ‘find itself in serious trouble.’

However, the even bigger worry is whether the world’s largest securities firms, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, would be able to survive this brutal financial crisis. But many say that these two gaints will not melt down as they have ‘done a better job of spreading their bets across world markets and are also more diversified, less leveraged and have managed such risks much better.’

What do Indian markets fear?

The fall of two global financial behemoths — Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch — is expected to dent India Inc’s ability to raise resources via the equity route.

Experts feel that such events significantly increase the risk perception, which in turn will put all future investments by institutional investors such as pension or endowment funds, on the back burner.

While the public issue market has already dried up, the private equity funds are also becoming conservative in terms of pricing. This is resulting in either inordinate delays in concluding deals or transactions being called off.

There are many instances of private equity fund managers refusing to go ahead with deals after signing the term sheet. Sources said that a leading fund conducted due diligence on two companies in the last fortnight but did not close either deal primarily because of the developments in the US, their home country.

The crisis faced by Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers is expected to have a cascading effect on PE firms too.

Will it hit the Indian growth story?

The ongoing financial sector crisis in the United States and its repercussions on developed markets worldwide will result in lower capital inflows into emerging markets like India, economists and government officials said today.

At the same time, they called for the government to make it easier for Indian companies to borrow overseas by easing the restrictions that have been imposed in the past to reduce excessive liquidity in the system and control inflation.

This will, in turn, lead to a slowing in investment growth in the months ahead. As lending gets tighter and investment flows dry, corporate India will find it more difficult to raise both equity and debt.

Technology firms are shivering

Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy filing may well prove to be the last straw for Indian IT firms, which were expecting the second half of FY09 to be better. As a result of the US financial market crisis, analysts do not expect Indian IT firms to sign any significant contracts in the banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) space in the months to come.

While IT firms do not disclose client-specific details, it’s estimated that Lehman Brothers has outsourced deals amounting to anywhere between Rs 550 crore and Rs 700 crore (annually) to numerous IT firms, including majors like Tata Consultancy Services, Satyam Computer Services and Wipro. Lehman Brothers, say sources, works with 14 services providers in India – Wipro and TCS being the largest. It also has investments in a few IT firms. It’s not clear if these holdings will be liquidated to raise funds.

Moreover, the sources add that Lehman Brothers’ unit in India has issued termination letters to a majority of its 2,500 employees.

What kind of investment does Lehman have in India?

Lehman does not have direct large holding in the Indian stock markets. These holdings are estimated at around $200 million, including Participatory Notes. This figure is not enough to cripple the Indian stock markets.

But Lehman has exposure to the Indian stock market through special purpose vehicles. This exposure to real estate stocks is said to be of about $1.5 billion, enough to shake up the markets.

October 20, 2008 Posted by | Business, General | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment