Internationalization, REDEFINED!

This once-mighty IT company has fallen on hard times, and by the mid-1990s it has been bought and sold many times, says a pilot fish working there.

How many? "I was sitting at the same desk, with the same phone number, doing essentially the same work, for ten years," fish says, "and I had five business cards from that time, with four different company names -- they recycled one.

"Our products were embedded systems, that rare form of software where the vendor pays for fixes to bugs. Usually all the user-facing text was internationalized. But I mostly did diagnostics and configuration, which would only be seen by techs, so the text was English only.

"One day we got a decree from the new software VP at our latest acquirer: All products released after a date about two weeks in the future must have internationalization for all text.

"We had a product due to ship in about that time, and there was no way I could get competent translations for all my text, even if we had budget. I was panicked.

"My manager was more calm. He said, 'Just up-case it all. Everybody understands English IF YOU YELL!'"

Sharky speaks softly and carries true tales of IT life. Send me yours at sharky@computerworld.com. You'll get a stylish Shark shirt every time I use one. Comment on today's tale at Sharky's Google+ community, and read thousands of great old tales in the Sharkives.

Get your daily dose of out-takes from the IT Theater of the Absurd delivered directly to your Inbox. Subscribe now to the Daily Shark Newsletter.

Computerworld's IT Salary Survey 2017 results
Shop Tech Products at Amazon