Want a Job These Days?

job hu1I remember a veteran telecom engineer who worked for Ufone, LCC and NSN in Pakistan (and now working abroad) once shared that in his times, when telecom industry was learning the ABCs of telecom, anyone with GSM on his CV could get a call for interview.

The same friend boldly and rightfully suggested "become mavericks of at least one programming language. keep it under your belt at all times."

Will you agree if I say the paradigm is still same? It is foolish to say no because paradigm will always remain same; only the label shall change.

Here in our country where we majorly hire engineers to simply operate a system, these keywords have become a big hit. But now someone with GSM on his/her CV, or even UMTS/LTE for that matter, might not get the honor to walk in a glamorous office and sit in front of someone who wears a suite and speaks fancy languages. The reason is, those keywords have ceased to work efficiently; they have been exhausted and exploited over the years.

Following an interesting discussion on an online group moderated by Pakistani engineers, I was glad to find good and visionary advisors there who fell in accordance with what actually is happening. If you want a one line shot: become a software expert.

Even if you think you were born to engineer telecom networks, need of time is to be a multiplayer. It does not require immense corroboration to learn basics of software engineering principles; everything is available on the web now and is easily accessible.

  • Start from databases: Oracle, My SQL. Do some tutorials.
  • Come to logic development: Brush your fourth semester skills of Turbo C, C++ and Objective C.
  • Head towards application development: Go through anyone of the following; Java, .net, Android and iPhone development platform Xcode.
  • Small kiss to web development: Check out PHP, Adobe Dreamweaver.

These skills wont let you sit idle and will keep you going on at more than one job at a time. When i advise this to my mates and juniors they revert back saying "but we have studied telecom engineering for four years!” Sure they have; this skill set will uplift them while being in a telecom firm as well. I have seen numerous examples where the best programmer is promoted to a team lead position. Reasons are obvious.


  • Aizaz

    Pakistan mei bus development hi ho rahi hai.. and you know ab companies yehan say ja reheen hain aur apnay employees ko be shift ker raheen hain due tu power issues.

    like a company is paying 1 lack 50 thousand for generator power + repair separate and WAPDA separately so simple solution go to Bangladesh :)

  • Aizaz

    1 lack 50 thousand per month :(

  • Shahid Saleem

    I notice lack of Unix or Linux skills on your recommendation (except Xcode for OS X — very few people use OS X in telecom backend systems). Learn unix tools!

    Based on what I know, in telecom you can be in situations where you have to take data from one platform (log files or output) and extract useful information and convert to another format (for other platform, or for charts or excel or somthing). The best tools for that are not Java or C++ but things like Perl and Python.

  • BAQIR

    Completely agree with shahid saleem unix, linux are very important for every one who is intrested in coding specially web developers/webmasters as website servers usualy use linux.

    Knowledge about SOFTWARE PROGRAMING should be spreaded more in pakistan. Here People with degrees of system engineering, i.t, computer science etc don’t know a word of coding languages and thats why they don’t get a job and they start cursing the field they chose which is nonsense.
    Atleast if you are choosing the field you must go beyond the limits to gain the knowledge.
    To be honest india is far better then us in i.t sector. Pakistan need more i.t specialists and pakistani people need more knowledge about computer and i.t field.

  • Observor

    @Author: you forgot to mention solaris, unix, linux as well as handy expertise in MS Office, as these are the skills we are looking for in most if not all engineers.

    The software development skills are useful if you want to build a secondary career option.

  • Ahsan

    Head towards application development: Go through anyone of the following; Java, .net, Android and iPhone development platform Xcode.

    Imo Developing with QT and java is the easier.

  • Ahmed

    If you are in Pakistan , to get a job you have to know little little of everything, but if you say that you have experience in all these things there is a chance that someone abroad will look at your face with a surprise thinking “why his/her employer hasn’t helped him/her to have a career in one area”

    Like a Civil engineer in Pakistan mostly do same kind of jobs in Pakistan, many of them have no aptitude to go towards scheduling, planning, contract management, construction management. They are civil engineers most of their lives.

  • lol @ Ye new Phatto laga rahy ho yaar :-s nothing is easy. All learn ForEx Tradings, Simple solution, take risks make life ;-)

    • BAQIR

      And what if one don’t have any thing to invest?

  • Tooba

    Nice post Absar.

  • All of above plus some reference is also needed in Pakistan for job… no comments on this factor…

  • Ahmed

    Quality of education in Pakistani universities, with the exception of a few, is below average. Even high school students in developed countries know more about science and math than a qualified engineer in Pakistan. Also in Pakistan engineers are taught in a very narrow range of subjects. So basically engineers in Pakistan are no more than theory intensive technicians, from the developed world perspective. Also coding is technician level job, unless you scale it up and do it as per some standard with cost effectiveness in mind. But since logic and organization is absent in the mind of a Pakistani coder, that’s why you don’t see world class coders coming out of Pakistan, who have experience on big projects, or who have done anything significant for the professional community at large. The only coders here are working in back office sweat shops, low end work which is cheap and easily outsourced.

    Pakistani engineers should not kid themselves. They lack heavily behind in terms of “engineering” perspective. They are cheap, easily dispensable , technology bound technicians, who can only work in a specific area that costs peanuts to maintain. High value work still rewards high level compensation, and is available in US, Europe, and even some parts of Asia. However, Pakistani engineers are only capable of doing low end blue collar work, hence anyone with can put up a badge of engineer, but that doesn’t guarantee they will get work.