Welcome to our Monday Interview with a Wiki Ninja! Today’s ninja is Bruno Lewin…
Who are you, where are you, and what do you do? What are your specialty technologies?
I work as a Senior Program Manager at Microsoft, in the Server and Cloud Division, located in the Seattle area. I support internal teams in getting our products’ international story right, from design to implementation and finally translation. My expertise is around Software Globalization practices, with a recent focus on Machine Translation technologies. I’m somewhat of a generalist with a little extra experience in SW Deployment, Digital Media, Security, Privacy and Geopolitical aspects of software development.
I spend most of my non-work time with my family and my 7 month son. What free time is left goes towards dabbing in cooking, metal work, wood work and various other engineering oriented crafts.
What are your big projects right now?
My team is working on localization of the next waves of Management and Security products and a number of Cloud Services, including Azure. My personal focus has been on planning, designing, evangelizing and deploying effective usage of Machine Translation. In the context of the TN Wiki, I’m looking for the right story for non-English speakers. We’ve done a lot of experimentation with different approaches ranging from paid professional translation to on-the-fly Machine Translation. This has been quite a challenge as we want to make the information from the TN Wiki accessible as broadly as possible, but without overshadowing the emerging grassroots efforts that are starting around the world. I’m also trying to grow content covering International Development practices so it can be more readily be used by both external and internal Microsoft developers.
How does translation moderation work?
Let me step back a little. Translation generally involves choices around terminology, style, etc. On occasion, and especially in the context of highly technical content, a person with expertise in a given technology may find that the accuracy of a given translation could be improved. A few years back, one of our teams introduced the ability to “suggest translation improvements” directly in the TechNet Library. The role of the moderator is to triage these suggestions, making sure they are actually improvement, before they are shown to every reader.
TechNet Wiki articles can be automatically translated on demand (there is a Translation Widget on the right of the page). If you hoover over a translation, you’ll be able to suggest an improvement to the translation or vote on existing suggestions, if any. Once approved by a moderator, the suggestion will be visible to the next people who request a translation. We are still in the process of figuring out an effective way of managing suggestions on the Wiki, so stay tuned for more.
How can we translate on TechNet Wiki?
There are currently two main options for this:
– Use the Translation Widget. A nice feature is that you can append #mstto=<language_code> (e.g. #mstto=fr for French) to the URL of any TN Wiki article. This allows you to send a pointer to an article and have it translated on-the-fly into the language of your choice. A great option if you need to make information available to non-English speakers with minimal effort.
– Create a new article. The Wiki community has put detailed information on how to go about this so I’ll just point you to this article!
What is it about TechNet Wiki that interests you?
The TechNet Wiki is a very dynamic environment with a vibrant community of users who are always ready give feedback. So, besides the obvious aspect of making knowledge broadly available in a collaborative way, I love the Wiki as a great place to experiment with new ideas (in my case, mostly in the context of international and localization) and get extremely fast and valuable input from the community on what works.
On what articles have you collaborated with other community members on #TNWiki? What was that experience like?
I’ve mostly collaborated on articles around international. The most fulfilling part of the experience was seeing an article grow from a stub that maybe one or two of us care about to a point where the article takes a life of its own and grows in a direction that you like but did not necessarily expect initially.
On what Wiki articles do you spend most of your time?
I wish I could spend more time on the wiki. I’m subscribed to a number of articles around the Wiki translation process, international features and development guidelines. I try to address any comments and respond to suggestions. I also love the TN Wiki forum and try to include good information that I see there into relevant articles.
Thank you to Bruno for the interview!
Please feel free to ask Bruno any more questions in the comments below! Also, if you’ve collaborated with Bruno in the past, let us know what you did and what that was like in the comments below.
– Ninja Ed