Srikanth Technologies

25 Years of Blissful Training

On September 4th of 2016, I complete 25 years of blissful training. I want to share some of the important events in this journey and what worked for me and what didn't work for me.

Decision to give up cricket

During my college days I spent a lot of time playing cricket. I represented Vizag district from year 1987 to 1990 in different age groups like under 17 to under 23.

Playing a cricket match keeps you away from all other activities for the whole day. During college days that was Ok. But once I am done with college and got into more serious learning it was not Ok. Yes. I believe life begins after college ends. For me real learning started after college ended.

Those were the days of me taking baby steps in computer programming. I was attending Basic programming training. Once I went to Jaipur to play a cricket tournament. I had to miss a couple of classes. After returning from Jaipur as I resumed my classes I realized I missed good amount of stuff. I missed some important concepts. As a result I was not able to understand subsequent topics. I felt uneasy and blank in the class. It pained me to see others moving forward and I was stranded.

I then realized I can't play cricket and learn programming at the same time. I had to choose between them. I was (am) not that smart at doing multiple things and still excel. So I took the most important (and the best) decision to quit cricket and focus on learning programming. Of course little did I know what kind of impact that would have on me in the coming years. But decision was taken and I stuck to it.

I learnt programming with heart and soul, starting with GW Basic and then moving to COBOL, Pascal and finally C. That was the sequence in those days.

Made the most of moderate resources

My first computer was so small in terms of resources; it had 8088 Microprocessor, 64kb RAM, Floppy Drive, and a 14” monochrome monitor. Much of my initial learning was done on systems with around 256KB to 640 KB RAM, 8088 or similar Microprocessor, no hard disk and running with DOS operating system.

Owning system was not an option for middle class people like me as it was not affordable. So I used to wait for lab slots in institute. Getting lab slot was tough. So I wrote most of the programs on the paper so that I could feed and try them whenever I get time on system.

Saturday night lab was a great facility. I used to book slot for night lab and would enjoy writing programs all through Saturday night till Sunday morning 5am. There was a sense of pride and satisfaction in doing what takes me forward. I used to depend on books from library. My first book was on GW Basic by Balagurusamy. Pascal was my favourite language. Enjoyed learning C as it was considered to be an advanced language and very few could dare learning it. With my strong foundation in Pascal, C never was an issue for me. I read 5 books on C while I was learning C. In fact that was the best my institute library could provide.

Looking back, I wonder how one year of serious learning made the whole difference to my life. I did nothing but reading programming books, writing programs and listening to music (my only source of entertainment). Never complained about moderate resources I had, instead made the most of resources available. The best year of learning in my life was that year. Never enjoyed learning as much as I did in that year. It was huge turning point. A defining moment.

My first job

A few months before I would complete all my courses I was asked by my faculty Mr. G. Subramanyam Sir whether I would be interested in taking up a job in BDPS, Nellore as faculty. The only thing that attracted me was possibility of using systems and books if I join as faculty. So I said yes and went there.

My salary was fixed at Rs. 1000. Accommodation was provided and transport was not a problem as I could walk 1 km to reach office. Even in those days I would not be able to eat thrice a day and buy books with that salary. So I ate twice and saved 500 per month to buy books. I would go to Chennai and buy books related to programming.

Fortunately I neither had to send anything home nor take anything from them. I used to take classes all through the day and come back after dinner to work in nights for a few hours. Ironically my first class was Pointers in C. Later in our casual discussion I asked manager "how he could ask a beginner like me to take C class". He said he just believed I could do that. Yes, Saturday nights were night outs of programming. Sometimes I was all alone and sometimes I would have others. Writing programs for the whole night made me very productive. I would sleep Sunday morning till 12 or so.

I was there for exactly one year and in that period I just read and worked as much as possible. Very little social life. But other faculty members in institute and people at mess treated me very well and protected me. It was a great period of my life. It gave me confidence about what I can do. It made me understand how much I love teaching and how much students loved my teaching. Both are important.

5 wonderful years at Datapro

I joined Datapro in Jan, 1993. In those days it was one of the most successful institute. I had to take very few classes in a day – 2 classes to be precise. So I was left with a lot of time to read and work. It also had good infrastructure.

I had the privilege to start a lot of new courses there. It was in mid-1993 that I started taking up Oracle classes. Then worked with a lot of new topics like C++, PowerBuilder, and Visual Basic. I also conducted a few seminars, quizzes and other technical events. We had a wonderful team to take care of all non-technical work. I focused only on technical part.

Starting from 1996, I was asked to work with AS/400, an IBM platform. I spent a year learning and then training students on AS/400.

I recollect my years with Datapro with a sense of gratitude and satisfaction. Grateful to people who gave me opportunity to grow. Hugely satisfied as I played my role to the best of my abilities and lived up to expectations of my employers. I have high respect for my directors. Then in Feb, 1998 I quit and became a freelancer. It was destiny calling.

Srikanth Technologies was born

It was in Oct, 1998 I hired a classroom to start on my own. My initial setup was 25 chairs, a whiteboard and system for demonstration. My first course was Visual Basic 6.0.

In those days we had no name and no board. But somehow people could figure out and reach us. I understood it was not easy for them to locate us, so I wanted to put a board. But to put board there had to be a name. So I thought of a couple of names and came up with Srikanth Technologies.

It was the best period for IT all over the world. Dotcom boom started all over. My growth was stupendous. Many times batches were filled days before the commencement. Many would request me to allow them to join. But we couldn't accommodate as our capacity was only 25. By 1999, I increased the capacity to 40 and then expanded to 100.

Students were desperate to learn. There was a sense of urgency. They were more passionate about learning. Unfortunately passion to learn and stay ahead has come down slowly over the years among many students.

Launched website – www.srikanthtechnologies.com - to provide information about courses and technical articles.

Dotcom bubble burst in 2001

By mid-2001 we started having the effect of DotCom bubble's burst. Size of batches started falling down badly. Java batches which were over 100 in early 2001 fell down to 15 students in late 2001. It was tough period. I had to be very strong and brave to face that period.

I am very proud about the fact that in spite of trying period, I kept giving the best I could. All that I could do was play my role to perfection with sincerity. I had no control on global economy. Things changed for better from year 2003 onwards. By 2004, we started doing well.

Moved to better premises in 2004

Wanted to improve the infrastructure in classroom. Wanted to have an air-conditioned classroom. A bigger and better premises was needed. So moved to new premises in Dec, 2004. As it is on the main road of Dwarkanagar, it is easy to locate.

Started using digital projector discontinuing multiple monitors that we used for demonstration.

Course material has always been important as it is preserved by students for a long time. But it is never easy to prepare course material as each subject is changing from time to time.

I also started using Wacom Pen Tablet and software like SmoothDraw and ZoomIt to improve presentation. I carry Wacom Pen Tablet even for corporate training. It allows me to highlight, draw and zoom things to make the whole demonstration better.

Industry Certifications

In 2006, I had a thought of taking certification exams related to Java and other technologies just to have first-hand experience about them. I went on to take 6 certification exams - 3 related to Java, 2 on Oracle and one on MS.NET. I enjoyed and learnt from preparation. Every exam preparation made me dig deep and know more technically. Scoring high marks in exams of international standards always feels good.

Here are my certifications. I posted a blog as I completed each exam to provide students with relevant information.

Corporate Training

I love to train students. I generally spend most of the time on training students. I also enjoyed training employees in corporates. It is a different scenario. I have to go to their premises. I have to spend few hours on travelling. So, unless I am convinced I will enjoy the corporate training, I don't accept.

I had the privilege to be associated with some of the best companies in the city.

I handled training programs for Quant Systems, Phoenix IT Solutions Ltd. (now Fluentgrid Ltd.), Kenexa Technologies (now IBM Company) and Vizag Steel Plant. Interacting with employees is quite a different experience from interacting with students. I enjoyed sharing my knowledge with people, at times more experienced than me.

Here are my blogs related to corporate training.

Books at Amazon

Recently wrote two books - C Language For Beginners and Oracle Database 12c For Beginners - and made them available in Amazon as Kindle editions. This is my attempt to make quality material available to as many as possible for very affordable price. I have just started this new phase. Will continue to provide more titles in the form of Kindle editions.

Social Media

In the recent past I understood the importance of social media. So created a page for Srikanth Technologies in Facebook.com. Started posting videos in my YouTube channel. The aim is to reach as many as we can. Many times students missed the schedule of courses. They couldn't attend courses as they didn't know about courses.

My endeavor is to make them aware of our schedule. We always respect their decision either to join or not. We don't have marketing executives. We don't have attractive discount schemes. We don't think in those lines. The only discount scheme we announced is Loyalty discount in which we give 10% discount to students from second course. We want to recognize their loyalty to us and make them feel they are privileged students.

Conclusion

I have a feeling after having travelled 25 years in this journey that I am midway. I think I will go for another 25 years, of course God willing. It has been a wonderful journey. I met some wonderful people. Some stayed in my life as my best friends. Padmaja became my wife. I have high respect for lot of students. I interact with some of them. I love to know their experiences. Learning and teaching have always excited me. I am living my dream life.

My sole aim is to keep giving my best. Of course nothing would have been possible without my students. I am deeply indebted to them.

Looking forward to many more blissful years of training.


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Comments


Posted By Manogna Darvemula On 03-Sep-16 01:02:44 PM

You set a perfect example of a fully self-made individual who is what he is because of sincerity and dedication, sir. While a few things are known already from your other blogs, this actually takes us through the beginnings of your life when you started off after your college. A great blog! Hearty congratulations on the 25th anniversary celebrations, Sir.



Posted By Sashi kanth On 04-Sep-16 02:14:44 PM

The journey of every successfull individual might have seen and experienced every toughest aspect in their journey..
Not everyone has this opportunity or willingness of expelling themselves ..
The clear cut stages of your life you have written might drive you there to recollect all of them .. wonderful feel it is !
Any inspirational personalities?
Just asking to follow them along you in order to check them if they are famous in social media ..
I love exploring to know about people..



Posted By Bharat Ganji On 04-Sep-16 04:08:14 PM

Felt very good reading it. Thanking you very much for sharing ,it is very inspirational. Wishing you All the best for the coming 25yrs.. :)



Posted By sudha On 04-Sep-16 09:40:06 PM

Congratulations sir.



Posted By Priyanka On 05-Sep-16 05:06:22 AM

A really very inspirational blog. Success after so much hardwork would have really given you true happiness and satisfaction.
Congratulations and wishing you many more years of success.



Posted By venkata rao chelleboina On 05-Sep-16 09:07:51 PM

congratulations sir. You are the best Trainer I have ever seen. Thank you for selecting teaching field.



Posted By Hemchandra On 05-Sep-16 10:59:35 PM

The destiny of hard work is always Success, and you proved it.
Congrats on your achievements Sir...!
And thank you.



Posted By Mohanavamsi Ch On 07-Sep-16 09:39:40 AM

Finally achrekar bangaya programming guru. Yes that red board at the top means alot for us with new hopes.

All the very best sir for your future and thank you very much I am part of your journey more than days.

Happy Programming :)



Posted By Avinash Duggirala On 07-Sep-16 09:54:37 AM

You are awesome sir. I always admire you, the courses I learnt at you are my assets and feeding me in this corporate world. I am really lucky to be a part of your 25 years journey and thanks for being a critical part of my learning.



Posted By Mounika Ventapalli On 07-Sep-16 10:43:05 AM

Great people are born from great sacrifices. We can't just sit and think of what we want instead we should stand and fight for that. Your blog was so good that lets people decide what to sacrifice n what to be given importance. Your the smartest and handsome teacher sir. You are one of my role model. Thank you so much.



Posted By satish alamanda On 07-Sep-16 10:52:02 AM

A very hearty congratulation sir,you are the awesome trainer i have never seen
wishing u good luck for the coming years



Posted By SriRanganath Tottadi On 07-Sep-16 11:49:43 AM

First of all congratulations sir, I had privilege to learn from Srikanth Sir way back in 2006-2007 and again in 2014-2015. He always maintains the intensity and his class is not only to learn programming but many important things will be discussed which are very much helpful to fresh graduates .Thank you very much Sir for your guidance and wish you good luck in future.



Posted By kiran kumar k On 07-Sep-16 07:01:21 PM

Firstly, congratulations to you sir. Your struggle and interest towards learning inspires me a lot. A dummy can become an expert from your teachings. Thanks a lot sir.



Posted By naveenveligatla On 07-Sep-16 07:31:02 PM

very inspired from your sleepless coding nights .thank you so much for sharing



Posted By Saikiran Durga On 07-Sep-16 08:57:59 PM

You are the best teacher in my life ....i learned a lot from your character...... i admire your motivations.......Moreover i like your gentle dressing ....you are the one who played a major role in my life ......thanking you sir for all your teachings........You are the perfect teacher ....



Posted By ADITYA KUMAR On 07-Sep-16 09:39:01 PM

09989216285

Hello Sir I like the way u teach to the students. I like ur skills. I learned some courses from u like J2SE,J2EE,Oracle11g,DOT NET. I am so happy that I am placed in Infosys.



Posted By Dr. M. Bhanu Sridhar On 08-Sep-16 05:42:09 AM

Sir, When I was wandering in the dark in 1998, you helped me. I came into teaching in 2006 and I am now in GVP Engineering college as an Associate Professor. I also earned my doctorate 2 years back. All this was due to inspiration provided by my parents and you.



Posted By Madan Neelapu On 22-Sep-16 11:21:57 AM

Woooooooow!!! Congratulations sir, on reaching yet another mile stone.



Posted By p.srinu On 29-Sep-16 12:05:23 PM

very good experience for sharing about our work journey,you are a wonderful and dedicate person,so I like you sir



Posted By Venkata Sunil Reddy Karri On 01-Nov-16 10:32:56 AM

Congratulations sir.