Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Dog Ate My Translation Homework and other stories from the ITA Conference

Yesterday I had the pleasure of addressing the ITA, Israel Translator Association, in Jerusalem at their 2016 conference.
ITA conference, keith brooks, jerusalemIt was my first formal speaking engagement in Israel since we moved here.

I had only submitted one abstract, but after reading my background was asked by the powers that be to do a second session about disaster recovery and planning for it. Given where we are right now, it seemed appropriate although I felt it was something everyone already knew. Little did I know.

My opening session went well in a packed room where more than half the attendees were in there listening to my Worst Practices session. The information gleaned over the years but much of the impetus from my experiences managing an SEO team of translators that filled our requests for about 15 languages.

I was trying to get across to everyone the nature of the professional world we live in, but may not always be understandable to them. While I hit on some basic issues, I also covered what we expect from them in return, and what they could offer us so they do not miss any opportunities with us.

The truth is, some of this is perfect for Business Partners, consultants and self-employed people in general. You can see it or download from

The Disaster Recovery session was almost too real. Slides are here:

The 2 weeks prior saw the following happen to me:
Primary laptop motherboard died (oddly enough came back to life, but that is another post)
USB drive stopped working or got corrupted
A client had a bad virus attack them (different one had a DDoS, yeah busy times)
My cell phone is constantly restarting

At the session first we had wifi issues, then we had video connector issues, then we had microphone issues, but it all ended quite well given the previous days.

I had more people come up to me after it and thank me for putting it all in simple terms and an easy process to follow. I provided a simple, and FREE, option for automating their data backups. Fbackup is very simple to use, works very well, is FREE, and is for personal and business usage PLUS automatically backs up to Google Drive. Love or hate Google, Google by the way was a sponsor of the event, no one will deny that a fail safe option for extreme data recovery is a bad thing. We talked about Cloud, USB, External Drives, Tapes, sharing systems, viruses, dead batteries, UPSs etc..

But here is the interesting thing. Many of the people in the room really do not know that much about technology. I thank Sara one of the event organizers for asking me to do the session. Something I take for granted, to be fair I was doing DR and Business Continuity since 1993 including 2 inside the World Trade Centers, I figured people knew the basics.

It goes to show and remind us that however far ahead we may be, we still have a long way to go to bring everyone with us and that is what started me writing this blog, 998 posts ago. This being number 999. I wanted to write for people coming into the industry, people who did not have the benefit of proper training or even mentoring. Based on the feedback yesterday, I am still doing a good job of doing this.

I also had an article published in their magazine that was handed out and hope that was just as well received.