The MAX 2008 conference dates have been announced and it seems like an Indian edition is again overlooked. It all looked very promising when Ted Patrick blogged Bangalore as a possible location for next year but turns out those plans were abandoned for whatever reason. I think this is a mistake on Adobe's part and am happy Vivek Kumar opened it up for debate on his blog. India and its developer community are a huge potential market for Adobe. Just look at the growth of the Flex community and what this trend indicates.
Why do I care? I've just returned from my 8th trip to India, have visited some of the most rural parts of South India and been to modern IT hubs like Gurgaon, Haryana. What I noticed is two things: Microsoft has a huge footprint throughout the country and to computer science graduates its looked at as the de facto direction to take for success as an IT professional. Those working with Adobe technology are often stuck in dead-end jobs in large corporations, mostly doing outsourced work for the US market, where creativity is seen as an obstacle rather than an asset.
Its not just about a conference like MAX, in many ways India is not taken seriously and what bugs me most is that a lot of developers seem to have become pragmatic and defeatist about this fact. It takes a company to dare take the initiative and invest in change. Adobe has an opportunity and needs to step up to the plate, failing that it takes little for Microsoft to start actively pushing out their technology to developers and tip the balance of the current 'outsourcing ecosystem'.
I want Indian developers, not just the lucky few who can afford to freelance, to have the same opportunities I got when I got started -- get inspired, get involved and build up a strong community. Adobe can help make this happen.
A population of over one billion, a potential IT market of some hundred thousands, don't miss out and act now.
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