I18N Sufficiency Testing

Terry Shidner &Roman Civin - Moravia Worldwide

Intended Audience: Managers, Project Managers, Localization Coordinators, QA Professionals
Session Level: Intermediate

Attendees should have an understanding of QA and testing procedures. For the linguistic portions of the presentation, previous experience would be beneficial, but not a prerequisite.

Bringing automation into your localization testing scheme

As the requirement for simultaneous language shipment increases and production cycles shorten, it becomes ever more important to eliminate unnecessary manual processes and instead embrace the liberation that automation can bring. One area where automation can breathe new life into your localization process is in the area of Quality Assurance. Historically, automation testing for localized products has been viewed as either too expensive, a luxury for larger companies with bigger budgets or worse, unachievable due to internal resource constraints. However, if companies can invest a little effort upfront, either through internal development or outsourcing to a localization testing professional they will quite quickly realize an ROI that saves money both in actual and hidden costs.

Fundamentally, automation serves to save time by removing unneeded manual steps in a testing process. The premise being, that if you can create a non-manual process through the use of scripts, tools and process that you can reduce the actual amount of time needed for a test pass. By reducing the amount of man- hours devoted to a project a company can either reduce the overall cost of testing, or reinvest that saved cost, and time, into extra test passes, thereby giving more flexibility in a development schedule. These fundamental principles are understood and are being implemented in many companies for source language testing. However, many of these same companies fail to make the connection that the benefit gained from automating source testing can also be realized for the localized product. And in some cases more benefits can be reaped if automation is applied to localization testing.

The presentation is focused on the areas and issues that a company needs to evaluate prior to creating an automation plan for localization testing. Core testing components will be outlined and examples of where and when automation can be implemented will be provided to the audience. An overview of available off the shelf tools and internally developed tools will also be given as well as a case study on how automation testing was recently implemented in a leading IT company.

In business, sometimes the right approach is not always conceived to be the most economical. Many managers have difficulty drawing an ROI for the investment needed in order to implement an automation testing plan. Often is the case that the cost associated with creating an automated testing situation is folded into an individual project cost, which proves to be prohibitive because a project is a short-term view. In addition to the topics covered in the previous paragraph, the paper also intends to show the audience how to derive an effective ROI model for justification of implementing an automated localization process. The presenters hope that the presentation will give audience members an idea on how to go about constructing an ROI for their own testing needs.

The intended audience for this presentation will be managers, testing professionals or PM's who have influence or involvement in the localization of a product or the testing of the localized version.