Seeking to make Mangalore an important cog in the next big collaborative software venture, the city took its first steps towards joining the world wide network of software programmers and designers.

With the inauguration of Google Developers Group (GDG), an informal community of developers, on Wednesday, M.V. Karan, lead and founder of the group, said that the city added to the more than 500 such groups in over 100 countries across the globe (including 40 in India).

“This is the first developer community group in Mangalore, and will be closely linked to the groups in Bangalore, Mysore and Kerala,” he said at the inaugural programme.

He believed there were more than 12,000 developers in and around the city, and the roadmap would be to bring at least 70 per cent of them under this platform. The idea took off after he got the approval of Google at the start of this year.

Though the club followed nearly seven years since the inception of GDG in Bangalore, the developers see the Mangalore club catching up in the near future.“While Bangalore took two years to take off, we took just four months…So far, through social networking and other contacts, we have reached out to nearly 10,500 developers here,” said Mr. Karan, a freelance developer himself.

He said that though the group had Google’s name – they are backing the project – the developers were not connected to the company and could work on any platform.

Currently, nearly 25 members form the core group, comprising both industry professionals and student developers. Joining the group is free with the only prerequisite of being “active” in the group, he said.

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