Trip report: Tech + Women + Kazakhstan!


Greetings, SUMO Nation! At the moment, we are meeting in Berlin to talk about SUMO and our involvement in Mozilla’s mission. Therefore, we have no major news or updates to report this week (but there will be more of that soon, worry not!). Then again, we can’t leave you without something nice and inspiring to read, right?

As you can imagine, even if we spend a lot of time on SUMO-related activities, it’s not the only thing we do. Just like any Mozillian, our activities span many different fields. Thus, it is with great pleasure that I share with you our own Rachel’s trip report from her recent visit to Kazakhstan as a member of the Tech Women organization.

How would YOU inspire women & girls?

To promote STEM learning and diversity in the workplace, Tech Women organizes three delegation trips each year. The trip opens leadership opportunities to women on the international scene of professional employment. Over four weeks, women in STEM become emerging leaders and develop business plans, learning about one of the fields of knowledge in an in-depth manner.

I feel fortunate to mentor through Tech Women and get the opportunity to visit Kazakhstan on a delegation last month. In addition to sightseeing and experience the local culture, we gathered for Technovation events at hackerspaces, middle school and university campuses.

A postcard from the road

We visited the old and new capital of Kazakhstan, Astana and Almaty. Many of the building are still influenced by the Soviet style. Kazakhstan is also known for being the place of origin for apples, and the people’s love for their horses.

On the third day of our visit, while staying at the Doysk Hotel, we were greeted by three US Consulate representatives. One of them, who previously worked at NASA, and had an inspiring career in science (also studying Soviet sciences) was dressed in green and had hair dyed red for the festive March 17 holiday.

They answered our questions about the pollution in the area, as well as many cultural questions that occupied our minds after running around in the snow for a few days.

We visited the National University that day and had two panels talking about women in the workforce, interview processes, and ways of progressing careers in STEM fields. The university impressed some of us with over an acre of planned solar panel space. The mechanical engineers among us got to interact with an equally impressive robot that recognized sign language.

On the trip, our delegation group participated in projects related to application development, Technovation groups and spoke on several discussion panels.

The Technovation groups themes varied from design thinking and learning parts of computer hard drives to pitching Android apps. It was surprising that even in a place located quite remotely in the mountains, between two of the largest countries on the planet (in several respects), there is a lot of access and will to seize to the opportunity to learn and develop on an open web.

Digital literacy develops these women as users of the web, as well as makers just thanks to the basic web access they get in the hacker spaces and schools we visited. During our visit, we learned that development opportunities for young girls in schools were rather limited outside of those options.

Technovation workshop – identifying hard drive parts

The speaking panels addressed career development skills such as interviewing, networking at events, and resume building. However, some of the questions were more directed around Human Resource issues like maternity leave and securing funding for a business idea. In the United States, there is legal action that can be taken for many of the questions that the Kazakh women had, so there is definitely room for improvement there.

Conducting a mock interview with career developing skills for women interested in working in the US

For the next generation of people in Kazakhstan, particularly young women, open access to communication plays a key role. However, the challenge of funding and lack of guided direction towards STEM careers discourages women from fully optimizing the potential of digital growth.

Emerging leaders and women from Yahoo speaking about being a woman in the modern workplace. Talking to girls choosing where to go for university and what to study. Bottom right: Pitching an app idea for volunteers.

Sig Space motivational chalk board. The event invited 10 men from various professions and included technical industry women speaking about increasing the number of women active in that field. A National University representative looking to start a training program for girls focused on Data Center and Cisco certifications. He also wanted to learn more about Mozilla and our mission.

Thank you for your awesome report, Rachel! It’s great to see more women getting into tech every day, everywhere around the world :-).

Thank you, Kadir!



Happy birthday @atopal :-)! A la prochaine anniversaire! paris-sumo-q3-2013-nikonv1-20130827-DSC_0014.jpg

Hello, SUMO Nation!

A bitter-sweet piece of news to share with you, as we’re announcing Kadir’s move onwards to focus on MDN product management.

For those of you who haven’t been around for long, Kadir was the original SUMO Support Community Manager (so, basically a very early alpha version of those who help you help others today ;-)). Just click the link to his profile and read on. Quite a ride for the open web!

He has been the glue between users, contributors, developers, and the oceans of data that our platform produces every day, trying to make everyone’s life easier and the future of Kitsune clearer. His task prioritization and problem analysis skills will definitely make many future MDN projects a success.

On a more personal side, he’s always kept a sharp eye out for good movies and great desserts, making sure that every team meeting had a good backing of both culture and cuisine.

On behalf of all the current SUMO admins and contributors – thank you for all the awesomeness, Kadir! Good luck with all the new challenges and adventures in development and beyond!

photo courtesy of Roland

PS. More SUMO Developer news coming your way next week!

SUMO l10n update


Hello, Localizers of SUMO!

Have you read Michal’s blog post yesterday? If you haven’t, I hope you can get to it this weekend – it is definitely a very inspiring and positive piece about a small group of dedicated contributors completing a huge task, thanks to good organization and resolve. I am pretty sure we’re going to see more similar stories appearing on our blog before the end of this year – who knows, maybe one of them will come from you, the person reading these words right now :-)


As you may have noticed, we are in the process of discussing the technical challenges and requirements for Kitsune’s future. We are at the stage of collating your feedback and planning the next steps in our investigation.

What does this mean for SUMO L10n? Business as usual – do not worry about any unexpected, unannounced changes to the tools or ways L10n works; everything is staying in place, and nothing is getting moved, deleted or switched off. Your dashboard still shows what’s there to be done, and all localization should proceed as usual.

Which reminds me – you have my continuous and sincere thanks for all your hard work bringing Mozilla to millions of people around the world. Keep rocking the helpful web in your language!


We have more locales coming on board! Just today, Karthic asked to contribute to Tamil, so it has been added to the Pontoon dashboard. Looking forward to concentrated localization awesomeness from Karthic in the near future.

Other than that, the tool is stable and you seem to be having a good time using it. If that’s not the case, do let me know!

Best Practices

In the coming weeks, we are planning to refocus the content creation and l10n scheduling to be more in sync with each of the upcoming Firefox releases (for all platforms), both before and after their release dates.

By the way – remember that if you feel lost, uninspired or confused by our content and tools, you can choose any of the following options to find help:

Don’t hesitate – use them!


After Belo Horizonte and Dublin, we send our warm greetings to the Mozilla l10ns gathering in Stockholm!

Remember about the upcoming L10n hackathons for your locale! Try to make the most of the upcoming opportunity to connect with your fellow localizers:


SUMO l10n update


Hello, Localizers of SUMO!

sumo_l10nFirst of all, thanks to all of you for taking the time to update the Knowledge Base in your locales in the last 3 months. I hope the next 3 months will be as awesome as the start – you make it happen!

Now, to share a few updates with you.


As you may remember, we are currently in partial development freeze, due to changes in team structure. Still, our awesome community (this means YOU!), supported by our relentless pull request herders, keeps tinkering with the platform and improving it, bit by bit. Thank you!

Thanks to Michal, Safwan, Mike, and others (both reporting and investigating issues), the l10n backlog is now shorter than ever! By the way, if you notice that an l10n bug is missing from it, please let me know or add it yourself.

I have also gathered feedback from some of our most active localizers, in order to see what could potentially be improved or experimented with to make using Kitsune for localization easier. Some of the findings are as follow:

  • The UI on the translation page for an article is too cluttered for some of you.
    •  I will experiment with content blocking add-ons to see how the page would look and function without certain components
  • The articles in the localization dashboard are not always ordered in the most useful way (currently, only by traffic to their en-US versions).
    •  A quick (and partial) solution to this is using the Notification system to highlight the content that should be focused on (for example for launches).
    • Another option would be adding the ability to “pin” or “sticky” certain articles on top of the dashboard – this would require some developer work and may not be easy.
  • Some of you prefer to use automated translation tools to get a version of the article that they later improve.
    • This, among other pieces of feedback received during my investigation in the last few months, suggests that the translation page could use a few tooltips with suggestions for best practices in the community for different stages of translating an article. I will explore options of adding these to the translation page, together with figuring out what content they would include (for example, suggestions of automated translation tools that could help you get started with an article).


Learn more about what’s happened with Pontoon in the last three months from this blog post by Matjaz, its lead developer.

The highlights include:

  • Progressive string loading – faster loading times for projects with a lot of strings (this includes SUMO).
  • You can load, search, and filter strings across an entire project – very handy!
  • Translators can Approve All, Delete All, and use Find & Replace in selected strings – even handier!

What’s more, all users of Pontoon are invited to develop the roadmap for the tool by filing new feature requests and commenting on existing ones. You can find more details about this in the blog post linked above.

… and if you’re curious about Pontoon, but haven’t started using it yet, take a look at this quick introductory video:


Best Practices

The L10n team has invested time and effort over the last three months into processes, tools, and resources to help everyone involved in l10n at Mozilla improve the overall quality. You can learn more about these efforts from this blog post.

The great news is that now it’s much easier to improve existing localizations in Transvision, one of the core l10n tools at Mozilla. To do so:

  1. Visit the new Unlocalized Words view.
  2. Decide which terms should remain untranslated and add them to a term list for your locale.
  3. Fix (= translate) the terms that should be translated.
  4. Look at your locale’s list of inconsistent translations in the new Translation Consistency view.
  5. Decide which translations there are correct for each context in which they appear.
  6. Fix (= re-translate) those translations that need to be consistent.

Finally, get together with your l10n community (offline or online) and try creating a draft of your locale’s style guide, using the existing template. If you think the instructions are too long, too short, too full of jargon, or require too much effort, send feedback to the L10n team that sets global l10n standards and best practices for Mozilla projects.


Remember about the upcoming L10n hackathons for your locale! Try to make the most of the upcoming opportunity to connect with your fellow localizers!


What’s Up with SUMO – 7th April


Hello, SUMO Nation!

How is everyone doing? Chilling out to the tunes everyone’s sharing in the Off-Topic forums, perhaps? Or maybe you’re out and about in the spring freshness? Well, that only makes sense if your local spring actually is about the weather getting better… Is it? ;-)

Here are the latest news from the world of SUMO! And still more to come over the next few days…

Welcome, new contributors!

If you just joined us, don’t hesitate – come over and say “hi” in the forums!

Contributors of the week

Don’t forget that if you are new to SUMO and someone helped you get started in a nice way you can nominate them for the Buddy of the Month!

Most recent SUMO Community meeting

The next SUMO Community meeting…

  • …is possibly happening on WEDNESDAY the 13th of April – join us!
  • Reminder: if you want to add a discussion topic to the upcoming meeting agenda:
    • Start a thread in the Community Forums, so that everyone in the community can see what will be discussed and voice their opinion here before Wednesday (this will make it easier to have an efficient meeting).
    • Please do so as soon as you can before the meeting, so that people have time to read, think, and reply (and also add it to the agenda).
    • If you can, please attend the meeting in person (or via IRC), so we can follow up on your discussion topic during the meeting with your feedback.



Support Forum

Knowledge Base & L10n


  • Important reminder: Kitsune development is currently in maintenance mode due to changes in the developer group – read this FAQ post. If you have questions about this, please contact us via the forum.
  • This week’s SUMO Platform meeting has been cancelled – developer updates soon!


 …and that’s it for now. We hope you’re going to have a great weekend and will rejoin us on Monday (or maybe tomorrow, if you happen to drop by our blog – please do!). See you there & then, time travellers ;-)