Connector Spotlight: Katia Maeda
December 6, 2018
An iOS engineer who reads Dr. Seuss to her daughter—what’s not to love?
Tell us a bit about the project you’re working on.
I’m working on a live-stream TV project with a leading digital media brand. Specifically, we’re introducing interactive elements into their broadcast programming to appeal to a younger generation of viewers. As an engineer on the team, I’m helping them prototype different ways to achieve that.
Where were you before joining Connected?
Before Connected I was a mobile application developer at JoeyCo, a customizable online courier service that offered same-day delivery from practically any grocery store, restaurant, or shop in the city. I also worked at Spring Mobile Solutions, where I helped build a framework that let companies create enterprise apps on iOS and Android at the same time. Though I mostly work on apps now (and a bit of VR/AR), I began my career building mobile games. I gave them up when I realized that building games doesn’t mean you get to play them all day long 🙂
What was your favourite game?
I don’t play much anymore, but I liked Mario Kart the best. Yoshi for the win.
Haha. What’s your favourite thing about working at Connected?
I love that I get to work with new technologies and programming languages. On one recent project, for example, I had the opportunity to work with AR, Unity, and C#. These were things I’d never worked with before but had always wanted to.
What product do you wish you’d created and why?
Uber. It’s so perfectly simple.
What might most people not know about you?
Despite looking Japanese, I am Brazilian! My grandparents from both sides were Japanese, and they migrated to Brazil when Japan was going through a crisis. Did you know that the Japanese community in Brazil is the largest outside of Japan?
I did not know that! So what’s it like working in Toronto compared to Brazil?
On the one hand, the work is similar: attending meetings, partnering with clients, etc. On the other hand, the environment is quite different. In Brazil, employees are expected to work extra hours without complaining—and normal work hours are from 9-6pm! Plus, in São Paulo where I was working, it’s not uncommon to find people commuting 2 hours each way. Between the long commute and the extra hours, there’s hardly time for anything else! Here in Canada I feel there’s more work-life balance.
How do you like to disconnect?
I like to take my daughter Lily to the park; we play and read books together. Her favourite book at the moment is There’s a Wocket in My Pocket! by Dr Seuss. I also love watching Netflix. My favourites are Game of Thrones (I read all the books too), The Big Bang Theory, and Grey’s Anatomy.
What advice would you give to someone just starting at Connected?
Make an effort to participate in the company’s events! Between socials, demos, house lunches, and quarterly disconnects, there’s a lot of opportunity to meet people and learn something new.
What’s your favourite Toronto restaurant?
I can’t decide between Thai food and Korean: For Thai, Khao San Road is my favourite. I always get their Massaman Curry. For Korean food, I go to Buk Chang Dong Soon Tofu and get their Bulgogi Soup… but honestly, I love discovering new restaurants, especially the ones in Kensington Market. My go-to spots are Seven Lives Tacos, Fresco’s Fish and Chips, and Top Gun Burgers. 🍔
This is the fifth entry in our Connector Spotlight series. Stay tuned for more profiles about the great people here at Connected.
Fri Jun 2
Thoughtworker Spotlight: Priscila Araújo
Priscila Araújo has worn many hats across multiple countries, and we’re lucky to have her at Thoughtworks Canada. With over 10 years of experience from Brazil to Canada, she has engineering, delivery and product experience, just to name a few. Currently, as a Lead Product Manager, she works collaboratively with Thoughtworkers to build great software, driving impact by helping clients scale and grow. Priscila also shares her thought leadership by speaking at conferences and providing mentorship at Thoughtworks. As a strong believer in taking risks and trusting the process, find out in her Thoughtworker Spotlight how visiting Toronto on a scholarship and doing a Thoughtworks internship ten years ago influenced her trajectory from software engineering into the realm of product. When she’s not helping clients scale and grow or sharing tasty Brazilian treats with the office (the bolo de rolo she brought back from her recent Brazil trip was devoured in minutes), you can find her playing basketball, taking her dog out to play in the sun, biking by the lake and doing stand up paddleboarding in Toronto. If the weather calls for the indoors, she is a passionate plant parent and a coffee aficionado. With all of these interests, can you guess what her favourite product is? Hint: It definitely works as a great pair with any of these hobbies! Find out more in this week’s Thoughtworker Spotlight.
Fri May 26
Thoughtworker Spotlight: Jagbir Lehl Singh
Some may know him as Canada’s Head of Delivery, but Jagbir Lehl Singh is also a writer (check out some of his articles!), a foodie and a runner. His team would add aspiring rapper to the many hats he wears – you’ll have to join the team to see why! As a builder of high performance teams, he is laser-focused on driving his teams to deliver impact to clients by achieving their business goals. When it comes to scaling agility in organizations and creating structures where teams thrive, Jagbir uses his 18+ years of experience to support the growth of Thoughtworkers, developing them into leaders through his mentorship. If he’s not exploring Toronto’s latest gems for unique cuisine and beverages, you can find him outdoors, taking long weekend walks with his family. As a continuous learner who enjoys staying on his toes, can you guess what his favourite product is? Hint: It has been a constant companion of his for the last five years.