April 2, 2006

South Africa agrees with my 'programming talent is everywhere' theory

Author: Robin 'Roblimo' Miller

Commentary: Every speech I give in a country where poverty (by US standards) is the rule, not the exception, contains a statement that programming talent is everywhere; that it is not limited to white males in prosperous parts of the world. And, I say, open source software is the best way to find and develop your population's hidden programming talent. This tectonic article shows that South Africa has recognized the truth of my thesis -- and is doing something about it.I can't claim credit for South Africa's decision to encourage people in one of its poorest jurisdictions to learn how to use the Internet and -- yes -- become open source developers. I am far from the only person who realizes that the next world-changing genius programmer may be small, dark, female, wearing rags, and living in a hovel without electricity or indoor plumbing. But it takes a chorus, not a single voice, to drum in the idea that even the poorest people can contribute to the world's store of intellectual property if they are given a chance, and I am proud to be part of that chorus.


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