Is software development international?

A quick glance across the developer agenda for the next couple of months sees a number of our industry favourites hosting the European versions of some of the events and meetings that have been staged stateside this summer.This got me thinking – I used to be involved with an Australian developer magazine (which was so named) at the time of us needing to change the title to “International” so that we could sell it outside the grand shores of Oz.

A quick glance across the developer agenda for the next couple of months sees a number of our industry favourites hosting the European versions of some of the events and meetings that have been staged stateside this summer.

This got me thinking – I used to be involved with an Australian developer magazine (which was so named) at the time of us needing to change the title to “International” so that we could sell it outside the grand shores of Oz. The feedback from the Aussie development community was not on the whole positive I can tell you - they didn’t want international, they wanted Australian.

So if vendors stage their events on both sides of the pond – is the content any different?

Of course if it’s a straight repeat of a previous event, then at least attendees in the home country in question get to attend without international travel. So that’s good. There’s also the language barrier to consider I guess.

But if they just replace local country spokespeople and run the same event – should we pay attention? Especially if there is plenty of web reportage out there from press who have attended the US events.

I spoke to Microsoft Australia’s head of development Frank Arrigo (who has since switched to Redmond) about these issues a while back and he said that while development should always be international that there were pockets where specialised areas of focus have been brought to bear.

His example for Oz was that much of the Vista testing had gone on down under as it was a nicely ‘separated’ microcosm of development professionals who used English as their first language and knew what they were doing.

While we like to look at British and European generated developments and stories in our home market – I wonder just how international we consider our own outlook to be on the industry?

Ask an outsourcer – and you know what answer you’ll get. Ask an Australian and you may get a different opinion, but not always. Ask a development professional from the sub-continent and they’ll probably want to be as international as possible. Ask an American or a Brit and your guess is as good as mine. At the risk of stereotyping, I’ll stop there.

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