I'm back.  Having been my first trip to India in 22 years, I found it to be a remarkable experience, both from a personal as well as professional level.  While I won’t bore you with the details of my personal revelations (I have a separate personal “trip report” that I will publish somewhere else for those who are really interestedJ), I am excited to share my observations as a Microsoft guy.  I found a thriving community of .NET professionals that have embraced the products Microsoft has created and are very anxious to get on the leading edge of technology.   Between my visits with customers and partners in Mumbai and Hyderabad, I noticed some very interesting trends...

  • patterns & practices has broad coverage, but not deep coverage  Everywhere I went, someone knew about patterns & practices and claimed that it was a huge help in their development efforts.  However, they thought that not enough people in their organizations know about it.  This seems similar to our adoption in the US.
  • Enthusiastic support all around India This is a region that we have not been able to focus on due to geographical challenges as well as general bandwidth.  However, the last two weeks proved that a stronger investment is necessary.  The developers of India are big fans of patterns & practices and crave a greater connection to our team.  They were big fans of many of our initiatives to broaden access to our content, including patterns & practices Live webcasts and the patterns & practices Summit. 
  • Our material is extremely warranted The consistent message I got about our group was “it’s about time, Microsoft!”.  We were saluted for finally embracing a solution-oriented approach to selling (as opposed to product-oriented).  In addition, the introduction of design patterns and application blocks were applauded as signals that Microsoft has grown up in the enterprise. 
  • People see patterns & practices as training material as well as reusable assets Many of these companies are growing their workforces at a breakneck pace.  To maintain the quality of their work, they are looking to patterns & practices as examples on how to write best practices code. 
  • Many people are stunned at the size of PAGThere’s no way a group that small can make an impact that big.”  I heard this quote a few times and I took pride in what it meant.  I think that’s a testament to our team and the passion that leads it to overachieve. 

I had a lot of cherised moments, but I think the two I will take away the most was my meeting with Ramalinga Raju (Founder and Chairman of Satyam) and a small session I did with the Microsoft User Group in Hyderabad I've always seen Mr. Raju as a pioneer in Indian software development and it was quite an honor to spend some time with him.  We discussed some business (he's a fan of the patterns & practices mission ) as well as some non-business issues.  He's built a terrific NGO called the Byrraju Foundation  in Hyderabad that has similarities to the Gates Foundation and has done wonderful things for the indigent people of Andhra Pradesh, the state where Hyderabad is located.  It's a testament to the benefits of globalization and what it can do for a community that has struggled to provide education and healthcare for its people.  While I was certainly a little starstruck at meeting Mr. Raju, my meeting with the user group in Hyderabad was much less formal and a lot of fun.  How many people can say that they have ever attended a meeting at an Irish pub in an Indian city to discuss a set of technologies from an American company that are used all around the world?  Ahh, the global economyJ. Anyway, these guys were really enthusiastic about .NET and their opinions about it as well as patterns & practices.  They pointed out some interesting observations about the framework (example: many patterns are essentially embedded with the .NET Fx--we should be calling those out) as well as our blocks (the only real way to grow the career path of developers is to make sure people learn from the code as opposed to just dropping them in and using them). Having meetings like these remind me why I enjoy my job and make some of the more frustrating parts of the job more bearable.  I hope to stay connected with them and help them continue to embrace Microsoft technologies and .NET. 


Well, there you have it.  I am back in Seattle and slowly shaking off the jet lag and time change.  To those of you out there that took the time to meet with me during my visit, I want to say thank you again for your hospitality.  It was an unforgettable experience and I am sure I will be back someday...

 

{Alice In Chains - Unplugged}