“I am strong to the finich…Cause I eats me spinach”

“Cus01_thinnertomer Experience”.  If you use twitter, if you follow the activities of SDL through their website, or if you read the mailers we occasionally send out then you’ll probably have come across this expression quite a lot because SDL has completely restructured its business to focus on “Customer Experience”.  So now we only have two divisions; Customer Experience Solutions and Language Solutions.  These names reflect the operational focus of each division, but this doesn’t mean they are completely separate.  In fact the opposite is true, and the crossover between the divisions reflects both the nature of our business because we increasingly use all of our own technology, and the customer journey which we can support for any organisation looking to deliver smooth, data-driven experiences to their own customers at every point of the buying journey, and across all channels, devices and languages.


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Should I get certified?

A couple of weeks ago I was asked about certification by one of our Business Consultants… in fact she asked me if I was certified?  Thoughts of being carried away by men in white coats crossed my mind at the very mention of the word “certified”… but I digress!

When I joined SDL at the end of 2006 the first SDL Certification programme was just getting pulled together, and my team were responsible for the technical content, working closely with our enthusiastic marketing team.  We had pretty tight timescales to deliver it, with three levels – Getting Started, Intermediate and Advanced.  All based around two products – Translators Workbench 2007 and SDLX 2007.  I can remember now the amount of effort that it took to prepare this from all the teams involved (Jenny, Tracey, Denise, Argyro… all put in a tremendous effort to make it a reality), and then more work in ensuring all our trainers were certified and had been through our train the trainer courses so they could deliver the certification training to lots of enthusiastic translators and project managers.  Notwithstanding this we also wanted the material in other languages and this was a brilliant introduction for me into the world of a busy Language Service Provider as I was told in no uncertain terms on a number of occasions what a poor client we were!  It was indeed a good education in those early months at SDL.  I can also remember the long… long… long… telephone conversations with some of our enthusiastic customers who went through the certification and then didn’t agree with the answers!  I can see the men in white coats running through my garden towards me as I think about all of this… but I survived!

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Great ideas!

001This week SDL launched an OpenExchange Developers competition.  Actually it was launched a month or so ago but the number of downloads for new applications started counting at of the beginning of this week.  The key dates are these:

19 March to 31 July          Apps can be submitted
1 June to 31 July               Downloads counted
Early August                       Winners announced (Actual results are here)

Over the last month or so I’ve been lucky enough to see some of the things the developers are creating and there are really some fantastic ideas and apps in progress.  Most of the apps for this competition will be free for Studio users, but you will have to be using Studio 2014 to take advantage of them.  This is because the competition is all about using the integration API in Studio 2014, so developers can create new ribbons, new views, new ribbon groups etc.  This allows for anything from a simple feature to a full blown application, and I’m seeing some fantastic examples of both.

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Why do we need custom XML filetypes?

20_smallerMy son asked me how my day had gone and before I could answer he said in a slightly mocking tone “blah blah blah… XML… blah… XML … blah blah”.  Clearly I spend too much time outside of work talking about work, and clearly his perception of what I do is tainted towards the more technical aspects I like the most!  Aside from the note to self “stop talking about this stuff after I leave the office!” it got me thinking about why I probably think about XML as much as I apparently do and how I could help others avoid the very same compulsion!  I’ve written articles in the past about how to use regular expressions in Studio, and an article on using XPath, and I’ve probably touched on handling XML files from time to time in various articles.  But I don’t think I’ve ever explained how to create an XML filetype in the first place, or why you would want to… after all Studio has default filetypes for XML and this is just another filetype that the CAT tool should be able to handle… right?

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