Two decades ago, on July 4, 1990, I traveled on a plane from Mumbai to Kansas City, in the heart of the U.S. Midwest, to take my first job in information technology. Many of you will remember the early nineties as the hay days of technology. We thought everything was possible – we worked long hours and we dreamed in code.
In many ways, we can now say that we realized our dreams and lived our passion in making life easy with the use of rapid growth of technology. Technology written by programmers of decades past and enhanced by programmers today, fuels the global economy. Nearly everything we do is somehow connected to the infrastructures established two decades ago and relished massive improvement over the technology blocks of yester years. Today’s programmers and IT professionals, continue to expand upon those original dreams.
But the growth spurts of the 1990s did more than just spread the potency of technology into every business sector. They also changed the face of how and where people work. When the first Indian programmers, in 1965, traveled from Mumbai, Delhi and Calcutta to New York, California and, yes, even Kansas, it was a major event in their lives and the lives of their families. To some extent, it was the same kind of experience for the immigrant professionals in the 1990s.
Most of us were still used to staying in the area where we grew up, in maintaining residency in our native lands. The ones that left were cowboys. We were explorers in new lands. Well, more specifically, one land. In those days, the U.S. beckoned; this was where all opportunities lay. Although today’s world is flat, making connectivity accessible and faster with the advent in technology giving rise to the glorious concept of ‘virtual teams’ across globe. We still cannot replace the aura of personally commuting to different geographies and shaking hands, be it business, tourism, education or healthcare.