Hello, This is Kandy here. This time it's something personal and it's not a blog related to programming or technology but more about my early experience as a software developer in India. So, I am a passionate Full stack developer from Delhi, India. I did my schooling, graduation as well as post-graduation in Delhi. I did my graduation in bachelor's in Computer Application from Vivekanand Institute of Professional Studies, Delhi and after that my post-graduation in Masters's in Computer Application From Bharti Vidhya Peeth, Delhi.
About a year ago, I got campus recruited I started my Internship as a Dotnet Developer Intern where I worked on various web-based projects and technology stacks such as ASP .Net, ASP .Net MVC, and WebAPI, ASP .NET Core, ASP .NET Core API, Blazor, etc. Over a period of 9 months, I worked in this position at a stipend of Rs. 16,500 which is equivalent to $ 200 USD a month, considerably quite less for the stress and complexity of tasks you deal with as a backend developer but as a fresher, It sure was worth it as I was learning and was adding valuable skills in my skillset. How much less is $200? At this point, A Rapido Rider (Rapido is a Bike taxi Service that runs in India) was earning more than my monthly average. After I completed my internship, I was offered a package of $6,200 USD per Year which was quite disappointing after all the hard work I put into my job over the period of 9 months.
For Some, They might consider it a good offer and it surely is for many, but it all comes down to "Does it even worth the efforts you are putting in?". So there's this thing or task called effort analysis. As Developers, we evaluate how much effort in hours would a project or task would require to be completed. And It is done so the company can put up a fair deal to their customers and still earn profits to sustain. That Effort evaluation made me realize that I was a lot underpaid for the amount I work which at that point felt like nothing more than exploitation. I counter offered my company that I cannot work for less than $7,500 USD a Year which is still not much, rather a compromise but as a sign that I needed it at the initial stage of my career and it was necessary for me to get that much for a decent start. Even though I am a fresher but over the period of 9 months I performed better than many developers with 4-5 yrs of experience putting in hard work and Enthusiasm. Even my workmates knew this and acknowledged my efforts and I believe that I contributed a lot more than What I was getting paid for. So, Continuing with the story...
My counter offer got rejected and after completing my term of 9 months I made up my mind to leave. Why? Because I felt a lot of my work went unappreciated and $6,200 USD per Year was a big compromise. I realized it was ruining me more than it was helping me to grow. Even $7,500 USD a Year was quite of a compromise but I was willing to take that for better career opportunities in future.
Even after performing better than many developers, I wasn't even getting paid as much as them which is one of the reasons I want to highlight. The competitive spirit dies because someone who joined the industry before you will always earn more than you no matter how much effort or work you put in. In India, Your skills and knowledge don't really matter as much as the experience in years. Competitive spirit to perform better dies because hard work and efforts aren't rewarded the way they should and work politics is at an all-time high. Even though I wanted to grow in my career too but work-politics is not something I liked or used. And if you are wondering "Maybe that's what everybody is getting as a fresher." which is somewhat true but I know that many people of my age are doing a lot better and even freshers that are younger than me. so I felt more comfortable quitting this opportunity for better opportunities.
This is not something that I faced personally and this happens to a lot of people. Many moves ahead of you by unfair means and honestly I do accept that Life in itself will never be fair to anybody. But if you are wondering what is it like to work in India as a software developer. I will let you know that it's pretty awful and I will explain why.
So here are the reasons/points that are true for almost every individual starting his or her career as a software developer.
Lot of your work goes unappreciated. Simply the efforts, the stress and the nightmares we deal with are not worth the efforts. In any other domain, you work with a lot more comfortable tasks which don't require you to take a toll on your mental sanity and even though you might get paid lesser than developers, it does compensate for the efforts you put in.
Getting treated like machines or factory workers. Though all around the world it's not like so, In India, especially software Service based companies rely a lot more on profits that they get directly from the work of developers. Especially when there's no established product of the company in the market to sustain upon. It won't be an exaggeration if I were to say that more often than not employees get treated like slaves and they are incapable of escaping a toxic workplace that drains them because they have a dependency on that job for survival.
Underemployment. This is true not just for developers but for almost every job you do in India. You get paid way less than what you deserve. Even though there are exceptional cases but in most cases, you can expect growth that is barely enough for survival.
Poor work culture and environment. Many Indian companies don't focus on the work culture and environment that they provide to their employees. If you think exploitation or working extra hours is bad, then wait for the day when your senior would talk down on you.
You are always replaceable. As Normal human beings, when we work at a workplace and we make bonds. But those bonds won't be respected by any company. So if you have to leave for better opportunities, many companies won't try to retain you which ends up in you sacrificing bonds for career growth. This does impact people and so it creates a chain of quitters or switchers. People either quit or switch to new companies where they think they would have better chances of making bonds with fellow workmates because that is the only thing that makes your job easier and fun even in stressful situations.
In the end, There are a lot more reasons that make it hard to work as an employee, especially in India. Here I expressed the reasons why I quit my job as a software developer. And for now, I will continue to work on myself and keep looking for opportunities that suit my need.
Hopefully, I will get time to write blogs once every week. So Stay tuned for more.