Localization Hackathon in Stockholm

For the second year in a row the l10n-drivers team – represented by Jeff Beatty and I – met in Stockholm with several members of Mozilla’s Nordic communities, guests of the local Wikimedia offices, for the Nordic Viking Mozilla l10n Hackathon. The group of languages represented at the event included Danish, Finnish, Icelandic, Norwegian (both Bokmål and Nynorsk), and Swedish.

Nordic Hackathon - StockholmUnlike last year, when the topics and schedule of the event were largely set by l10n-drivers, this time each localization team was involved in the planning phase, and in charge of setting individual and group goals for this hackathon.

We started our Saturday morning in a sunny but cold Stockholm with some organizational updates, including topics like:

  • Change in focus from Firefox OS to Connected Devices, and how that affects localization priorities.
  • Updates about release and development cycles for iOS and desktop products, and our plans to increase participation and productivity by removing some of the existing technical barriers.
  • Mozilla’s renewed focus on quality, and how that applies to localization.
  • Our goal to improve communication channels with localizers, and help making their training and mentoring process more streamlined, through better documentation and tools.
  • How to use the newly released features in Transvision focusing on quality.

We also talked with localizers about the recent organizational changes inside l10n-drivers. In fact Stockholm also hosted a short but intense work week of the entire team right after the hackathon.

The rest of Saturday and Sunday were reserved for each team to work on achieving their goals, and our role was mainly to help them with some targeted training, and facilitate some discussions.

Several teams started putting into practice our focus on quality by writing a style guide for their language, a step that we consider fundamental to ensure consistency, and help with onboarding new volunteers. They also did work on improving quality across projects using Transvision’s Consistency View as a reference.

For some languages these events represent a critical moment to meet face to face and work together on their translations, since contributors might live hundreds of kilometers from each other and can only communicate online. That’s the perfect time to figure out the division of tasks inside the team, find ways to attract new contributors, rethink tools and workflows, and create onboarding documentation. And that’s exactly what happened for several of the teams at the hackathon.

The weekend ended without a Kubb tournament because of the inclement weather – even if someone insisted on the need of going outside in the snow and play anyway, as a viking would do – and plans for next year’s hackathon. Italy was suggested as one of the potential venues for the event, but I’m quite positive that doesn’t count as a Nordic country 🙂

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