I’ve been interested in technology and science since I was a child, and different gadgets and computers have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. At the time the IT bubble burst, I was thinking about post-graduate studies in either technology or programming. Back then, the IT industry’s public face was largely about the ring-tone business and all that, which is why I decided to major in physics, with a strong emphasis on information technology as a minor subject. I was hoping to end up in a job which would be an amalgam of technology and programming.
Before that, I nevertheless ended up spending almost 15 years at the university, first as a student, then as a researcher and finally as a Ph.D. student. I became familiar with project work and, in line with my hopes, got the opportunity to work on technological tasks involving research and the building of equipment as well as on coding, working on programs related to the analysis of measurement results, for instance. My ambitions, however, lay elsewhere than in a career as a researcher, given that I was more interested in tinkering with technical equipment and programming than in writing. In 2014, I faced a new start as project funding began to dwindle and my project at the time came to an end without a new one to look forward to. The IT industry had developed quite a bit during those 15 years. Ring tones and flashing banners had been replaced by image recognition, for example, which I’d already been introduced to at the university, as well as the Internet of Things with its smart devices and the integration of software and hardware in general. So, I started looking for jobs where coding would have some kind of link to real-world hardware or my other interests, including space and investing, which had become an important hobby of mine.
About six months later, at the beginning of 2015, I then found myself in Nodeon’s office, building the control system of a traffic tunnel. The resulting code controlled everything from the gigantic display screen, tested at the office, to the text message-based alert system. The work was tangible, and it was a brilliant feeling to know that your work had an important role when the system was handed over to the client in the summer.
I’ve been involved in a lot of projects at Nodeon, mainly related to smart traffic. As my experience and responsibilities have grown, so has my awareness of the projects’ extent. Nowadays I am indeed involved in projects starting from their planning phase right up to deployment, and from meetings to testing, making sure that my area of responsibility is accounted for and works. Our work, from engineering to programming and all the way up to on-site deployment, is comprehensive in nature, and it’s always interesting to participate in the new control system’s integration into all the work phases. Not everything works the first time around every time, but practice makes perfect!
Technology and coding are also very much a part of my spare time. I’ve coded my own programs to support my investment activities, for example, and tried to make use of Finland’s dark winters by undertaking the set-up of a highly automated star and night sky photography system. And to counterbalance the time I spend looking at screens, my vacations holidays include activities like fishing at Puula.