Search for HOT projects, news, people and jobs.
News — 16 December, 2020

welcome to hot_tech...

As everyone is well aware, it's time to scale up at HOT, and hot_tech is no exception. We have been afforded an ‘Audacious’ opportunity to welcome some impressive new talent into the fold. I was once told never to assume you're the smartest in the room, and with the addition of these four new team members, I know for sure that I am not. Let me be the first to share with you a quick intro to each of the new team members, why they decided to join us, and why we wanted them to be a part of the team.

10min read

TL;DR; if you don’t read this, you’ll miss out on a chance to get to know some great people that have just joined our team. This post is too short, if anything.

Hya Umaran

mumaran-23a31f 300x375.jpg

Official bio
Hya has joined HOT to support the organization and teams towards an agile mindset and delivery. She is an IT professional who is innovative, with combined skills of business and technical acumen. Appointed to lead start-up and pilot teams both in corporate and non-profit organizations, she honed her skills in the areas of coaching, mentoring, and facilitation.

She previously worked with AIG Shared Services, IBM, World Vision, and Plan International. At Plan, she led the team as a Digital Development Manager. She took up Computer Engineering at Mapua University, Philippines. Continuous learning, adaptation, and integrity at work are her core values. She is a certified Professional Scrum Master I, Product Owner of, and certified Professional Business Analyst of IIBA.

Unofficial bio
Ironically, you can only see Hya using her laptop when engaged at work. When she is not working, there are a lot of non-tech activities that can make her busy all day. She loves to paint, sew, sculpt polymer clay, wood burn, and play piano. She can play table tennis and badminton pretty well.

Why they selected us
I look forward to learning a new stack of technology and contributing to the transformation of the team. Increase people’s reach who use the products on its maximum value, able to scale and grow through continuous process optimization and meaningful collaboration.

Why they were selected
Hya is a perfect collision of thorough and agile. For those that work with agile, you’ll understand just how hard this is to find. Her humility leads to an unrivaled ability to empathize with what people need to support them to success they didn’t even know they had inside them. Hya is exactly what you need in a mentor, and a true Ate: supportive and caring, and always dedicated to keeping you on track with your best interests at heart :)

Diana Nanyanzi

Diana-first 300x375.jpg

Official bio
Diana is a Junior Developer with the Tech team contributing to the software tools at HOT. She has a background in Computer Engineering and brings with her experience from working at Andela building products using JavaScript and Python, working in agile teams, and the use of software best practices during the development process. She is motivated by her curiosity to learn new things as well as a desire for fundamental social change in terms of gender equality. She also participated in mapping activities under the Financial Inclusion program by HOT in Eastern Uganda as well as the #VisualizeNoMalaria campaign in Zambia.

Unofficial bio
Diana is a member of different groups geared towards nurturing more girls in STEM and software development, like Django Girls Busia and the Fundi Girls Initiative in Uganda. She has an interest in electronics + Arduino and enjoys building little projects with them. In her free time, she loves reading good fiction, watching anime, and playing scrabble.

Why they selected us
I was drawn to the fact that people from different spaces work together to impact the world in a more positive way through open software, open data, and open mapping, which is very powerful and relevant on a global scale. I also admired the intentionality behind the diverse and inclusive team working at HOT.

I am excited by the learning opportunities that lay ahead in terms of making meaningful contributions to the tools used, applying AI/ML for mapping as well as engaging with brilliant people from different parts of the world.

Why we selected them
Diana lives and breathes the values we stand for. From her support of women in STEM to her passion for OSM, her direction is our direction, and we’re glad to be able to join her on her journey. Personally, why did we select her? Because one day, I hope she is sitting in my seat, writing a blog just like this introducing her own team :)

Lily Cheng

Lily_Cheng 300x375.JPG

Official bio
Lily joins the tech team as a senior designer. She has spent her career as a real-world game and experience designer who centers the concept of play as the exploring, growing, creating, and connecting people do when they are given the space and time to feel safe and comfortable to bring their entire lived experiences.

Unofficial bio
Her escalating explorations into expanding perspectives and learning through interactive experiences and emerging technologies include tactile computing, wearables, city narratives, street games, immersive theater, and augmented reality map games. She has made experiences using only paper and plastic, woodwork, food, completely sound or text-based games, and low tech urban immersion experiences using chatbot technology.

She’s most often found in California but has been known to wander off to farm or to explore and unsettle her own perspectives.

Why they selected us
I’ve been making my way through creating experiences that expand perception and people’s sense of reality. While I love creating fictional, immersive experiences, the most amazing stories for me to listen to and amplify are those that help us connect to, understand, and be more compassionate about the people we live with, both near and far. HOT and OSM are an excellent intersection of my interests and beliefs that anyone can learn anything with the right knowledge, enough time, help, and community, and a curiosity in exploring how people belong to places.

Why they were selected
Because I felt I was the one being interviewed! In all seriousness, when someone is taking the time to ask you questions that expose the challenges and values of an organization, you know that they are the one selecting us and not the other way around. So, when Lily took the position, I know it was because our values aligned with hers, and this would be a good place for her to do amazing things.

Rob Savoye

rsavoye 300x375.png

Official bio
Rob has been a free software developer since the late 1980s, with multiple projects still in use decades later. As a long-time believer in appropriate technology and community, Rob has been heavily involved in multiple high-profile free software projects like the GNU Toolchain, GNU/Linux, Gnash, and was an early pioneer in the creation of the commercial internet. He’s won awards from both NASA, and the Free Software Foundation.

Unofficial bio
Rob lives on an old mining claim way up in the Colorado Rockies at 2800M. As a long time climber/skier and rural volunteer fire-fighter, Rob knows the importance of good maps. Hacking custom maps for a Garmin decades ago eventually led to being an active OpenStreetMap contributor and mapping software developer. He’s personally experienced how important accurate maps are for emergency response and recreational purposes.

Why they were selected
Rob cares, plain and simple. It is his deeply rooted principles in ‘free’ and community that made Rob stand out. Putting aside his incredibly extensive experience, Rob is a true reflection of what we stand for at our very core. He even challenged my thinking (and changed my mind, which, according to my partner, is very rare) on a number of values that we should be prioritizing and promoting from within our team.

Why they selected us
Rob prefers to work on projects that benefit people and leave the world a better place. HOT seems to be a perfect place to use his skills for that purpose.