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Outside inside japan

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Transcript

  • 1. An Outside - Inside view of IT in Japan
    • Notes on 20 years in Japan
      • Stuart Woodward
  • 2. Who am I?
    • First job in Japan at 22
    • 3. 2 years small hardware software company
    • 4. 8 years at Lotus Development
    • 5. 4 years in Internet Venture/Aquistion
    • 6. 4 years in NTT Communications - Enterprise Hosting
    • 7. 2.5 in Fortune 10 Financial IT
  • 8. Localization
    • Japanese Input - Localization vs QA
    • 9. Japanese Documentation is different
    • 10. Japanese Kana based Sorting
    • 11. Unicode - Han unification with Chinese Characters
    • 12. Legacy character sets
    • 13. Local Bugs vs international bugs
  • 14. Country Specific Features
    • Imperial Calendar
    • 15. Chart types - Radar Charts, Donut Charts
    • 16. Rokuyou - Lucky Days
    • 17. Grid Lines - Excel is a form tool
    • 18. Excel as groupware
    • 19. Printing - Paper is king
    • 20. Powerpoint used in different ways
    • 21. Privacy - No Social Security Number
    • 22. Line Breaking, Parsing Sentences
  • 23. Address
    • Western people build their houses by the road. Japanese build their houses in the fields
    • 24. Much more complicated that it looks
      • Addresses vary by city, Tokyo is exceptional
      • 25. Kyoto and Hokkaido addresses are different
      • 26. There are Japanese address standardization packages
  • 27. Payment Methods
    • Credit Card vs Cash
    • 28. Furikomi
      • Pay at the Bank ATM by transfer
    • COD
      • Cash on Delivery by the Takubin
    • Pay via Convenience Store
      • Print a Barcode and pay there
    • Smart Card
      • Suica – Pasmo are common in shops
  • 29. Company Types: Foriegn Startup Companies
      • Established in Hotels
      • 30. Rely on local help
        • "Need someone to guide execs from the airport and arrange cellphones"
      • Japanese Execs sometimes feel that they are just translators for the HQ
  • 31. Company Types: Aquired Japanese Companies
    • Japanese Company that was aquired
    • 32. Top management are from the Parent
    • 33. Middle Management and below remain traditional
  • 34. Company Types: Large Traditional Companies
    • Hiearchicaly Organized
    • 35. Traditionalists vs Outside
      • Namugi incident
      • 36. In 1885, the intellectual Yukichi Fukuzawa wrote the influential essay Leaving Asia, arguing that Japan should orient itself at the "civilized countries of the West"
  • 37. Company Types: Large Traditional Companies
      • Good people who stay
      • 38. Recruited at University and stay
      • 39. Generalists by Policy
        • Cisco engineer will become a service manager
      • Staff move around & know how to work the system
        • Smart staff
        • 40. Only deal with a limited number of companies
        • 41. Need Connections
      • Wait for another tradional company to take the lead
  • 42. Culture in dealing with outside world
    • English for Japanese people – Brochures
    • 43. Staff can make cultural mistakes when dealing with overseas companies
  • 44. Developers
    • Traditional Project Management style
    • 45. Documentation
      • quality judged by weight
    • Office staff assigned to development
    • 46. Local vendors
      • Body shops
      • 47. Many levels of vendor companies
    • Scripting almost unknown
  • 48. Language Capabilities Staff Mix
    • Native Japanese + Native English
        • Rare. Sometimes in unexpected jobs
    • Native Japanese + Written English
        • Common in IT companies
    • Native Japanese + No English
        • Common. Many Great Staff
    • Native English + Good Japanese
        • Becoming more common
    • Native English + No Japanese
        • Are in the workforce though uncommon in Japanese
  • 49. Developers
    • Read English APIs and Manuals
    • 50. Don't read the comments and variable names
    • 51. Form user groups and help each other with understanding
    • 52. Very loyal & enthusiastic i.e. Firefox development community
  • 53. Indian Outsourcing
    • Some very good Japanese Speakers
    • 54. Communication Problems with English
    • 55. Japanese support is growing in India
  • 56. Chinese Outsourcing
    • Good graduates are coming to Japan
    • 57. Excellent spoken and written Japanese, top graduates have good english too
    • 58. Some are in positions lower than their capability
  • 59. Special Place for Tokyo
    • Essential for face-to-face
    • 60. Not typical Japan
    • 61. Wider streets. Shops with Car Parks are must more common
  • 62.