19 Jun 2020Blog

Remote work stories: Riikka Taiminen

We started our company-wide remote working on Friday 13th of March. A #remotework channel was created on Slack, and since then our community has been sharing tips on staying sane and funny stories from their new remote working life. We asked a few of these people to share their stories and their “new normal”.

This is Riikka’s story:

What is your role? Which team? 

My name is Riikka and I’m working as a Software Designer and a People Lead. The People Lead part is something new for me, I started as a People Lead in the end of January this year. Currently I have ten developers in my team in Tampere. My team is also special, because our common language is English, which has been a good opportunity for all of us to practise our skills. 

As a People Lead I keep in touch with my people and try to be aware about their wellbeing at work, in the project, in general, and help them wherever I can. I also take part in recruitment, interviewing and hiring new Solitans, and also help them in onboarding to Solita. 

The People Lead part of my work takes about half of my time. The other half I work as a Software Designer in a project, which is related to railway traffic management. I try keep my developer skills up-to-date, because software development is really something I enjoy. 

What are you working on? 

Today there’s a couple of interviews of potential new Solitans in my calendar. The interviews at home are always a little bit exciting while having also three children, a husband, a dog and three guinea-pigs in the same house. Luckily the interviews are always done with a colleague, so if I need to be a mum for a while, my colleague can think up some clever questions.

While I’m writing this is my last week at work before summer vacation, so I’ve been trying to finish different tasks I’ve been working on. Today is my turn to take care of support in our project, meaning replying to support requests sent by users and reacting to possible error situations. Yesterday I managed to fix one bug, update tests and also merge the fix in develop branch. 

What do you love about your job? How long have you worked at Solita?

I’ve been working at Solita since 2007, so it’s been quite a while already. I’ve enjoyed these years because of interesting projects, cosy atmosphere, and nice and helpful people. Also the ability to combine work and home life easily has been a significant motivator for me.

When I started at Solita there was about 100 employees, now we have about 1000 employees. Even though the company has grown a lot, in every day work life there is still the same feeling of a small company because most of the decisions are done at the project team level.

What’s your biggest passion(s)? 

This spring there has been special tech boost going on in our development unit. There has been plenty of new tech blog posts in dev.solita.fi, a new tech video concept and couple of videos has emerged, and Solita developer survey has been done lately. All these because of enthusiastic and passionate developers. Making the tech great again, see it, fix it -culture and easygoing developer community is something I enjoy. 

I like the problem solving, doing right things, and with good quality. I like interactions with people, in the project team, in my dev group, with the customer, and in the office in general. That’s one part I’ve been missing during this exceptional spring, it would be nice to meet people in real life.

What’s your most impactful experience at Solita so far? 

In January, starting as a People Lead came suddenly, even though there had been discussions around the issue over a couple of years. The start was eventful, new group members starting, one leaving, interviews for Solita’s Dev Academy, salary discussions, and development discussions were all during February and March. I was happy to survive through those months as a fresh People Lead and thought that the rest of spring would be smooth sailing. Then came corona and remote work. I’ve been having new team members onboarding whom I’ve seen only in interview in real life, after that only in Teams. However, everything has been working despite remote work.

During my Solita career I’ve been working in different meaningful projects. One could say that in those projects I’ve been making an impact for Finnish everyday life. 

What brightens your #remotework day?

Remote work has been a lot of easier after children’s remote school experience, which was quite stressful also for me. I’m happy I don’t need to supervise the school anymore. (Fingers crossed, that the schools will be working also in the autumn). 

When my husband is having a day off, I’ve been able to go to office for a day or two and meet people in real life. Today my husband is at home too and he will take care of the children and lunch, which is nice. Some days my oldest girl bakes something or even cooks the lunch. Her favourite is chicken sauce with rice and salad.

A short walk with our dog is always a good way to start the day at the remote office.

– Riikka

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