Warning: this is a bit more political than my usual tech-heavy posts.
I was leafing through James Bach's blog the other day; James is one of today's leading writers about software testing and always well worth a read. He referred to an excellent post by Pradeep Soundararajan, one of my other favourite testing thinkers and writers, which really nailed some important test patterns that I've come across the need for frequently, but never figured out how to summarize. I highly recommend that you read Pradeep's post before you carry on.
At the end of his post, James referred to Pradeep as "one of the leading Indian testers". This made me feel a bit uncomfortable, enough so to comment on the post, and James commented back:
"I think culture is relevant, and nationality often associates to culture. There is a distinctive Indian testing sub-culture. I also think there is an American testing culture, too. I wouldn't mind being called an American tester."
I can't agree with that at all. Software testing expertise shouldn't be about culture, location or nationality at all, unless you're in the really specialized test areas of localization or internationalization. Given the frequently negative connotation that badly-handled outsourcing projects have given to software professionals outside of North America and Western Europe, I think it does no good at all to classify anyone by nationality or location - or sex, musical taste, number of prehensile toes, or anything else other than ability - when discussing their professional achievements.
One of the great things about the internet is that it's levelled the global playing field for writing, testing and using computer software to a massive extent. Let's keep it that way, recognize the achievements of software professionals all over the world for what they are, and call a leading tester a leading tester, without confining them to some largely meaningless subcategory.
19 hours ago