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The Indian techie codes better than his Chinese peer, but there's a big catch

When one compares techies who can code correctly with few errors, the gap between India and China narrows.

ET Online|
Updated: Mar 26, 2019, 10.18 AM IST
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According to the findings of the survey, India is ahead of China when it comes to coding skills.
A new front has just opened in the game of brownie points between India and China, except that this round is being fought in an unusual place — the office desk of IT companies big and small.

Aspiring Minds' new Annual Employability Survey 2019 has just come up with a skill comparison between Indian and Chinese applicants for software jobs at IT majors.

According to the findings of the survey, India is ahead of China when it comes to coding skills. 4.7% of Indian applicants for software engineering jobs possess good coding skills — which basically means the ability to write functionally correct code. In comparison, a mere 2.1% of Chinese software jobseekers have similar skills.

So, India 1, China 0? Not quite. There is a sizeable catch in these findings. When one compares software engineers who can code correctly with few errors, the gap between India (9.8%) and China (8.6%) significantly narrows.

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There is another interesting aspect to it. The number of Indians who can code properly is generally bigger than those in China, but India has way smaller a number of engineers who can write a compilable code. 37.7% of Indian engineers fail on this front, while the figure is much smaller for China at 10.35%.

The dynamics of jobseeking are changing fast in an increasingly connected world where more and more Indians and Chinese compete for the same positions. In the current scenario, IT companies don't just compete in their own domestic ecosystem but have spread their wings across the world. This has given rise to much greater competition for talent in countries big on IT.

IT/ITeS companies in India have increased their workforce in the US, while Chinese companies have increasingly opened offices in the Silicon Valley and made a strong bid to attract American talent.

Keeping this in view, the survey draws a comparison between the two on various fronts of the IT jobs battle. It shows how the test scores differ for Indian and Chinese software engineers that IT majors hired for entry-level positions.

This comparison is based on the scores of candidates in AUTOMATA, a machine-learning based simulated test of programming skills.

Here are two other big findings in the area of programming ability levels: (a) 6.5% Chinese engineers can write correct with few anomalies while the corresponding figure for India is lower at 5.2%, and (b) 81% Chinese are unable to write functionally correct code compared to 52.5% Indians.

From the findings it looks like honours even, but does the survey say where the two Asian powerhouses stand compared to IT's global powers? It does. It shows how the US beats both India and China hands down in this area. 18.8% of American techies can write functionally and logically correct code, and only 4.1% of them falter at writing compilable code. That would mean the American techie is way ahead of his Indian or Chinese counterpart when it comes to these two key domains.
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