As part of our 10 year anniversary celebration at Startuplifers, we are sharing inspirational alumni stories from the past decade.

In today’s post we get to know Juha-Matti Santala a.k.a Juhis, Startuplifers alumnus currently working as a Developer Advocate at Futurice. Being an active developer community builder, tech educator and startup coach, Juhis frequently shares his thoughts on his blog and “Juhis Talks Tech” Youtube channel (scroll down for links at the end of this article).

Juhis joined a San Francisco based startup called Chartio in 2014 as their Engineering Intern. He describes his experience in San Francisco as “life-changing” which opened many doors and led to opportunities that he would have not reached without the confidence gained from living in San Francisco. 

10 Questions with Startuplifers Alumni

What's your name?

Juha-Matti Santala

How did you first hear about Startuplifers?

I was applying to a different job in the New York when I ran into Mikko H. who was running Startuplifers back then and he encouraged me to apply.

What motivated you to apply?

I wanted to work in Silicon Valley and learn from the startup culture there.

Which company did you join through Startuplifers?

Chartio, in 2014.

What is the biggest learning you have gained from working at a startup?

I learned so much in such a short time. We had a really good balance of getting stuff done attitude without the usual startup hustle and grind. I learned a lot about software development but maybe even more about customer focused product development and building the right things.

Name one cool/crazy/amazing experience while working through Startuplifers?

I saw Olli Määttä score two goals against San Jose in my first in-person NHL match.

Describe your Startuplifers experience with few words.


What would you tell someone who is thinking of applying to Startuplifers?

You’ll learn more in a year working there than you do in 5 years in school.

Did Startuplifers experience help you in your career development. How?

It completely turned my career development upside down. I met great people which opened a lot of doors and most of my opportunities since then are thanks to the experience and confidence I gained from my year in San Francisco.

What do you do now? What's next for you?

Currently I build developer communities and help new people get into the tech industry. Will be continuing to do that in the future as well. One day I dream to run a non-profit programming school.

Thank you Juhis for taking the time to tell us about your experience! 

Are you interested in hearing more about Juhis’ journey to San Francisco, his current role at Futurice and building tech communities? Get to know him better by checking out his blog and Youtube channel.

Stay tuned for the upcoming alumni stories we will be sharing in the coming weeks! 

Are you interested in applying for a startup job? Check out our open positions today or download our free startup job hunting guide covering everything from what a startup is to how to find a job in one. 

Until next time!