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Democracy in software engineering?

Article first published as Software is Democratic on Technorati.

Maybe you have read “Funky Business“. Two Swedish professors, Jonas Ridderstrale and Kjell Nordström, are writing about how information open more opportunities for less developed countries.
Internet access is cheap, the need for application is great and the offer is high. The quality can vary, but this happens in all the cases, no matter the origin of the author. Now, the most significant competitive advantage is the intelligence of the software engineer.
The engineering is democratizing in what regards software. With a decent speaking of English, a decent internet connection and anyone can challenge the old markets. MIT is publishing courses on their website Many other universities do the same. Internet is full of tutorials and courses. So the information is easy to grasp and use at will
One can argue that you need licenses for the tools. This is partly true. On one hand, there are plenty of frameworks for free. You need a few bucks to be able to publish apps on Apple Store. Or the well known platforms of download, where you can offer your products.
As well, the pressure from emerging markets can be seen in highly specialized markets. Telecom, automotive electronics are now produced all over the world. The development locations are spread in the same way. A few months ago, Bosch opened a new development center in Vietnam. How do you find this? I find it as a natural step to globalization.
The funny thing is that salaries in developed countries are not going down, even with this equality of chances. This is, IMHO, due to large increase in demand of applications. Suddenly, you can sell thousands of applications on web stores. Nevertheless, compared to 10 years ago, I do have at least 5 devices which embed software. The new TV set I would like to buy has even WiFi included. My fridge has a complicated algorithm of freezing. The oven can be set in all kind of programs. I don’t have an iPhone. Still, my phone has internet connection, camera and calendar included. I expect that average gadgets do have more lines of code than AppleII computer.

So, there is room for everyone. The next thing will be to transfer all this programming mindset from single processors to multiprocessors. Let’s see how this will change the world.

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