Snap Hires Lingoport for Expertise and Engineering to Support i18n for their Mobile Platform  

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Snap Inc. 
Founded: 2011  
Industry: Social media  
Headquarters: Santa Monica, CA  Employees: 5,661 (2021) 
Revenue: 4.12 billion (2021) 
Countries: 40+ 
www.snap.com  

Snap Inc. is an American camera and social media company, founded in 2011. The company develops and maintains technological products and services, namely Snapchat, Spectacles, Bitmoji, Looksery, and Zenly. Snap’s mission is to improve the way people live and communicate. The company prides itself on quality and agile delivery of innovative solutions.  

The Situation 

Snap had already internationalized its most popular technology, Snapchat, but found itself struggling to make it fully ready to support the entirety of its global market with desired quality standards. Localization testing teams were finding more and more I18N bugs that were left unresolved for a long time. Meanwhile, development teams could not resolve them quickly enough, and thus the bugs kept accumulating in JIRA bug reports.  

Solutions elements: 

  • i18N Gap Analysis 
  • i18N Engineering 
  • Pseudo-Localization QA 
  • Lingoport Globalyzer 
  • Lingoport Localyzer

The Challenge  

What was behind the slowness to resolve these issues was three-fold. For one, the Snapchat product, made available on both Android and iOS platforms, had a complex architecture that utilized multiple technologies from Kotlin, Swift, ObjectiveC, Java, to JavaScript. The complex platform had limited support for language packs. 

Secondly, the targeted global market was rather large, which meant that the i18n effort had to deal with more difficult issues, such as right-to-left (bidi) rendering for the Middle Eastern market, plural handling that gets quite complex with Slavic languages, or complex concatenations. 

Finally, the Snap development team was lacking the expertise to solve these complex i18n issues and was already too busy and stretched thin with other development work. 

“Our i18n issues were complicated, and we were stuck. We didn’t have the depth of i18n expertise necessary to solve them in a timely manner.  

Hiring Lingoport was the best decision for us.  Lingoport’s experts  were able to address all  our complex legacy issues, and we were able  to put a process and  plan in place that was  key to our successful  launch of Snapchat in  multiple geographies.”

The Solution  

Lingoport assigned a team of technical resources and specialists with deep expertise in i18n and mobile development. The goal of this team was to supplement Snap’s development team acumen and additional development resources to resolve the accumulated JIRA bugs in order to meet globalization goals within targeted product launch deadlines.

The Lingoport team reviewed open bugs and conducted an I18N Gap Analysis of the platform to identify the issues in the current i18n enabling effort and create a remediation plan that would resolve these gaps. The Gap Analysis started with discovery meetings between Lingoport and  Snap’s leads and architects. It included a review of the architecture, database schemas, and design documents, as well as a code-level i18n evaluation with the help of Globalyzer.

The remediation plan put in place outlined the specific tasks necessary to fix the gaps in the architecture, framework, and software code itself to support the i18n of the complex issues. It considered the skill sets and availability of Snap developers and supplemented the team with additional resources from Lingoport to add bandwidth and expertise where needed. 

Globalyzer was set up for both teams to use and add to their efficiencies in resolving i18n issues. Snap team got trained on how to use Lingoport technologies to scan for I18N bugs and to facilitate pseudo-localization testing in their development process, both helping identify and fix i18n bugs easily and prior to releasing code to localization. This way, the i18n issues would get resolved before they would become bugs downstream in the process during localization.

“Lingoport’s experts addressed our legacy and complex issues perfectly. Thanks to the Lingoport technologies  and team that worked alongside  our developers, we  are in a good place today.”

Results 

With the remediation plan in place, the Lingoport resources were integrated into the Snap development team and onboarded into their development processes. Lingoport team members filled the gaps with i18n knowledge and addressed legacy and complex i18n issues. They built new frameworks to support pluralization and bi-di support. Snap team continued solving less complicated i18n issues. 

The integrated teams jointly completed i18n refactoring with the utilization of Globalyzer, which provided added efficiencies. Once code chunks were ready to send to localization, Localyzer automated sending resource files to localization vendors and saving returned localized files back into the Git repositories. The combined use of Globalyzer and Localyzer together shortened timelines for Snap to release their localized products.

Integrating the Lingoport team into the Snap team resulted in many positive outcomes: Lingoport i18n experts were able to resolve all legacy and complex JIRA issues that were not previously being closed. They were also able to help the onboarding of Snap teams to utilize Lingoport technologies while developing new code.

Having Lingoport dedicated resources fully focused on i18n with no other competing tasks or priorities ensured that the i18n remediation work got done quickly and made it possible for Snap to reach their global release timelines. Furthermore, integrating the Lingoport team as the extension of Snap’s dev team helped knowledge exchange for the greater ongoing success of Snap developers. 

The collaboration between the joint teams and the efficiencies gained by Lingoport technology was greatly appreciated by Snap team leads. Past the i18n support Lingoport was originally hired for, Snap requested additional help from Lingoport experts on other technologies beyond Snapchat. These included custom solutions on storage handling, data conversion, and creation of statistical analysis on bugs. 

Snap leadership commented as follows:  

“Lingoport’s experts addressed our legacy and complex issues perfectly. Thanks to the Lingoport technologies and team that worked alongside our developers, we are in a good place today. We are now able to continue with our global launches independently using the optimized processes, internationalization, and localization technologies in place, and all that we have learned.” 

Author

Lingoport
Lingoport