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A Day in the Life of Mappedin CTO, Ed Wei

May 28, 2024

5 min read

By: Nikki Padda

Dive into insights from Ed Wei, Mappedin’s very own CTO where we discuss innovation, accelerating growth, and charting the path for indoor mapping!

How would you best describe your role?

I am a “jack of all trades,” addressing engineering challenges, leading R&D, as well as solving business problems. After ten years with the company as a technical leader, I ensure that the technology we develop aligns with our business goals, and I own the entire Mappedin technology stack.

What does your typical workday look like? 

Morning: In the morning, I review my to-do list to determine what needs to be done, continually adding and removing tasks in an ad-hoc manner. I also selectively attend stand-ups, allowing the engineering leaders to manage day-to-day activities.

Afternoon: My afternoon is largely unstructured with tasks added to a to-do list based on ad-hoc requests and conversations. Overall, I focus on moving the company forward through technical and strategic initiatives. I still dive in deep and code from time-to-time.

What is your go-to lunch?

I usually skip lunch, but my go-to place for lunch around the Waterloo office is Kinton Ramen; I’ve been here the most.

Could you walk me through your involvement in the development process at Mappedin?

I used to be heavily involved in developing a process that worked for different development teams. For example, developing the Software Development Life Cycle as part of our SOC 2 cyber security program. Nowadays, I’m leading all technology road mapping across industries and use cases, including prioritizing engineering and development team tasks.

How do you foster innovation and encourage creativity within your development team?

I like to foster innovation by giving my team the freedom to conduct their own research and discover new technologies. I don’t prescribe how people should solve problems which allows them the autonomy to explore new solutions. I monitor interesting developments, investigate them, and then assign teams to further research and innovate. For example, the Mappedin map subscriptions model was a result of this approach, as was the Mappedin iOS app for instant floorplan creation for fast and easy mapmaking using an Apple device.

What are some of the biggest challenges you face in your role, and how do you tackle them?

Currently, I face two main challenges in my role. The first is determining the right tasks to prioritize for the team and company. This involves collaborating with various teams to identify the key business problems that engineering can solve. Finding the right problems to address takes significant effort.

The second challenge is scaling the company's processes and structure as we grow beyond 100 employees. Although we've made good progress in setting up the engineering organization, establishing stable and scalable company-wide processes is an ongoing effort.

There’s also a constant need to stay updated on emerging technologies relevant to our business and identify what solutions we can build to ultimately help our customers succeed and stay ahead of the curve.

How do you stay updated on emerging technologies and trends relevant to Mappedin's business? Do we have plans to continue to integrate AI?

We stay connected with the latest developments in the mapping world, particularly from a technology perspective, to understand what will fundamentally change in this area. It's crucial to focus on relevant areas and identify existing technologies through research, follow events, engage on social media, and use tools like ChatGPT.

There's a lot happening with AI right now. We’re actively developing new applications and uses of AI that allow us to further invest in it. We’ve integrated AI mapping into our latest Mappedin tools to help anyone create maps quickly and efficiently. Moving forward, incorporating generative AI into our products holds significant potential, as it can address many challenges such as accessibility.

What do you enjoy most about being the CTO of Mappedin, and what keeps you motivated in your role?

What motivates me is the challenge of growing the business and collaborating with team leaders across  Mappedin to solve scaling challenges. Scaling our products, teams, and partnerships is the most exciting aspect for company leaders. From a tech and product perspective, it's about figuring out how to create maps at scale and solving problems that will benefit our customers.

During an interview in 2019, we discussed what we will project in 2025 and safe to say we’ve made it happen! What do we have in store for 2030?

By 2030, it's all about scale! Right now, people are used to using Google Maps, but indoors, there often aren't any maps. Currently, most people don't yet have the mindset that indoor mapping is available. With the advancements of emerging technologies such as AR, VR, AI, LLMs, and computer vision, there’s so much opportunity to capture. Navigating indoor maps with the Apple Vision Pro is just one exciting example.

My goal is to create scalable solutions that allow anyone to make, use, and expect maps of the indoors. By 2030, it should feel weird to go anywhere without indoor maps!