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Q. What is the document about ?
A. The purpose of this document is to help people in engineering colleges with their projects. ( More specifically VTU Projects )
Q. OK . So this sem I have to do a project. Which company do I
do it in ??
A. Well... here is a general misconception among students. " I will do my project in big MNC, and it will be so damn cool. I will get a cert from them and that will be a great looking thing on my resume. It will help me in getting admission in US and also will help me in my job. So I will go and bug all the big companies like IBM / HP / etc."
Now this is totally wrong. It never works that way. when u go to these companies.. they give you some project which mostly involves manual work and no research. I mean all the companies have skilled employees and obviously they will not give you a research or mission critical project. So you end up doing some stupid project. Fine they give you a letter at the end, but trust me its not worth more than the cost of the paper. When you apply to universities or jobs they never look at what company you have done your project. they look at the project itself. Fine if u do a project on IBM's 'big blue' machine or on some pure research project it will be great. But these companies almost never do that. So no point in doing it in any of the Huge companies.
Q. So what the hell do I do then ?
A. Pick your own research project. There are tons of stuff out there which needs lot of research. I have mentioned them
at the end of this doc. There are also tons of open source projects where they need people's help. I mean you can work with huge projects like Apache/Squid/Sendmail/Mozilla etc. I mean imagine this on your resume " Have added xxxx module/feature to the Apache project". That is thousand times more valuable than, what u get from a company. What you can also do isapproch small companies, where they work on some amazing products, but who are short on cash and cant afford employees.
Q. But who will guide us ??
A. Now when you work on a open project, usually the project members/ coordinators will help you. I mean if u are working on the linux OS itself, then you can post your doubts in the linux kernel mailing list. People like Linus himself will guide you.
Q. So what are the areas that we can work on ??
A. These are the few areas that I can come up with right now.
Q. Where can I get more info.
A. Check out sites like www.freshmeat.net and www.sourceforge.net. They host Opensource projects and they will give you all the stuff that you need.
Q. I have already got a project at IISc or ISRO etc. what do I
A. Well stick to it. If you realise the project is too trivial, then you can always back off and work any of the projects mentioned above. Trust me the above will add more value then some project at IISc or ISRO.
Q. Can I contact you for more details.
A. Nope. If you are 6th sem, then please dont ever bug me. If you are in your final year, then you can contact me regarding techinical details, not with a question like " suggest some topics".