An Open Source community is more than just PR made by faceless strangers. In order to better understand the people who contribute time and skills to the PrestaShop project, we’re launching a series of interviews with contributors of all ranges. This week, meet SungHyeon Cho!

Hi SungHyeon! First, could you tell us a bit about yourself?

Hello! I’m a 41 years-old web developer and systems engineer, Java developer and DBA. I’m currently working at the publishing company’s computer department. I love music very much, I’m playing the guitar in a heavy metal band.

My main interest is open source localization. Korean engineers are surprisingly weak in English, they are afraid to see English documents and APIs. It explains why I want to help Korean engineers to access easily technical documents.

When and why did you get involved in contributing to the PrestaShop project? What motivates you?

When I first got into PrestaShop, I was running the online shop of my company, the website was too old and I was looking for alternatives because it was so errory. As the company naturally tried to save money, I was looking for an open source ecommerce solution… and what I found by searching is PrestaShop. My boss was weak in English, he wanted to see even simple menus in Korean.

So I checked to see if a Korean version was available and I confirmed that I could officially participate in the translation. I thought that I could translate it myself so that everyone could use it. In fact, when I start translating, another Korean person suggested that I do business with it but I ignored it, I think open source should be used like open source.

Do you have any advice for first-time PrestaShop contributors?

As a result, a lot of people get involved in Crowdin, doing first a lot of translation work but becoming soon quiet. I also did translate a lot at first. But after a while I felt I had to practice translation like a daily routine rather than doing it all at once. When I started the Korean translation project, the progress was only 23%. Now it’s 41%. When I see that number, I’m so proud of it.

What’s the number one thing you’ve learnt by contributing to Open Source projects?

“Oh, I have a world I did not know about, I still have to study it!” - and it seems to be able to get away from the technology used only in Korea. Should I say that technology has gotten a little wider? Really, it’s very enjoyable because it seems to be the most useful experience in my life.

Thank you SungHyeon, we hope to see you more from you as PrestaShop evolves! :)