From the very interesting Michael Lewis' Vanity Fair article on the Sergey Aleynikov's case:
"“In Russia, time on the computer was measured in minutes,” he [Aleynikov] says. “When you write a program, you are given a tiny time slot to make it work. Consequently we learned to write the code in a way that minimized the amount of debugging. And so you had to think about it a lot before you committed it to paper. . . . The ready availability of computer time creates this mode of working where you just have an idea and type it and maybe erase it 10 times. Good Russian programmers, they tend to have had that one experience at some time in the past: the experience of limited access to computer time.”
Successful development of skills through constraints, it seems to work pretty well across the board.