4 skills you will be tested for in the preliminary test.

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Quantitative Aptitude

It includes basic numerical ability, problem solving and reasoning skills. It is a basic skill that you will be tested for in almost all kinds of competitive examinations and preliminary tests. Questions range from basic numerical ability and arithmetic, to percentage analysis, graph and table reading, categorization and analysis.
You would need to brush up on all your high-school mathematics. Most of us would be able to tackle these questions, given time. But in most of these tests, time is of essence and in short supply. So you need to really work on your speed. They want to test how fast you can arrive at the correct answer. The only way one can get better at this is through practice. As they say, practice makes a man perfect!

Logical reasoning
This would include Syllogism or descriptive word puzzles, where a set of statements are made with several conclusions following them and you will be asked to identify the only correct conclusion that can be made. Finding the pattern in a series, identifying a pair with the same analogy as the given pair, de-constructing the code used to encode a set of English words, making the correct deductions based on a small passage and many more such questions will be part of the logical reasoning section.

This section tests your logical thinking ability. Given the time, most people will be able to answer correctly. But as these tests are used as an elimination or selection process, time will be in short supply. Practice is the only way to come out tops and progress to the next stage of the selection process.

English vocabulary
This section is open to various permutations and combinations. It can include grammar, synonyms, antonyms, homophones, correction of sentences, fill in the blanks with the correct words, reading comprehension, précis writing, e-mail writing, essay/short passage writing and many more.

The only way you can do well in this section is to keep building your vocabulary over time. It will not happen by rote learning of a few meanings of words. Start with reading an English newspaper daily. Slowly move to small novels. Also start watching English programs on television. And start speaking in English. It will help you at the personal interview stage. The earlier you start focusing on your English skills, the better. There are a whole lot of resources available online that help you improve your spoken English. You can also take one-on-one English classes at LearnSocial.

Test of general knowledge/current affairs
For this again rote learning of facts will not help. Reading an English newspaper daily will help you in multiple ways. It will improve your general knowledge and help you get a better understanding of current affairs across the globe. It will help present you as an informed person. It is not a necessary part of the preliminary test always. But it is important that you are aware of what is happening around the world. It will be handy to take part meaningfully in group discussions that are current affair based. And some times during the interview, you may be asked to respond or give your opinion on a current affairs topic, as an icebreaker. If you are in the know of all the details of the issue or event, you will be able to give an appropriate and informed response instead of just mumbling. This will improve your chances of being noticed and selected for the next round of the selection process.
This is the usual skill set that a person is tested for. But based on the requirements of the organization and the job that you have applied for, there may be a few other skills or competencies that you may be tested for. Prepare yourselves based on the particular requirements of the job. Research the web to know more about the tests, specific requirements, sample tests, practice tests of various organizations. The web is a treasure trove of information and resources.

Do not wait till you receive your qualifying examination certificate in hand to start your preparation. You will be best prepared and your efforts most effective and successful when you start your preparations well in advance. Don’t look at the preparation as just a goal to be reached. Cherish the journey of preparation, as all the skills that you acquire will stick with you over the years and will enrich your personality.

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How to crack your first job interview?

How to crack your first job interview?

The preliminary test

The first job interview is usually a process rather than a one-step event. The preliminary test is the first in the process of elimination. It is a test of your knowledge of the subject, usually your ability to apply what you have learnt rather than your memory. Make sure you are thorough with your concepts and their application. If you have been lazy throughout, this is the time to dust those books and get to the grind! A whole lot of sample test papers and questions are available online. These give you an understanding of what an organization looks for in its future employees.

The group discussion

The next step is the Group Discussion or GD. This is again an elimination process, where recruiters try to separate the grain from the chaff. Your ability to interact with your peers and put across your point of view in a logical, clear and concise manner is under the scanner. So is your ability to convince or arrive at a consensus. They are not interested in people who are rigid, shout down others, and disrespectful of the other’s point of view. Good listening skills will add to your performance.

Most of the topics for the group discussions are based on current affairs or topics that tend to raise strong emotions. Think before you start talking. Make sure you have a valid point to make and add to the discussion. Do not repeat yourself or paraphrase what others have already said. Back up all your statements with logical evidence or facts that complement your statement.

The personal interview

The next and final stage is the personal interview. Things you should carry to the interview include:
• A well written resume listing all the activities that you were a part of during your time at the university/college/institute, both academic (projects, seminars, paper presentations) and extra-curricular (debates, quiz contests, cultural events, sports)
• Copies of the project work undertaken
• Copies of seminars and papers presented
• Certificates to support your claim of wins or participation in various extra -curricular events

When you attend the interview, make sure your dress is neat and crisp. Decide on styles, colors and outfits that complement your personality. At the same time, ensure the colors you choose are not loud and the outfits and styles too casual or outlandish. Even if it is mandatory to dress formal, make sure your personality shines through.

Body language

At this stage of the selection process, you are under minute scrutiny. Usually the interview is carried out by a panel. Body language will include how you enter the room, shake hands, sit, answer questions, eye contact and many more. Make sure you enter the room by asking permission, give the panel a firm hand-shake, seek permission to sit and take your seat.

There are some things you can definitely expect the panel to ask. They will ask you to introduce yourselves, to talk about your strengths and weaknesses, things that you are proud or ashamed of and lessons that you may have learnt from those incidents and many more such questions. You may also be questioned on your subject. If you are not sure about something accept it. Do not try to bluff your way through the interview. You will be pulled up for it in no time. When asked a question, first think of what you want to say and then begin your answer. Don’t be in a hurry and don’t give one word answers. At the same time, make sure you are making relevant conversation. Some of these interview questions are also available online. A glance will help you know the qualities they seek in their future employees.

This blog is to give you a brief idea of the selection process. Each of the components will be dealt with in-depth in the future. Do let us know through the comments, if you need more clarification about any particular aspect and feel free to share any questions you may have. We will try to address them either through our future blogs or reply back to your comment.

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Photoshop: The Graphics Editing Overlord

Who amongst us hasn’t heard of Photoshop? It has almost become synonymous with graphic image editing, for both recreational and professional purposes.  Ever since its introduction, it has been widely popular for its editing capabilities and has now become the industry standard for raster graphics editing.

It finds unparalleled use among photographers, graphics & video designers, and web designers. Photographers use it for embellish their images, graphic designers to create stunning images and infographics, and web designers for the design layout of a website/webpage. With Photoshop, one can easily retouch, composite (or splice), and color balance an image in the course of graphic design, commercial publishing, image editing, and even video editing. It has some cool tools and plugins that allow a user to manipulate images anyway they want.

The tools are generally categorized as draw, paint, measure and navigate, select, type, and retouch. Some of the interesting image tools include pen, shape, marquee, cropping, slicing, lasso, 3D extrusion and printing, mobile integration, Camera Raw, color replacement among others. With Photoshop one can pretty much play with the images as and how desired and required. Text can be added, images can be overlayed, color and other such settings can be changed, images can be merged, images and can be created from scratch using multiple other images, with possibilities that are endless.  Over the years, it has undergone changes and evolved with various new versions exceling at each step.

Photoshop has had quite a cultural impact, becoming a verb over time when people talk about editing images. These days, most of the magazines, newspapers, books and other publishing material go under the knife of Photoshop before they are released. Right from the images in the material to the design, layout and cover page, Photoshop is used for all. This allows for enhanced imagery and depiction that grabs attention as intended. There are many blogs and websites associated with Photoshop tips & tricks, Photoshop mistakes and errors, and some even run funny Photoshopped images that are meant for entertainment purposes such as memes etc. Photoshop as a software tool has become integrated into the online culture and one cannot imagine a world without it!

With online, digital, and image content and its demand growing every single day, one thing for sure is that Photoshop is here to stay. If you want to learn this amazing tool, log on to our website for a course that takes you through Photoshop and also how it can be used in web designing.

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iOS: An Operating System That Runs The King of Smartphones

The iPhone took the world by storm, and how! Though it is seen as a hipster device by some, it has brought smartphones and more specifically touchscreen phones to the mainstream. Not that there weren’t any predecessors which had similar features and functions, but the iPhone caught the fancy of a generation, of the entire world. It’s a coveted gadget, and the ones who have it have no qualms flaunting it. But what makes it so special that a single phone is giving many a competitor a run for their money? That would be the heart of the device, its operating systems– iOS.

The main essence of the iPhone has always been the iOS. The fluidity, user experience and interface, security of data have been its torchbearers. The iOS offers a rich feel and its touch interface is beyond par as agreed by many. The ease of use and a feel good factor are associated with its popularity. It’s simple and effective to use, offers multitasking capabilities, has high quality secure apps, and continuous updates that make it better with every iteration, make it beloved to all those who use it.

Starting off with the iPhone, iOS is additionally the staple OS for the iPad series of tablet devices, iPod touch and forms the base for WatchOS, the operating system for the Apple Watch. The iOS user interface is based on the concept of direct manipulation, using multi-touch gestures. Interaction with the OS includes gestures of swipe, tap, pinch, and reverse pinch, all of which have specific definitions within the context of the iOS operating system and its multi-touch interface. Internal accelerometers are responsible for actions like responding to shaking the device or rotating it in three dimensions. Its UI toolkit is Cocoa touch and the programming language used is Objective C. Swift is the latest programming language created by Apple Inc. for the development of iOS which went through a major upgrade in 2015 becoming Swift 2, now an open source programming language.

Almost every online service has an iOS mobile app and iOS Developers are very much in demand seeing how the world is moving towards mobile every single day. If you too want to get on the iOS bandwagon, check out our awesome iOS Development course and learn how to build and publish your very own iOS apps!

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Ethical Hackers: IT Security Superheroes

 

Hacking has always implied a negative connotation, and rightly so as hackers snoop around places they are not supposed to, accessing and retrieving sensitive data leading to losses (monetary and security) on a massive scale. They are a vile group who hack for personal gains. We always hear news about government secrets being traded or sensitive information of a company being stolen. How do we stop them? Lo and behold, here comes their competition, the knights who will protect us – Ethical Hackers.

Ethical hackers are a different breed of programmers. They are the silent, brooding heroes of the programming world. What do they do? They do precisely what a hacker does, but to protect and ensure the information does not go into the wrong hands. Ethical hackers put on different hats, from hacking systems for companies and governments to find loopholes to preventing black hat hackers from causing damage to an institution/organization. An ethical hacker essentially tries to get into a system using all the tools at their disposal to see how strong or safe the system security is. They check for and report areas which need improvement, places where a hacker can get through the security and wreak havoc if so willing. They essentially sweep for vulnerabilities and fix them so that anyone else cannot take advantage of the lapse.

We live in the age of the internet where everything is digitized. There is probably no workplace without a computer with internet or where a computer is not needed. In this era, information is valuable, i.e. it equals money. There are many entities that would pay handsome figures for information they can use to have someone by their hair. And to counter this threat, many governments and government organizations, financial institutions, trade and software companies, and anyone dealing with data that is sensitive to their operation have been known to employ ethical hackers to keep the data safe and away from the hands of wrongdoers who can manipulate it.

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Ethical hackers use methods such as penetration testing and exploitation, DoS attacks, hacking frameworks, social engineering tactics, security scanners to break the system security walls step-by-step. These attacks are carried out without people in the organization knowing about it, except for the senior management and stakeholders. These hackers spend days or even weeks sometimes going through the entire IT security structure trying to gain backdoor access to the information repository.

There is a fine line between different hackers and ethical hackers lie on the good side of it. Data security is of foremost importance for any organization and it pays to know the vulnerabilities that can be plugged. The area and profession of ethical hacking is fascinating, giving it a kind of a rebellious charm and appeal. This is the field where the good guys play dirty for the greater good, kind of like a rugged outlaw who saves the town from bandits! So go on, don your ethical hacker hat and take on the goons who mean harm with our splendid Ethical Hacking course.

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Ruby on Rails: The Web Application Framework for Startups

Ruby on Rails (RoR), commonly called as simply Rails, is a web application framework that has seen a staggering growth and acceptance since initial release. Developers love working with Ruby on Rails as it offers an easier way of working on web applications and takes the rigmarole and tediousness out of the work. That’s what every developer worth their salt ever dreams about! 😀

Now why startups use and prefer Rails is that a small team can get a minimum viable product into beta very quickly using tools that are fun to work with. Embracing constraints and the conventions (naming, pluralization, project structure) really do enable new talent to join a project and get up to speed quickly. The Ruby programming language offers a clean, elegant, and easy to read output which is one of the foremost intentions and needs of a company in the startup stage. Being open-source, RoR is dynamic and flexible, giving the developers something fun to work with, ‘fun for developers’ being the focus of many a startup. Happy coders equals better product. It is as simple as that!

Ruby on Rails comes with features that are extremely alluring for startups. With Ruby on Rails, the time taken for the development stage is lowered by 1.5 to 2 times than it would take using any other framework or programming language. In the business world, time is money. You save time, you save money. Talking of money, Ruby on Rails is free! Free to download, free to use, runs on a free operating system and works with mostly free databases and web servers. Now that is music to the ears for any bootstrapped startup founder!

It enables rapid development within budget, has a strong ecosystem and high compatibility, and has rightly so become the symbol of startup culture. Simply put, the major reasons that make it popular among startups are its:

  • Intelligent defaults
  • Ability for super-fast deployment
  • RubyGems, the standard Ruby package manager
  • The ever active and growing community
  • Creates a synergy for building better web applications faster

If these aren’t reasons enough, Ruby on Rails is also used by top tech companies such as Twitter, CrunchBase, Airbnb, GitHub, Kickstarter, SoundCloud, Fiverr, Bloomberg and many more. If you want to be a part of this frenzy and framework revolution, head to our Ruby on Rails live online course and get busy learning the framework of the startups!

 

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Apache Spark adds a much needed spark to Big Data processing

Apache Spark has been the new kid on the block that is now being touted as the next big thing in Big Data. It is the largest open source project in data processing and comes equipped with features that make it fast, easy to use and make it a unified engine. From the point of inception, Spark has taken followers in big companies such as Yahoo, Amazon, eBay, Groupon etc. on a massive scale. It has in a short span of time become the largest open source community in Big Data, with over 750 contributors from 200+ organizations.

Spark is a framework that enables parallel, distributed data processing. It offers a simple programming abstraction that provides powerful cache and persistence capabilities. Its framework can be deployed through Apache Mesos, Apache Hadoop via Yarn, or Spark’s own cluster manager. It also serves as a foundation for additional data processing frameworks such as Shark, which provides SQL functionality for Hadoop.

Spark is an excellent tool for iterative processing of large datasets. One way Spark is suited for this type of processing is through its Resilient Distributed Dataset (RDD). By using RDDs, programmers can pin their large data sets to memory, thereby supporting high-performance, iterative processing. Compared to reading a large data set from disk for each iteration of processing the, in-memory solution is obviously much faster. Spark enables applications in Hadoop clusters to run up to 100x faster in memory, and 10x faster even when running on disk. Spark makes it possible by reducing number of read/write to disc.

Developers can use the Spark framework via several programming languages including Java, Scala, and Python, enabling them to create and run their applications on their familiar programming languages and making it easy to build parallel apps. It comes with a built-in set of over 80 high-level operators. Spark supports SQL queries, streaming data, and complex analytics such as machine learning and graph algorithms out-of-the-box. Not only that, users can combine all these capabilities seamlessly in a single workflow.

Spark has seen implementation in standalone use cases over Hadoop such as in iterative algorithms in machine learning, interactive data mining and data processing, stream processing and sensor data processing. Spark is very easy to get started writing powerful Big Data applications. So go on, take your turn and become a master Spark developer with our all-inclusive live online course Big Data with Apache Spark using Scala.

 

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