Laptop penetration in Brazil, rising developer count in China

Interesting email from Paul Kedrosky:

You’ll find this interesting: The only place I have been where I see
as many open laptops in the audience as at O’Reilly conferences is
here in Brazil. Really fascinating.

In a related note, I talked the other day with Stephanie Martin, the head of IBM DeveloperWorks. She noted that the number of Chinese developers active on the site is approaching the number from the US, and that she expects it to pass the US numbers before long. This is as much a reflection of the decline in the developer population in the US as it is the rise of the developer population in China. (More details in this article.)

I wonder, though, how many of the developers in the O’Reilly emerging tech ecosystem are being counted. IBM’s focus on enterprise software development may cause them to miss all the ferment coming from cross-over, self-taught developers who started in some other field (say design, or engineering, or finance) and just had an itch to scratch. I certainly see a lot of vibrancy in the US tech community, and I just don’t buy the doom and gloom that people seem to be spreading about the declining number of CS degrees. Most of the tech entrepreneurs I know didn’t start in CS anyway. They are self-taught.