Solita Data Academy – the first step in the life of a Data Engineer

Martin Meisalu Data Engineer, Solita

Published 01 Feb 2021

Reading time 3 min

Last spring, our consultant Martin Meisalu participated in the Data Academy – read more about his experiences in retrospect!

The first things that caught my attention on the schedule were Snowflake, AWS, Python, pair coding and data visualisation – this is what I associate most with data engineering. Awesome for me to learn all this but it turned out to be so much more!

The first day was in Helsinki office and meant traveling there with the first ferry in the morning. Travelling to the office took some time and I was about 30min late as planned. Once inside the brand new, modern Solita office, I met some of my future classmates from Sweden and Finland.

AWS, Python, SQL and post-its!

The first week at the Data Academy was about getting to know Solita and each other. It was fun to start a new job with 14 other people at the same time, instead of being the only new person at work. We were part of a group that would work on academy topics together. Our group members had different backgrounds, ages, home countries and experiences with data. My background is in software development and project management (I do have a little experience with data engineering), while others had experience in Python, Business Intelligence and machine learning, among others. This meant that quite a lot of topics and different prior experience gave us a good learning environment where we as a team could help each other. You also got to know several Solita consultants, who told us about their various projects and what tools/solutions they work with.

The second week we started with the long-awaited technologies of AWS, Python and SQL. It was quite a fast pace and there was a lot to go through. It was not always easy to understand when someone explained concepts on a theoretical level. We therefore did a lot of demo exercises at the same time and got the feeling on how everything worked in practice.

The third week’s setup was similar, with learning in Tallinn or Helsinki office and this time with the focus on ETL tool ADE. The fourth week focused on data visualisation with Power BI.

In the academy we had a full day with Agile methodologies. No computers – just post-it notes and lots of them! We learned the fundamentals of Agile “by doing”. The whole room was wallpapered with post-it notes at the end of the day. Much appreciated day by everyone at the academy, which also came up on retrospective (a scrum thing). The computer modelling was a bit of the same nature, where we did not need computers either. We got to use the board and draw models.

In Solita there is quite a lot of focus on teams, co-operation and the way we work in the Nordics. It means that compared to Estonian working culture things are quite different and give much more enjoyment. After working now for a year in Solita, yes we are one of the best in Nordics and delivering cutting edge data solutions but the main difference in personal level is the Solitas work culture that supports growth and wellbeing.

Life as a Data Engineer has just begun

After Data Academy matchmaking began. This means that there is no superior who says that this is now your job and do it. Process includes my interest, available projects and different positions in projects that allow me to select interesting projects for me. As a Data Engineer there are quite a lot of subtopics that you can focus on from MDM to Datawarehouse building to ML/AI in different projects that allow quite a lot of freedom in personal development. Btw there is an option to work in our other offices and client projects in Finland, Denmark, Estonia, Sweden, Germany, or Belgium.

  1. Culture
  2. Data