Coordination of policies

The real basis for a software industry in Vietnam is manpower. Good vocational training for IT professionals plus advanced specialized training and re-training for programmers and systems analysts will create the necessary conditions for improved IT services and, eventually, a software industry. But highly-skilled and experienced programmers are necessary but not sufficient conditions for such an industrial expansion. What is needed is a mix of policies to complement the educational efforts already discussed in Chapter 10.

If a software industry should emerge in Vietnam in the near future, the government must orchestrate different policies to attain the best possible conditions for growth. Apart from the education and the manpower develop- ment policies presented in Chapter 10, here is a list of some of the policies to be combined:

In order to sell software products on international markets, Vietnamese soft- ware developers must assure buyers that their software will work with the buyer's system. To do this, developers should test their software with a wide range of computer systems, local area network configurations, and peripheral devices such as printers. By helping to establish facilities for the testing and verification of software products, the Vietnamese government could assist small software developers, interested in selling software internationally.

Such a testing facility would not cost very much for the central govern- ment or even a provincial administration. But it will be too expensive for a small software developer to buy all the equipment necessary to perform this kind of detailed testing and verification.*1 Program developers could rent the facilities by the hour to test their software. The center may also provide expert staff to assist software developers and help correcting problems as they arise.

A center like this could house a range of computer systems (such as 286-, 386-, 486-, and Pentium-based machines as well as a range of Apple computers) running a variety of' operating systems (such as DOS Windows, UNIX, and Apple's System 7), linked together by a variety of networking systems (such as Novell Netware, Windows NT, and AppleTalk), and connected to a variety of printers, scanners, and monitors.

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