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Impressing

English is a ravenous language, eagerly borrowing from almost everywhere. The Italian word impresario means entrepreneur, another borrowing, from the French, meaning one who organizes and coordinates an enterprise. In English, though, impresario often connotes the more merely ceremonial supervision of the circus ringmaster or the theatrical host. The impresario is not the band but the tour manager, not the performer but the straw boss, not the engineer but the lab director. Nonetheless, the power and importance of the impresario may too often be grossly underestimated.

Technology-oriented visitors to Australia have often been impressed by the level of discipline and sophistication found within many software application development groups. This is not to say that everyone is first rank or that all the software is “spot on,” as the Australians would express it, but just that the effective use of tools and systematic methods is remarkably widespread.


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