My TCS Elevate Wings 1 DCA Experience
I cracked TCS DCA in March 2021 and I wanted to share my experience with everyone.
I am writing this blog for my TCS colleagues who are either in the process of appearing for their DCA exam/interview or are thinking of taking the exam. I won’t go into much detail about what DCA is and its process, but I’ll be happy to answer any of your queries in the comments. This blog will solely focus on my experience and gain from this exam.
To put it simply, Elevates Wings 1 DCA program is a Direct Capability Assessment for TCS associates who have 0–3 years of work experience and have an intermediate understanding of at least one of the digital technologies — Cloud, Data Science, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain and so forth. Passing the test would give you a 100% hike on your current salary and turn ON your digital flag.
To pass the DCA exam, you need to crack the following:
- Online Exam (Aptitude Questions, Logical Reasoning, Verbal Assessment and of course coding)
- Interview Round ( Technical+Manegerial+HR)
I didn’t give a thought to TSLP path because it was driven towards ITIS domain. DCA was a perfect opportunity for me to showcase my digital technology skills.
I gave my online DCA exam in January 2021 and we were presumably the first batch (Not considering the 2019 one as it changed cadre and its difficulty was also similar to Codevita). I don’t remember preparing for this online exam much but this is what I did —
- Aptitude: I started solving Indiabix and PrepInsta TCS Digital Cadre questions 5 days before the exam.
- Verbal Reasoning and Logical Reasoning : No preparation as I was quite confident with both these sections.
- Coding: Hackerrank Easy Questions and PrepInsta TCS Digital Cadre questions.
STORY TIME of the EXAM DAY!
Although I did religiously practice aptitude for those 5 days, none of that helped me in the actual exam. Here's why --> They made us wait for more than 1.5 hrs before actually starting the exam. By this time my head started pounding because of the chilled room. I already wanted to go home.
For aptitude,my preparation didn't help as I expected. The questions were not only lengthy to read but were also time consuming. I barely solved 6 out of 15 questions and was already running out of time. For rest of the 9 questions, I made a calculative guess and that's about it. Like I said,I did want to go home as my headache intensified and couldn't care less reading the rest of the questions.Verbal and Reasoning flew by without any trouble as they were quite easy for me and I knew I scored a perfect score in both these sections. I finished them in 10 mins or so.Then comes, the coding round - Both the questions were easy. First question was related to digits and second question was related to strings. I had practiced with C++ but that damn compiler didn't work for anybody.C++ compiler was not available in the test software. Had to make a quick decision and moved to Python. Successfully completed and ran my first code with a success of all 5/5 test cases. Completed and ran the second code, but it was still taking the test cases of the first question. This was an issue with many so we again called the supervisor but they put a blame on us, saying we are only ill-prepared. I just dropped it as my headache had increased and now all I could think was taking a Crocin and going to sleep. After the exam, all girls got an escorted Ola service with a TCS security guard in the taxi dropping us home which was very nice of TCS.The next day, everyone on knome requested for a retake of coding section which we did get on February. This time I worked with Python and completed both code. It was a tad bit tougher than the earlier test but nothing too difficult. I had managed to get 8/10 test cases through.
I must to get this out — DCA coding is not hard. I had many people saying that they were told to go for the TSLP path because DCA is extremely difficult and suitable only for a few. I call bluff on that as DCA is actually way easier to crack than any product-based interview.
Sometime around end of February I got my result of being selected for interview round. My interview was going to be technical+ manegerial (this will be mentioned in your email along with the name of the panel member in CC).
I was told to have my setup ready. It was supposed to be a web camera interview with that one interviewer but since I had a Thinclient, I had no camera so I connected with my talent HR and get it sorted. After 2 days, I was told to attend the interview on MS Teams without camera.
My interview was of 30 mins. Keep in mind, I work in an infrastructure project and already had 1.5 years of experience. I was interviewing for DCA with interest in Data Science. My interviewer had the knowledge of both the areas so I was actually astonished.
He had my digital profile for reference so please fill your digital profile religiously like you would do for your resume.Here are few of the questions that were asked to me:
- Tell me about yourself and your current project.
- So I can see that you are working on automation using Python. He just read aloud about my automations from my digital profile.
- I had to correct him here saying this is one of my extra initiatives I took in my project and my main role is of a System Administrator. I was not going to dig my grave by giving or pretending to be a developer.
- What daily work do you do as a System Admin?
- What kind of servers do you work on?
- Does your project follow SDLC or Agile model?
- I said Agile. Big mistake. I said Agile because on Ultimatix, my project is listed to be using the Agile business model. That was the only reason I said Agile.
- How many storypoints do you present in a sprint?
- Like I said, I made a mistake there. I politely told him I don’t work on user stories and the tasks are usually on servicenow or are given by seniors. Since I am a junior, I can only join the internal TCS scrum calls. Nothing else.
- Tell me about on production issue that was really stressful and how did you resolve it?
- Have you participated in any hackathons?
- I said yes,so he asked me to elaborate about them — problem statement, what was the dataset like, what algorithm I used, what was the accuracy and the outcome of the model.
- Explain one automation you did. Did you come up with it or did someone tell you to do it? If you came up with it, what is the process you followed?
- This was the deal-breaker question for me. He was very impressed with my answer and I could see that he was now very involved in the interview as soon as I started talking about this automation.
- So you are good with documentations and presentations? (Followup from question 9)
- Some more python specific questions like iterators and generators.
- How can data science be used in your current project?
- I know you work in an Infrastructure project but is there any possibility that data science is already in use somewhere in your project?
- What is your favorite Algorithm that is used currently in any industry?
- Where do you see yourself in 2 years?
- He was looking at my digital profile and saw that my manager had endorsed me for Python E3 and when I said working in Data Science. He said good choice and proceeded to tell me about the possibilities and benefits of a career in Data Science.
I got my Congratulations email in March saying I have passed my DCA interview and will get my salary breakdown after I succeed in getting an A/B band in current cycle.
Sadly, there was no shift to TCS Digital or there was no switch to IT domain or to another project as indicated in the then SOP.
From all this, I got a 100% salary hike on my salary before band hike. My band hike was canceled. My digital flag was also turned ON to indicate Digital Cadre. Most of the extra money is under Elevate Incentives which would stop the moment we get a C or D band.
My point in creating this blog was during my time, we didn’t have many resources to rely on and I believe my sharing my experience will definitely help prospective DCA aspirants to prepare better for their DCA interviews and to help them on what to expect during these rounds.
I am open to any questions in the comment section and will answer to the best of my knowledge. In case you are taking the DCA exam, WISH YOU ALL THE BEST AND I HOPE YOU SUCCEED!!!