Friday, September 6, 2013

Incident at Guest House

I think everyone forgot about the incident at the Guest House in the past, because there was almost a fight today.

Here is the story again:  Please read it and try and learn a lesson.

Incident at the guest house

We have students that stay with us at the guest house and we had an incident that happened that I think everybody can learn from.

A recent student had come to the guest house and did not have cash, but had a check for $1000 from some relative of his. Let's call him " the douchebag."

One of the other kids had been working and had money, and was generally a nice guy, said "OK, I will lend you $50 and you can pay me back after you get money again." We'll call him "the money lender" The agreement was done and the douchebag took the $50.

After a week the money lender asked for his $50 back and the douchebag blew him off, saying yeah yeah you will get your money.

Second week comes and still no money had been returned, so money lender asked again.  The douchebag gets angry and takes some money out of his pocket and throws it at the money lender, saying "Here is some money, I will pay you the rest as soon as I cash the check," and shows his check again.  The money lender picks up the money that was thrown and it happens to be $26.  So there are a few more words exchanged and a small fight takes place.  The douchebag locks himself in the bathroom and calls the police.

Here we get a divergence in the story.  The money lender says that there was no real physical damage done, but that the douchebag emerged out of the bathroom with physical bruises and had blood on his face and he went to the police and said that he was attacked. The police ended up arresting the money lender.

The money lender is taken to jail. His boss goes to bail him out, but is told that until he faces the judge the next morning, there is no way to get him out of jail.  The next day goes in front of the judge who sets his bail at $500 and finally the money lender is out of jail.

The court case on this was May 17, 2011 and here is the final outcome.  The money lender was fined $750 plus 35 hours of community service and 9 months of probation.  The lawyer cost was $5000.

So the money lender, who was trying to be a nice guy, ended up losing $5750 plus all the community service hours and the 9 months of probation.

So there are lots of questions that arise from this situation:

1) Would you lend a roommate in the guest house money?
2) If you did and were not paid back, would you confront that roomate?
3) If you knew you could get convicted of assault and it could be determined to be a felony, which would guarantee that you will not get an H1B, how would this determine your actions? Would they change? Stay the same? 

This is a real life story that happened recently. What would you do when confronted with this situation?

Monday, August 26, 2013

Contract and Violation

We make our students sign a one year contract to work for us when they wish to have free training.

The contract is crystal clear:

1) Training and Guest House is Free
2) You have to work for us for a period of 1 year - This is actual 12 months of work
3) We will pay for H1B if needed, we pay salary of $56,000 plus benefits
4) They will have a Non-Compete, in which they cannot join the vendor or the client where they have been placed.
5) Notice period is 3 months and you have to give me 3 month notice

I placed a kid at Wipro for a contract they had at Ford.  He finished 9 months of his contract and then decided to join Wipro full-time.

So I asked my lawyer (Yes, we have an in-house lawyer that works on contingency) to sue him for:

$50,000 - For Violation of his non-compete
$5,000 - For violation of his contract
$8,000 - For Guest House usage

As soon as I sent this letter to my lawyer to initiate the lawsuit, he calls me and says to me:

"OK, I still have to work for 3 months, I will back date the contract for 2 weeks so that way I just have to complete 2.5 months and then I am done."

I said no, you have to give a three month notice and there is no such thing as back dating a notice period.  I mentioned that even after he completes his contract he cannot work at Wipro or Ford since he was introduced to them via our initial  placement.

So, he says to me, "But once I finish your contract what does it matter what I do?"

Again I patiently explain that he has a non-compete.  Even after you complete your contract, you cannot join Wipro, since this will be a violation of his non-compete.  I explain that he can sit out for 1 year and then join, and than he is OK.

Anyway I have a feeling that he feels once he finishes his one year, he is done and that the Non-Compete does not apply to him.

Guys, the idea of a Non-Compete is that as an employee you do not usurp an opportunity that the company has introduced you to.

Courts have ruled consistently that Non-Competes are valid.

I did explain to our employee what a non-compete is, so in case he does violate it, we will sue him for violating his non-compete.  I think it will be a good test for the validity of our contract and maybe we will lose, but in case we do, we will sit with our lawyers and tighten the language to make it viable.

I do not think what I ask of my students is too much.

I just felt it was an interesting discussion, so I thought that I would share it.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Lawyer Q&A for H1B and OPT Candidates

We have a lot of employees now and we use a lawyer for our H1B cases and other issues that come up.

Here is a list of Q&A that our employees have come up with and the answer that our lawyer has given.  Hopefully it will help others that are looking for answers:

Question 1:

I am right now in India and need some advice from you regarding my H1B stamping.

I have received my H1B approval notice on January 23rd, 2013 with a valid date from 11/08/2012 to 09/30/2015, while I was working at client A.

The H1B got approved with location at San Jose, CA, Client A.

Later on Feb 11th 2013, I moved to Austin, TX, Client B. with same duties and same  position title. 

My employer applied LCA for Change in previously approved employment and mentioned location change to Ausin, TX. I received LCA Certification validity from Feb 11th 2013 to Feb 10th 2016.

Do I need to do H1B Amendment now with Client B details for Visa stamping? I am with the same employer till date.

Answer 1:

Hi, tough question.

According to CIS, there is no need to file amended petition. What he needs is a valid LCA which he has. See the attached. But the Consulate most likely would like to see the amended H1B petition. So, he better ask his employer to file it. 

Here is the Shotwell Memo  that clarifies this:

Here is a link to download the Shotwell Memo:

Question 2:

When I go for H1 stamping, I will be on F1 status and my MBA degree will be in progress and I am on F1-CPT currently. As I will be applying to change the status in middle of degree, can this act of mine raise 'Conflict of interest' issue in eyes of US Consulate? Any suggestions to respond to this situation ? What should be my response if asked about changing status when I haven't completed my degree yet?

Answer 2:

No, H-1B holders can pursue degree in the US

Question 3:

My mother in law has a green card. She left for India and it’s been more than 6 months (about 8 months). Green card requires at least 6 months stay in the US every year (not sure what the exact law is). She expects to stay in India for a longer period.

So, wanted to know what our options now are to keep the green card alive.

Answer 3:

She needs to come back before the end of one year.  She will not have any issue to come if she comes back before the end of one year.  If she has trouble in the airport, tell her to not sign anything; instead, insist to have hearing with the court. Once here, file re-entry permit, which allows her to stay in India for two years. before re-entry permit expires, come back and file another one for another 2 years. After that, she has to live here 6-months a year. 

Question 4:

As discussed, I have got an emergency trip to India next week, while my L1B to H1B Change of status is in process what are the outcome of action If I go ahead with my trip?

 Answer 4:

He can go, but his change of status from L1 to H1 will be automatically denied. Then, after his H1 approval, he has to go again to apply for a new H1 visa to come back. Or, you may upgrade his H1 to premium, and after H1 approval, he can go and come back on L1.

(So the basic answer for anyone that applied for an H1B in April and needs to go out of the country needs to wait until the H1B is approved before they go.  In this instance he needs to wait for the H1B approval and  then he can go and come back on his L1 and his H1B will be active from October 1)

Question 5:

Our recent employee says that his I-140 is approved and but his old employer is not willing to give the approval notice.  He was in USA recently for 4.5 years and his new H1B with us got approved for 1 year, and he wants to know how to proceed.

Answer 5:

If his I-140 is approved, he can get 3-yr H1B forever in the future. But if he cannot the the I-140 notice, then he can, file a Freedom of Information Act with CIS to get I-140 Copy which will show his case # and date of approval.

Question 6:

I got an H1B approved with a new company, but I have a Stamping done when I was with my old company. Do I need to get stamping done again before I come to USA.

Answer 6:

Do you mean you have valid visa stamping of H1b from old company? If yes, you are safe, just show your passport and your new I-797 approval from new employer.  See the attached documents. But do NOT show this unless you have trouble, and then insist to talk with the supervisor, and then show the attached.

Here is what you need to show:

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Market is Picking up

We have had 7 placements in the last 1 week and I feel like the market has picked up and we are starting our classes in earnest again.  I hated to teach classes when I knew that the market is slow. 

Our SAP classes are starting again and we are taking students for the rest of our classes also now.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Do You Know JAVA?

I have a few companies that are willing to hire you full time if you know JAVA.  So if you know JAVA and feel you can pass and face-to-face interview and are capable o doing a live skills challenge then they will hire you.

If you know JAVA, please send me your actual resume and I will work the below companies to get you hired.

Here is the deal:

Company 1: Located in Detroit MI

The first week is free.  They will pay $15 per hour for the first month after the first free week and then after the probation period, you will be hired for full time at $25 per hour plus benefits.

This company will decide what other training you might need and will discuss their needs during the interview.

You will have to relocate to Detroit MI for this opportunity.

Company 2: Located in Herndon VA

They will hire only 1 person every month of 1 person every 2 months.  The first month will be free and from the second month you will be paid at $56,000 salary plus benefits.

They have a core product that they work on, and they will provide additional training on their product before they place you on a live project.

You will have to relocate to Herndon VA for this opportunity.

Company 3: Located in Dallas TX

They want 4-5 full trained JAVA students.

The first month will be free and from the second month you will be paid at $40,000 salary plus benefits.

They will train you for an additional 2-3 months on their core product.

You have multiple locations in USA and based on their need, you can be at any location.


SAP Market

In my view the SAP market is dead.  As you noticed, I have stopped teaching SAP since January. 

There a few modules in SAP that are doing OK and here they are.  If you are in training and not doing one of these, you are wasting your time.

SAP BO with BW
Virtex or Sabrix
SAP CLM (Contract Lifecycle Management)

SAP MRS - Multi Resource Scheduling
SAP EH&S - Environment Health & Safety

I am sure that there are other niche areas in SAP that are doing well that I am unaware of, but from my knowledge, the above few SAP modules are doing well.

There is simply no way to get a job in SAP anymore with just the base modules.  There are too many consultants with real-time experience.  Bill rates have also fallen to $50.  Sure there a few positions with $100 bill rate, but I think going forward those rates will be to get every again.

I remember days when we used to bill $250/hr for a SAP consultant.

This is just a reminder that in IT you have to be nimble and keep learning.

Training and Placement

I have mentioned in the past that we are very successful in training and placement. Except for a few verticals in healthcare, I would say that 2013 had been terrible. I have spent a total of about $300,000 over the last 5 month with a return of less than $50,000 over this period.  This is tremendous money that I an my students that have paid for classes have wasted together.

Most of our students join based on my word that the technology is in demand.  By the time we start a training and by the time we end a training the market changes and the demand may have disappeared.

I have always tried to be extremely honest in everything I tell my students.

So today we had an incident and I thought I would write about it.  I am sure there are lessons to be learned by everyone from this.

We started a class in November of 2012, because I had a technology that was in demand and I was given a verbal order for over 84 resources for the month of January and February by 2 large IT consulting companies.  This class ended up finishing in February and we started marketing our students then.  The large IT consulting companies bowed out, saying that either they lost a contract or that the client has not signed off on the contract as they promised and the project was on hold.

I collected a total of $12,500 from running that class, from students that had paid.  My cost for the class ended up being $58,000 for the teachers and possibly another $100,000 in allocated overhead.  I ended up placing just 1 student from that class (I have had a client say that they wanted 4-5 American or GC candidates in about 30 days, so maybe I can break even one day - We will see).

The market is full of full-time opportunities, but hardly any corp-to-corp opportunities.

I can the frustration of students from what I promised and what was delivered, and it is frustrating to me also that I could not deliver as I promised.

But from the point the class start until now, the market has changed so much, but it is simply indescribable.  I would never have imagined that this change would have occurred so quickly or caught me off guard like it did.  Forget the $250,000 that I lost, it makes to sick that I was unable to help people that I promised to help.  I may eventually be able to help them, since I feel a little traction now, so I guess we will see.

VXL Academy - First Course

I am announcing a full-time program that we are calling VXL Academy.

VXL Academy will have a series of courses designed with students in mind that will train them in specific IT verticals.  All courses will be designed with the IT market demands and we will train you for being hired as full time employee for either large IT consulting companies or Fortune 500 companies.

Based on market demand here if our first course:

1) JAVA Professional - This course will teach Core JAVA and J2EE along with lots of projects so that a student can practically apply all the skills they learn.  This course will also teach Database Theory and Middleware Services.

Here are the terms of the training.

1) Training will last 12 Weeks
2) Training will be everyday - Just like a college.
3) Companies will be invited to our facility for recruitment after 3 months.
4) Taking the classes will be FREE.  The students will pay after they get a full-time job of $2000 a month for 6 months.
5)You will have to find your own accommodations during this period.

Admission Process:

The admission process consists of 2 steps.  Please send us an email with your interest and we will send you a link to take an online quiz.  If you clear this, you will be invited for a face-to-face visit.  During this visit you will have a face-to-face interview with your teacher and given another exam.

We intend to take students with very high aptitude for IT.  We will be taking just 20 students for our first batch.

Consulting vs. Full-time

There were two distinct business models that have worked for the last few years.

1) Bring qualified people from India - Large Consulting companies in India have a terrific training and mentoring program in India.  Usually if you can find an employee with 5 years of real time experience from India, it would be very easy to place them as consultants in USA.  This was the dominate business model from 1997 until 2010.

2) In 2010 onwards the USCIS changed their policy and made getting an H1B approval and stamping done from India, almost impossible.  This caused for a shift in the business model and from 2010-2012 most companies did very well training recent masters graduates and placing them as consultants.  Each company had an area of focus and it did not really matter what the area of focus was, a majority of them did very well.

We have now entered 2013 and it seems like both of the above models are dead.  Currently the IT market is looking for either full-time employees or for very senior level IT consultants.  Sometimes it amazes me how quickly a change occurs.

With the new immigration bill on everyone's mind, I had a chat with the head of a large Indian IT consulting company and I see another change in the market ahead.

Here is the future of IT in my view:

Most consulting companies have come to realize that there is simply no way that the US government is going to let companies get away with having large amounts of staff on H1B, L1, B1 etc..  They have come to the realization that they will be forced to have 50% of Greencard (GC) or Us Citizens (USC), if not immediately then soon.  With this in mind I have started getting inquiries from Large IT Consulting  companies if I will train recent college graduates for them.  They will apparently hire them out of college at $30,000 - $40,000 on a fulltime salary and then send them to us for 3-4 months and they want us to train them in various technologies.  So far I have gotten a request for training for 20 students to get trained in JAVA (Core annd J2EE) plus SQL BI.

Based on my experience I think the model going forward that will be successful will be to train US Citizens and Green Card holder in:

1) Train on JAVA along with database knowledge and allow large companies to come and recruit and hire as full-time employees.  Most new software are based on JAVA as a back end.   From Guidewire to Lombardi, almost all the new successful software requires a knowledge of JAVA.

2) Work with large IT recruiters and see what demand they have and train for that niche with a contract in hand.

With all this in mind I think VXL has come to a crossroad.  We must decide what our future is going to be.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

More Info About the BA class starting in Wash DC

We have an exciting new class that is starting at our Falls Church VA facility.  If you or your friends are interested here are the details.  The teacher is very talented and has already build a large company and sold it to IBM.  He is now back to his first love, teaching and working with students.

He is working on a live project and he expects everyone to come to the office every day.  He wants everyone to participate in the live meetings and the see the documentation and will expect you to do the work as he does the work on a daily basis.  He says if you follow his advice he can insure you of 100% placement.  He will be in the office every day to work with everybody.

I am so excited about this class, I cannot even express it in words.

We are looking to train and place students in: (I prefer US Citizens or GC, but we will take OPT's also)

Business Analyst – Start Date – July 13th at 9AM
This course will take a total of 1 month and will be taught live in Falls Church VA.  

Placement will be in Northern VA or in New York NY.

To be considered for our FREE training, please contact me via email or phone.

We Provide:
1) Free training and placement
2) Free H1B Processing
3) Free Accommodations in our Guest House


Domain Expertise
PM and Business Analysis Skills
• Capital Markets
A Career in Business Analysis
• Secondary Mortgage and Securitization
• Fundamentals of BA
• Fixed Income Products
• The Role of a Business Analyst
• Fixed Income Accounting
• IT Analyst
• Market Data Management
• BA Process
• Interest Rate Risk Management
CBAP(Certified Business Analyst Professional)
• Market Risk Management and Ratings
• Introduction to Business Analysis Body of Knowledge
• Credit Risk Management
• Business Analysis Planning and Monitoring
• Counterparty Risk and Exposure Management
• Requirements Elicitation
• Collateral Management (Cash, Non Cash, Paper)
• Requirements Management and Communications
• Bonds and Stocks and their Life cycles
• Enterprise Analysis
• Securities Finance/Lending, REPO and Money Markets
• Requirements Analysis
•Mortgage Back Security Types
• Underlying Competencies
• Rates, Factors and Cash flows for Fixed Income Products
• Solution Assessment and Validation
 •Some other Finance related topics.
• Business Analysis Techniques
Data Analysis and QA Skills
• Agile SCRUM
• Enterprise Data Exchange Standards
• Querying Databases for Analyzing Data
• Drill Down and Solution Roadmaps
• Writing Test Plans and Test Cases
• Mind Maps
Other Topics

• Real Time examples

• Sample coursework

• Resume Preparation

• Interview Preparation

• Answering Vendor Phone Calls and Communication

• On Job Behavior and Professionalism

• How to succeed at work.