Presenting Jonas Collaros from Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States! (Fanfares!)
Jonas has been working in Finland for a bit over 7 years and signed on to Supercell in November, 2012, a short 6 months ago.
This man with "few" words tells us about himself, work at Supercell, Finland, Finns and a lot more!
What do you do?
My official title is "Senior Server Developer" for the Clash of Clans team. That means I'm one of the coder monkeys who makes the gaming magic work over the intertubes for the millions of people who play the game every day.
This is the #1 question I get asked, as if nobody can really believe it (including the Finns). After I graduated from an American university, I was insistent on finding a job in the games industry, though it turned out to be quite difficult. After almost a year without any success, life, love and good fortune drove me to visit Finland. Against all odds, I found a my first job opportunity at a small mobile games studio in Helsinki.
The reasons I've stayed in Finland are different from the reasons I came, though. Finland is an incredibly accommodating and progressively-minded place to work and make a living, and it's hard to imagine going back to the American working culture. Fun fact: In Finland, it's required by law for full time workers to take a minimum of two weeks vacation in the summertime, and people commonly take four.
I must admit sheepishly that I didn't really realize what an extraordinary and richly principled company I was joining until after I had done so. I was generously invited over by a couple of former colleagues during tough times at my former workplace (which happen all too often in the games industry). After joining, though, I felt right at home and like Supercell was the game studio I was hoping to find myself working at since the beginning. The values of the company speak to my own personal values, and it has been a brilliant fit.
What is the craziest thing about Finnish people?
Other than the fact that they enjoy eating licorice and salmiakki as children, the craziest thing I learned about Finnish people is how kind of... not crazy they are. You see, the United States is a big country, and most Americans I know haven't ever had the chance to visit outside of it. Places as far away as Europe can seem quite exotic to an unknowing American's eyes, so we can expect their people to be quite crazy and weird. When you visit and meet the people, however, you learn that our similarities far outweigh our differences - even if salmiakki is nauseating.
What is the most wonderful thing about Finnish people?
To an introvert like me, the Finnish lack of pretentiousness is their most appealing quality. Finns have a straightforward, honest and genuine way of speaking to and treating others that I find quite refreshing.
What do you like the most about your job?
Standing next to the day-to-day programming work is the hard to describe, overarching feeling of being active in the heart of a fun, lively and passionate game development team that has to be the best part of my job. I imagine many people who aspire to become game developers ache for this nebulous feeling of "being a game maker" far more than any specific technical work. It takes enormous amounts of patience, tedious work and attention to detail to do well, but there is nothing like the feeling of working together to build something fun, and seeing the end product you spent weeks or months helping to build get released to and enjoyed by players.
Who's your idol?
Idol is quite a strong word! I do have a couple heroes, though, one of whom is Carl Sagan. His patient, conscientious and encouraging demeanor and his ability to humanize, contextualize and convey beauty and fascination towards sciences, I think, should be a role model for scientists in every field. Another hero is Shigeru Miyamoto who, to me, has always signified and represented the pure and humble joy that can and should come from genuinely fun gaming experiences.
Describe yourself in 3 words.
Only three words?