Meet the TomTom Developer Evangelists
Shannon Stroud·Aug 26, 2019

Meet the TomTom Developer Evangelists

Shannon StroudShannon Stroud
Shannon Stroud
Shannon Stroud is a Senior Digital Marketer part of the Developer Relations Team at TomTom. She has been at TomTom since the beginning of 2019. Prior to her role at TomTom, she’s held digital marketing and communication positions at different tech companies over the last five years, where she has been responsible for social media, content creation and strategy, community building, copywriting and PR. At TomTom, she is focused on content strategy for digital channels and growing the developer community. She's a word nerd, creative and loves overusing emojis. In office, you'll find her blogging, tweeting, drinking cup after cup of coffee and watering her tiny office plant.
Aug 26, 2019 · 4 min read

Meet our two Developer Evangelists who are here to help you build different. These two are programmers who have a love for Maps and app building. Learn more about their goals at TomTom and how they can support your next project using TomTom's Maps APIs.

What the Heck is a Developer Evangelist?

No, no – they don’t go door to door preaching about code.

Instead, our Developer Evangelist (or advocates) have taken on a hybrid role – they are part marketing, part technical and one hundred percent engineers. They have a variety of responsibilities but their main role at TomTom is to mentor and support our developer community.

We currently have two Developer Evangelists on our team, Jose Jose Rojas and Olivia Vahsen.

We promise you; you’re going to want to remember their names. Olivia and Jose will be hosting meetups, joining us during events, frequenting developer forums and overall helping all of you build really cool stuff. If you’re looking for the best TomTom Maps APIs resources to support your project, they are a great place to start.

You’ll be hearing about them a lot, so we thought we’d take a moment to introduce them.

Welcome, Olivia!


Olivia is a recent college graduate from St. Edwards University where she received her degree in computer science, having focused on pursuing front-end design. Like every other senior nearing graduation, she decided to look for jobs to learn more about what was out there. Through the job hunt, she kept coming across titles like, “Developer Evangelist” or “Developer Advocate”. After learning more about these roles she quickly realized that she was uniquely fit to help liaise between companies and the developer community.

Olivia has joined the TomTom DevRel team a few months ago and her outgoing personality and willingness to lend a helping hand has made her a great addition to our team. She’s been able to help us understand even more the needs of the developer community and how we can better support students and startups looking to add location to their applications.

Not just that, but Olivia is a content machine who loves writing in her spare time. She’s excited to create new blogs and articles that can help developers build their projects. Want to say hi to Olivia? You can shoot her a message on Twitter, here: @Ovahsen.

Fun Facts about Olivia:

  • What’s coding language do you prefer? Which one do you wish you knew more? I prefer Python and Swift. I wish I knew more Lua or Go.

  • What’s your favorite dev tool? Atom (simple, I know), so I can highlight x86 Assembly and tab between any projects in multiple (sometimes obscure) languages without losing my mind, or my computer’s fan.

  • What’s a personal project you are working on? Not a project per se, but occasionally I poke around in Haven, a personal sensor system buildable from GitHub, to see what I might want to make from it.

  • What’s your home town and what city do you live in now? I’m originally from Oregon and now live in San Jose, CA.

  • What’s your biggest code pet peeve? Function names that are so short, I get lost.

  • Tabs or spaces? The world needs to know. Tabs, because life is too short to waste on spaces.

  • Who would you rather have as an ally in battle – a 100lb duck or 100 baby pandas? The 100lb duck. Quack quack, losers.

Say Hey to Jose!


Jose has been a Developer for many years and has always had an itch for the creative side of software development. He’s been with TomTom for a few years and over the last couple of months he has made the transition from Product Owner to Developer Evangelist.

Jose has had an internal struggle with being a software developer. While he loved to code, and he also loved being creative and public speaking – two things that doesn’t always mix with being a developer. When he heard about the Developer Evangelist role, he felt that it combined two passions of his, engaging with others and helping other build their projects.

We are excited to have Jose part of the team. He’s a seasoned developer, the king of creating demos and has a wealth of knowledge about TomTom Maps and our API capabilities.

If you’re looking for a way to connect with Jose, check him out on Twitter or you can follow him along in his tutorials and overviews on YouTube.

Fun Facts about Jose:

  • What’s coding language do you prefer? Which one do you wish you knew more? R:/ Java! and I wish to know more Python and C++.

  • What’s your favorite dev tool? R:/ The Android Studio IDE. Second place goes to VSC (Visual Studio Code).

  • What’s a personal project you are working on? R:/ Creating map styles to print them on Tshirts, a non-for-profit project.

  • What’s your home town and what city do you live in now? R:/ Home town is Cartagena, Colombia. I live in Amsterdam.

  • What’s your biggest code pet peeve? R:/ I like LONG variable names and light-colored backgrounds……..

  • Tabs or spaces? The world needs to know. R:/ SPACES! Four, please!

  • Who would you rather have as an ally in battle – a 100lb duck or 100 baby pandas? R:/ The DUCK! Pandas eat too much!

The Developer Evangelist Mission at TomTom

Evangelists are the technically-friendly faces of our team. As developers themselves, they understand how to find resources and what it means to trust a product. So, their mission at TomTom is make sure that our APIs and SDKs are easy-to-find, easy-to-integrate and overall a toolset that they’d be excited to use themselves and one they would recommend to friends and colleagues.

For the both of them, this role combines an appreciation of the development lifecycle with a passion for engaging with others in conversation both online and in real life. They both are looking forward to meeting local developers and making genuine connection that cause them to earn the trust of the developer community worldwide.

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