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Career Spotlight: Dariusz Starosta – Production and Quality Manager

Dariusz Starosta

Q1. Describe your current role with the company

I work in Studio Gambit as a Production and Quality Manager. I’m responsible for taking care of client accounts, which in our company means making sure our clients are happy with the quality of deliverables. In contrast to this morbid expression when I “take care” of a client, they typically become a regular.

The quality assurance process is my domain in both theory and practice, as I’m responsible both for the system of Quality Assurance, and its practical applications. You can say my PMs and I spend our days dealing with the many twists and turns of cutting-edge localization.

Q2. Describe your typical workday.

I see myself as a bit of a helicopter parent, a source of help and advice in case there is trouble and project challenges threaten to overcome our ISO processes. All our tasks are time-critical, and everything needs solving right-now. So, when trouble’s afoot I run my siren, get a team together, and we get in on the action.

Sometimes we use the internal synergies and get help from other departments. We do all we can, so the client’s project is realized in time to the quality we need.

If there are no fires, I go in flight mode and take a bird’s eye look at the system, the projects and their subtasks. I use ISO measures to find and analyze any and all irregularities.

Q3. What do you enjoy most in your job?

It’s difficult to decide on one thing, as my happiness is a compound machine. We work in such an obscure niche, not many people know about our skills and accomplishments. However, we can see our hand in how big companies communicate with their clients, especially on the Polish market. It’s a bit of a high, to see effects of your hard labor everywhere around you on your way home.

The technology itself is also my pride and joy, it’s great to see how everything and everyone come together to serve the clients.

Q4. What do you enjoy the least?

It really gets me when people don’t care. I don’t mean our own team as I have the honor to work with dedicated people, I mean regular folks who sometimes don’t care about the language quality. You want to do a stellar job and localize to the highest standard but sometimes you won’t get the project because… the clients of our client don’t care.

Q5. Tell us something about how the relationship with a client enriched Studio Gambit.

We are very tech forward – and we have to be because of our niche. Typically, the client systems are so advanced they force us to be great in how to download a translation, how to decide on the context.

Sometimes, however, the clients use old platforms and methods and then you get to nostalgically unearth older processes and skills to scan in printed pdf documents and convert them into digital format. We are masters of that, by the way.

Q6. What advice would you give to a company looking to localize software?

It’s typically a good idea to be proactive about avoiding errors in localizing software.

  • Don’t hardcode the interface copy, it’s always better to keep all copy in an external TXT/HTML file.
  • Add context to the external file strings. It can be more of a description, but a screenshot also works.
  • Don’t try to save money on splitting the text with no variables. When you have two or three strings as one sentence and the translator can’t see the variables you will lose more in translation time and further tests that you “saved” earlier.

Q7. If you had 10 EUR to buy a gift for the client (and it was ethical to do so!), what would you buy?

You know, some clients are really surprised when they see our workplace. Some still think translators work like medieval monks, with pen and paper…

I’d buy a cheap flight to Gdansk and have the client fly in and drop by for a chat. We make great coffee, and we can talk about their localization strategy… We usually do this online, but we’re always happy to see someone in person, too!

Studio Gambit Team

We are the translators, editors, proofreaders, project managers, IT specialists, localization engineers and DTP operators forming part of the team here at Studio Gambit.

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