Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Aptitude Test - The Key Differentiator In IT Job Recruitment

Whether it is Infosys, TCS, CTS, Wipro, Deloitte, or for that matter any software company you are aspiring for, they will test your aptitude even before looking at your technical knowledge to consider your appointment.

As the recruitment process typically commences with the ‘Aptitude Test’, this serves as the rejection filter. Historically, around 82% of the applicants fail to go to the next stage owing to lack of proper guidance and preparation, both in long and short terms.

A typical Aptitude Test covers Reasoning, Quantitative and Verbal Abilities. While broadly all the aptitude tests have similar syllabus, each company adopts a pattern best suited for them. For example Infosys conducts the test in 2 sections - Verbal Ability (40 questions) and Problem Solving Ability (30 questions). The sections have to be solved in 35 and 40 minutes respectively. And Wipro’s Aptitude Test consists of 50 questions spanning Verbal, Technical and Quantitative Aptitude fields to be solved in 50 minutes. And TCS conducts an online exam with 35 questions from the above pool of topics.

But why is Aptitude Test given such high importance in the hiring process? What do the employers seek from these results?
  • Most activities that one needs to do as an employee is to understand a problem and find solutions. Hence, reasoning ability is tested.
  • Similarly, logical reasoning tests how spontaneously and rationally a candidate can provide solutions to various problems.
  • Organizations work on huge amount of data, understanding them and interpreting them for various purposes. Hence, the ability to understand, interpret, analyze and present data is critical which is covered in the quantitative aptitude section.
  • As the business language is English, strong English aptitude is necessary to survive in the corporate world. Hence, Verbal Aptitude.
Well, that’s why the company tests you in aptitude. In order for you to succeed in this, here is the list of things you should focus on:
  • Identify your strengths and weaknesses. Build on your strengths and neutralize your weaknesses by learning necessary techniques and methods.
  • Improve your Speed and Accuracy. Learn new techniques and acquire a competitive advantage.
  • Choose which questions to answer. It is always good to answer ‘some’ questions correctly, rather than answering ‘all’ questions wrongly. But, the ability to choose the right questions to answer is a key strategy necessary to succeed.
  • Effectively decide how to approach answering a question. Like most things in life, it is our decisions which define our direction. Choose the most efficient way to answer questions so that you can avoid doing lengthy calculations and get smart by learning short cuts.
Tips apart, it’s your commitment to prepare with professional support that defines your success.

TalentSprint serves as a launch-pad with a course that equips you with all the inputs needed for you to crack the Aptitude Test in an IT job recruitment. The curriculum of this online course is designed to match the industry standards. A never-before ‘Free Trial Access’ facility is provided to young IT aspirants with one week free limited access to the course content.

To succeed in your very first job aptitude test, check our IT Placement Readiness Programs on Aptitude and Communication Training. We wish you all the best!!
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Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Youth Employability through Skill Development - CONFLUENCE 2014

Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam rightly said India’s biggest crisis is not unemployment but unemployability. Well, this was said a few years ago, but the situation hasn’t changed much. However, a handful of organizations are turning the course of Indian education in their pursuit for perfection. They are exploring new options, channelizing challenges and identifying solutions that raise the quality of education to match the standards of today’s corporates.

In the wake of need for such a strategy, TalentSprint along with National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) is conducting CONFLUENCE 2014, a seminar to discuss the strategies and best practices that promotes the profile and increases the popularity of Academic Institutions in the eyes of the industry and employers. The theme of this event that will be held in Chennai is RISING EMPLOYER EXPECTATIONS: A CRISIS OR AN OPPORTUNITY.

TalentSprint and NSDC have been working relentlessly to improve the ecosystem of Skill Development and Youth Employability in the country. With huge number of college graduates entering the workforce every year, India has the potential to provide workforce for the world by 2020. And yet here we are today with awfully low employability rates in metropolitan cities like Chennai, Delhi and Bengaluru. The reasons for such low employability rate are lack of language skills, outdated syllabus, insufficient practical sessions and absence of career counselling facilities. To deal with such a situation, IITs across the country have tied up with various organizations to improve their students’ soft skills and hard skills.

Given this scenario, CONFLUENCE 2014 strives to create a common platform for industry experts, college representatives and policy makers to discuss, share and improve the approach of academia towards employability skills.

CONFLUENCE 2014, offers a platform to hear the views of people who are shaping education in India.  The eminent panel of speakers include Dr. C Rangarajan, Chairman, Madras School of Economics, Mohandas Pai, Chairman of Manipal Global Education, Dilip Chenoy, Managing Director & CEO of NSDC, Anupam Pahuja, GM Technology of PayPal Asia Pacific, Yogesh Agiwal, General Manager - Corporate Human Resource Development of Wipro and KV Vishnu Raju, Chairman of Sri Vishnu Educational Society.

If you are a part of the employability ecosystem as an academician, policymaker or someone responsible for hiring talent in a corporation, you just cannot afford to miss this event. Be a part of CONFLUENCE 2014, one of the most high profile event for anyone associated with either imparting or learning employability skills. So, block your calendar from 10 AM TO 1 PM on Nov 1st to be a part of this seminar that will aim to not just discuss but arrive at a solution for the great employability challenge faced by millions of graduates every year.
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Tuesday, 28 October 2014

An Introduction to Python Programming Language

On the sidelines of the PyCon, an annual event conducted by the Python Developer Community, Sridhar K Sr Vice President at TalentSprint, chats with two masterminds from the Academic Community behind the ongoing Python revolution in India, Professor Prabhu Ramachandran from IIT Mumbai and Asokan Pichai, the Head of Learning and Development at TalentSprint. PyCon innovatively named by combining Python and Conference aims at using and developing the Python programming language. Pycon India, 2014 was held in Bangalore.

Kenneth Gonsalves is the man behind PyCon India. Kenneth was instrumental in forming the Indian Python Software Society and served as director of the society for the first year. His work and efforts have considerably shaped the community and in his memory, the ‘Kenneth Gonsalves Award’ is instituted to honor and celebrate the efforts of people in popularizing and evangelizing Python language. This trophy for the year 2014 is awarded to Prabhu Ramachandran. He is the alumnus of the IIT Madras, Department of Aerospace engineering  and is presently a professor of the same field at IIT Mumbai. When asked about his feeling on achieving this award, Prabhu says, “It is an honour to be recognized, especially from an academic perspective as it increases the awareness among the students thereby helping the goal of Python community take a step ahead by popularizing it.” Prabhu was associated with Pycon from the very first conference and was also the Keynote Speaker at the conferences held in Argentina and Singapore.

In academics, the most commonly used softwares are MATLAB, Mathematica etc. They seem all perfect for the purpose they were designed for; but there on the flipside there are some limitations too like high costs etc. This is where Python comes into picture. A broad language and open source like Python is very useful to fill those gaps. Speaking about the Scientific Python community, Prabhu says, “Python is a broad language and its usage is not just limited to computers. It can be used in scientific community. A vibrant community of scientists are on the way to create a “Scientific Python Ecosystem”. The most popular projects in the history of Python like iPython Interpreter, Notebook are from Scientific Python community, he quotes.

Free & Open Source Software for Science and Engineering Education (FOSSEE) project  is the initiative of  Ministry of Human Resources and Development in India under umbrella of the National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology. It aims at minimizing the use of commercial tools in academics and improve the educational quality in the country. The goals are set in the view of expensive academic tools like MATLAB etc which be accessed only through purchasing their licenses. To make the students aware of the open source tools like SciLab, Python which are useful in college and even beyond.

Asokan Pichai with his experience as a methodological teacher, mentor and instructor was as a part of this project for 3 years. He mentored the teams, helped in instructional design of the workshop material and also played an advisory role. The unique feature of these materials is that they are Recipient-driven, which means the material enables the trainees to use the concepts immediately after grasping them. They have conducted 30 workshops to colleges across in the country including professors and students.

A whole new software project the team is working on is called OSCAT which is the replacement of OrCAD for Electronic Design Automation (EDA). Different groups are dedicated to different branches like the OpenFORM, Simpy, Coin-OR optimization toolbox and many others. This huge government funded project aims to increase the use of this open source software not just in science but in ‘education’.

Speaking on the impact made by this project on Indian educational system Prabhu says the team has started off with workshops, but the approach seemed restricted. And obvious solution to increase the spread of this project is to launch it online. The FOSSEE project after initiating online has taken up two initiatives:
  • 1000 teacher course which aims at honing the skills of the faculty across. Prabhu along with Asokan Pichai and Professor Madhu Belur have successfully trained 1000 teachers in the course ‘Software Engineering for Engineers and Scientists’ across India at one-go. This was semi-online course which included live video classes to teachers located at various parts of the country and was supported by the trained coordinators at all trainee locations. After the session, there would be an online chat session for the clarification of doubts. An online assessment tool was developed to test the effectiveness of the course. 
  • Development of learning material which enables self-learning. The main aim is to make the material amiable to the learners. Also, the Spoken Tutorials have reached many students across the country. Lakhs of people are getting trained through the online courses of FOSSEE project.
A series of international conferences called, SciPy are held all across the world. The US gathering is called SciPy and the Europe variant is EuroScipy. Scipy India was initiated in 2009 and was managed by Prabhu ever since its initiation in 2009. The Scipy India is held from Dec 5-7 this year.

There is a significant increase in the number of people who are aware of Python and online courses are behind this. SciPy India sees good number of interested individuals who are from non-IT background. They explore the opportunities, learn their features and fit them into their fields giving a form to their ideas.

On a commercial side, even companies like Enthought have started using it. Enthought is a company which develops Python related toolkits and provides high-end training programs in this field. So, FOSSEE provides these classroom trainings which have been very successful because of the availability of highly knowledgeable faculty. But again due to its less approach, an online version was launched. Called as the “Training on Demand” it can be purchased online. However, the courses are available for free of cost for academic purposes. Prabhu said the course content is not a simple slide show but a congregation of illustrations, graphs. The USP of these courses is that they are provided by scientists and engineers with profound details. The courses that are targeted for specific categories of scientists are in pipeline.

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Thursday, 9 October 2014

SBI PO 2014 Results Declared

The long-awaited results of SBI PO exam held earlier this year are released. Click here to check your results. The Central Recruitment and Promotion Department of the Corporate Center, SBI has declared the results. This marks the end of Phase I in the Selection Procedure of Probationary Officers, 2014.

The qualified candidates who have passed the acid test i.e., Written Exam seem content and happy. They are now just 2 levels away from their dream job. Having cleared the 250-mark exam, the next hurdles in this race are Group Discussion and Interview, accounting for 20 and 30 marks respectively. The qualifying marks in both these rounds will be decided by the Bank. The Phase II i.e., Group Discussion and Interview would begin from 8th Oct, 2014 according to the notification. The shortlisted candidates can download the Call Letter for GD and Interview along with the Bio-data Form at SBI website starting 15th Sept, 2014. The qualified candidates would be intimated about the same through SMS and email. For more updates the candidates are recommended to follow the SBI website regularly.

The shortlisted candidates have to carry a set of certificates while attending the interview. To know the list of certificates click here.  Failing to submit them would lead to the cancellation of the candidature.

The Final Selection demands the qualification of a candidate in both Phase I and Phase II. The whole of 300 marks in SBI PO Recruitment Process are condensed to 100: Written exam marks are converted to 75 and GD & Interview marks to 25. The final merit list is made based on the marks obtained by candidates out of 100. The list of candidates qualified in Phase II and the list of candidates finally selected will be presented on the Bank’s website.  The Final Selection List will be published in Employment News/ Rozgar Samachar.

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Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Content Management Systems – Easy Way to Formalize Web Data

These days every organization - small or large, has a website. With innovative ideas like images, audios, videos, etc. they attract many internet users to visit their site. It is always surprising to see how even small companies can invest so much in creating such interesting websites. “But it is not very difficult and expensive as we all think”, says the MD of a small software company. It is not a secret but in fact an open source that we are talking about – Content Management System (CMS).

CMS is a software that keeps track of every piece of content like text, photos, music, video, documents on a website. But this is just one among the multiple features of a CMS. The major advantage of using a CMS is that no special technical skill or knowledge is required to manage it. So, a single web designer can work wonders with the advanced features of CMS. Many young IT aspirants can utilize this opportunity to enter into IT stream.

Content Management system as the name implies, is an application that allows you to edit, modify, delete, organize, publish, maintain content from a central interface system. It also offers processes to manage workflow in collaborative environment. Like mentioned earlier it is used to run websites that are content-heavy like blogs, news, shopping sites.

The examples we just saw are the most common CMS systems designed exclusively to manage content on the web - called Web CMS. There are around 6 types of Content Management Systems. Though the salient features of all the types remain the same, their primary objectives differ. The most commonly used 3 types are:
  • Web CMS (WCMS): Generally referred to as CMS. This allows to edit, modify publish content on a website.
  • Enterprise CMS (ECMS): Organized means of storing an organization's documents, and other content which will be available to all the employees with different permission levels.
  • Component CMS (CCMS): It allows you to store, access, edit, and manage topic-level content. It helps in creating documents from component parts. This ensures the content is consistent across the entire documentation set.
Though they vary in their goals, all the types of CMS have certain similar characteristics: They:
  • Manage information efficiently by storing, controlling access, checking content in and out, searching and publishing content
  • Manage the lifecycle of content – from creation through to final disposition
  • Support automatic and on-demand version control (history of changes along with date and version number)
  • Provide indexing
  • Provide format Management
  • Analyze the content and make reports
There are two elements in CMS - CMA and CDA. CMA is Content Management Application that allows a writer/author to create, modify and delete content without the need of technical knowledge in HTML. CDA stands for Content Delivery Application which compiles the content uploaded by the writer to update the website.
CMS are available as installable applications and web-based user interfaces. Installable applications were popular few days ago, but the latter is most commonly used these days. Some of the web-based CMS tools are:
  • WordPress - free web software used to create template-based websites or blogs
  • Blogger - Google's blogging tool
  • Joomla - a flexible web publishing tool that supports custom databases and extensions
  • Drupal - an open source platform often used for developing community-based sites
  • Weebly - used for building simple personal and business websites
  • Wix - a collection of publishing tools to customize a website
Based on the certain factors, a company can decide on the type of CMS it needs for its operation. While some tools are free, some of them charge on a monthly basis. Most of them offer free software with basic functionality and charge for extra features like complex-templates, domain names etc. Before choosing the right CMS for a company, it is advised to check all the options to decide on the best one. 
  • Size of the organization
  • Geographical Location: If a firm is spread across various countries, migration may be difficult
  • Types of content used: More the types of content more will be the complexity of CMS application
Every company in order to market their business has a website. So, graduates who want to make IT as their mainstream can start their career as a web Developer / Designer.

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Gear up for Bank Exams with ‘Prepare - Practice - Revise’ Strategy

The top-most bank exams of the year, IBPS PO and SBI Associate Bank PO are due in the months of October and November. With very little time left for preparation, aspirants are getting ready to create a ‘success regime’ for their preparation. The syllabus is too vast and the time too less. To be exam-ready is a difficult task but not impossible. With proper planning, concentration and willpower, success is just a strategic plan away from you.

To make the remaining days fruitful, planning is the first thing you should do. Studying without a proper plan is like a wild goose chase, running haywire with insufficient knowledge in each section. So, it is important to create a full-fledged strategy for your preparation. We are advising an optimal study plan called ‘Weekly Preparation Plan’, in the view of time available.

The main approaches in studies include:
  • Preparation: You learn a topic which includes the concept, formulae, variety of questions, shortcuts. Sources of learning can be online material, printed books or video lessons
  • Practice: You apply the concept you’ve learnt. Practice can be in the form of practice sets available in study material, previous years’ question papers, online mock tests
  • Revision: You revise the concepts covering both the steps above
The cycle of our Study Plan goes as below (PPR):

The number of study hours should be divided between the PPR and in the order given below:

Preparation < Practice < Revision 

How to create a Weekly Preparation plan:
  • Create a weekly tabular calendar on a soft board or on a sheet of paper (they must be reusable)
  • Make the table clearly visible with sufficient space provided
  • Fill the first column with days in a week starting from Monday
  • Fill the headings of columns with timings
  • To fill in the time table, follow the below format.
              Assign numbers to PPR: Preparation-1, Practice-2, and Revision-3  
              The topics included in the exams are:
                     Quantitative Aptitude (QA)
                     General Awareness (GA)
  • So, in each row write the subject followed by any one of the PPR. For instance to ‘practice’ Computers, you need to fill in as Computers 2
  • Add the last column to indicate any incomplete tasks
  • Refresh the plan every week – Keep moving a row up every week. If the below calendar is for Week 1, your Week 2 calendar will start with Quant and GA (row 3) and week 3 will start with Computers, Marketing and GA (row 4)
  • On Sundays, keep revising the topics you prepared throughout the week    

 Click to download Free eBook on Quant formulae

The preparation timetable provided above is designed in such a way that it is applicable to everyone. Extra emphasis is put on Reasoning and Quant as they are considered the most difficult sections in the exam. And at the same the mark-scoring sections like English, Computers, General Awareness and Marketing are provided with sufficient number of hours. Tips to personalize your plan:
  • Depending on the exam you’re attempting you can add or remove the subjects. For example, while studying for SBI Associates PO exam you focus only on Data Analysis and Interpretation, ignoring all other topics in Quant.
  • After analyzing your strengths and weaknesses, you can increase or decrease the number of study hours for a particular subject
  • Some can concentrate best in the early morning while some are night owls. So, accordingly you can shift your study timings
  • While some people can concentrate 8 hours a day and others can go beyond 10 hours. For the former kind, include equal number of study hours even on Sunday and for latter you can go ahead with the above strategy
Nothing is impossible. With the right tool now in your hands, go start your preparation now. All the best!

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Follow the footsteps of ‘Logical Strategy’ to crack Multiple Choice Questions

Most of the competitive exams conducted today are based on multiple choice questions. Almost all the bank exams solely contain multiple choice questions, while a few conduct an additional subjective exam. Multiple choice questions ask the students to choose one answer among the 3 or 4 options given for that question. These options are called as Distractors.

Competitive exam applicants usually consider these type of questions easier because:
  • The correct answer is right before them. It is just the matter of choosing it
  • They consume less time when compared to essay exams
  • They help in confident answering. After arriving at the right answer, one can confidently mark an answer without any doubt about it
  • They give small hints that helps you arrive at the correct answer, in case you’re failing to recall it
In spite of being considered easy, multiple choice questions even put forward difficult situations for attempters:
  • Aspirants are expected to have in-depth details about everything. The options vary minimally, thereby giving rise to confusion
  • Sometimes vague information or hints about a question may not be helpful, as the options are very similar to each other
  • Applicants cannot guess or try their luck because in most of the exams negative marking is applicable
  • Questions that have options like “Both A and B” or “All the above” raise unintended ambiguity

5-step Strategy to answer Multiple Choice Questions:

To tactfully deal with multiple choice questions, you’ve to apply certain strategies. The best way to succeed is to study thoroughly for the exam. There is no better situation than knowing the right answer. But in tense and pressurized situations during the exam, even a well prepared student tends to lose his track.

To make the best of the advantage of multiple choice questions, there is a logical method of answering them. There are a series of steps to be followed before attempting each question. 

Step 1: Read the question completely and carefully. Do not rush and end up reading the question again.

Step 2: Identify the important part of the question. What is it asking you to answer?

Consider the below example:

What is the reason for Jallianwala Bagh Massacre that happened during the British reign in India?

A. Protester slapped a British official
B. Protesters held meeting in spite of the curfew
C. They burnt imported clothes
D. Protesters threw stones on the British officials

The most important part is “reason for Jallianwala Bagh Massacre” while “happened during the British reign in India” is the supplementary information.

Step 3: After understanding the question, look into the options. Read the options slowly and clearly keeping in mind the perspective of the question.

Step 4:  Highlight the options that you feel are correct or mark True or False against each option.
A. Protester slapped a British official  - F
B. Protesters held meeting in spite of the curfew - T
C. They burnt imported clothes  - T
D. Protesters threw stones on the British officials - F

Now narrow down your options by getting rid of options that are marked False.

Step 5: At a look at the remaining options:

B. Protesters held meeting in spite of the curfew - T
C. They burnt imported clothes  - T

Doesn’t it sound similar to 50-50 lifeline in KBC? Now with just 2 options left, think for few moments before settling on the final answer. Consider each option and start recollecting the information and facts about it.

B. Protesters held meeting in spite of the curfew: A big group of non-violent protesters along with Baishakhi pilgrims, have all gathered at a garden in Amritsar called Jallianwala Bagh in the state of Punjab. They have all gathered there despite a curfew which had been recently declared. The reason for their gathering was to protest against the arrest of two national leaders.

C. They burnt imported clothes: Indians burnt imports goods like clothes, food etc. to show their protest against Britishers.

With this step you will be able to relate to the right answer. As option B is related to Jallianwala Bagh Massacre that will be the correct answer for this question.

Summarizing all the steps:
  1. Read the question carefully
  2. Identify the main part of the question
  3. Go through the options clearly
  4. Highlight the options you feel are correct
  5. Recollect the information and facts about the highlighted options
These steps may appear time-consuming, but with regular practice you can adapt, practice and master it!!

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Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Python – Most Popular Programming Language

Python is a high-level programming language which is on the top of young engineers’ minds. It has gained a significant recognition in the recent years. In this video, Sridhar K, Sr. VP TalentSprint talks to Asokan Pichai, the Head of Learning and Development at TalentSprint about the rapid adoption of Python programming language. Asokan has been in the field of Software Programming and Training for over 25 years. With the experience as a practitioner in Python, he speaks about Python and its wonders in various domains.

Though it appears Python is a new language, it is hard to believe it is contemporary of Java. The first version of Python was launched in 1991. But the reason for it to be in limelight these days is its usage in top notch companies around the world. The popularity for this general-purpose language has grown so much that 8 out of 10 foreign universities are now teaching the ‘Fundamentals of Programming in Python’ to young undergraduates.

Python, designed by Guido van Rossum, is rated as the most popular Programming Language in 2013 and 2014. Asokan attributes this victory to Python’s flexibility and code readability. True to his words, Python emphasizes on readability of code and provides lenience in terms of syntax. Also it supports lesser lines of code when compared to its neighboring languages.

These are just some of the famous companies that use Python:
  • Google uses an Internal Code Review System written in Python
  • NASA uses Python
  • YouTube, the video-sharing website is written in Python
  • ‘Star Wars’ movie - visual effects creator Industrial Light and Magic manages its digital assets using Python
  • Dropbox, the free software for sharing and accessing your documents anywhere, is written in Python
The features of Python that give it an upper hand over others are:
  • Python stands as the top programming language for Scientific and Engineering Computation. Python’s ‘easy to learn and use’ feature and rich libraries makes it the most used language, says Asokan. It helps scientists and engineers to focus on the domain tasks. Without getting bogged down with issues like syntax.
  • Python is a cross-platform language. Its variants Jython runs on a Java Platform, while C Python is a general version. There is IronPython on the CLR.
  • Its rich libraries reduce the man hours enormously for writing code.
  • Python stands out among other languages as it addresses the issues of readbility and maintainability better than the other languages.
  • Python is the go-to-language to implement Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC), the new IT architecture. Its varied requirement like statics, display, web services can all be achieved using a single – Python.
With many youngsters venturing into IT, energy is on flow towards Python. It is highly recommended for students who:
  • Are joining in Undergraduate courses in US. Prior knowledge would be an added advantage before the Course starts
  • Are passionate about Code Engineering; as it involves simple designing, calculation, computation
  • Are passionate about Web Development
TalentSprint is actively inculcating Python in the courses offered. The first module of Software Programming is taught using Python. Also TalentSprint is introducing Online Courses that help IT aspirants to reach master this top programming language. TalentSprint is often selected by top companies to conduct induction training to their employees.

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You Own Your Journey to Success

“You own your journey to success”, says Michael Kasprowicz, the former Australian Test cricketer and is a Board Director, Cricket Australia. He is a right arm fast bowler, effective outfielder and lower order batsman for Australian and England County teams. Fondly known as Kasper, he is renowned for his contribution to Australia’s success against India in 2004, which was Australia’s first victory in Test Series after 34 years. 
He came to be known as the "Subcontinent Specialist" for his unique ability to generate considerable amounts of pace from subdued tracks and in the process picking up regular wickets. In the chat with Sridhar K, Sr. VP at TalentSprint Kasper, shares the secrets of his successful career as a cricketer. Kasper is on a trip to India, said he loves visiting India and calls Hyderabad a home away from home.

As an advice to Indian youth who are looking for exciting careers, Kasper said, “Follow your goal and live your dream.” He started playing cricket during his high school days and made his debut for Queensland Cricket County at the age of 17 in 1989. And he never looked back after getting selected for the international cricket team for the Test Series against West Indies in 1996. He was Australia’s fast bowler for the next 10 years and was the part of Mumbai Champs team in the Indian Cricket League. The two lessons that he said cricket taught him are: You’re the in-charge of your journey. So, find the right way and proceed. Always put your best.

Kasper’s desire to learn did not end after his triumph as a cricketer. He feels there are always ways to improve ourselves, to find and reach them opens up new opportunities. With this perspective, after his reign on the cricket grounds, he pursued MBA at University of Queensland, Brisbane.

As an answer to Sridhar’s question which among Talent and Hard-work is most important, Kasper emphasizes the need for continuous Hard Work. While he believes that Talent can put you ahead in a crowd, it is continuous hard work on the other hand that makes a professional. Hard work though not enjoyable to you or evident to others, lets you reap the best results. For instance, watching Sachin Tendulkar play on ground is a sheer pleasure and a professional like him makes tasks seem easy. But it is the off-ground practice that made him perfect.

When asked about ‘Luck’, Kasper quips saying that only losing teams talk about luck. He believes hard work brings success and luck is just another hypothetical term. Talking about the India’s current Test Cricket form in the tour to England, he says on a lighter note that ‘Luck’ is not the reason for that. As a sportsperson, he explains how certain factors like weather, pitch etc. affect the performance and how one has to learn from mistakes. Acknowledging the quality of players in the Indian Cricket Team, be believes that the team will be back in shape to compete with Australia in the Gavaskar Border Trophy.

Admiring the trainees’ choice of TalentSprint and wishing them best luck for their future endeavors, Kasper signs off.

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Friday, 5 September 2014

SBI Associate Banks PO Recruitment Notification for 2014-15

The long awaited SBI Associate PO notification is finally out after 2012. Though it has come out later than expected, it has come out at a right time when Bank Aspirants are already preparing for a slew of bank exams (SBI, IBPS and now SBI Associates) enabling one to get the best out of one’s preparation.

You Own Your Journey: You can, if you decide that you want to succeed, you will definitely be able to succeed. In this context, we would like to present to you leading Australian Cricketer Michael Kasprowicz who shared his insights and experience on what makes one successful Video LINK.

The online application registration for the exam has commenced on September 1, 2014 and continues till September 18, 2014. There are vacancies for almost 3000 positions across the 5 branches of State Bank Group, which are State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Patiala and State Bank of Travancore. Maximum vacancies are in the SBT and SBH, accounting to 2/3rd of the total vacancies. Details of the vacancies and allocations for different categories are given below:

Important Dates:
Online Registration: 01.09.2014 to 18.09.2014
Payment of fees (online): 01.09.2014 to 18.09.2014
Payment of fees (offline): 03.09.2014 to 20.09.2014
Exam Date (Tentatively): November, 2014

Eligibility Criteria:
Education Qualification: Graduation/Degree in any discipline from a recognized university
Age: Candidates with age between 21-30 years for general category are eligible. For SC/ST and OBC, it is +5 and +3 years respectively. (Refer detailed notification for relaxations)
Number of attempts: There is restriction on the number of times a candidate can apply for SBI Associate Bank PO exam. Candidates of General Category who appeared for the exam 4 times earlier are not eligible, while for OBC is 7 and SC/ST applicants there is no restriction.

Online Registration Process:
The online application can be found on SBI site. Click here to apply for SBI Associate Bank PO. The SBI website may be slow in the initial days of registration with more candidates accessing the site at the same time.

The Application form has 5 different Steps:
Basic Information: This section requires name and contact details of the candidate
Photograph and Signature: The second section asks the candidate to upload the latest passport size color photograph and signature of the candidate. To find more details about this section, click here for the notification.
Details: This section includes the Educational qualifications to be filled in by the applicant
Preview: It allows the applying candidate to take a look at the information filled in until now. It even allows changes to the information, in case any.
Payment: Fees for application of SBI Associate Banks PO exam is Rs.100 for SC/ST and Rs.500 for others. Payment for registration can be made either in online or offline mode.
  1. Online Mode: Payment through debit/credit card or internet banking. Last date of payment: 18th, Sept
  2. Offline Mode: Payment to be made at any SBI bank presenting the system-generated challan. Last date of payment: 20th, Sept
Selection Process:
The selection process is a two Phase process.
Phase I: Objective Test for 200 Marks and Descriptive Test for 50 Marks

1. Objective Test:
  • 200 marks
  • 2-hour Duration
  • Online test
  • Sections in Online test (50 marks each)
   English Language
   General Awareness, Marketing & Computers
   Data Analysis & Interpretation
Applying candidates have to clear each and every section in Objective test based on passing mark decided by SBI.
2. Descriptive Test:
  • 50 marks
  • 1-hour Duration
  • Paper and pen examination
  • Held after Online Test
  • Syllabus as per SBI is English Language including short precis, essay, comprehension and letter writing
    Only those applicants who have qualified in Phase I will be called for
    to Phase II
Phase II: 
Group Discussion – 20 Marks
Interview – 30 Marks
Only those who qualify in Phase I move on to Phase II
The final selection happens considering both Phase I and Phase II performance. Phase I scores. Phase I score is converted to a scale of 75 and Phase II score to a scale of 25 and the total out of 100 becomes the criteria for getting the PO job with SBI Associate Banks
Preparation Process:
Few important things have to be taken in to consideration while preparing for this examination.
  • It is not sufficient to qualify in Phase I as the performance here has 75% weightage on the final selection. Hence, one has to really score well in Phase I to succeed
  • While there are 3,000 jobs, one can expect phenomenal competition. We expect around 20 lac + aspirants to apply for. Hence, one needs to be well ahead of competition
  • In most exams faced by students, like university exam, majority of the exam takers clear the exam, but in Bank exams in general and SBI associate in particular, vast majority will not succeed in getting through.
Like all important areas, serious aspirants needs to do the 4 step cyclical process Plan, Do, Check, Act.

One needs to have a specific Plan for the preparation. Planning needs to center around the resources – Time you will dedicate, Tools you will use and key milestones you need to reach in specific calendar intervals before the exam in order to be successful and to the best of your potential, what is the score you should strive for.
Do: (Learn)
Having created the plan, one needs to Learn and test ones knowledge in various things. In addition to understanding concepts, one needs to understand the shortcuts and smart ways of solving time consuming questions. Also, one needs to learn to decide quickly. Decision on whether to attempt the question or not, what method (of the 4 methods to solve objective questions) to be used for the question etc.
Typically aspirants follow books, talking to peers and some people go and take classes to Learn. While many of these are effective, you need to identify the best source and top quality content so as to improve your chances of success.
There are books based on the SBI Associate Banks PO exam pattern and on the other hand there are books for specific sections in the exam. But for General Awareness section it is mandatory to read newspapers and monthly magazines regularly. Also, internet is a good source of information for preparing for bank exams.
You need to make sure that you not only Learn Definitions, Concepts and Formulae, but also Shortcuts, and smart ways to solve questions quickly and correctly.
Assuming that Objective Test is difficult and time constraint, aspirants tend to concentrate less on descriptive test while preparing. This is a wrong notion and can negatively affect your results. Good practice for English Comprehension, Letter Writing etc. in Descriptive Test is required to crack this exam. 
The next step would be the Practice. Practice tests are available in books and on internet sources abundantly, attempt those tests for practice. These practice sets can be again based on the exam pattern or particular section.
Take mock tests. There are many organizations that conduct mock tests before the exam. These tests evaluate your performance and help you determine your strengths and weaknesses. Focus on strengthening your Weaknesses and bettering your strengths.
It is suggested that 6-10 full length tests have to be taken by serious aspirant in order to get ready for the actual exam. In addition, one should also take topic level and section level tests so that  you know where your strengths and weakness are.
Having identified your strengths and weakness and also after reviewing your preparation status vis-à-vis your plans, one also needs to re plan and re dedicate oneself to the objective thereby you are able to do mid-course corrections before it is too late and ensure that one gets ready to beat the competition and succeed.
How can we help you?
Though books and internet are good resources, sometimes lack of encouragement can demotivate aspirants.
BankersChoice is a Bank Exam Training Institute which scrapes out a winning-plan to train the SBI Associate PO Exam attempters. It offers the following educational facilities across 12 centers in India:
  • Full-scale eLearning Courses
  • Video & Live e-Classroom Sessions
  • Self-Assessment with Analysis & Recommendations
  • Printed and eBooks
  • Special Booster Sessions for SBI Associate PO exam
  • 100% Scholarships
  •  Loads of Free eLearning Content
You can even download free content, test papers at BankersChoice. Click here to download. Visit BankersChoice to check out Online and Classroom courses, available now with special offers.
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Clouds & Hybrid Clouds are the Powerhouses of the days to come!

Cloud Computing is an active term and technology in use from the past two decades. With the increase in the number of companies adopting cloud computing, more and more job opportunities are opening up for Indian youth. Technically speaking, Cloud Computing delivers computing power as a service within a virtualised environment using an underlying pool of physical computing resources. In simple words, it is a computing service which allows computers and other devices to share resources, software, and information over a network. 
Cloud Computing allows everyone to access technologies without much knowledge about them and helps the organizations to concentrate on their business rather than dealing with technical issues. Also, pooling of the resources within a ‘cloud’ cuts the high infrastructure costs, offers better manageability, less maintenance, improved running speed of applications, enables dealing with the rapidly growing data. 
Clouds are classified into Private and Public. It is difficult to differentiate their technical aspects and hence we define them from the service perspective. Private cloud is a model of Cloud Computing involving secure environment for the use of only one organization. It gives the organization the control and privacy it seeks. Whereas Public Cloud, as the name suggests is available to all the users over a public network like internet. 
Like it is said ‘Necessity is the mother of invention’, the new trends in Cloud Computing are on full flow with more and more business requirements emerging every day. The most promising development in this field in the eyes of the industry experts is “Hybrid Cloud”; thus adding a new category to the type of clouds. 
The idea of a Hybrid Cloud surfaced in the wake of new needs of businesses. It cohesively utilizes both public and private cloud models to implement operations within an organization. There are 3 methods to implement Hybrid Clouds:
  • Cloud providers who merge public and private services as one
  • Cloud providers who offer a complete hybrid package
  • Organizations that integrate their existing private clouds with the public cloud service
Hybrid Cloud model is creating a buzz all over because of its unique functionality i.e. integrating the properties of private and public clouds without any glitches. Hence, a company utilizes private clouds for its confidential / sensitive operations and public clouds for all others, attaining both cost efficiency and better performance with the usage of just a single cloud technology. For instance, consider a private financial business following a hybrid cloud model; then it will store all the client data on a private cloud and allows project related documents on the public cloud for easy accessibility by the fellow employees. 
A hybrid cloud model has the following advantages over the private or public cloud models:
  • Scalability: It is the ability to efficiently adapt to increased demands. The scalability offered by public clouds is better than that of private clouds. Hence by moving the maximum possible non-sensitive operations from private to public cloud, one can exploit the scalability of public clouds, thereby reducing the dependence on private cloud.
  • Cost efficiencies: Public clouds are more cost efficient than private clouds. Hence organizations can spend reasonably: limited storage space for vulnerable data and have unlimited access to public clouds.
  • Security: It is the main feature of a private cloud which even offers the regulatory requirements for data handling and storage.
  • Flexibility: With all the above features, hybrid cloud allows an organization to explore new business opportunities.
Hybrid clouds are becoming more prevalent among the companies and many more are likely to adopt this cloud deployment model. 
The notion that Cloud Computing is a job destroyer is just a misconception, with more than 2 million jobs waiting to be filled in. Microsoft predicts that India with its high economic growth has the capability to develop Cloud Computing and thereby increasing job growth. Lets make India ready to meet that demand!!

Author: Paresh Shrivastava

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