Wednesday, March 31, 2010
But India has also a somewhat controversial reputation in the Western software niche: some thinks it is a rapidly growing country after the economic liberalisation and that the Indians will soon steal all the jobs to us, while many other people imply that India is the ideal target for low-quality work which you don't want to pay much for.
For example, the Pragmatic Bookshelf used to sell a book named My job went to india: 52 Ways to Save Your Job. It is a very good book and its goal is improving the career path. That said, it has nothing to do with India: the title was chosen as a shocking one because of the outsourcing hype at the time. It has been subsequently renamed to The Passionate Programmer.
While it is true that the cost of life in India (at least in a large part of the country) is lower than in the Western countries, I do not believe the fable that there are only terrible developers there. India is a large country and even if the statistical distribution of educated developers were the same of Europe and United States, it would be normal to encounter a vast amount of mediocre developers. We encounter them everyday in our own cities.
If you are an Indian developer, the fact that you're reading here suggests that the tail of the curve contains also quality-aware, conscientious programmers, reflecting the overall situation of every developed country. I think here in Italy we have a percentual of simply bad developers in the web engineering field at least equal to India, given all the people who jumped on the bandwagon of the information era.
By the way, a reader pitched me about an Indian event for programmers. I hope, if you are an Indian reader, it interests you and I have not wasted your time.
This event is the Great Indian Developer Summit, maybe the biggest conference for Indian software developers. It will be held in Bangalore, from April 20 to 23. The majority of the Indian visits to this blog come from Bangalore, more than from other important cities like Calcutta. Is Bangalore a technological centre? For instance, the majority of Italian visits come from Milan, while the peak of US visits is from San Francisco.
The conference is composed of 80 session, divided in the four days by technology or programming language: .NET, web-related, Java, and workshops.
About the arguments, I am not an expert of .NET technologies, but the covered topics are ASP.NET, SQL Server 2008, Visual Basic 2010, C#, Azure, Silverlight, among others. For the web day, we have Rich Internet Applications, Ajax libraries (Dojo, JQuery) vs. Flash, HTML5, frameworks such as RubyOnRails and the Python-powered Django.
The third day is dedicated to Java: the talks are mainly about frameworks (Spring, Struts, GWT, Wicket) and alternative languages that compile to bytecode for the JVM (Scala, Groovy, JRuby). The fourth day comprehends workshops on Java, Cloud Computing and rich applications, Agile development, Microsoft technologies. Also a free Internet connection is provided during all the four days.
A conference provides many learning and networking opportunities, especially in a big city like Bangalore. I'm only a starter for what concerns these events, but I can see how a full immersion in this environment can benefit an average web developer.
Original image of the Taj Mahal from Wikimedia Commons.