The Hate-Hate Relationship: Engineers & Localization

Dan Cho
October 30, 2023
2 min read
Share this post

Engineering is a field that demands precision, attention to detail, and logical problem-solving. Despite the thrill of creating innovative solutions, there's one aspect of the job that often induces collective groans among engineers – localization work. While localization is a crucial component of reaching a global audience, engineers' aversion to it stems from a variety of challenges unique to their profession.

We'll explore why engineers find localization work to be a daunting task:

Code Complexity and Multilingual Challenges

Engineers work tirelessly to create clean, efficient code that runs seamlessly. However, when it comes to localization, code complexity often skyrockets. Integrating multiple languages, character sets, and cultural nuances into software can be a logistical nightmare. Engineers must navigate through intricate syntax structures and adapt their code to accommodate the intricacies of different languages, which can be time-consuming and error-prone.

String Externalization Woes

Localization often involves extracting strings from the code for translation. While this seems straightforward, it can lead to a multitude of issues. Engineers must carefully identify and externalize all strings, ensuring that the context is maintained during translation. This process can be tedious, as missing or mislabeled strings can result in confusing, nonsensical user interfaces.

Continuous Updates and Maintenance

Software is dynamic, constantly evolving to meet user needs and address vulnerabilities. When a product undergoes updates, engineers must revisit the entire localization process, making sure that new features and modifications are accurately reflected across all translated versions. This ongoing cycle of updates and maintenance can become a never-ending headache for engineers already grappling with tight development schedules.

Version Control Challenges

Maintaining version control is a cornerstone of successful software development. However, when localization is added to the mix, version control becomes more complex. Engineers need to synchronize changes across multiple language versions, ensuring that each iteration aligns with the latest updates. This intricacy introduces the risk of introducing errors or overlooking critical details.

Testing Across Multiple Language Environments

Quality assurance is integral to software development, and testing is a critical phase. Localization introduces the challenge of testing across multiple language environments, each with its unique linguistic and cultural considerations. Engineers must conduct thorough testing to ensure that the software functions seamlessly in every language, adding another layer of complexity to an already intricate process.

Communication Challenges with Localization Teams

Effective communication is vital for successful collaboration between engineers and localization teams. However, misunderstandings can arise due to differences in technical jargon and linguistic nuances. Engineers may find it frustrating to convey intricate coding concepts to non-technical linguists, leading to potential misinterpretations and errors in the localized versions.


While localization is undoubtedly essential for businesses aiming to reach a global audience, engineers' aversion to the process is rooted in the unique challenges it presents to their technical expertise. From grappling with code complexity and version control issues to ensuring accurate translation and effective communication with localization teams, engineers face a host of hurdles in the localization journey. 

That’s why we’re building Strings…we're making it so engineers can simply “turn-on” localization hassle free.

Check us out!

Share this post