Saturday, July 19, 2008

The whole Chennai experience

1) Chennai is as hot and sweaty as usual. The whole earth might be cold but Chennai will be hot. And sweaty. Damn the nasty weather, I so hate it.
2) It was 8 years since I was on an Indian campus (other than informal visits to JNTU). And I loved every minute of it. The energy levels are so high!
3) Students carry around their student IDs in dog-belts. Sigh! Even before joining tech companies. I used to carry my college ID in a bag. And I hate the dog-belts, so I still carry my ID around on my pocket and never around my neck ;)
4) Since we were at Anna University, we saw the proverbial "creme de la creme". It was good to see what stuff state toppers and entrance exam toppers are made of. Some of them are very much down to earth where some of them very conspicuously have that academic-brilliance-generated haughtiness. Had I not been a decade older than them, I would have felt weird interviewing these brilliant guys, my own teen state ranks notwithstanding;)
5) Like always you feel guilty. We had a set limit on how many people we could hire. And a couple of girls who just missed the mark were wholly deserving as well. I felt immensely bad that we couldn't make them an offer.
6) I met one of my JNTU friends after 3 years. Although it was 12 by the time I was done with dinner, he and his wife had come around to the hotel and we spent some good quality time chatting and getting up to speed on where everyone was, who is getting married, who got married, who is about to have kids, who had kids recently and the likes. And we went to a nearby ice cream shop, but I was too busy chatting to enjoy my ice cream properly. It was 1.30 AM by the time they left, I felt happy that they hanged around for so long.
7) We had dinner at the in-house restaurant in the hotel. A Chinese one called "Shanghai". Food was awesome and although I was too tired and too sleep-deprived, I relished every bit of it:) We had deep fried Lotus stems, I had some good clear Lemon flavoured soup and some yummy pickled-veggies fried rice. Restaurants in Chennai never disappoint I say! :)

All in all, I loved the whole experience. And it was definitely made much more enjoyable because of the team I was traveling with. Plus the whole system of recruitment here is entirely different simply because of the scale. We had to deal with 30 students or so in Madison where we were dealing with 300 students here. We were usually part of one layer of filtering, at the most two, back in San Jose, where here we ended the process with making offers so it was a start-to-finish deal. It made me feel old, but all the same I loved feeling old this way ;)

I think I have finally stopped missing my San Jose team. I love the people I hang out with at work here, its an awesome crowd. A lot more laughs and a lot more energy!!


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