Re: "a bunch of engineers in some US uni"
That's what you get for being first out the gate.
As it happens, I learned to program and worked fist as a programmer in the UK before transitioning to the US in the early 80s. I don't recall any difference in the keyboards because back then all small computers were coming from the US.
I have used source code from many different countries and you're right that English is by far the most common language used in programming. One set of modules suggested an alternative, though -- C++ with German comments........what a combination!