Our Cloud Community offers a variety of work, supportive colleagues, and great learning opportunities. Since joining the community, we’ve learned to work with several new technologies, and we’ve been amazed by the internal sparring and help available in our Slack channels.
We are working as Cloud Service Specialists in our Cloud Community. Tommi Ritvanen is working with the continuous services team, and Mikko Ristilä is part of a customer project team. While we have a lot in common, our daily work looks a bit different.
Mikko works with centralised log management in a project team of four people; a project manager, an architect, and two specialists. The teamwork is planned around monthly sprints, where each team member executes the tasks agreed upon with the customer. While the work is quite independent, team members help and support each other when needed. Consistent daily meetings help ensure that everyone is doing well and that the project is running smoothly.
Tommi, in turn, works in a cloud continuous services team, where the focus is on Solita’s ongoing customers. The work is ticket-based, and the variety of requests can be wide. Since the extensive client base, the context and technologies used vary daily. Some tasks might take half an hour, while others can be like mini projects and take days to complete. Tommi has about 15 team members, and they have an active Slack community providing help and brainstorming support.
Learning from new technologies and experienced colleagues
We’ve had plenty of opportunities to learn at Solita. Most of the technologies we are working with were initially new to us. But we’ve had a chance to take the time and learn. The Linux server environment and technologies like Elastic Stack, Ansible, Terraform, and Kubernetes have become familiar. Tommi also operates a lot in the public cloud environment, using AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform technologies.
We tend to have a high automation level in our work, which removes manual work and speeds things up. With tools like Terraform and Ansible, we can create automatic continuous integrations and continuous deployments that take care of changes, testing, and validations, minimising the risk of human error.
Solita is advocating learning, and the company policy is that we can spend five percent of our work time educating ourselves. We have the O’Reilly Learning platform in use, and we are encouraged to take courses and do certificates. We also have sparring groups around different technologies within the company, so there is always someone more experienced to turn to if we have questions or problems to solve.
We have offices in several countries, and we share information with colleagues and learn from each other. Our Slack channels are international and active; often, we might have people from several countries problem-solving together.
A culture where everyone is encouraged to speak up
There are many great things about the ways of working and the culture at Solita. We are encouraged to speak up, and people here at all levels are open to listening. That also applies to our work: we can influence the type of work and projects we want to do, and there’s nothing weird about declining from a project.
We also have a lot of freedom in deciding how we work, when we work, and where we work. We’ll join meetings, of course, but otherwise, work is highly flexible. If we want to sleep in some days, starting later is fine if we don’t have meetings scheduled in the morning.
Our team members are located in different parts of Finland, so we mostly gather online. What’s important is to get things done in time and discuss with the team how we can best work together. Sitting in different locations isn’t a problem; we have a great team spirit, and the online channels work well. We also aim to have monthly in-person get-togethers where we mix work and after-work-related actions.