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Connector Spotlight: Katia Maeda



December 6, 2018

Katia Connector Spotlight Header

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?

Connected Tote Bag
Katia with her Connected tote bag at Marsias Beach in São Sebastião, Brazil

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.

Katia and her daughter Lily
Katia and Lily

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.

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