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Adventures in Code: The Story of the Irish Software Industry

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Adventures in Code: The Story of the Irish Software Industry

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A lively history of software development in Ireland that introduces the people who achieved success on the world stage and examines the future prospects for the industry.


Adventures in Code tells the story of the software industry in Ireland through the experiences of its key figures. It explains how a small country with no apparent aptitude for applications development produced hundreds of small exporting companies and broke through the barriers to selling non-American products in the US. This remarkable achievement deserves attention because it reflects the broader socio-economic-cultural evolution of Ireland over the past 25 years and offers insights into the country's changing relationships with the rest of the world.

The book is based entirely on primary sources drawn from the authors 20 years of experience as a journalist and includes dozens of recent interviews with key figures. It is written in a non-technical, jargon-free style that will be of interest not only to industry insiders but to anyone keen to understand the reasons behind the success of the Irish software industry.

Above all, Adventures in Code is a story about people. Its central thesis is that Ireland's success in software development came from the bottom up, the result of a long learning process that included lessons from the near-total collapse of the industry in the late 1980s. The export surge in the following decade can be attributed to the personal networking skills that the software community acquired after this crisis. In particular, small companies learned how to play industry politics on international standards committees and were able to turn relationships with larger technology firms to their advantage. Companies learned from each other and the book profiles those that became the role models in middleware, e-learning, financial applications and communications software.

The book concludes with a look at the state of the Irish software industry today and considers its prospects in a fast-changing world.

About the Author

John Sterne, a Dublin-based journalist, has written about the information technology business in Ireland and internationally for more than 20 years.

Additional Information

Additional Information

Author Sterne, John
Editor No
Print Format Paperback
ISBN-10 1-904148-59-X
ISBN-13 n/a
Illustrations No
Date of Publication October 2004
Number of Pages 344