Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Cubaoutsource.com -- an online meeting place for Cuban developers

I've written several posts on the well-educated, underemployed Cuban tech community, which is beginning to form an ecosystem through meetups and hackathons. The government has also established a professional society, the Unión de Informáticos de Cuba, to bring qualified computer scientists together.

Community benefits, Unión de Informáticos de Cuba

Manuel Alejandro Gil Martín, a Cuban developer who lives in Chile, hopes that his new site, Cubaoutsource, will further community building. His goal is to help developers find and collaborate with each other and to offer outsource service. The site has just launched with profiles of fourteen registered members. They have between 6 and 30 years experience and have used various languages and tools. For example, two of the registrants have Python experience -- they can get to know each other now.

Cubaoutsource is light-weight social media, following the principle "do what you do best and link to the rest." User profiles include fields for links to LinkedIn and StackOverflow profiles for career and project details. (Perhaps version 2 should add a link to a Makerbase profile).

I've been talking about community building, but, as the name implies, the site is also aimed at facilitating employment and outsourcing. President Obama has loosened regulations, allowing US organizations to outsource the development of mobile apps to Cubans. That is a (vaguely worded) start, but there will no doubt be more.

My guess is that in five years, Cubans will be doing a lot of off-shore programming and application development -- especially for Spanish language clients -- and a lot of that will be for the US, where there are over 37 million Spanish-speaking people aged 5 and up.

US Spanish speakers age 5 and up, Pew Research

If I were a Cuban programmer, I would take a few minutes to register with Cubaoutsource. Like any social media, Cubasoutsource needs scale, and, if it catches on, it will contribute to the Cuban tech ecosystem.

Update 1/29/2016

You can see a Spanish translation of the text of this post (without the pictures and links) here. Thanks to Armando Camacho, who blogs at Carpe Diem.

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