Winston is a software engineer at DoorDash, since early 2019, and has been focused on building front end experiences for the marketplace platform team.
Launching any service in a new country or locale requires adapting the platform to the local customs and conventions. While many of these local tweaks can be done manually, building a streamlined process for international localization saves time when expanding an app or platform into multiple new countries.
While DoorDash, a US company, had an easier time expanding its platform to support services in Canada and Australia, English-speaking countries with similar street address formatting that call their currency the dollar, than launching in Japan, which proved much more difficult.
Our move into Japan required many internationalization and localization adjustments, commonly abbreviated as i18n and l10n, primarily around ensuring currency, addresses, personal names, and time formats worked locally. We took this opportunity not only to tailor our platform to Japan, but also to build processes and tools to make it easier to expand DoorDash to any new international market in the future.
Preparing DoorDash’s platform for Japan, we found four overarching themes that we needed to localize to facilitate a smooth launch: