Multicultural IT 1 - Product Manager's Perspective

A tantárgy neve magyarul / Name of the subject in Hungarian: Multikulturális IT 1. - A termékmenedzser szempontjából

Last updated: 2010. november 12.

Budapest University of Technology and Economics
Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Informatics

Mérnök informatikus szak

BSc képzés

Course ID Semester Assessment Credit Tantárgyfélév
VISZA088   0/0/2/f 4  
3. Course coordinator and department Dr. Wiener Gábor,
Web page of the course
4. Instructors










Department of Computer Science and Information Theory




Assoc. professor


Department of Computer Science and Information Theory


5. Required knowledge No programming experience is required to complete the first part. Students should have a keen interest in creating IT solutions and have good and open communication skills to work with clients and peers. A keen interest in observing how people do things and an ability to reach satisfying compromises is important.


7. Objectives, learning outcomes and obtained knowledge This course is recommended to students interested in the management or creation of commercial desktop or networked software applications intended for a global user base. Students will learn to identify features and capabilities key to success in their chosen application field and they will learn a methodology to effectively manage the product through its life cycle.


8. Synopsis In the era of Internet marketing all IT products are globally accessible, but becoming a global standard is hardly an option for the majority of the products and companies. By observing cultural diversity and successfully adopting to local end-user needs increases the chances of an emerging IT player to become successful on the global marketplace. Based on the experience gained in the development of Graphisoft’s ArchiCAD the course will demonstrate how deeply a successful product must be diversified to meet local needs.



Students will learn how to discover the true end-user requirements related to cultural differences, the right approach and timing to address the global IT market, how to manage the integration of diversity into an IT product, what tools and services are available to assist software engineers and what strategy should they follow. We will discuss the art and craft of balancing technical, marketing, personnel and budget constraints while delivering a great product for an international audience. Our focus will be on product marketing and in-house communication working with upper management, development and quality assurance.



This course is the first of two parts, first part focusing on the perspective of the product manager while the second part’s focus is on the engineering perspective. While the two parts are independent of each other and can be attended separately, they both study the same problem from two different angles with little to no overlap. Often the key in product success is to master both angles of product development, therefore attending both parts is recommended.

Session Outline (by week):



Course introduction


Lecture: Two ways of IT globalization – Setting Global Standards vs. Embracing Cultural Diversity


Lecture: Elements of the task of internationalization



Student presentation: National standards


Lecture: Standard - to unify and to differentiate


Forming of task groups to analyze i18n requirements of a chosen software solution


Lab work: identifying requirements due to different national standards of the problem domain



Student presentation: the art of writing – text input in software


Lecture: the GUI and the language


Group 1 presentation



Student presentation: *(required field) – validating user input


Lecture: Localization – how, who and for how much


Group 2 presentation



Lecture: Local content – static, scripted, add-on


Guest lecturer: websites, localization


Group 3 presentation



Lab work: QA of localized versions


Lecture: managing globalization efforts



Discussion: Core feature / Business process modification


Consolidating product manager and developer preferences


Closing test




9. Method of instruction

 Lectures will be based on concrete examples and personal experience.
 A guest lecturer will be providing detailed account of their firm’s experiences and failures in the topic.
 There will be a series of individual student presentations about selected topics related to the  problems  of internationalization. Volunteering students will prepare presentations based on their own research in the recommended reading and on the Internet.
 A team work will be prepared in small groups related to the analyses of a chosen IT solution regarding         internationalization and presented by each group.
 There will be two hands-on lab sessions on feature design and on quality assurance.
 Students will write a closing test to demonstrate their ability and acquired skills in successfully         managing an IT product development effort.

10. Assessment The grades will be determined based on the individual student presentations (70%) and a closing test (30%)


13. References, textbooks and resources Nuray Aykin: Usability and Internationalization of Information Technology, CRC Press (2005, reprinted in 2008) ISBN 0-8058-4479-1


Other recommended reading:



Bert Esselink: A Practical Guide to Localization, John Benjamins Publishing Co; revised ed. (September 2000) ISBN-13: 978-1588110060 


John Yunker: Beyond Borders: Web Globalization Strategies, New Riders Press, 2002. ISBN-13: 978-0735712089



14. Required learning hours and assignment
Number of contact hours




Preparation to the classes




Preparation to the tests








Assigned reading




Preparation to the exam








15. Syllabus prepared by










Department of Computer Science and Information Theory