What are the cultural differences between a Vietnamese developer and a French developer?

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In an increasingly connected world, geographical lines are blurred in front of lines of code, cultures mingle and merge within the digitalized world. From Ho Chi Minh City to Paris, creative and innovative developers work on the development of applications with their own cultural perspectives. From a cultural point of view, this article aims to explore the nuances that distinguish a Vietnamese developer from a French developer. Let’s dive deep into these captivating differences to better understand how they influence the global tech landscape.

I code in my culture

Do not make a case, a generality

It should be emphasized in this first part that the cultural distinctions that emanate from individuals are hardly strictly determined by their nationality.

Admittedly, it is indisputable that general cultural tendencies emerge and are likely to exert an influence on the behaviors and the attitudes of people from both Vietnam and France. And in our particular case these people are developers.

From this perspective, it is interesting to explore a few prominent aspects that can lead to divergences, taking care to keep in mind the existence of notable exceptions as well as individualized variations.

The view of hierarchy

Une image contenant habits, personne, capture d’écran, homme  Description générée automatiquement

When it comes to examining the inherent particularities of Asian and Western cultures, some exciting distinctions emerge. For example, when it comes to the dynamics of hierarchical interactions and communication within development teams.

In many Asian cultures, such as that of Vietnam, there is a traditional reverence for authority and elders. Vietnamese developers will consequently transcribe this orientation. For example, but obviously without asserting it firmly, Vietnamese developers could adopt a more reserved approach and a reluctance to challenge orders or ideas from their superiors.

Conversely, in the Western context, particularly in France, we find a more direct and more open communication. This will encourage debate and the frank expression of opinions.

Collectivism or individualism

Another example of divergence between these cultures could take root in the opposition between collectivism and individualism.

Asian cultures tend to embrace a collectivist ethos, where primacy is given to group well-being and collaboration. Vietnamese developers, instilled with these values, are inclined to favor close cooperation and harmony within the team.

On the contrary, in the West, as in France more precisely, a more individualistic approach predominates, where the appreciation of individual achievements can manifest itself in a more accentuated way.

In recent years, we can observe a prominent tendency in both regions to transform business mentalities towards taking into account both the merits of individuality, as well as the importance of collaborative work and the overall meaning of work for employees. 

These examples already illustrate, in the preamble, how the cultural differences between Vietnamese and French developers could take shape. Nevertheless, it is always important to guard against excessive generalizations and to recognize the wealth of individual variations that color each person within these two distinct cultures.

Interested in working with a team of developers from a web agency based in Vietnam? Let’s chat about your goals with your next application, web, mobile or software project.

In the rest of this article, we’ll examine some relevant examples of the cultural and operational differences between Vietnamese developers and French developers.

Education and hierarchy

As discussed above, in some Asian cultures, such as Vietnam, there may be a greater emphasis on hierarchy and respect for elders or superiors.

🤔Would Vietnamese developers be more inclined to strictly follow guidelines and avoid questioning the authority of their superiors?

In France, there is a culture of more direct and open communication, where questioning ideas and approaches is encouraged. Indeed, the developer is asked to initiate proposals and not to hesitate to contradict his interlocutor if he considers from his experience and expertise that the latter is on the wrong track.

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Confucius, historical figure who had the most impact on Chinese civilization.

It is important to remember that Asian countries are largely inspired by Confucian principles (in reference to the philosopher Confucius) which strongly emphasize the values of education and hard work

It is from this movement of original thought that is born a deep respect for traditions and hierarchy, including a reverence for parents and teachers.

There is also a belief that academic achievement is available to everyone on an equal footing and will eventually lead to getting a good job and high social status.

Moreover, in China, there is a strong sense of social connection, and a burning desire for educational success is evident through the role of “Tiger Mothers” 🐯, a term used to describe mothers who are fully dedicated to the education of their child(ren), like what is happening in Korea or Japan.

Finally, it is not for nothing that among the best education systems in the world we find 3 Asian countries in the TOP 5:

1- Japan

2- South Korea

3- Singapore

Last but not least, Le Monde newspaper published an article in July 2023 which states that Vietnamese schools are among the best in the world. From France, we salute these excellent results and also the fact that successful Vietnamese students are rewarded with prestigious titles. A very effective way to motivate learners. Another astonishing fact that it would be interesting to develop in France is that teachers who teach in areas far from large cities find themselves better paid than their urban counterparts.

Time management

Do attitudes towards time and punctuality also differ between France and Vietnam? The French would generally tend to be more punctual and attach close importance to time management.

🤔 As for the Vietnamese developers, could we say that they take a more flexible approach to time management? They would more easily manage to adapt their schedule according to the circumstances. The flexibility held by the Vietnamese is a real asset. Even more when developers work with the Scrum method, a framework based on flexibility and adaptability.

Working style

Asian cultures, including Vietnam, will value:

  • perseverance,
  • discipline
  • and sustained effort.

Vietnamese developers have the strength to work diligently and fully commit to long-term tasks. If the Asians make less distinction between personal time and professional time, the French, them, could hold the advantage of living according to a more balanced approach between work and personal life.

Decision making

Let’s end with this last factor of study: decision-making. Decision-making processes obviously vary from culture to culture. In general, Asian cultures favor consultation and the search for consensus, while Western cultures would be more inclined towards faster and more individualized decision-making.

However, it is important to note that these points will not necessarily apply to all Vietnamese or French developers, as individuals are influenced by a variety of parameters such as education, personal and professional experience, personality, etc. It is therefore essential to avoid over-generalizations and to treat each person as a unique individual.

In summary, although these cultures may seem distinct in many respects, it is clear that their educational values ​​and complementary approaches collectively contribute to forging computer applications in the pursuit of individual and social excellence.

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