This post continues our “A Day in the Life” series, where we check in on some of Argos Multilingual’s most prominent personalities. Our latest visit is with engineering manager Ben Mann.
Please tell us a little about your background and how you found your way to Argos.
Ben Mann: I started in localization 14 years ago as a desktop publishing (DTP) specialist at a small localization service provider in Minneapolis. I was drawn to the position because I had an interest in foreign languages after having studied French for a short time, and I had a lot of experience with graphic design software from my education in design. I helped establish and grow the DTP department there, hiring employees and updating processes. A couple years later I went to ENLASO in Boulder, Colorado and led the DTP department, eventually absorbing the QA and engineering departments as well. ENLASO was then acquired by Argos in 2017.
What does your role usually involve?
BM: I now lead the localization engineering effort in Boulder, which means dealing with the technical aspects of localizing various file formats, including publishing formats, tagged text, websites, and software. I may jump on calls with project managers or clients to discuss file formats, project strategies, or troubleshoot issues. I also take some overflow work on behalf of other teams when necessary.
What does a normal day’s schedule look like?
BM: Mostly tight turnaround tasks dealing with prepping, analyzing, verifying, and post-processing translation files, as well as translation memory and term base maintenance.
What’s a common question you get from clients/end users, and how do you typically answer it?
BM: A common question from clients is how to localize their WordPress website. What I suggest is that if the scope is small, it may be best to manually copy/paste the contents into a separate file for translation. If the scope is large, we recommend the client install a translation plugin, such as WPML, which allows them to manage the translation content efficiently and features an export/import function to facilitate bulk translation outside of the WordPress environment by a language service provider such as ourselves.
What equipment/tools/software do you use on the job?
BM: SDL Studio, SDL MultiTerm, MS Office, VBA, Notepad++, Bobcat, Okapi Rainbow, Olifant, Adobe Creative Suite, Acrobat, FrameMaker, and many more.
When and how do your team members give feedback to one another?
BM: We may give feedback in real time through email, instant messenger, or on a call.
What’s the most interesting thing you’re working on at the moment?
BM: The most interesting thing about my role at the moment is the variety of requests and challenges I get to work on – no two days are the same.
What’s on your work-related “wish list” for the next 12 months?
BM: I would like to see continued growth in the company!