16.11.2016Blog

A peek into Tuomo’s workday as a Senior Software Designer

Solita is a well-known digital business consulting company that develops and builds various kinds of services that promote digitalisation. Solita’s excellent, user-friendly services are aimed at both the private and public sectors, in Finland and abroad. Solita employs more than 470 professionals whose smiles do not fade even in the toughest situations. The team welcomes both senior professionals as well as those at the beginning of their careers. I sat down with Tuomo for a chat about his job as a senior software developer at Solita.

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A lot can happen in ten years

Tuomo has worked at Solita since 2007. According to his own words, switching jobs to Solita felt natural because the grass was greener on the other side. At the time, Solita’s office in Helsinki was located on Vuorikatu, and housed 15 employees, so it was slightly smaller than our current office at Töölönlahti, with nearly 200 employees, Tuomo adds.

During his ten years with Solita, Tuomo has worked on three different projects. This is because Tuomo likes to properly focus on one single project over a longer period of time, since it often also provides a better opportunity to see the results of his own work. In his current project, Tuomo is working together with one of our customers on the implementation of a system which promotes the export of foods from Finland and thereby also improves Finland’s competitiveness. In addition to Tuomo, the project involves another software developer, Michael, and Terhi, who acts as the project manager. Tuomo mentions that the tools he primarily uses in the project are Java and JavaScript tools, such as Spring Boot, Java 8 and Angular 2. Other tools he has become familiar with over the years include Scala, React, Node.js, RxJS, Eclipse, Maven, Apache Ant, Vagrant, Ansible, Bash and Debian.

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An early interest in programming

So how did Tuomo end up in the IT-industry to begin with? According to Tuomo, his father used to work with computers – which also sparked an interest in Tuomo when he was young. Armed with the instructions provided by his father, Tuomo coded his first games with Pascal. The games were basically copies of other games, with the distinction that Tuomo supplemented them with his own improvements. A career in software development was nevertheless nothing Tuomo had been actively thinking about, and he did not take his first official programming course until he was in high school.

Following his graduation, Tuomo majored in mathematics at the university, focusing on computer science as a minor subject. According to Tuomo, he found his way into the IT industry in 1998, when he was looking for a summer job in the IT industry in the hopes of a better salary, and ended up getting hooked on this line of work. Tuomo first worked as a junior programmer with Java and VBScript, writing classic server configurations as well as doing HST card signatures. After that, Tuomo worked in two other companies within software development before joining Solita.

Interesting projects and great co-workers make work more fun

Tuomo says that he has been very happy at Solita, and that the most important factor for this has been the great team of endlessly inspiring people he works with, consisting of experts who always want to improve and make things better. Tuomo enjoys working with others who think alike when it comes to building better software. He also mentions Solita’s relaxed atmosphere, which allows and encourages everyone to be themselves. Tuomo also considers work a continuous learning curve, since the industry develops all the time and never runs out of new things to learn. As an example, he mentions that he would also like to work with software developers who have only just entered the business, since different kinds of people with different kinds of backgrounds can always provide you with new thoughts and ideas in terms of your own work.

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As his jobs in the IT industry began to take more of Tuomo’s attention, he left school with nearly everything complete – except his master’s thesis. In hindsight, Tuomo does admit having some regrets about not finishing his studies at the time, because this has also closed some doors for him in work life. For example, he mentions certain public sector posts which he could apply for if it were up to his skill set, but which are out of his reach because he lacks an official degree. In addition, he cannot be included in all projects and tendering processes in which he might want to participate, because they may require a degree as a measure of competence. However, Tuomo credits his studies for teaching him a lot about analytical thinking and a solution-orientated approach, which has served him well in working life.

Tuomo’s tips for those planning a career in software development

Tuomo does not believe that there is any single ideal background for a person pursuing a career in software development. The most important factor is an inquisitive mind – in other words, being truly interested in making software and finding your own spark for doing so. Tuomo has also taken part in the recruitment of new employees and in interviewing future Solita employees. His tip for those hoping to join the software development business is to master the basics of full-stack development well as to learn to understand how to take software into production and practice. You do not need to have perfect knowledge of everything, because the people interviewing you can read between the lines and tell whether or not you know the things or not. What remains as the most important thing is an enthusiastic attitude and having found the thing that you feel passionate about. Once you have found your passion, give it your best effort, since it will often be the place where you find your best potential, given that you have the motivation and will to learn and develop yourself.

Through first-hand experience, Tuomo has furthermore learned that you should always pursue a job at a company where the employer is more interested in developing its people than mere project implementations. In the long term, this will prove more productive for your own career and learning. To sum up, Tuomo remarks that in the end, making software is all about compromises – having the ability to identify what is good and what is not, and understanding what works and what doesn’t.

Solita for students in a nutshell:

• You have the ability to work 3–4 days a week alongside your studies
• we will support your studies in various ways, for example you can work on your thesis for one month with us
• we will develop your skills continuously – you will learn from others and others will learn from you
• our friendly and competent team will make work fun
• you can influence the direction of your future career development

Work for us

Take a look at our current vacancies (in Finnish) or send us an open application to rekry (a) solita.fi. We offer opportunities for both software and analytics professionals at different stages of their careers and hope to find long-term employees. We would also be very glad to hear from you if you are about to start or are in the process of writing your diploma or thesis.

Our essential recruitment criteria – also visible in our everyday work – are summed up in our corporate values: boldness, casualness, caring and passion. We also appreciate an understanding of the basics of software development as well as the modern tools and systems used, a broad skill set and a good ability to learn.

The writer works as a recruiter and talent acquisition specialist at Solita and is finishing up her studies alongside her work. Continuous learning and personal development are important to Hanna both at work and in her spare time. She also enjoys meeting new people and encourages everyone interested about a career at Solita to network with her on Linkedin or Twitter.