Juha-Matti Santala
Community Builder. Dreamer. Adventurer.

Blog posts in category “Community”

All things community building related!

  • Mar 27th, 2024
    Chance of serendipity

    A lot of positive things in life happen by accident. But for them to happen to us, we need to be active, get out there and have an open mind for learning and meeting people.

  • Feb 21st, 2024
    Talk ideas for new and experienced speakers

    Want to do a talk in a tech event but don’t know what to talk about? In this post, I share a non-exhaustive list of categories for different types of talks.

  • Feb 16th, 2024
    We organized a Code in the Dark event

    This week we brought our frontend community together for a fun evening of Code in the Dark shenanigans. Four teams, four rounds and 15 minutes per round to replicate a website from a screenshot - without being able to preview their result during those 15 minutes.

  • Feb 14th, 2024
    Stickers tell stories

    Some like their laptops clean and sticker-free. I’m the exact opposite and have multiple layers of stickers on mine and each one tells a story.

  • Jan 31st, 2024
    We have a great developer community scene in Turku

    2024 is looking very bright for developer communities in Turku

  • Jan 10th, 2024
    Join us at Future Frontend 2024

    Our next conference is coming June 13-14 and I want to invite you to join our lovely community of developers.

  • Dec 6th, 2023
    We’re building community for Python developers

    archipylago is a new community for developers interested in Python in Turku region

  • Nov 22nd, 2023
    People and Blogs newsletter

    I recently found a great new newsletter called People and Blogs where Manu interviews each week someone who writes a blog about their blogging habits.

  • Oct 18th, 2023
    Great details on conference badges

    Event badges often include your name but the truly great ones include other details as well. I’m sharing some of my favorites from my box of memories.

  • Sep 20th, 2023
    How you can make conferences better

    There are a few ways we all can improve the conferences we attend

  • Aug 30th, 2023
    Use pangrams to avoid mistakes in conference badge prints

    If you have a name that is not just ASCII letters and you’ve participated in an event abroad, it’s likely you’ve had your name messed up in the badge. Organizers can avoid that with pangrams

  • Aug 12th, 2023
    Future Frontend 2023 Recap

    In June, we organized Future Frontend conference in Helsinki with a couple of workshop days followed by two great conference days full of amazing talks. Here's my recap and talk recommendations from the bunch.

  • Aug 8th, 2023
    Projects I'm proud of: Turku ❤️ Frontend

    This week in Blaugust is themed 'Introduce yourself' and each day, I'll share a project story that I'm particularly proud of. Today, I want to tell you about Turku <3 Frontend.

  • Jun 7th, 2023
    How to network while being beneficial to oneself professionally?

    Networking at best combines helping others, building connections and improving your own expertise in your industry.

  • Oct 12th, 2022
    React Finland 2022 Recap

    In September 2022, I spent a week organizing and participating in React Finland. Here is my recap of the conference and my picks for interesting talks to check out.

  • Sep 14th, 2022
    Why I do what I do?

    I have two main beliefs that led me to building communities for developers: 1) technology can be used for the good of humanity and 2) technology is everywhere and you can't opt out.

  • Jul 8th, 2022
    Appendix A to Developer's Guide to Communities

    You never know who you meet when you're active in your community. Here's one story of how few beers in Christmas-y Helsinki turned into a fun night in Berlin 7 months later.

  • Jul 6th, 2022
    Developer's Guide to Communities

    Dive in to learn why software developers benefit from joining developer communities locally and globally. Many of the best things in my life are a result of being active in communities and I'll share all my secrets to help you get started.

  • May 4th, 2022
    A week in life of a developer advocate

    So what do I as a developer advocate actually do? What's hidden beneath the title? I wrote a journal for a week about the things I did to give you a peek into the life of an advocate.

  • Apr 27th, 2022
    Shy introvert's (short) guide to speaking in conferences

    Being a shy introvert, tech conferences and especially speaking in them can be very scary. Somehow I ended up doing that for a living so here are my tips for making a conference trip easier to enjoy.

  • Apr 14th, 2022
    My trip to Django Day Copenhagen 2022 and Stockholm

    Django Day Copenhagen 2022 was a wonderful event full of great talks and amazing people. Here's my recap of my trip to the event.

  • Mar 16th, 2022
    I'm speaking in Django Day Copenhagen 2022 in April

    I'll be speaking in Django Day Copenhagen this year, on April 8th about Debugging Django. If you're around, join the conference and let's meet!

  • Nov 10th, 2021
    The most social and loneliest job: being a solo developer advocate

    Being a solo developer advocate can be the most social and yet the loneliest job at the same time. In this blog post I share why I came to that conclusion during my journey as the solo dev advocate at Futurice.

  • Sep 8th, 2021
    React Finland 2021 Recap

    I spent the previous week at React Finland 2021 conference that was full of very interesting sessions. Here's my thoughts about the conference and recommendations for talks to watch from the event.

  • Jun 23rd, 2021
    Why scheduling Slack messages and emails is so valuable for community builders

    For community builders, there's a huge gap between when we have the info and when we announce it. Scheduling Slack messages and emails gives us a huge power in getting work done more efficiently.

  • Jun 16th, 2021
    My (career) story in tech and developer relations

    Everyone's career story and progression is different. Since in social media stories about fast learning and advancement pick up a lot of attention, I wanted to share my slower path.

  • Apr 14th, 2021
    Introducing developer community show codebase

    codebase is a new developer community show on Youtube. It's a celebration of the variety of different technologies and developers working with them. In the first episode, I sat down with Fotis to talk about accessibility in web.

  • May 20th, 2020
    Tips for giving talks online

    Do you feel like doing presentations remotely from home is uncomfortable or challenging? Check out these tips for improving your speaker experience and the way you are perceived when giving talks.

  • Apr 8th, 2020
    8 tech podcasts I listen

    Podcasts are a great source of learning and staying up to date on what's happening in tech. I listen to a bunch of them during my commute or when taking a walk. Here are the podcasts aimed towards software developers that I listen to.

  • Jan 16th, 2020
    Helsinki Dev Lunch

    Helsinki Dev Lunch is a monthly casual lunch gathering of software developers in Helsinki area.

  • Feb 5th, 2019
    “Event is over and it was a failure. What happened?” — Pre-mortem can help you avoid pitfalls

    In modern day and age, many organizations are adopting retrospectives (a session where you look back and talk about what went well, what went wrong and how we can improve) and post-mortems (how did the project go and where did we go wrong) as part of their day-to-day work.

  • Jan 31st, 2019
    Event organizer - automate what you can, focus on people with all you’ve got

    I have learned to build and automate things. This is a story of how you can do it too.

  • Jan 17th, 2019
    Learning programming has never been more accessible in Helsinki

    If you're interested in learning programming, the scene in Helsinki is blooming right now. There are long-term options as well as weekend workshops, evening workshops and support groups so everyone should be able to find their place in the community.

  • Nov 14th, 2018
    Internet = People = ❤️

    I love Internet. And I have ever since I gained access to it in my pre-teens at the turn of the millennium. There has been so many different steps in my path through the Internet forest but almost all of them are about people.

  • May 23rd, 2018
    Do you want to learn new stuff?

    Continuous improvement, life-long learning, staying on top of your game are all things very close to my heart. It's not always easy though. Sometimes your life (personal and professional) takes a detour and you end up in a situation where your skills get rusty.

  • Mar 13th, 2018
    Help your customers become better

    Engagement and churn are topics that companies have to think about all the time. How to optimize the on-boarding to keep your users in the platform, how to make your product either addictive enough or providing enough value to get them return.

  • Feb 22nd, 2018
    Food Connects People - How to Hack Your Community with Food

    One of the things I learned early on was that everybody has to eat. Most people eat lunch and it means taking a “mandatory” break from work and the busy-ness of business life. I’ve used that knowledge to my advantage by making a lot of connections by asking people for lunch. They don’t have to make room for meeting me and people are often happier when they eat.

  • Feb 16th, 2018
    Communities in Marketing

    Communities are fantastic, I love them. We have had communities for as long as humans has been in existence but in the past few years, it has become a buzz word. With the Internet and tools like Facebook, Twitter, Discord and Slack providing access to everyone globally, it’s no wonder these communities have started to pop up.

  • Feb 7th, 2018
    How I convinced 15+ companies to contribute to OSS

    Story time! On January 2nd I launched Turku Gives Back, a non-profit project to encourage local software companies to give back to open source. Last Friday, February 2nd 16 companies and bunch of individuals joined together, we made 20+ contributions to various open source projects.

  • Jan 8th, 2018
    How to build a kickass developer community

    I was asked by a friend to share some tips and best practices from our two years of running the meetup so that others could replicate and prosper. While we can’t really give a silver bullet nor pinpoint exactly where we got it right, I wanted to share a few things I’ve learned while running Turku ❤ Frontend and growing it from 0 to 350+ members with fantastic partners and constant stream of amazing speakers.

  • Sep 20th, 2017
    5 Reasons to Attend a Meetup

    Meetups are fun and we are happy to see the culture is spreading all around the world making them more accessible to people. We started Turku ❤ Frontend a couple of years ago with the aim to help people learn new skills, meet fellow developers and make it easier for professional developers and students to find jobs and thus, making it easier for companies to find local talent.

  • Sep 18th, 2017
    Improve the world — help someone learn

    We all have skills that other people lack. Whether it’s programming, knitting, writing, fixing bikes or cooking delicious food, you are better doing it than someone else. And while everyone of us is good at something, we also crave to learn new skills to improve our lives.

  • May 24th, 2017
    Code in the Dark Turku

    What happens when you put 20 developers behind computers, give them nothing but an editor and a reference screenshot? Together with Valohai and Hub Turku and supported by Reaktor we organized the first Code in the Dark event in Turku last night and it was a blast.

  • Apr 21st, 2017
    Why do good communities thrive?

    Recently I’ve been talking a lot with different people about communities, community management and different aspects related to it. One of the key differences in how people view communities is what I call professional-leisure divide. (I hope one day I’ll have a better word for it.)

  • Dec 22nd, 2016
    Build your community like a garden

    I have recently found interesting parallels in building and managing communities and gardening. Understanding those parallels and learning from the ancient art of gardening can provide tools for effective community management.

  • Dec 19th, 2016
    What Rails Girls taught me about non-organizations

    Finland is the promised land of organizations. Almost every citizen is or has been part of a non-profit organization during their life and most of us have been a board member in one or two or … well, let’s just say some of us do it a lot.

  • Dec 13th, 2016
    Building a developer community calls for strong support

    Almost everyone who’s been in touch with crowdfunding in a form or another or has seen a talk about it, knows the classic 4 F’s. Friends, Family, Fools and Fans. I’ve learned that in some sense, it applies to so much more than just crowdfunding.

  • Aug 20th, 2016
    8 hours later + Turku <3 Frontend Hackathon

    Turku ❤ Frontend is a community of (mostly frontend) developers in Turku region that was started in December 2015. Between September and May, we organize meetups at local companies’ offices with talks and beers and during the summer break we just finished our first hackathon.

  • Dec 8th, 2015
    Why I love hackathons

    I’m a huge fan of hackathons. Last weekend, I had the privilege to organize one for the first time after attending a few. Even though being super tired on Sunday evening after a long weekend of very little sleep on a couch, I was so happy being able to organize a successful event.

  • Jan 20th, 2014
    Rails Girls San Francisco

    After coaching at Rails Girls Helsinki last November and getting a job in San Francisco, one of the first things I did was checking out if there would be a Rails Girls event here too. And how lucky was I. Last weekend, almost 100 enthusiastic girls and women took their laptops and came to Engine Yard for two-day workshop to learn about web development with Ruby on Rails. Since I already wrote about Rails Girls after the last event, I won’t dig too deep into what it is.

  • Sep 9th, 2013
    Rails Girls – building the future

    Today was my first ever Rails Girls event in Helsinki. I ain’t much of a Rails or even a Ruby, I tend to choose Python as my weapon of choice. However, I’ve been long interested in Rails, done some hobby projects with it and even more than that, I’ve been into teaching new people to programming for couple of years now at the university. So coaching a Rails Girls event was super exciting new experience.