Thursday, May 16th, 2013

CSOFT Stories: Sam Huang on Translation Technology and the Positive Power of Pool Playing

This week’s CSOFT Story comes to us from Sam Huang, CSOFT’s Chief Architect and Director of Technology Development. In this post, we find out about Sam’s passions as well as just how exactly he’s able to maintain the serene calm and positive attitude he’s known for. Read below to learn more!

Image of book, titled "CSOFT Stories" sitting on a table

How did you get started with CSOFT?

I worked with Shunee [Yee] and a few other members of the CSOFT management team long before I joined CSOFT. I remember, at that time, I was getting ready to move to Canada, and Shunee  – she was my boss even back then – told me “人生何处不相逢.” She explained to me that just because our paths had crossed once didn’t mean they wouldn’t cross again. I feel like it was a kind of fate that brought me to CSOFT.

What are your thoughts on CSOFT and its 10th year anniversary?

I’m not surprised by CSOFT’s growth at all. With such visionary leadership, it’s easy to see how we’ve arrived at this point.  But I find that being so close to it all, I occasionally do forget just how much the company has grown. I was reminded of this recently while attending a tradeshow here in China. Several different company representatives commented that they had heard and knew about CSOFT, but they wanted to know more. This is certainly an indication of how far we’ve come, but it also reminds us that we need to continue working hard. We should certainly celebrate this milestone, but we shouldn’t forget about potential future milestones.

What are you most passionate about?

Technology is a great passion of mine. Within the industry, Computer Aided Translation is something that I am particularly interested in. At the moment, I am primarily focused on Machine Translation and strengthening CSOFT’s proprietary MT engine. All of these technological developments are very exciting to me, and I look forward to seeing where they will lead.

How do you see technology impacting CSOFT’s future?

I firmly believe that technology holds the key to CSOFT’s future. Take, for example, ÜbrTà, which we are deploying this year. ÜbrTà will revolutionize the way we handle the translation process – not just here in the office, but with our global network of in-country linguists as well. Technological development is crucial to our survival as a company; it’s crucial to any company’s survival.

One of the biggest issues with any business is always resources. As things stand, the current typical translation workflow requires a project manager to act as a “go-between” for transferring files and communicating messages from the production team to the client and vice versa. With ÜbrTà in place, unnecessary steps are eliminated in order to streamline the overall process. Our long-term goal is for ÜbrTà to become an eBay or Taobao-like marketplace for the localization industry, where translators will be able to find translation projects posted by companies in need of linguists to complete said projects. For now, however, we’re excited to be able to satisfy one of our industry’s most demanding and constant needs: increasing efficiency in the workplace.

Image of CSOFT's Sam Huang and Jesse He playing a game of pool

How do you maintain a positive attitude at work?

My job can be pretty stressful, and because I work primarily in software development, it can also be quite isolating at times. Everyone has schedules, deadlines, and milestones they have to meet, and it’s part of my responsibility as Chief Architect to make sure these things happen. Proposing a plan is easy, but unforeseen circumstances can often interrupt and delay progress in the implementation stage. As frustrating and stressful as these experiences may be, I always find a way to handle them. Whether it’s going out to lunch with colleagues and joking around, playing pool or ping pong in the gym, or kicking around a soccer ball after work, I find that all these activities help me put things in perspective and enjoy my work. Most importantly, I know that other CSOFTers are constantly there to support me, especially the management team.

What song would you choose to represent CSOFT’s 10th year anthem?

We played a song at one of our New Year parties that I found very moving: “You Raise Me Up” sung by Westlife. It’s an inspiring song about people helping one another achieve greater things. I feel as though that’s what we do at CSOFT – we accomplish much greater tasks together than we would individually.

If you’re interested in learning more about CSOFT’s 10th Annual World Summit, please contact csoft10@csoftintl.com.

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