Connecting Robots to the Cloud Connecting Robots to the Cloud

By Juanjo Diaz


Hello world - I’m Juanjo Diaz and I’ve worked at Intopalo as a Software Architect since September 2015. In this post, I’ll share my experience as a member of Intopalo’s talented community.

From Stiff Hierarchy to Culture of Collaborative Learning

Before Intopalo, I worked in a large fin-tech enterprise in London as well as other multinational companies. However, after a few years I got tired of the stiff hierarchy, organizational inefficiency, and the impossibility of getting your voice heard. The work was challenging, sure, but I felt constrained.

That’s why Sami Merilä’s, one of Intopalo’s founding fathers, promise of a flat, modern organization really resonated with me. Is it possible to do serious, world-class projects in a non-corporate company? Turns out it really is.

In my experience, Intopalo has a community way of working where we make decisions by consensus. It’s important to keep up a good spirit and coordination between people. The “social fit” - being able to take your place in an expert organization - is just as important as your tech skills.

Taking Control of Your Career

What I find really motivating is that here I don’t have a fixed career path - it all depends on my preference. While web and cloud development are my core expertise, as a software architect I consider all aspects of software development. Here I’ve had the opportunity to deepen my knowledge in areas like security, IoT, cloud computing, and machine learning.

There are hard-core experts in specific areas, obviously, but everyone is encouraged to learn from each other. Knowledge flows freely, and it’s up to you to decide which path to lead.

Solving the World’s Problems

One of our recent projects was Project MARS. Its goal was to develop an automated seeding system for farms, where a swarm of autonomous robots move around the fields planting the seeds, while the farmer just controls and monitors the process from a tablet. This results in massive cost savings and higher efficiency in agriculture.

I designed and implemented the infrastructure, the back-end, and the communication protocol for the project. This included a centralized server that validates everything the user configures on the tablet, gathers and processes all the data coming from the robots in real time, and ensures that everything works.

The most exciting thing about my work? I’m an engineer, not a code monkey. Our clients bring problems, not requirements, and we provide solutions, not code. Some of those problems we solve are hardcore stuff, so googling won’t save you there. Well, that’s what I call a challenge!