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Is Localization Testing a Vertical or a Horizontal

Localization is a very broad category in the world of software engineering. This category is becoming broader by the day, with global product / app releases along with Agile cycles of development, necessitating quick releases of not just the core English versions of software but also the localized versions. When the traditional waterfall development methodologies were more prevalent, it was almost a no brainer that localization and localization testing was a horizontal activity in the engineering spectrum. The localization team would come in after core English testing has been completed to test for localization functionality and rendering. However, with the product development characteristics around Agile such as faster iterations, demonstrable software, simultaneous global releases, and localization testers have increasingly become vertically attached to a given team. They are involved in the development efforts right from the get go on par with the core English testers. They are evolving their testing practices with newer strategies such as creating localization string files upfront, retro fitting them into the product later on etc. Given these time constraints and the activities they have on their plate that occupy them throughout the Agile release cycle, they are not as available to be shared across projects as before. However, they are not fully vertical as yet. There is still scope to group localization projects and testers, based on specific parameters such as mobile localization testing efforts, domain based localization testing efforts, specific locale specialized testers etc. Such groups bring in better efficiencies and scale in the tester operations. At QA InfoTech, we have a pseudo team called the RDT, Rapid Deployment Team, with testers from hand-picked cross product teams. They are horizontal at most times being shared across projects, but also have the scale to be vertical if a specific project needs the focus. Such flexibility, makes them localization test specialists, with the required versatility also giving them time to focus on newer practices, tools and technologies without being fully tied to a give project.

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About the Author

Rajini Padmanaban Rajini Padmanaban
As Vice President, Testing Services and Engagements, Rajini Padmanaban leads the engagement management for some of QA InfoTech's largest and most strategic accounts. She has over seventeen years of professional experience, primarily in software quality assurance. Rajini advocates software quality through evangelistic activities including blogging on test trends, technologies and best practices. She is also a regular speaker in conferences run by SQE, QAI STC ,ATA, UNICOM, EuroStar and has orchestrated several webinars. Her writings are featured in TechWell, Sticky Minds, Better Software Magazine. She has co-authored a book on crowdsourced testing . She can be reached at rajini.padmanaban@qainfotech.com