Visiting the Quality team in Bangalore
Sun is a global company, and we have engineering centers all over the world. One of the biggest of these is in Bangalore, and the Java SE team has a lot of people here. I'm visiting here this week and next to meet with and work with some of my colleagues here.
In some ways Bangalore couldn't be more inconveniently located for collaboration with a team based in California. India is basically 12 timezones away from California. Hence, when we have conference call meetings half of the meeting is getting ready to sleep, and the other half of the meeting just woke up. The ones who are just getting ready to sleep have their evenings stolen from them, the job intruding on their personal time, while the ones who just woke up are having to change their morning ritual to accomodate the job. At least that's my experience.
But at least this gives me the chance to traval to India and learn more about this wonderful country.
In many ways the offices here are very modern. They have the same posters hanging in the walls of the Bangalore office that we have hanging on the walls in Santa Clara. They work in cubicles, have the same advanced equipment we have, and so on.
There's some interesting things to the offices here ... such as the food vendors that come to the lunchroom offering Indian food for prices that I find ridiculously low. Lunch today was 25 rupees, about 75 cents, for a full meal.
This building houses not just Sun Microsystems, but also Ernst and Young and several smaller companies. Next door Cisco has the whole building. Around town you have a who's-who of the tech industry each having engineering centers here. e.g. the building I saw the other day housing AMD in Bangalore. AMD's main headquarters is about 2 miles from Sun's Santa Clara campus where I work. The people explain to me that Bangalore used to be a quiet place, a place where retirees would come to live in peace and calm. But then the IT Industry came to town, drawn by the moderate climate, and set off an explosion of growth here. Now the streets are jammed, the infrastructure overloaded, and Bangalore seems like it's totally overwhelmed by the people living here.
The Java team has engineers here from all branches of the organization. This includes not just the Quality team, but development and sustaining. My team, the Quality team, has something like 20-30 engineers here. We share test development and execution tasks between the team in Santa Clara, and the team here in Bangalore. The Quality team also has engineers in Saint Petersburg Russia, Beijing China, and Dublin Ireland. In the past we had engineers in Novosibirsk Russia, and in Tokyo Japan, but reorgs and other business manglings dispersed those connections. All this makes for interesting juggling of our daily schedules, such as I described earlier.
An interesting development is the return of Indian expats to India. Among the Quality Team members here in Bangalore, 5 or more used to work for the team in Santa Clara CA, and now work for us here in Bangalore. In some cases immigration or visa issues forced their return, in other cases they were drawn back by the boom atmosphere in Bangalore, and in other cases they wanted to raise their children in India rather than the U.S.