Internationalisation - Featured TestSphere Card

(Beren) #1

One hundred cards. One hundred Test-related concepts.
Here on the club, we’ll feature a card from the TestSphere deck for people to write their stories about every month.

I challenge you:
Take a few minutes to think about your experiences with the featured card.

What bugs have you found that are related? Which ones have you missed?
How have you tackled testing for this concept?
What made it difficult or more easy?
What have you learned? What can others learn from your experience?

Take one of those experiences and put it to prose.
Telling your stories is as valuable to yourself as it is to others.

One of my first Testing projects was for the Belgian Government, where we’d create a database and management system to store data of people moving to Belgium from all over the world, manage their language courses and integration courses.

Surprisingly due to the context, this met very little internationalisation issues. Except for one functionality: The letters we sent. These were sent in Dutch and in the person’s main language. We were able to proofread the Dutch letters, of course, but the Chinese, Kurdish,… that we had to get experts in for.

Some companies would go for translation agencies or even google translate.
I know there are Accessibility Testing Centers out there, which employ the services of people with accessibility needs. Why hasn’t anyone set up an Internationalisation Testing Center? Or would that be covered by the crowd source testers?

What’s your story?

(Robert) #2

One project I was involved with involved working with a remote team of developers who were from a number of different national backgrounds. I kept reporting a bug to say that business deals that the app was managing were expiring 24 hours too early. It was never fixed (and I never got a “won’t fix” report back from the dev team).

Eventually, I did some checking back. Did you know that there are different legal definitions of “expiry date” in US and UK law? In the UK, an “expiry date” is the last day that something is valid. A thing is valid up to midnight on the date stated. In the US, the “expiry date” is the first day that a thing is not valid; a thing ceases to be valid at midnight the day before the date stated.

I knew the UK definition because in an earlier life, I was a minor bureaucrat in the UK’s social security system, so we applied the strict UK legal definition of expiry. The devs didn’t know this because their life experiences differed, and their clients were equally international and (I have to assume) had never thought it necessary to specify what they meant by “expiry date”. (Presumably, in some instances, it had been gotten wrong in the past but no-one had ever thought to check, or no end user or client had ever challenged the administrative decision arising from use of the app. They’d just put it down to bureaucratic incompetence or “the computer says no”.)

The moral? Always check for internationalisation, even if you don’t think it applies. You may be getting internationalisation that you don’t want.