Before I started working in TCS, I was sent to Chennai for two
months of training. In TCS parlance, it is called as ILP (Initial Learning
With as grand a name as that, the amount of learning that will
happen is anybody’s guess. The ILP is known to people inside TCS as a "paid
holiday". You are sent to a place far removed from the rest of the world and expected
to learn Computer Science concepts which normally take the entire 4 years of a
Since the background of people attending an ILP is similar (e.g.
all freshers, all non-software etc.), the kinds of bonds that you forge in
these 2 months are amazing. Basically, the idea of an ILP is to get you to connect
with people with whom you will be working with.
I had my “paid holiday” in Satyabhama Engineering College,
Chennai in August-September, 2004. With the legendary Chennai sun egging me on,
I first entered the so-called corporate world with a whole lot of excitement
and anxiety. The anxiety slowly disappeared as I came to know the people around
me. I saw that they are very similar to me, with the same dreams, the same
aspirations and very similar backgrounds.
The entire training batch was divided into ten groups of
40-50 people each, with me being placed in a group called S22. The S22ians were
a bunch of diverse personalities with each contributing in his/her own way to the gang.
Amongst the S22ians, the people closest to my heart were the
“BBB” or the “Back Bench Boyz”. We were a group of 10~12 guys with the least
regard for studies or the instructors. BBB accomplished a lot of things in the ILP
including finding newer ways to sleep on the last benches during lectures. This
“training” stood us in good stead in our subsequent projects and even beyond
(it still helps me to doze off in classes in College now).
The fact that we were together for just two months never occurred
during that time.
Life seemed like one long holiday…