Smartling Employees Innovate in Company-wide Hackathon

Following the success of last year’s Lingua Hack in Ukraine, Smartling hosted its first company-wide Hackathon in New York, earlier this month. Seventeen teams consisting of two to four employees spent two days developing a project of their choice aligned with one or more of the hack’s four themes: cloud connectors, best CAT tool on the planet, minimize customer launch time, and translation marketplace

The teams showed impressive diversity. Not only were members of every department represented, but many of the developers chose to work outside of their areas of their expertise. For example, Java developers moonlighted as front-end engineers and designers built databases, just to name few.

The results of the projects will be of great value to customers down the road. While the company can’t share specific details of the projects at this time, below are three important items learned from the hack.

1. The CAT experience can be improved

CAT tools have remained relatively static over the last ten years, even as translation management technology has changed around them. The process seems simple enough – source content in, translation out – that little could be done to improve it. But participants discovered a number of improvements that could be made, especially around translation adjacent tasks like approving content and developing a truly useful review process. Additionally, other teams found ways to give translators easier access, improve context, and streamline communication with other users.

2. Smartling’s API allows for very fast custom integrations

Six of the teams chose to develop integrations for a number of cloud platforms, including file management, video hosting, project management, IM and social media. All six were able to demonstrate working prototypes after only two days development. Some organizations might be hesitant to search out a translation management system because there aren’t any out of the box integrations to their existing tech stack, but the results of the hackathon show that Smartling’s technology can easily integrate into almost any architecture with minimal investment.

3. Nothing is finished

Smartling prides itself on being agile and constantly improving its technology, but the hack demonstrated the drive Smartling employees have to innovate. Some of the most impressive projects completely reimagined fundamental features of the Smartling platform. The hack showcased a team who relish the challenge of making the best product, who are always asking “What’s the best way to approve content?” or “How can we get better information to translators?” Innovation is in Smartling’s DNA and the company will always strive to offer a better experience to its customers.