I've spent a lot of my life developing software, and a lot of that has involved developing software for international markets. I spent a good chunk of my years in the industry at Microsoft, where as a foreigner (I moved from Australia to Seattle in 1998) working in the US on products for the world, I considered it one of my responsibilities to ensure the software we were putting out was in no way US-centric. In the process I've naturally picked up quite a bit of knowledge. Post-Microsoft my consulting has been primarily in the area of software globalization, assisting companies with rehabilitating their sorely US-centric market into a form that is friendly to users in other cultures and that can be localized to other languages. Seems like a good idea to share some of what I've learnt and observed in this domain.
Maybe something here will encourage other developers to broaden their thinking when designing and implementing software to consider the needs of users from different regions and cultures and perhaps avoid some of the all-too-common mistakes that tend to be made, which infuriate users by making them feel like second-class citizens.
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