Ask Me Anything with Ed Wei

November 29, 2019

Reading time: 3 minutes

An Ask Me Anything session with Ed Wei, our CTO and head of the Development teams at Mappedin, talking about recruiting and what innovation means at Mappedin.

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Ed is the CTO at Mappedin, heading up our Development teams. We recently chatted with him about what innovation means at Mappedin, what problems we’re looking to tackle in the future, and how we’re always on the lookout to hire great people.  

Thanks for chatting with me, Ed. Getting started, how do you define the problems that Mappedin is solving?

We honestly want to develop the most efficient way to create indoor maps. Helping our clients to build experiences around indoor maps, and making them easy to use for everyone, especially developers. 

 

As part of that problem-solving, how have we developed our style for innovating new products and features?

Well, companies go through phases as they grow. We adapt our method based on our growth. For example, in the early days, we rapidly created prototypes and proof of concepts, and launched those very quickly. As the company grew and demand from the market grew, it created a lot of chaos. Then we introduced more process to control that chaos with the ability to continue trialing new concepts. 

As for innovation, in the early days, we spent little money towards protecting IP. As we grew, IP protection became more important. We now have a strategy that invests towards both protection and R&D.

How do we determine what features or products we will work on next? And how do we manage the demand for those products?

We use a number of things - customer feedback, competitor analysis, market research. We’re always looking for new information to help inform those decisions. And managing demand, it involves a lot of prioritization between teams, and growth in hiring. We’re always looking for great people to bring on to jump on these new directions and products. 

You head up all of our Development teams. How would you define innovation at Mappedin?

I think innovation means creating technology that simply does not exist in the market yet. Something creative; something that is difficult to do. It’s not trivial. Something that at the end of the day, our customers will enjoy using. 

Would you say we’ve set out to do that, or that’s a product of the processes we’ve set up so far?

To a certain degree it's a bit of both. One of the reasons I love using our stuff is that it’s very innovative and the technology is very interesting and challenging. And it’s difficult to do all of the tooling built for mapping. We have some proprietary technology that we created and have now protected, so I definitely feel like we encourage innovation. We have specific teams that work on prototyping and research projects, so that’s definitely a part of what we do day-to-day and what goes into our innovative approach. 

Are there any specific technologies our Development teams use or work on that really set us apart?

Not necessarily specific technologies, but it’s more the way we use certain things and how we put them together that sets us apart. Some of them are algorithm-based, some of them are process-based. Above all, our mapping process is much more efficient than anybody else. And more secure. At the end of the day, it’s more about how the people we hire use the resources and their creativity applied to that rather than a specific aspect of the tech stack. 

So what could a developer expect coming to work at Mappedin? What would we want them to know?

Well, first of all we have different roles. They differ, but they also have a common thread, which is the system that we're trying to build. Understanding how everything fits together, the overall architecture, and how the maps actually get created and consumed. That's the Mappedin 101 for Dev. That's the basic stuff.

And I think at the end of the day, with the size that we are at, the amount of products that we have, and the different pieces, and the back end that has to be supported; everybody plays a critical role. The developers that thrive are the ones who understand the mission and have a sense of ownership for how they are contributing to that mission. They understand why they are important, and how their work fits into the bigger picture. 

It’s 2025, and we are one of the best companies in the world to work for. What got us here?

We’ve built a developer platform, and we’ve made ourselves known.  End of 2025, we have clients using our Developer Platform to build solutions for any mapping use case. We have an ecosystem. We’re known in the industry. We want to get to a point where we’re as synonymous with indoor maps as Google is for outdoor maps. That’s what we’re aiming for. 

As far as culture, we have the four Mappedin values. Play for the Team, Learn Fast, Honesty & Accountability, and Customers First. Those are our foundation, regardless of how big we become as a company. 

What do we want people to take away from Mappedin?

We’re not just the ‘mall people’, we’re working with AI and machine learning and all kinds of data in developing our next products and expanding into new areas. We do a lot of really cool things, and are really excited about the roadmap ahead.

Interested in working with us? Check out our Careers page for all open roles, or feel free to send an email to our recruitment team at careers@mappedin.ca.

Posted by Shanae Vander Togt

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