New Delhi: Concerned with the huge gap between what engineering students are taught and what the industry is looking for, Anand Agarwal, Nitin Bhide and Vishwajeet Singh quit their engineering jobs to develop BootStrapToday.com, a live system that allows students to actively contribute to ongoing projects in companies.
Every information technology (IT) company spends at least six-eight months on a candidate in training him for the real environment, says Agarwal. “BootStrapToday can bridge that gap by providing a platform where students can work on live projects (and) collaborate with each other under mentors from the industry.”
An October 2009 report by IT industry lobby Nasscom showed 75% of Indian engineering graduates are unemployable. IT companies were found to reject 90% of graduates and 75% of qualified engineers because they weren’t fit for training.
Just over three months old, BootStrapToday, operated by Pune-based Sensible Softwares Pvt. Ltd, has 150 active accounts, set up by both students and companies. An account can be set up with a simple log-in and can be completely free. Companies use these accounts to create projects and publish them online, or they ask for help with research and development work or with prototype projects. Students apply for these projects and work in teams under a mentor. They also use their accounts to host their own projects online.
Click here to listen to a podcast with BootStrapToday founder Nitin Bhide on the security features of the product
Before coming across BootStrapToday, Ajay Kumar Garg managed all his assignments and projects on his desktop. “With BootStrapToday, I can work on my assignments from anywhere in my spare time,” says Garg, a student at the DY Patil Institute of Engineering and Technology in Pune. “I have the full history of when and what changes I had made.”
BootStrapToday has begun to gain traction in the micro, small and medium enterprise sector. It provides companies with a single platform to market a product and reduce operational expenses, while enabling real-time collaboration and traceability.
“On average, for such projects one needs to hire a person and pay him Rs 25,000 a month,” Agarwal says. “Also, there is the cost of taking regular back-ups, updates, buying space on servers, and their maintenance. All this adds up to an expense of Rs 30,000-40,000 a month.”
BootStrapToday provides services for as low as $9 per month (Rs 405). There are four plans, not including the basic free option, and costs depend on the number of users, projects and storage space. The platinum plan, for $99 (Rs 4,500), provides 25GB of storage space with access for unlimited users and projects.