Welocalize Office Exchange Program from Portland to Dublin

david landan welocalizeDave Landan is a pre-sales support engineer for Welocalize’s machine translation (MT) and language tools team and is based in Portland, Oregon. He recently spent a week in Dublin as part of the Welocalize Office Exchange Program. He shares his experience of Ireland and recaps his journey.

I’m a pre-sales support engineer on Welocalize’s MT and Language Tools team. I spend a lot of my time on MT pre-sales with external prospective clients and support our existing clients MT programs. Some of my time is spent supporting internal clients and continually working to make MT better for everyone involved.  I work from my home office in my garage near Portland, Oregon, with occasional visits to the Welocalize Portland office or down to California for meetings with clients or prospects.

I love traveling – new food, new people, and new sights. So, I jumped at the opportunity to participate in the Welocalize Office Exchange Program and visit our Welocalize Dublin office.  In addition to meeting several of my colleagues for the first time, the main purpose of my Dublin visit was for me to get up-to-speed on an exciting project that springs from our partnership with the Centre for Next Generation Localisation (CNGL).  CNGL is a collaborative academia-industry research center combining the expertise of researchers at Trinity College Dublin, Dublin City University, University College Dublin, and University of Limerick with localization industry partners. Welocalize is one of CNGL’s key industry partners and has worked with them for over three years now.

I left Portland on a Friday morning and touched down in Dublin about 13 hours later on Saturday morning.  Since I did not have any meetings scheduled until Monday, I rented a car and headed west.  Ireland is a beautiful country – lush, green, and very pastoral.  There’s so much history that I could have stopped every 5 km to see a centuries-old castle, abbey, monastery, or pub.  Instead, I put 600 km of touring on the car before passing out in my room. The next day, I enjoyed a hearty Irish Sunday breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausages, black and white puddings, grilled tomatoes, toast, and coffee. I was ready for anything!

The bulk of my week in Dublin was incredibly productive with meetings, demonstrations and presentations.  I spent two days in our Dublin office, meeting with colleagues and two and a half at Dublin City University meeting with some of the CNGL folks.  Meeting my colleagues in the Welocalize office was great. It gave us a chance to dive into details that we would not normally have the time for during the regular work week.  I was also able to get a good sense of what a “day in the life” is like for the people who I support. I will try to translate that into better tools and processes for my internal work.

olgab_lenaMdavelandan_lauracOlga Beregovaya, Lena Marg, and Alex Yanishevsky were in Dublin as well that week. We all got together with the Dublin MT and Language Tools folks for a lovely dinner in Dun Laoghaire.

As for the CNGL work that I took part in during my visit, I can’t tell you much about that just yet.  Suffice to say there’s some exciting and unique work in the world of weMT that should come to light soon. Watch this space for updates as they are available.

We managed to accomplish all of the goals we had set before the trip with a half day to spare. On Friday afternoon, I managed to visit several of the Dublin sights that I missed in my first tour.  In all, the trip was both fun and productive and I can’t wait to go back.