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Trainee to Professional

Gaurang Shah

Every individual has their own way of preserving memories and reliving them over time. Today I sit at my table with the many memories that are preserved of my tenure at Secure Meters and I wish to share every inch of life spent here. However time bids me to do this now; so I’ll narrate one of my experiences on this wonderful platform, an experience which proves that great ability develops and reveals itself increasingly with every new assignment.

The year 1996, was the start of recruiting fresh talent from engineering colleges, popularly known as ‘campus recruitment’. We recruited a few Graduate Engineer Trainees (GETs) from Tata Institute of Fundamental & Research (TIFR). Among these recruits, there was a charismatic boy who won all our hearts because of his will to prove himself the best of all. Though he was a Electronics and Communication graduate, he expressed a wish to work as a software developer. The first time he asked me for the change, I was little zapped, I wondered whether I heard it right or not. I asked him to concentrate on his present assignment for now and that we could discuss his wishes later on. But this boy, being determined to fulfil his wish, approached me again and requested me to listen to him and give him a chance to express his wish properly. Having been pursued many times for the same reason, I gave serious thought to his request and asked him to learn some specific languages required and used by us for software development. To my surprise, as I named the languages, he nodded to signal that he possessed enough knowledge about them to work with the software team. This sounded quite impressive but unconvincing to me, I was not able to satisfy myself that a fresh graduate in electronics could work as a software developer; that too with such confidence. So I gave him the task of learning the existing programs and to go through the internal library which reflects the writing of software, vendor documentation and its use; I asked him to look at different practical cases.

There were about 200 routines (documents on how to use software code with examples) in our library. This boy wrote one example, he further completed the document for one routine and presented it to me. Not only was I pleased to see his hard work, but was quite impressed by the way he had worked to prove himself. That was not the end, but the beginning of his above par performance. I insisted that he prepare documents for all 200 routines, and this huge and unbelievable task was accomplished as if it was an easy job. He did justice to all the documents he prepared and his level of enthusiasm with each passing day did not wane, this was commendable. The correctness of all the documents forced me to fulfil his wish. These documents are now treated as the Bible for every newcomer, these are the examples given to them on how to work and give their best to their assignments. I am proud to dedicate this space to him in a story book dedicated to our values and the success we have had because we live by them. He is Neeraj Punmiya, who started as a trainee and has turned into a successful professional now. He has lived for 15+ years as a Semsite and we look forward to his support and contribution in the years to come.

I would like to convey a message to every student/ fresher/ professional: nothing is impossible if you want to do it.

“If you have a talent, use it in every which way possible. Don’t hoard it. Don’t dole it out like a miser. Spend it lavishly like a millionaire intent on going broke.” Brendan Francis