Olli Ovaskainen, software engineer

Olli is 36 years old, he lives in Pori, a city 110km west from Tampere, Eduix’s headquarter.

When Olli was a child, he used to skateboard during summers and snowboard in Finnish winters. Nowadays, however, he is more keen to stick his foot on the ground and play frisbee golf during his free time. After work, Olli also likes to walk around his neighbourhood, where he easily has access to nature around.

Pori and Tampere

For about 10 years, Olli was a landscaping artist. He used to build yards, arrange pavements out of natural materials, such as stones and trees, assemble wood fences, build house terraces etc. However, because this was, in practice, a seasonal job, with a lot of work during Finnish summer and not so much during the winter time, he started to think about other professions.

That’s when he told me he’s always been good with computer programming – which was his hobby since childhood. So, he decided to become a professional programmer about 3 years ago, when he started to study on it at a professional level. As things happen naturally when they just seem to be right, one and a half year later, Eduix took him as its new employee.

Working at Eduix

One of the things that excites Olli the most about his job in Eduix is that he is constantly learning new things almost every day and getting better at what he does. Despite his many years as an amateur computer programmer and 3 years of professional studies, he still considers himself a junior in the job. Now that he is working with it professionally, he says that “it requires more of a professional touch”, so he needs “to study a little bit more to get it right”.

When I asked him about a work accomplishment in Eduix that makes him proud of, he said — all — . Then he emphasized a project he has just been working with: the reporting system. He has been the chief programmer who has developed and tailored a reporting system for NorduNet, the Nordic Gateway for Research and Education. The system is an intuitive and straightforward tool that helps organizations in budgeting and reporting financial matters of any kind of projects. It can be used for long-term and complex projects that involve many organizations from a network, with different workers, salary rates etc. And it can be used for simple and short projects. Such system is a great tool for organizations to financially manage the expenses of projects, especially when then project is funded by external agencies, and it needs transparency on their budgeting and reporting processes.

After describing how proud he was in developing Eduix’s reporting system, he also mentioned another project, in which he has been working as a back-end developer: the Eduplan Ella (more about it in another blog post). In his own words, “I think it’s the best code I’ve written so far. I’ve been getting better and better with programming, and I think that every new project, when I start from scratch, I can do better than the last one”.

What the future holds

Olli has great expectations for working in the future with SaaS applications. He believes that the Tech Industry is rapidly changing and programmers have to learn new skills based on how things were done in the past, but with a view towards what comes next. In his own words: “if Eduix is moving towards SaaS application, that sounds great for me!”, because these are new ways of working for him, which brings changes in his tasks and keep things fresh.

How we do in Finland

Finally, when I asked what the best part of his day was after he finished work (or, in my perspective, what he does to cope with Finnish weather during the dark time), he told me it was the food. He lives with his partner, Elina, for 15 years now, and she is a great cook. Both make their food together in the evenings. His favorite food is pasta Bolognese, and he explained why: “it’s a food that only gets better along the time, if you put effort for cooking the tomato sauce, it only gets better”.