Practice11.Internationalize from Day One

Practice 11. Internationalize from Day One

Get in the habit of ensuring your products are internationalized[3] from day one. There is no extra overhead once you understand what is required. The bottom line is that the largest amount of economic growth globally in the next decade is projected to take place outside of English-speaking United States. The implication should be obvious: Your company needs to think globally, and so should you.

[3] Internationalization is the act of making software capable of displaying its user interface in multiple languages. Localization is the translation of the text strings into other languages. Software developers internationalize their software, while localization is usually done by a third-party translation service managed by the project team.

This practice applies to the need for a working product because of the discipline required. The process of continual localization as the product is changed is a discipline that, while sometimes burdensome, also requires discipline on the part of the project team and the skills learned through this discipline transfer to other areas of keeping the product in a working state.

Internationalization and a Working Product

Internationalization may seem like an odd practice to include with the principle of working software. I view this type of issue as part of the required mindset. You need to think about the critical things for the long-term success of your project that are trivial to do at the start of the project but if attempted later will severely destabilize it for a long period of time.

I have seen too many projects where internationalization was not considered until several years into the project. In each case, the architecture had become complicated enough that the work was considered extremely risky, and the project team continually argued against it or tried to suggest band-aid solutions or workarounds such as only localizing one small part of the product. Yet, for most of these projects, the business reality was that since the product was sold worldwide, it needed to have a multilingual interface. Eventually, the business interests won; the software changes were as disruptive as predicted and the result was a product that took a great deal of time to get back to a stable working state.

Sustainable Software Development. An Agile Perspective
Sustainable Software Development: An Agile Perspective
ISBN: 0321286081
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2005
Pages: 125
Authors: Kevin Tate © 2008-2017.
If you may any questions please contact us: