People story

From Software Developer to Data Developer: an interview with Joni Luomala

Joni Luomala Data Architect, People Lead, Solita

Published 07 Apr 2022

Reading time 4 min

Joni Luomala, one of our data architects, is a data professional with a background in software development and one of the People Leads in our data competence area. We are currently recruiting software development experts who are interested in working with data – read about Joni’s experiences!

Job where programming meets data

I have been at Solita for about three and half years and during that time I have become more and more interested in data projects. I’m currently a Data Architect and People Lead, in charge of designing and implementing Azure data platforms. I joined my current team when they were looking for deeper Azure expertise and I have enjoyed the journey so far.

Previously I was a Software Developer doing full-stack coding, various web site implementations and IoT projects. Through IoT projects, I became more interested in the utilisation of data. I found out that a large data set can tell more things than you first would think and utilising data smartly can enable doing business in new ways, more efficiently than before. At that time, there was also a great deal of talk about artificial intelligence and machine learning. Combining big data and new methods to utilise it inspired me to dig deeper into the data domain.

I’m not a data warehouse guy. I’m still a developer, but I take part in data-related projects in cooperation with our other data experts. The best thing about this job is that you can work on projects with a wide range of experts and think together about how our customers can get the best out of their data.

When coding, it was important to think about the end user – I’ve also tried to keep this attitude in mind in my current position. Data projects can be more complex and often further from the end user, but I feel that my background in programming has been very useful. Knowledge of cloud services has been very helpful, as well as the ability to grasp complex phenomenons. I’ve learned a lot more about data platforms and the related development.

My experience is that Solita has many interesting projects for a developer who is interested in data solutions. We have data warehousing and IoT projects with streaming data. Machine learning and artificial intelligence are also strongly involved in the projects. Here in Solita, people’s interests are heard and listened to, and there are plenty of things to learn and everyone can find motivating challenges for themselves.

I want to help people grow

At Solita, I have especially liked the fact that there are plenty of capable colleagues and a strong culture of helping. You can always find a sparring partner and there is no need to worry about organisational boundaries: our programmers, cloud experts and integration experts for example are all willing to help. Project teams consist of experts from different areas of expertise, which enables multidisciplinary cooperation on a day-to-day basis.

I have also tried to be a sparring People Lead: I want to help people grow and make the most out of their potential. It is important for me to know my team members, their wishes and strengths. The best thing about this role is that you can help people and remove obstacles from their everyday work.

In general, I think you will be successful at Solita if you want and are able to learn new things and have the courage to have an opinion without being locked into your own views. The world is changing and technologies are advancing at a tremendous rate, we need to remain open and find new and better ways to do things. The ability to work together and the willingness to help others are also important qualities.

When I came to Solita, I was surprised that they had maintained a kind of garage company spirit without feeling corporate and that people have a real opportunity to make a difference. Of course, we have many communities here, but through openness and by cutting out unnecessary bureaucracy, we have been able to maintain the feel of a small company. That feeling is also influenced by the mentality of the Solita people: their passion, sense of community, and the desire to develop themselves. This forms its own special spice to the company’s culture.

Do you find the path that Joni took interesting? Joni is currently taking part in recruiting software development experts who are interested in working on data related projects. Take a peek at our open positions!

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