The Faces of Mavericks: Katri Vilonen
Katri Vilonen is a bubbly Senior Android Developer who joined Mavericks after hearing the beating of the jungle drums. Katri’s warm heart is pounding for development in a big way. Outside her day job as a developer, she has not only innovated special tools for her nearest and dearest as side projects but also inspired a new generation to enter the world of ICT.
What is your professional background like?
I graduated from Haaga-Helia as an ICT-innovator in 2018. In retrospect, the school has played a significant role in my career path, and how I ended up here in Mavericks. It all started with a six-month Java course, which I completed in two weeks. Right after that, my teacher pushed me to take a course in Android development, which sparked my interest.
Through my school network, I got to work as a freelancer at VTT, developing an app to operate an experimental medical device. Through the same network, I found myself in the agile startup world of Singa, where I met my like-minded mentor Ville Valta. Under Ville’s wing, I changed my career path to consulting. What I like about being a consultant is that I have the freedom to choose a wide variety of projects and Mavericks provides a support network when needed.
What are your best skills and abilities? Soft and tech.
I get kicks from Android development, but I’m not afraid of new challenges with iOS and Flutter, for example. I mainly focus on mobile app development, as all apps have very similar groundwork, but the internal functionalities can be as different as night and day. I’m a bit of a thrill-seeker as I’m always looking for new opportunities where I can do something I’ve never done before. My grandfather has been the biggest influence on lifelong learning and how joyful gaining new knowledge can be. I am forever grateful that he taught me this mindset.
Teamwork is truly my thing. I have often ended up in positions where other team members tell me their concerns. As a trusted person, I put all my skills and knowledge on the table to solve challenges or bring suggestions forward. It’s natural for me to be a go-between management and developers. Through my education, I have the ability to understand a management-level point of view and talk about pain points with managers. Together we have come up with solutions that are in line with the company objectives, but in a way that doesn’t harm the motivation and well-being of the developers. I’ve been offered lead positions because I have gained the trust of team members and innovated useful solutions.
What do you like to do outside work?
Volunteering and inspiring the next generation of developers is particularly close to my heart. I organize Google Developer Group meetups, inspire young women into the IT industry by helping to organize the Super-Ada event, and teach Android summer courses at my old school.
In my spare time, I’m a pretty basic geek. Being immersed in TV shows, movies, books and games has always brought some much-needed escapism to my life. I play board games with friends, go skateboarding or go out to photograph new and exciting places. Occasionally, I get excited about an idea for some kind of embedded system and end up working on a side project. I’ve made an Arduino setup for my uncle’s car where the heating system is controlled with an Android app, and for my aunt, I made a watering indicator for her flower pot that measures the moisture in the soil and tells her when the flower needs more water.
What got you interested in Mavericks?
I got interested in Mavericks through my close friend and mentor Ville Valta. He has been working as a consultant on Mavericks projects for some time and said he is very happy here at Mavericks. With his recommendation, I decided to give it a go and I haven’t regretted it. As you can guess, the pay raise didn’t hurt either. Like Ville, I’m very glad to be part of Mavericks. It’s important for me that the company is open and communicative. That’s why I appreciate that all information is easily and transparently available in our company.
Mavericks is the go-to software consultancy for the top of their field software professionals who want to get the best of two worlds: The salary level and freedom of a freelancer and the safety net and sales machinery of a consultancy. We are constantly looking for new team members – are you the next Maverick?