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Title:Tracing Transnational Flows of IT Knowledge Through Open Exchange of Software Development Know-How
Author(s):Sim, Susan Elliott; Philip, Kavita
Subject(s):Open Source
software development
transnational circuit
Abstract:Information technology (IT) is often promoted as a socially and culturally agnostic tool that will allow emerging economies to leap into the digital age and reap the wealth that accompanies it. But in addition to the programming language, software tools, and books, know-how is needed to turn bright ideas into innovative, marketable solutions. This know-how can only be acquired from experience or from other IT developers. An effective means for sharing know-how is through an open exchange, which we characterize as a space where interested people can learn, critique, and contest ideas. It’s a locale that is defined in terms of activity, rather than geography, technology, or membership. We use open exchanges of know-how as an analytical lens to example historical examples and contemporary instances. While conducting fieldwork in India, we observed open exchange occurring at Barcamp Bangalore. It is through these exchanges of know-how, rather than the transmission of tools or software artifacts that IT knowledge flows between international locales. We conclude this paper with a discussion that is mutually informed by contemporary practice and historical configurations.
Issue Date:2008-02-28
Genre:Conference Paper / Presentation
Date Available in IDEALS:2010-03-03

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