Employee Q&A: Jere Suikkila
Feb 17, 2022
6 min read
By: Lucy Bragg

Jere is a Developer Evangelist at Mappedin. Joining us from Finland, we're discussing his experience working in a different time zone, some of the cool things he's working on right now, and what makes someone a good fit for a Dev Evangelist role.

Jere, thanks for chatting with me today. To start off, can you tell us about your current role at Mappedin? 

I’m a Developer Evangelist on the Integrations team. My job is to help Mappedin customers use our SDKs by investigating technical solutions, exploring new use cases, and creating content to demonstrate features and troubleshooting issues. A large part of the role is building developer friendly demos and guides that help 3rd party developers get started with our SDKs, explore their capabilities, and build their own integrations. I also ensure everything on the Developer Portal is clear and up-to-date, including the documentation side of things. 

You joined Mappedin while living in Finland. What made you decide to join the team?

It was a perfect fit. I worked in marketing and communications for 5 years, then went to school for computer science, and had previous experience at a mapping company. I wanted to move to Canada, so I was exploring different job opportunities there. I saw the Mappedin posting for a Developer Evangelist role and I had to apply. It had everything that I was looking for; it was a mapping company, located in Canada, and combined development with communications. It was an opportunity for me to do all the things I wanted to do, and everyone that I interviewed with agreed that it was a good match. 

How was your experience working in a different time zone before moving to Canada?

It worked really well for me. Finland is 7 hours ahead of most of my colleagues which means I started working in the late afternoon and finished at night. I enjoyed this schedule because it was light outside when I had free time and gyms were empty during the day. 

My plan was always to move to Canada, so after a few months, I settled into Kitchener, which is quite close to the office. I’m glad that I have the opportunity to occasionally see my colleagues face-to-face as well, even though I like working remotely. I’ve never been a huge fan of commuting, and nothing beats the commute time to my home office. With Mappedin offering yearly home office stipends, my setup at home is also more comfortable than I have ever had in an office setting, which matters when spending so many hours at the desk.

What do you like most about working at Mappedin or in your role specifically?

I already had experience in the mapping industry and that was one of the reasons I originally applied to Mappedin. However, working with maps again made me realize how much I enjoy them. The abstraction that they provide people to navigate their lives, not only on the city streets, but also visualizing indoor spaces. Now that life in the offices and other indoor spaces has changed over the past few years, I’m looking forward to innovations enabled by better indoor maps. And of course, the people are great too!

Your role involves spending a lot of time collaborating with our customers. What makes someone a good fit for a role like this?

It is a good fit for someone with a technical background and strong communication skills. On the technical side, you have to be interested in learning about our tech and solutions, as well as educating others on how it works and how to use it. This is where communication skills are important: you need to be able to talk about it. Working closely with customers, you have to understand their wants and needs, and come up with solutions. You also need to be able to talk about our products in a way that non-technical people can understand. 

Then there’s the content creation side of the job which is creating guides, demonstration applications, and ensuring documentation is up-to-date. You’re not focused on one thing, rather you’re jumping between smaller and more frequent projects. If you’re creative and enjoy shifting priorities, this might be a good fit for you. 

What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of having a position like this at Mappedin?

Advantages of this role include being able to help customers create amazing things with our SDKs and indoor maps, exploring new use cases, doing a lot of small experiments, as well as talking to people all over the world. On the flip side, talking to people all over the world means talking to them at weird hours. I have some calls at 8:00am and 7:00pm. I don’t mind that, but for some this could be a disadvantage.

What are some of the things you’re working on right now?

On a given day, I go from debugging a React Native crash to writing a technical guide. Right now I’m writing a post on how to integrate an Indoor Positioning System with Mappedin SDKs to provide a Blue Dot for dynamic wayfinding inside a venue.

Mappedin is currently hiring for a Developer Evangelist. Why should someone apply for this role?

Understanding and interacting with customers is key in this role. If you enjoy helping others and sharing your knowledge both internally and externally, the Developer Evangelist role might be perfect for you. It’s a unique position that bridges the world between the customers and our teams both in business and engineering.

Do you have any advice for someone who wants to apply?

Just do it! Too often people stop themselves from applying when they don’t feel like they have 100% of the requirements in the job description. Developer Evangelists have wildly different backgrounds and it’s a role that requires multiple skill sets. As a team, complementary skills come into play and I’m looking forward to learning from new colleagues.

Interested in working with Jere? We are hiring for a Developer Evangelist to join him on our Integrations team. Also, check out our Careers Page for all open roles, or send an email to our recruitment team at careers@mappedin.ca.