Wednesday, March 31, 2010

India, and the Great Indian Developer Summit

At least according to Google Analytics, if we leave out for a moment my Western audience, I have a significant amount of readers from India. One of the advantages of the Internet era is that it lets us communicate with other, far parts of the world on a daily basis. Here in Italy India is famous for its history, being one of the most important centers for commerce in the world, and for its variegate culture and religions.
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.


bonndan said...

My two cents: I live and work in Germany, and compared to India the average wage must be astronomical. However, I don't think anybody here should be afraid to lose his job because of this.
There are good and bad developers in every country (even in the same company). If you are lucky enough to hire a good foreign developer, you still have to communicate with him/her.
That's the crucial point and what probably saves your overpaid jobs.
Some time ago I worked in a team with Russian and Italian developers face to face. No matter how good theses people were, and of course all tried to speak English, it took ages to clearify things.
On another occasion I worked with a designer from the US by email. This was even worse. Although she did a good job the collaboration was terrible, because we never met face to face.

When it comes to a point beyond programming and logic, the advantages of global collaboration decrease, and costs are not really lowered as much as expected. And if something goes wrong, the best option you have is to call somebody 7000km away - you would hardly file a lawsuit there or travel there personally. Advantage == NULL

Anonymous said...

At present,In India there are vast number of opportunities for graduates.All government organisations have openings and recruiting right persons.This is a good chance to graduates.There are so many job openings in IT/non-IT side.