Mentors of WOWZAPP FI 2012 – Arturo Toledo

FloraArturo Toledo is a legend in his own right. I attended his talk in TechDays earlier this year but who knew that in addition to having such immense knowledge on all things graphical he would also be such a heartwarming person to chat with. Here’s what we discussed.

Many of our readers might know you from your designer role in Microsoft. What’s new in your life after you left that position?

Now that I’m not limited to one specific platform, I have given myself many a months just to chill down and really find my place in this new world, in this new ecosystem. I’ve been broadening my horizons, training myself to embrace all the new possibilities, and helping people accomplish their goals. I would like to find myself a good balance between designing and educational efforts. We now have a company of our own with my brother – I really love working with him.

What everyone’s talking about these days is HTML5. What’s your take in regards to it and Microsoft’s relationship?

Now, drawing numbers from pre-HTML5 era, there were and still are 6 million .Net developers. I feel that development will inevitably begin gravitating towards the C#, XAML and .Net. HTML5 is a good long term investment, and it attempts to attract developers from web development world with a common syntax. In the long run, however, the burden of having to maintain and leverage two development platforms will begin to unravel itsef.

Arturo and AlejandroWhat about Windows 8 then? How do you feel about that, especially as a platform for new developers?

Right, so, there are two separate things. Windows 8 is like Windows 7 with a cherry on top. WinRT on the other hand is what’s so hot about the new Windows. That said, it being a good start I think we will need to see even more innovation to have Windows differentiate from its competitors in a truly unique way for it to ever take a convincing lead. It might be a cliché to say, but Microsoft has to do magic.


The reason why Apple has been able to pull ahead is the fact that they’re so unbelievably good at reinventing themselves. That’s what every successful company will at some point need to learn how to do. That’s even the same for us individuals in our industry, we need to constantly develop and update our understanding, knowledge and skills.

I feel a bit bad having started with such hard questions so let’s continue with a few lighter ones. The WOWZAPP event, thoughts?

It’s been a success so far, and it’s so good to see that we are mainly students here, the new generation. There’s even more people than I had expected. Also, Drazen is awesome, he’s been up the whole time doing all the announcements and brunt work to make this happen.

You’ve been here in Finland before, right? How many times?

I believe this is my 3rd or 4th year in a row. We had the option to go to Stockholm as well, but as we had just been there I wanted to come here instead, I love Helsinki. For my brother this is the first time here.

Words of wisdom for students?

Microsoft does and will in the future ever more so offer great opportunities. They’re only getting started with new products and platforms; you’ve got the Xbox, you’ve got tablets, phones, TVs, whatnot. There’s a lot of potential.

Follow Arturo Toledo on Twitter at @arturot, and catch up with the event at #wowzapp for global updates and #wowzappfi and@wowzappi for updates related to the event in Finland.

About the Author

Tsuri KamppuriTsuri Kamppuri (@tsurinosu)

Tsuri Kamppuri is a Bachelor’s Degree student of Media Engineering from JAMK University of Applied Sciences. While not developing software for Suomen Verkkomaksut where he works, he enjoys a healthy dose of HTML5 and front-end development with a hint of occasional snowboard and powder snow under his feet.

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