Toni Ruusunen, full-stack developer

This time I talked with Toni Ruusunen about his work at Eduix. Toni is among other Eduix’s employees who used to work in another field and decided to explore the world of software development. Out of his own interest, self-regulated learning, and problem-solving skills, he developed his programming competences and ended up working with us.

Toni is from Tampere and he has a high school background, “ylioppilas” how it is called in Finnish. This means that Toni doesn’t have a formal computer science background. He used to work as a construction worker, especially as a painter. However, he got bored of working outside and sometimes in bad weather conditions. That was when he shifted his attention to an indoor type of work: programming, and he set his next professional goal.

Tampere, Toni’s hometown

“I have just self-taught programming. One day I decided that programming would be really nice to know, then I got deeper and deeper into it. First, I got an internship at Eduix for 6 weeks through employment office’s frontend development course and after that, Rami offered me a full-time job in the summer 2020.”

Once more I came across this amazing Finnish attitude, from which people are driven by their personal motivations and go after the goals they set for themselves. I asked him how his experience of learning by himself was.

“It has crossed my mind a couple of times, but probably 2018 was the first time that I opened the editor and started learning. The first language I started learning was Python. I googled ‘how to learn Python’ and started doing some Python applications. Then I found out about REACT, an UI library that’s within JavaScript. To learn REACT, I needed to learn about JavaScript and I noticed it’s really nice to work with it when you get the grasp of it. Then you get to work with same language server side (Nodejs) and the browser side (JS), and that’s nice.”

Working at Eduix

Toni works as a full-stack programmer with JavaScript, front-end and back-end. He also does some PHP development. According to Toni, his job has three exciting things:

–          He really enjoys solving problems with software.

–          He appreciates when he sees someone else using an application that he has developed.

–          And he really likes the working environment and co-workers at Eduix.

“The work with the team goes really smoothly and this is always a nice thing”.

Toni is particularly proud of co-developing the Eduplan Ella platform, an application in which users can enrol to Open University courses. For him, developing the platform went really well and there was no major problems in the deployment stage. He added that Eduplan Ella is one of the first SaaS application of Eduix. He explained what that means:

“So, there can be multiple customers in the same application instance […] No separate installation of that application to each customer, but they’re all in the same instance.”

In addition, Toni has also co-developed two other products at Eduix: Sustainable Me, a platform that profiles students’ competences and professional interests and matches the student profile with educational offers. Toni also co-designed the Reporting System for the NorduNET, a platform where project stakeholders can report working hours and funding resources for specific tasks along a project (see picture below). He’s proud to say that NorduNet has been really excited about the system.

Desktop area of the reporting system

What the future holds

According to Toni, “Eduix is heading to the right direction in building our new  applications into SaaS format, so there is no need to multiple instances of each application for each customer. Consequently, it gets easier to maintain the system and to develop new functionalities and new versions of the application.”

Even though building such applications can be demanding, they are cost effective thanks to the “benefits it brings in the future to maintain and upgrade the system”, says Toni.

How we do in Finland

Toni spends quite a lot of time at home or with friends. But when the weather allows, he likes to run or jog. In the summer, particularly, he cycles in the Finnish forests with his mountain bike, riding around 30km over different types of terrains and tracks per day. Since we share a hobby, I asked him about the places where he goes, if it’s around Tampere or somewhere else. That’s the moment he reveals that when he was younger, he was part of one of the Finnish national teams for downhill mountain bike competition,”B-maajoukkue”. Back then he used to go around Finland to compete, but now he enjoys riding around the Tampere area.

Toni riding his MTB. 2010 Rockstar Cup, Jyväskylä. Photo by Katja Lähteinen