In this site you’ll find articles, tips, and thoughts about software development, small business, and corporate life from an asian perspective. A real Asian, not just some American that has a chinese name.
For example, Tony Hsieh is an American and not an Asian. He was born, raised, and spent most of his life in the US despite his seemingly Chinese-sounding name and his Taiwanese descent. In other words, he’s only as Asian as Pizza Hut is Italian.
What’s so different with Asians? Worldview differences, family values, financial priorities, views toward debt, risk profile, to name a few – in other words, things that Hofstede have written about. You see, most of Asia was still a 3rd world country in the first boom of the Internet. That was circa 1990s, for you kids that haven’t been born at that time. Also a lot of the countries here were conquered nations who gained independence shortly after World War II ends. This shapes the people’s value system different than what you’ll see in Northern America or Western Europe.
Who am I?
I’m Sasmito Adibowo. You can call me Abraham if you find that name too difficult. I was born in Jakarta, Indonesia when people still listen to cassette tapes. That makes me a Generation X by American standards. But believe me, the time frames of generations there are vastly different than what William Strauss and Neil Howe outlined. Why? The social-economic cycles there are quite different from the Americas, being half a world away from it. Remember this is when regular folks still doesn’t know what Internet is and we were still quite isolated culturally from the rest of the world. I spent most of my youth in Jakarta, under Soeharto’s regime. For better or worse, that shapes a lot of how we think and act. Among others things like like “keeping your heads down”, be “compliant”, and what shapes our worldview.
I have a degree in computer science and a master’s in business administration – from the University of Indonesia and Bandung Institute of Technology, respectively. I have experiences working in both small consulting shops and several large corporations including Chevron (NYSE: CVX), Barclays (LSE: BARC, NYSE: BCS), and eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY) and thus quite familiar with the way things are done in MegaCorps. On the side I’m bootstrapping my indie company, Basil Salad Software, financed mostly from my day job and spare time.
Hence making the switch as this blog’s title – the long and grueling journey of crossing the chasm between a programmer and entrepreneur. This is my third personal home page, or Personal HomePage 3.0. My first personal site was in GeoCities EnchantedForest/1110 (now totally defunct when Yahoo took GeoCities out of service, but you can look around and find archives of it) and the second was in BlogSpot that is now redirected to this site.
In this blog you’ll find plenty of Indo-lish lingo, interspersed with influences of Singlish and Samosa-English. Why? Even though I learned English mostly from Americans via Sesame Street (which was aired by RCTI in the 1990s) and various computer books, I never really speak nor write English until about 2007 when I sought professional refuge in Singapore. Even then I learned practical English mostly from Indians (the South Asian variety) or Singaporean-Chinese. So pardon me if you often get confused while reading my posts, some idioms will be totally foreign to you if you’ve never been in Asia before.
You should find the viewpoints in my articles rather unique and quite a change from the run-of-the-mill white American male technical bloggers. Also a different perspective from the herd of trolls that roams the English-speaking Internet who think that the world consists of only the United States, Canada, Australia+NZ, and the Eurozone – the rest of the world is either jungle, desert, or wasteland. In other words people who sound like everything else in the world is Elbonia.
In every article, I’ll try really hard to include meaningful illustrations to graphically show ideas. In the form of economic graphs, diagrams, or whatever other graphic that makes sense and relevant — not just some clip-art taken from some stock photo library somewhere (although I’ll probably include those as well just for the sake of eye candy ^_^ ). Do let me know if there is an article that I miss to include a meaningful graphic.
As always, the views expressed here are my own and none of my employers. Reader discretion is advised – you are responsible for your actions and not me.
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