21 Apr 2020Blog

Remote work stories: Sami Komulainen

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 Sami’s story:

What is your role? Which team?

My name is Sami Komulainen and I’m working as an Integration Specialist. Although, I think many of my colleagues know me better as “a guy who (too?) often posts memes or funny pics on Solita Slack”.

What are you working on?

Our multisite project team (Helsinki and Tampere), which has competencies of the three solution units (Cloud & Connectivity, Design and Strategy, and Development), just finished replacing our customer’s core system (and its integrations to external systems) with a new one. My responsibility was to design and create integrations to one of those external systems using Camel, Kotlin and Spring Boot.

After the deployment to production was finished about a month ago, I’ve worked with one of the future development projects for the same customer. In that project we are using cloud services to replace the current functionality of an external system, and integrate it better with the current core system.

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

I’ve worked at Solita almost 1.5 years. I changed jobs because I wanted:

  1. my future employer to be more transparent in their communication
  2. more competence development possibilities
  3. more autonomy
  4. a better employee experience, and
  5. a sense of community

And I feel Solita has met these requirements pretty well!

So, what I love about my job? Let me say first what I love about Solita: Great colleagues (but that’s a given anyway). Getting to stay up to date with the latest developments just by following posts on Solita Slack – whether it’s programming frameworks, conferences, articles, or coronavirus-related memes. Having autonomy to decide when I want to work from home or leave early without having to ask my boss or project manager for permission – just let your co-workers know and that’s it. That there’s a sense of community among solitans, even though we are an international company nowadays.

I also love how our management team reacted quickly and started posting coronavirus infos, when coronavirus pandemia began to affect Finland and its neighboring countries. Those infos included tips and recommendations about what should be done and what should be avoided. Our people even had a chance to have their own office chairs or external displays transported to them if they weren’t able to fetch them by themselves! ❤

And when it comes to my job, I love to widen and deepen my knowledge. I love to solve problems. I love to help others. I (don’t) love to make mistakes, but I love to learn from those mistakes.

What’s your biggest passion(s)?

My biggest passion…well, work-wise it’s to design and implement systems so that I can put my own touch to it from the beginning. Meaning I’m able to guide the customer to choose the best possible architecture and design details for the system. And my other passion, possibly related to the first, is to solve problems. The harder the problem the better. A kick you get from solving a problem that has been mocking you and laughing at you is indescribable.

In my free time, I love bird/nature photography and just trekking in nature. I usually make 1 or 2 longer photography trips during spring or autumn. Ruissalo (in Turku) and Lapland are my favorite destinations.

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

It probably is the project I mentioned earlier, which was deployed to production about a month ago. It has a huge impact on our customer’s daily work and we have received very good feedback. During the pilot phase, the users of the new system said that even with its shortcomings and not-yet-implemented features it’s way better than the old system, and if given a choice, they don’t want to use the old system anymore. I think that feedback really boosted the morale of our team and made us proud (or even prouder) of our work.

What brightens your #remotework day?

I wasn’t a stranger to remote working even before this coronavirus pandemia started, I usually worked 1 or 2 days from home. I even bought a standing desk together with an external keyboard and a mouse about 9 months ago. But I miss my external display ☹. Unfortunately, my apartment is too small to accommodate it, so the current setup will have to do. If I’m just browsing emails or Slack messages, I might event work from my couch. It’s not good for coding though – or very ergonomic.

During the first weeks of all-week remote work, I probably read too much news or social media about what was happening in Finland and other countries. But since then, I got used to a new rhythm of working. Although, I have a bad habit of forgetting to take breaks or eat lunch if I’m working “in the zone”. And after the second week this started to affect my energy levels, so I decided to add coffee and lunch break reminders to my calendar. This really helped to balance out things. Sometimes, instead of a “caffeine” break, I’ll do some exercises to energise myself.

What I like most about working from home is no need to commute. I’m a late riser so I love the chance to sleep later than usual. I also tend to eat lunch later than my co-workers, so working from home allows me to take lunch breaks exactly when I want them.And what definitely brightens my remote work day is to read my co-workers’ stories – some of them touching and honest – about their remote work experiences (with or without kids) and how they are adjusting to this new situation. Life isn’t only sunshine and roses to some of us now, and that’s why I love how we solitans have acted upon our core value of caring, in these trying times. I feel there’s an even greater sense of community than before.

– Sami

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