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Interview with David Tenser – Mozilla Support lead

David Tenser agreed to sit down and answer some basic questions about his role at Mozilla Support as Mozilla Support lead. Mozilla is ranked highly in many categories, but their Support Team is recognized as one of the most responsive and well informed. David Tenser is a Swedish computer scientist whose studies were heavy in software engineering.

What attracted you to Mozilla and how did you get involved?

Back in 2001, when Netscape 6 seemed to be the only browser around, I stumbled on Mozilla for the first time. The product seemed so similar to Netscape, and yet they were an open source project with a pretty interested following. I became involved in the discussions and news groups, asking and answering the questions that were floating around at the time, about use, design, and the direction of the browser called Phoenix, which is now known as Firefox. I enjoy helping people, especially with things that I understand and care about. My enjoyment and involvement was clearly more than just a side hobby.

Do most people who are involved with Mozilla feel passionately about the products?

There is an inherent magic in the Mozilla product suite. Most people who get involved are drawn to the mission and believe strongly in the products. Take SUMO, for example. As a support and update mechanism it works incredibly well. Even the first crude release back in 2007 was such a significant step up from the old support system that people began to take notice. Firefox support changed dynamically and we have the input of many dedicated Mozilla fans to thank.

What is the best interview with David Tenser question you’ve been asked as Mozilla Support lead?

People like to ask about hobbies. I think that shows how strong the Mozilla community is – we do it because we love to do it and it shows. My other hobby is photography, by the way.

Importance of localization

The World is Getting Smaller

The latest State of the Union Address gave one of the best examples of how localization plays a role in everything we do these days. As software developers and engineers plan their strategies for making the most of their products, they are increasingly looking to localization to bring their ideas to the world. As the President spoke on Tuesday night, live commentary was broadcast along with instant translations from individuals around the world. Crowd sourcing combined with localization is changing the way we think of software development and communication.

The importance of localization these days is similar to the way the internet itself was important when it first became available for public use. Sharing information across the planet without the time delays of the past changed the world forever. At first, this was a revolution for people who were used to dealing with each other, and usually for dealing with each other in a common language. Today, the possibility of sharing with anyone, no matter their language, culture, or location makes software development even more exciting and meaningful than ever before.

As we develop tools that can be used across countries, providing localization and localization support becomes more and more of a priority. Software that does not offer localization will hit a dead end where competitors can tap into many other markets. With the availability of crowd sourcing and free technology, there is no excuse for neglecting the importance of localization these days.

In the long run, communication technologies are what make the world a smaller place. The fact that we can share ideas around the world in a few seconds is revolutionary, and the only tool needed these days is some form of localized communication tool. Localization is one of the most important aspects of any tool being developed today.