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Friday, June 1, 2007
IT majors hike entry-level salaries
Major IT firms and even some mid-size ones have ramped up their entry-level compensation packages by 10-16 per cent this year, thus taking the figure beyond the three lakh per annum mark for the first time. Also, as a part of their expansion, the major offshore centers of multinationals such as IBM, Accenture and EDS hire tens of thousands of freshers, offering fat packages. This is putting pressure on smaller firms to increase the salaries.

According to analysts, the annual wage inflation of 12-15 per cent experienced by IT firms would well be reflected in the salaries for 2008.

“TCS has raised its entry-level package by 10-15 per cent for graduates joining in 2008,” said well placed sources in TCS. Presently, the company is offering annual salaries ranging between Rs 2.7 lakh and Rs 3.3 lakh depending on the colleges and course streams.

For graduates joining in 2007, Wipro had offered Rs 2.4-2.7 lakh per annum. “Today we are contemplating a 10-15 per cent hike in freshers’ salaries,” says Prateek Kumar, Corporate Vice-President (HR). Market sources said that Infosys and Cognizant have also revised the compensation package for freshers. However, T.V. Mohandas Pai, Head of HR at Infosys excogitates, “The company was yet to take a call on the issue.” The Infosys compensation package for graduates joining in 2007 stood at Rs 2.75 lakh per annum. “We have little option other than increasing our entry-level salaries to get the right talent, as other major IT firms are doing it,” says Puneet Jetli, Vice-President and Head (People Function) at MindTree Consulting. For graduates joining in 2008, MindTree has already hiked the package by 16 per cent to Rs 3.2 lakh. Denying that Cognizant has hiked salaries for candidates joining in 2008, a spokesperson said that their guidance is only for 2007. The company has been offering Rs 2.61 lakh to freshers.

Out of four lakh people expected to be hired by the IT industry in the current fiscal year, two lakh are likely to come from engineering colleges. The top five services firms are seen hiring over one lakh people, of which 60-65 per cent would be freshers.

Though some players have raised entry-level packages, it is only a matter of a few more weeks before others may follow suit, as the war for talent at the campus intensifies come July-August this year.

Database Administration in an Agile Environment
Most IT professionals including database administrators believe that agile development impacts upon database administration. If Agile DBAs are going to work on and support project teams that are following agile methodologies they need to find techniques that support working iteratively and incrementally.

At the ThoughtWorks Master Class series held in Bangalore recently Pramod Sadalage demonstrated techniques such as database refactoring. Simply put, database refactoring is a simple change to a database schema that improves its design while retaining both its behavioral and informational semantics.

Sadalage further gave tips on how to go about doing evolutionary database development, evolutionary data modeling, database testing, configuration management of database artifacts and developer sandboxes. Vivek Prahlad talked on the issues involved with the functional testing of applications that change and moving targets that need new techniques for testing. Srihari Srinivasan focused on domestic specific languages and how it is used in few of the projects.

Nearly 200 IT professionals attended this event.

Piracy down just one percent, losses double at $1.27b
Software piracy in India has decreased a meager one percent to 71 percent in 2006 compared to the previous year. However, the losses due to the phenomenon more than doubled to $1.27 billion in 2006 from $566 million in 2005, according to the study by Business Software Alliance and IDC.

The reason for this huge rise in losses due to software piracy in spite of reduction in piracy rate is because of, “a growing market- there was a 25 percent growth in PC shipments in 2005 to 5.5 million in 2006; as economies grow, software value changes and further increases and sales of product upgrades have increased in the country,” says Jeffrey Hardee, VP and Regional director, BSA.

He said that the main issue was respect for intellectual property rights and not just price. Some of his suggestions on way to reduce piracy were copyright legislation, active educational programmes and enforcement. According to the fourth annual global PC software piracy study by BSA and IDC, 35 percent of software installed in 2006 on personal computers (PC) worldwide was obtained illegally, amounting to nearly $40 billion in global losses due to software piracy.

This was up from $35 billion in 2005 with a same piracy rate 35 percent. On the other hand, some geographies saw increases in losses, the Asia Pacific region posted the highest increase by 44 percent to $11.6 billion up from $8.05 billion the previous year. The European Union saw losses come down to $11 billion from $2.04 billion, Western Europe’s losses dipped from $11.82 billion to $10.63 billion, while Latin America saw software losses increase to $3.12 billion from $2.02 billion, Middle East Africa increased from $1.61 billion to $1.99 billion and North America saw losses rise from $3.09 billion to $4.12 billion in 2006.

Progress was seen in a number of emerging markets. Most notably in China, where the piracy rate dropped 10 percentage points in last three years and in Russia, where the piracy fell seven percentage points over three years. Compared to these markets, India saw piracy rate go up marginally to 74 percent in 2004 and has in the last two years decreased by a combined three percentage.

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