Juha-Matti Santala
Community Builder. Dreamer. Adventurer.

Stickers tell stories

I’m one of the people whose laptop covers are full of stickers. Recently, a friend shared a picture of his laptop and noted (paraphrased translation):

"Looking at them, I realized how many of these are connected to stories and people”

That’s why I love my stickers. They tell a bit about myself to others but more importantly, they remind me of the stories and people connected to them. Every time I take out my laptop, I catch a glimpse of a sticker and warm feelings flow in.

Here’s my current laptop and some of the stories the stickers tell:

There are a lot of different stickers, some overlapping each other as time has passed. The stories told are temporal and some stickers invoke stronger memories and others are just there because they are funny or cute. Or because someone lovely gave them to me.

Let me share some of those stories and stickers with you.

Finnish tech podcasts: Webbidevaus.fi & Koodia Pinnan Alla

Webbidevaus.fi is a Finnish tech podcast I visited eons ago in September of 2019 to chat with Antti ja Riku about documentation, developer communities and livecoding in Twitch. It’s one of the most visually stunning and glorious of the stickers on my lid.

Koodia Pinnan Alla is another Finnish tech podcast that I haven’t visited (yet) but am a big fan and a happy listener. They have great in-depth discussions of technical concepts.

Futurice stickers

I worked for almost 4,5 years at Futurice as a developer and developer advocate. Global Code Camp 2019 was an internal hackathon me and my team organized in Tallinn in 2019 with almost 40 developers and designers from our offices across Europe joining. Chilicorn is the logo of the company’s social responsibility and open source program. The Rise of Futulon sticker is for our annual company all-hands, organized in Tampere in 2019. Hidden behind a bunch of other stickers is also a sticker for our lottery lunch concept where employees were assigned to their colleagues for lunch. Tech Weeklies was the weekly tech meetup I ran for a couple of years every Friday. The two Hacktoberfest stickers are also from my time at Futurice where in October, we brought the local community together to work on open source projects.

Conferences and meetups

Turku ❤️ Frontend is a developer community I’ve been running since 2015 and the one thing in life I’m most proud of. TurkuSec is another local meetup I’m happy to be a member of. Future Frontend and React Finland are conferences I’ve been involved in organizing. Django Day Copenhagen and PyCon CZ I’ve visited as a speaker. Koodiklinikka is a Finnish developer community where I’m an admin in the Slack group and run annual salary surveys. A small Euruko sticker reminds me of the good times with Ruby developers.

Syntax Error

Syntax Error is a tech newsletter about debugging that I write monthly to help developers learn tools and techniques to figure out what’s wrong with their code. You can read it on the website or subscribe via email or RSS to make sure you don’t miss any.

Mozilla & Firefox

To celebrate my short stint at Mozilla, I have a Firefox sticker and a Mozilla Remote sticker at the corners. Firefox is also my main browser in day-to-day use and it’s always nice to passively remind people it’s an option.

Syntax Error

Sign up for Syntax Error, a monthly newsletter that helps developers turn a stressful debugging situation into a joyful exploration.