Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Fun, Sun, and Distributed Software Development

RedSwoosh moved their engineering team to Thailand for a couple weeks and received alot of good press for their working vacation on the beach.

It's a great example of the possibilities for the nomadic cyber hacker culture my friend Ulrich has been promoting

When I arrived in India, I spent 6 months searching for a location that balanced my ambition to create an Internet Start-up Factory with a desire for a fun healthy life style. My search ended when I landed in Koregoan Park, Pune. Its a resort area, but also has a vital tech scene, and is known as a university town within India.

Since then I have been a part of a number of global software development projects and feel strongly that to make global development more healthy its good to get everyone involved spending as much time as possible hanging out together. So, for western companies there is a real economic incentive to be working with remote engineering teams located some place nice. It makes it much more likely the western part of the team will be willing to spend significant time working directly with their Indian counterparts creating the team spirit and cohesiveness necessary for a healthy engineering organization.

With the outsourced engineering projects I've seen go bad, the failure has come from an 'us and them' type attitude between the US and Indian development teams where the two sides talk generically about the other side as a whole rather than about the individual issues with specific people. This would be alot less antagonistic if everyone involved had spent several weeks working together from a beach shack in Goa.

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