You’ve probably heard of Jira, Confluence and Trello, right? Thought so. These are some of the world-class products developed by industry titan Atlassian.
On this episode of The Loc Show, you’ll hear how Melanie Heighway transformed from a curious language-loving translator into the Product Localization Team Lead at Atlassian.
Melanie is an incredible practitioner. She’s responsible for managing their core products in over 15 languages, and has learned a ton in the process. She has fostered relationships with engineering teams, conducted a gap analysis to help the company understand how and where to invest in translation, and skillfully unpacks how to handle some obstacles you may encounter along the way.
Atlassian is home to a family of systems and software, project management and collaboration tools and more to help companies stay on task on a global stage.
How Atlassian thinks about translation and localization
- What successful localization campaigns look like and how to share stats with your C-Suite to ensure allocating funding for the future.
- How to conduct a gap analysis to motivate product teams and engineers to prioritize translation
- How to build and foster relationships with your engineering team to exceed expectations and build a robust department
- The best way to manage linguistic assets
What to Listen For:
[14:43] How Melanie found her way to Atlassian
[16:50] How Melanie approaches localization and translation with her diverse background and love of language
[17:38] What Atlassian does and what Melanie brings to the team’s table
[19:20] Why Atlassian started to invest in translation and localization
[21:48] What the localization landscape looks like at Atlassian at the moment
[23:14] Melanie’s priorities in product localization
[25:20] How to partner with an engineering team to achieve success and incentivise
[27:35] Obstacles and hurdles Melanie had to confront on her path to success
[33:50] Hindsight and working in localization
[35:39] Results of localization efforts
[38:06] How Melanie approaches cloud-based products verses mobile products
[41:40] Managing linguistic assets between various products, apps and sites
[44:31] How Melanie’s team approaches divides and conquers the large portfolio she manages
[50:33] What excites Melanie the most about the future of localization and beyond
Full Transcript that almost certainly has typos (forgive us!)
Announcer: You're listening to The Loc Show presented by Smartling.
Adrian Cohn: Hey everyone, and welcome back to The Loc Show. I'm your host, Adrian Cohn with Smartling. Thanks for listening. Today, my guest is Melanie Heighway. She is the product localization team lead at Atlassian. Now, if you don't know Atlassian you've definitely heard of the products that they deliver to the market. Jira, Confluence, Trello. This is a powerhouse technology company and Melanie is a powerhouse localization leader. We have such a great episode in store for you today. I found the most interesting part of the conversation, the types of things that Melanie did to build a relationship with her engineering team and the product team so that they prioritized translation and localization. Let's jump right into this episode and thanks again for listening. Melanie, it's so great to have you on the Loc Show, how's it going?
Melanie Heighway: Good. Thank you. Thanks so much for inviting me. It's a pleasure to be here and yes, it's going well. It's obviously very different at the moment but it's going well. How about you?
Adrian Cohn: Everything is great. I've just been really looking forward to this conversation because you are the product localization team lead at Atlassian which is a company that delivers multiple products to the market that all of us are really quite aware of because we're probably using it. I know that we use it at Smartling and I'm really interested to learn a little bit more about how you approach product localization and learn a little bit about yourself. So maybe we could start there, Melanie. How did you get into localization? How did you find your way to Atlassian?
Melanie Heighway: Yeah, I guess it started very early on. I've always been quite obsessed with languages and have a really strong passion for languages. Early on in school in Australia, it's actually quite hard to decide what foreign languages to learn because we're obviously so far away and there's so many different languages and different countries to think of. We didn't really know what to go with so each school offers a different kind of range of languages and I happen to have Japanese on offer. So from the age of 11 onwards, I became obsessed with Japanese and then it only got deeper as I got older, I decided to go and do an international studies degree majoring in two languages and just naturally gravitated towards the language industry.
Melanie Heighway: So I was very lucky when I graduated, I ended up working at a firm that worked with language technology so I got to really, deep dive into other languages that I hadn't studied before which were really interesting such as Slavic languages but even Indic languages, Kurdish as well as a language that I got to work on and go to work on really interesting projects that went towards speech recognition machine machine translation but also handwriting recognition. So since then, I've just not been able to draw myself away from the industry, I guess, keep gravitating back towards localization and language technology and, yeah, I ended up working at a couple of different LSPs but eventually found myself on the client side working at a start up before joining Atlassian and yeah, I guess the rest is history.
Adrian Cohn: Well, it's a really interesting background that you bring to the industry and I also really appreciate that you have previously worked on the localization service provider side and now you're a client. So you have this like really unique and rather well-rounded point of view, which I'm sure informs your everyday decision-making.
Melanie Heighway: Yeah, definitely. I think it's great to have a bit of empathy for your translators and your LSP to understand how they work and what they're dealing with and that will ultimately ensure you have a better partnership because having worked directly with translators and done some translation myself, just knowing that there's core pieces that your translators are going to need to be successful and if they're not successful, you're not successful. I always try and keep that in mind when I'm working with my LSPs. So I definitely hope that that's made it easier for them as well.
Adrian Cohn: I suspect that almost all of our listeners know Atlassian by name and they may also be a customer of yours they may know but for those of our listeners who don't know Atlassian, can you tell us a little bit about what Atlassian does and what you sort of bring to the team?
Melanie Heighway: Yeah, sure. Interesting thing about Atlassian, it's an Australian company but yet a lot of Australians actually don't recognize the name Atlassian and so when I say I work at Atlassian they're like, "Mh, interesting. Never heard of it." And they say, "Have you heard of Jira or Confluence or Trello?" "Oh, yes, yes I have." And then I realized what Atlassian does. Basically, Atlassian makes collaboration tools for software companies and all kinds of companies really. So Jira is a tracking tool but we also have documentation tool. We have very different use cases across our products. Trello obviously is really big with individual users as well as companies and is very broad reaching in who's using Trello. So say for example, wedding planners might be using it and then you might also have a software team that's also using it to build their product. So yeah, we make collaboration tools and although we are an Australian company, we have offices around the world.
Adrian Cohn: So as a software company, the business at some point made the decision to invest in translation and localization. You more recently joined the company. Atlassian was doing translation before you joined but do you know the backstory as to how and why the business started to invest in internationalization and translation?
Melanie Heighway: Yeah. The business could say that we had a big international presence [inaudible 00:06:48], the internationally non-English being customers were really interested in our products and so they thought to add value and also improve our customer experience, they would launch localization and originally that drive and that effort came from the engineering team. So they kicked that off and made it a crowdsourced effort actually to get that off the ground and we had great results and we saw that our customers were using our products and other languages and really interested it came from localization. So they turned that around and decided to create a localization department and do professional localization after that. So yeah, I was very lucky.
Melanie Heighway: The company has always had a passion for our international customers and for localization, just the fact that the engineering team where the team to kick it off was a great sign and we are actually very lucky in that a lot of our engineers happened to speak English as a second language. So I don't even need to tell them the importance of localization, they already get it naturally and it makes our lives a lot easier. So, yeah. So that was really the way that it kind of came about.
Adrian Cohn: I would imagine having multi-lingual engineers definitely helps to explain the importance of translation and also helps to unpack the complexity of language and introducing it into software.
Melanie Heighway: Yeah, absolutely. Definitely. One thing that I find a bit of a challenge is though that regardless of our engineer's native language, when they're coding, they tend to think only in English and when I get strengths from engineers that I can't localize, I usually go back to them and say, "Just a quick question, would this work in your language?" And they pause, they read it. "No, actually it wouldn't." "Yeah, I'll rewrite it for you." It works in my favor that I can kind of connect with him on that level but it is a bit of a challenge that when they're in the core of their work coding, they're not thinking in their language, they're thinking in English and, yeah, we have to kind of help them break that mindset.
Adrian Cohn: Atlassian is a large company, multiple products, you're translating some of the products or are all of them. Maybe you'll tell us more about that but you're also translating marketing content. So can you tell us before we dive into exactly what you're managing. What is the localization landscape look like at your company?
Melanie Heighway: Yeah, that's a great question. We have a united localization team, although we cover different parts of content across the team. We've broken the team into two different parts and there's my team, which is the product localization team and then there's the marketing team, marketing and commerce, our experienced team and the content that we translate, we have the different touch points across the customer journey. So the marketing and buyer experience team, our localization team look after the first point of entry by our customers. They look after our marketing website, all that marketing content emails and then once the customer gets through the next part of the journey so through the buying process and subscription, that kind of thing and then they hit the product and that's where my team kicks in and then we look after the UI of the product essentially. Yeah, so basically we try to get all those different touch points across the board for our customers.
Adrian Cohn: Yeah. That's great. And having that well-rounded localization approach is important because the customer journey is different for different consumers and you have to engage people at different points in their native language. Makes sense to me. Okay. What are your priorities in product localization? What are the top tours or things that are on your minds these days?
Melanie Heighway: Yeah. Well, my top priority, our team looks after product localization and that's for a range of Atlassian's different products, as well as what we call the platform areas so that's the areas that connect the different products together. So where your core settings are and things like that. I mean our key priority really is, to provide a great service to both our internal customers, our stakeholders who are looking for localization as well as our international customers and so it's all about providing a reliable, timely and quality based service. It really, ultimately we just want to support our business in achieving their objectives and key results so that our international customers can really benefit from the great features in products that they're rolling out and have the same experience as our English speaking customers. So when we're coming up with a strategy that's kind of what guides us basically. We have that in mind. Are we supporting our customers? Are we supporting our business and what they're trying to achieve? And that's what we focused on.
Adrian Cohn: And how many languages are you supporting or how many countries?
Melanie Heighway: Yeah. I guess languages, language wise, we could say over 15 languages countries, obviously it goes a bit broader than that because we've got some countries speaking the same languages as other countries. That's across our different content types. That's over 15 languages.
Adrian Cohn: Yeah. Okay. So to do this successfully, you and I have had conversations before and what I was really impressed by is how you've partnered with your engineers to achieve the results that you've had. What have you done? How have you set up your working relationship with your engineers to make product localization seamless for Atlassian?
Melanie Heighway: Yeah. It's definitely been a huge work in progress. Really, I mean, as most client side localization managers are probably aware of, you really have to go in and evangelize localization and make sure everyone's aware that you're there because it's very easy to kind of be quiet in the corner and you won't really achieved much that way. So you have to be quite vocal. What I really did as soon as I came into the company was like, I really looked out for the engineers who came up to me and were really passionate about localization and really wanted to help me and I decided that I would make them a localization champion for their team and eventually we had a pretty much a localization champion for each of the different engineering teams we would work with and we kind of formed an international task force and so anytime any localization or internationalization engineering questions came up, there was a community of different engineers that could actually answer those questions and they were really [inaudible 00:13:41], that they could actually contribute to this as well.
Melanie Heighway: The other thing that really helped was that, I kind of went about this by really thanking the engineers as well. So it wasn't just can you do this free work in your spare time for me? Outside of what the roadmap work is, it was also like let's do social events as well. So on Friday, Friday after 4:00 we'd do drinks with the localization team. We'd also make sure we would give them t-shirts and things like that and that goes a long way and you tend to find that when you foster these great relationships and show what you're doing, when you want to say what you're doing, like what the impact is to the customer engineers are just really came to help you and when they have innovation weeks or hackathons and things like that, they're really keen to actually build solutions for you as well. So it's been really great by just basically identifying people who already have that passion and partnering with them to really take things to the next level.
Adrian Cohn: When you started to build these relationships, what were some of hurdles that you're presented with?
Melanie Heighway: Yeah. I mean, I think with a lot of companies that are building products, a hurdle is that product engineers are working on road mapped features and it's also getting their time so they've already got their responsibilities for shipping features and building things and you're going to them and saying, "Okay, but you've got to have this extra requirement of internationalization. I need you to do this." And that you often hear people say, "Well, this kind of not in my scope of work. Is it? I mean, that takes up a lot of time and I've got X, Y and Z on my my sprint this way." But when you make it part of the definition of done for a feature that has made it a bit easier, so actually breaking it down and also giving them the information they need to be successful to make it easier so there's less resistance to adopt what you're asking them to adopt, for shipping a feature with internationalization. So that's definitely helped but definitely time is challenging but we've managed to do it by just making it easier, I suppose and more accessible.
Adrian Cohn: What were some of the friction points and you say now it's easier, which is great to hear. I'd love to hear what was the journey and what were the friction points and what were the levers that you pulled with your engineers to make things a little bit more seamless?
Melanie Heighway: Yeah. Definitely, I think because there wasn't actually a team that was managing internationalization previously and so engineers were not held accountable for making sure that a feature was internationalized before it was shipped. Once the team came in and we had a face to the team and a presence, they did feel more accountable but just working with finding a sponsor, an exact sponsor in engineering and in product and having that sponsor say, "Hey, internationalization is part of the definition of done so you're just going to have to fit it in." And that's what's happened and that's made it a lot better.
Melanie Heighway: Obviously there was a lot of work that had to be done to make the case and to get the trust and the buying of the sponsor but once we did that, everything else kind of flowed nicely after that and then we were able to focus more on making self service information available to the engineers so they could know how to use different internationalization libraries or pluralization methods and things like that or best practices for writing strings for localization and it flowed after that but it was just really getting the support from management from the C level and ensuring that this was part of the definition of done.
Adrian Cohn: So interesting because from an outside perspective, it would seem obvious that that would be part of the engineer's scope to include local language support but it wasn't obvious until you started to have the dialogue with your team about making this part of the project plan for every sprint. What were some of the things that you had to show to make your executive team see your point of view? What were like the two or three things that you really honed in on to try and make your case?
Melanie Heighway: Yeah. One thing that the product teams reacts really well to, gap analysis. So gap analysis, sorry. I actually went to the different teams and I showed them what the experience was like in the product for ... well, they know what the experience is like for English speakers but I showed what the experience was like in other languages and where the gaps were and they were very glaringly obvious and when it's that obvious, it's really an open and shut case and you can't argue with it and just showing also feedback from the customers, whether it was tweets or feedback from our customer support team, which is really compelling and upsetting as well. It's never a great day to receive bad feedback but it's really compelling when you gather this together and you show that evidence and when you also show with a potential but if you were to remove these blockers, you would be able to achieve like let's get parody with English and achieve this metric to lift. It makes a more compelling case as well.
Adrian Cohn: That's really cool. So it sounds like there were three things that you focused on. It was the gap analysis. It was the feedback from customers and then seeing actual usage or utilization of the product and the different languages.
Melanie Heighway: Yeah.
Adrian Cohn: That's a super cool. I have to believe that when you started to reveal these data, people were pretty moved by what you had revealed to the team.
Melanie Heighway: Yeah, they definitely were. Yeah. I remember the meeting that I had with our head of, one of our major products and he was stunned and he was like, "This is very worthwhile and we're going to do this. We're going to focus on this." And I myself found myself getting quite emotional about it because we're all very passionate about localization in this industry and we are the voice for our international customers. Yeah. It's been great that our company Atlassian really cares about our international customer experience and wants localization to be successful. So it's great that our leaders can see that.
Adrian Cohn: The gap analysis is a localization measurement tool that I think is quite under utilized by teams worldwide. What Melanie did here with her team is help them to understand where the product experience was working really well for their end users in any language and where there was English bleed-through and by providing her product team and her management team with that analysis of how much of the end user experience was not in the local language of their end user. She was able to show that their customer base wouldn't be having the experience that the company as a whole, Atlassian really wants them to have. So I think that Melanie took a really interesting approach here and as you all probably know, if your content is not translated, if the product is not in the native language, then global users are simply going to ignore your product. So do a gap analysis. If you need any assistance with conducting a gap analysis, let us know or connect with Melanie. She'll probably give you a couple tips. Let's get back to the episode.
Adrian Cohn: Through that experience because I think that's a really profound experience. When you look back on it, were there things that you now wish you did a little differently or are there things that you now know that you feel would have positioned you to be even more successful in the goal that you have, which is to make the solution easier and better to use for your international customers?
Melanie Heighway: That's a great question, actually. I mean, hindsight's a great thing to have. I guess, I think most of us, when we go into a localization role at a new company, we want to fix everything and want everything to be perfect. I think I came into Atlassian like, "Okay, I'm going to do X, Y, Z and then A, B, C, D." I just had this huge list and I tried to tackle too much at once. In hindsight, if I could go back, I would try and stack rank all the things I could do and really just go with a very small list, even with just three things or even just one thing to focus on.
Melanie Heighway: Obviously looking at big wins for low effort and then toning it up a bit but honestly, that kind of naturally came about as I realized that you've got to crawl before you walk, essentially. So, yeah. I wish I had done that but it's essentially we are getting to a better place now where we're better able to prioritize where we need to work on or what things we should work on first, essentially,
Adrian Cohn: You've explained now how you've gone about realizing some level of innovation and the localization pipeline so that your engineers are prioritizing this as part of their workflow so that you and they have the ability to collaborate on making translation and localization a little bit more seamless for the business. I guess it would be interesting to hear what have been some of the results of these changes? Are you pushing content out more frequently? Are you seeing fewer gaps? Tell us a little bit about the results.
Melanie Heighway: Yeah, definitely. Actually it was the engineering team, one of the engineering teams that we work with that actually built a major integration that we have, to actually provide localization as a service that connects the different Atlassian code repos. That actually came out of the engineering team, which I'm very, very thankful for and has actually enabled us to be able to push content in and in and out of our [TMS 00:24:57], much faster and essentially deliver a turnaround localization much faster. So that is thanks to the engineering team that we have that. They've also been really great with trying to innovate in terms of how we provide context to our translators. It's still a work in progress like it is for many different companies but they're constantly trying to innovate when it comes to providing developer context or visual context and also just making sure that connection between the code repo is super smooth so that there's no delay in them getting localization out to customers.
Adrian Cohn: Yeah. And are you shipping new content literally every day or what are your sprints like?
Melanie Heighway: Yeah. We are actually. We have a system set up. When localization is published, it is pulled directly by the different product teams. Some product teams release at a different cadence to others, some have a longer cycle. Say for example, for mobile apps, it's a slightly longer release but with cloud products, it's sometimes releasing a couple of times a day. Obviously with localization, we can't give up as fast as a couple of times a day but definitely we're pushing out localization, localization is going out every day into our products and we're just trying to basically keep up as much as possible with our English product release times.
Adrian Cohn: You described that ... it's like really interesting how you sort of just walked us through that your mobile products take longer to release than your cloud products. How do you approach translation differently for those two types of product segments?
Melanie Heighway: Yeah. I mean, at the end of the day, we don't approach it too differently. We want the experience to be similar on our mobile products as it is to our web products but really like the focus is just making sure that consistency is well because our customers might be using the product on both platforms and they don't want to have a jarring experience or don't understand that the one feature on mobile is the same feature as he is on web. Yeah. When it comes to localization, we don't differentiate, we don't use different translators and it's all around timely deliveries and because we have a lot of automation set up in our processes to pull and push strings localized and English, as fast as possible out of the repos. Yeah, I guess there isn't really much of a difference between the two. It's just really, let's try and process the volume as soon as we can with the best quality that we can.
Adrian Cohn: Yeah. That makes sense. I guess part of what I was thinking about is how some of our customers, some people we work with, they have different levels of translation and investment in their products based on their deployment schedules and their how many users there are and I mean, it makes sense. You want to have a consistent experience across your mobile and your cloud based tools. That's kind of what you're getting at, right? It's just making sure every experience is really the same.
Melanie Heighway: Yeah, definitely. It's interesting that you say that. In my previous company, Invoice2go, it was a mobile first app company and so, most of our users were on mobile and not on web. Whereas with Atlassian, most of our users are on web and not mobile. That said, I try to make sure that ... there's a great experience in both apps, both platforms. So yeah. There isn't a focus on one or the other but it is interesting. You'd do things a little bit differently, I suppose, with mobile first products, then you would say when it's a bit more agnostic.
Adrian Cohn: Your product must have a lot of terminology that is newer or not native to most or many translators and because you're localizing, how many products is it? Three or four that you're ...
Melanie Heighway: Oh, I haven't actually counted it. It's quite a lot because I don't think people realized Jira is a family really of products. There's Service Desk, there's Software, there's Core, there's the Mobile Apps as well. So yeah. All the Jira's as I call it, all the confluences. There's a couple of different confluences as well. Trello. We also do some localization for Bitbucket as well but the data center and the cloud version of Bitbucket and also Sourcetree as well, if people are familiar with Sourcetree. Yeah. So that would be our core products but then we had our platform areas as well. Yeah.
Adrian Cohn: [inaudible 00:30:14], a lot of different content there. How are you managing your linguistic assets for so many different products? As your tone of voice, is the brand different for each of these tools?
Melanie Heighway: Yeah. That's a very, very good question, actually. It's good to contrast Trello with Jira because they have a similar kind of use case I suppose but very different audiences and different tone. Trello is, I guess a bit more fresh and more casual in its tone. Whereas as Jira is a little bit more serious. We go with the premise of practical with a wink and that can actually be quite difficult to localize obviously in different languages. Like for Japanese.
Melanie Heighway: For example, how do you be practical with a wink? That's definitely presented some challenges for us and what we've essentially done is taken our official English style guide and work with the different, we have leaned language owners for our different languages, worked with those, those lead owners to come up with a style guide for each different language to make sure it's appropriate and consistent in the different languages but ultimately have the same angle as what we're trying to achieve in English and when it comes to terminology as well, we do maintain a glossary and it keeps getting full of by the week, by the day but it is challenging because Trello again, comparing Trello to Jira, we have the word board, for example. We have the word board in Jira and we have it in Trello but it means different things and it shouldn't really be translated the same way.
Melanie Heighway: So we've got to be very cautious to when we're mixing different products, to make sure that we separate the terminology or sometimes align them because there are integrations between the products and we want to make sure that that's also consistent as well so the customer knows exactly what they're doing when they're in the product and they're not confused because of the terminology.
Adrian Cohn: Do you use the same translators for the different products?
Melanie Heighway: We do. Yes, but we try to at least, we do ... obviously there's a restriction when it comes to the amount of volume you're pushing through and it does come to a point where one translator simply can't translate all of the different products, I try to separate it so that the translators working on Jira are the same but if a different translator's working on Confluence, it's not too much of big deal because they're different products but as long as they have background and understand how Jira works, even though they're localizing Confluence, that's the main thing. There's integrations and touch points between the different products but the main thing is that they're a specialist in the product that they're localizing.
Adrian Cohn: Yeah. That's amazing. There's so many complexities that are introduced in product localization and especially when there's more than one product to localize, it's got to be a lot of time and effort that your team puts into this.
Melanie Heighway: Yeah. It's definitely a large portfolio to manage. The way that we've approached it is, now that the team has grown this year we've been able to divide the portfolio that we've managed into different areas so that we've got mobile areas, platform areas, different product areas and we have lead localization managers for each so that the stakeholders have one main person they can go to but yet if this person goes on leave or is off sick, anyone can step in from the localization team and help them. So I think we've built up a nice kind of system there to make sure we can stay on top of the different touch points that we have across Atlassian's products.
Adrian Cohn: So you have a team that you work with, where do you report into, what's the reporting structure like? Because it's always different for localization. I'm curious to hear.
Melanie Heighway: Yeah, definitely. The bedding question is where do you sit in the org? Because companies have localizations sitting in different areas. For us, because we have the ... well, I don't think this is particularly unique I suppose when you've got a larger localization team that has both a marketing and a product arm. Initially we were in separate orgs. So I was reporting into the product org, so product engineering org and the marketing team reporting into the marketing side but it had the unfortunate effect of really facturing the team and although we were using the same systems, same translators, same terminology, we were sitting in different teams and we were just not connected. So we decided to come together and I essentially reported to two different places. I still report in to product and my duty is to product but I actually report into marketing to make sure that I can be aligned with what the wider team is trying to achieve internationally. So I kind of, I've got my foot in both places essentially, my feet in both places.
Adrian Cohn: That's fascinating. So when you go to report or to these different business units, what do you guys talk about? What is the subject matter of your conversations when you're trying to share with your teams what you're working on, what you're prioritizing, how does that go down?
Melanie Heighway: Yeah, that's a really good point because it's, in a way almost like sleep, speaking different languages because we have different metrics. We kind of look at ourselves as like a unit, almost like a startup within an org and we see ourselves as a team that covers the entire funnel really. Normally marketing would be top of funnel and then product would be mid to end of funnel but we see ourselves as covering all parts. So when we're talking to a different, like I'm talking to a marketing team whether it be the marketing localization team or the wider [inaudible 00:36:18], or leadership. I ultimately just trying to think about the fact that we are trying to achieve the same thing but also they might have specific metrics and I try to focus on informing them how I'm trying to help them hit those metrics.
Melanie Heighway: So there's a lot of questions around what metrics are we looking at as a team. We actually have shared metrics and we also have, separate metrics that focus specifically on marketing content and on product content but across the board we cover all touch points and so, yeah. When I'm asked to talk to different teams, I try to incorporate both product and marketing and when I'm talking,
Adrian Cohn: It's a very savvy leadership move to be continuously speaking in terms that are benefiting the parties that you're dealing with and to position your work as something that is actually benefiting a common goal. I think that's a really fine approach there. What sort of feedback have you been getting? Are you guys feeling like you're hitting your goals right now? Do you feel like there's a lot of room for improvement? What's that looking like today?
Melanie Heighway: Yeah, it's definitely we're in a very positive place in terms of becoming one team and being able to work together mostly smoothly because before we were almost doubling up on what we were doing in terms of the conversations we were having with our language vendors and with our technology vendors, when we actually combined forces together and make sure we have a close relationship. I think everybody benefits, particularly our internal stakeholders because anyone can come to any stakeholder across the [inaudible 00:38:09], can come to any one of our team members and say, "Hey, I want this localized or I don't know what this international campaign is." Or something like that. "Who can I talk to about this?" And we'll know and we'll be able to point them in the right direction or show them the right documentation.
Melanie Heighway: Yeah. It's been very, very helpful and at the end of the day, I think we talk about this a lot with the localization industry, as we said before, about where do you in the organ? I think it doesn't so much matter where you sit as much as it matters that you have influence and you can influence the things that can help you be successful and then ultimately the company. So let's put aside the fact that we're in marketing because we could be in product as well as we wanted to and be more about, let's just make sure we have the impact that we're trying to achieve and yeah. I think for the most part, we've been able to do that, particularly by working together really closely and communicating on a very regular basis.
Adrian Cohn: Melanie, when you think about the future of Atlassian, the future of your role in localization at Atlassian and at large in the industry, what excites you the most?
Melanie Heighway: Yeah, I think it's about tapping into our potential really. I think, we, Atlassian, is an Australian company, as I mentioned and obviously we worked very closely with English customers initially but now we are doing very well internationally and I think there's just so much potential to do even better and to give a better international customer experience. So I'm excited about taking that to the next level but in terms of the localization industry, I'm really excited about how technology is evolving and what's available to us when I think about what we had about 15 years ago and I first came into the industry and how far we've come and what's available now, it blows my mind and just makes things a lot easier for us. We can turn content around faster with better quality. We have much better machine translation. It's just keeps evolving to a much better place. I'm really excited about where technology is going to take us as well.
Adrian Cohn: Well, we're excited about the technology component also and we think there's a lot of amazing opportunity to build even more agile localization teams out there and support companies like Atlassian and others to really make an incredible leap forward with their localization programs so that people anywhere today can get to know your products and services with as much opportunity as your native audience typically in English.
Melanie Heighway: Yeah. I mean, ultimately what we all strive for and localization is to make the customer feel like the product was made for them in their language initially and that it was never translated and that's what I always kind of keeping top of mind with our localization goals.
Adrian Cohn: Amazing. Melanie, it's been so much fun having you on The Loc Show. Thank you for being an amazing guest and I really can't wait one day meet you in person and have the chance to share a strong coffee in Australia.
Melanie Heighway: That would be great. I'm really looking forward to that, especially once we can travel again. That'll be fantastic.
Adrian Cohn: Thanks again for being on the show, Melanie.
Melanie Heighway: Thank you.
Adrian Cohn: I hope you enjoyed that conversation with Melanie as much as I did. If you liked this episode of The Loc Show, hit the subscribe button so the next episode we'll be waiting for you and if you loved the podcast, please leave a review. Five star reviews go along way. And if you're not ready to give a five star review, give our next episode a shot. We appreciate your listening. If you have any feedback or want us to interview one of your favorite people in localization, send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org. See you next week.