Another programmer develops his skills at Wapice
My name is Iiro and I am studying Information Technology and Mathematics at Aalto University. Although I left behind my first year of studies at the university, it was already my second summer job at Wapice. Programming is a hobby I have been enjoying in the past, but it was the high school’s math program that opened the opportunity for a summer job in the IT industry even before my university studies. During my high school years, I took internships with various other companies where I have developed my programming skills.
I heard about Wapice from my brother who is also working in this company. Following my brother’s example, I got interested in pursuing a career here as well. At the moment, we are implementing the IoT-Ticket analytics services and working on developing them further. It has been nice to work together with my brother, as sharing tasks and finding solutions to problems is easier when your teammate is somebody you know. Nevertheless, Wapice has a fine group of people working there.
The nicest thing about my job at Wapice is that programming is bringing challenges all the time. I have learned new things such as the development of online services, from both the server and the UI perspective. I have acquired a sense of responsibility, as well as experience in dealing with work challenges during my summer job. At the same time, this summer job offered me the possibility to further develop my skills.
Going from a summer job to a permanent position
My career at Wapice started in the summer of 2016, when I started working in Tampere office as a summer trainee. At that time, I had studied for about four years in Tampere University of Technology (TUT) specializing in Automation Technology. For my M.Sc. degree I was majoring in Factory Automation and Industrial Informatics and minoring in Embedded Systems.
I first learned about Wapice in the Yrityspäivät recruitment fair in TUT and through the company web pages. I was fascinated by the company’s versatile expertise on hardware, software and web technologies. Especially the technologies used on embedded systems were what I wanted to work with in the future. I was also interested in IoT-TICKET, which is an Internet of Things platform developed by Wapice.
I applied to Wapice in the beginning of year 2016 with an open application. The application first led to a summer job and eventually through the thesis work to a permanent position.
During my short Wapice history I have mainly worked with the IoT-TICKET product. My assignments have included e.g. software development and testing for different kind of embedded systems used with IoT-Ticket. My thesis work was also strongly related to IoT-TICKET.
Working at Wapice has taught me a lot about embedded systems, communication technologies and software production. I am pleased that I have been able to work with experienced experts, whose know-how I have been able to take advantage of when developing my skills.
17 Years at Wapice
I am a Project Manager from Laihia. I was raised on a farm in Isokyrö and through the studying years in Vaasa I ended up living in Laihia. After graduation, I went to Vaasa Polytechnic to study electronics and information technology, which interested me because of the versatility, good salary and raising hype. My dad is a Mechanical engineer, and mathematics has always been present in our family. I have three siblings, and we are all engineers in our first degrees.
During the last school year, there were a lot of discussions about engineering works, job opportunities and graduation. I already had an engineering job agreed upon the last summer job. However, I got a competitive bid from Wapice, which was a company with less than ten employees, still quite unknown. One of my classmates was working at Wapice, and after listening to her talking passionately about her job and the nice, inspirational work colleagues, I did not have to think twice about accepting the offer.
I started working as a Software Designer in 2000 with a 10-hour contract, using home-made CD-ROM Java 1.2 environment and UltraEdit text editor. The next spring I made the architecture of an internet-based ordering tool as my thesis subject. Together with my colleague Toni we developed Summium's ancestor, Toni did the front end and I handled the server side, and our supervisor Markus worked as a Project Manager. The work was educational, interesting and, in particular, the matching of parts were challenging. First project, many pitfalls, but everything was cleared. After graduation, the studies continued to interest me and I applied to the KTM retraining and upgrading of qualifications course at the University of Vaasa. Daytime I was programming Java, on evenings and weekends I studied. In addition to my work I studied for three years to become a Master of Economics (KTM), majoring in computer science and as a minor subject I had educational sciences. After graduation I got the first project of my own, the responsibility for a single maintenance project. It started my career as a Project Manager: scheduling, reporting, defining, communicating, controlling task executions. Getting the responsibility from a bigger part was rewarding. Wapice has always had a good material bank, a quality system and helpful colleagues. With these, both project management and working in the project has been rewarding, and there has never been a feeling of being left alone.
Wapice has had a strong growth pace since the beginning. The company was divided into three teams at an early stage; embedded, industrial systems and business solutions. Wapice opened a new office in Tampere, my supervisor moved there and therefore there was one team in Vaasa without a leader. I became a Team Leader in the Business Solutions team. Responsibility and attending to personnel issues brought their own challenges and interest. Wapice grew more and in Vaasa another department was opened in Runsor. Initially four people were moved to Runsor, I was the office manager. The office in Runsor has grown and moved already four times to bigger premises.
I left for maternity leave in 2006 and three and a half years later I returned back to work two wonderful boys richer. During my maternity leave I had been thinking about the future and decided that I would like to develop my skills as a Team Leader and Project Manager and reduce coding tasks. Instead of coding, I began to get acquainted with the modelling of mass-tailoring products and the understanding of the tendering process. In project drafts agile methods began to get as good as the traditional waterfall model, and I got certified as a Scrum Master. With enough project experience, Wapice offered the opportunity for certification as a Project Manager as well. In the spring of 2014 I made the application, I went for a prep course and got the IPMA C level certificate. The certificate has definitely been my best career reward so far, as it can only be gained through experience and practice.
However, the studies continued to interest me and because of my colleague's recommendation I applied for the Master's Degree Program (technology leadership) to Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences. The courses provided a new perspective on both project work and supervisor tasks. This spring I finished school and I am once again one thesis and one degree richer.
My work continued to develop when I felt that I wanted to focus more on my clients. So our team got a new team leader, and I continued as Project Manager and unit leader, but also in hands-on projects. I have worked in different projects with product modelling, testing, designing and coding as well as documenting. The Project Manager experience has enabled mentoring for new Project Managers and project audits. Work at Wapice is interesting; problem solving, new development, sometimes lonesome struggle, sometimes teamwork with colleagues. No day is the same!
Student's journey to System Architect
I am a System Architect from Vaasa and I have always been interested in technology. I started my own academic career at the University of Vaasa in autumn 2001, right after high school. After half a year of studies, I was invited to military service and this was a good time to think about the future and gather motivation for studying. After the army, the motivation was at its highest peak and the IT studies were progressing quickly.
I started to do my Master’s thesis as a part of a research project where several companies were involved. This was also the first time I got in contact with Wapice. In the autumn 2006, when my thesis was finished I started to think about the work possibilities. I heard that Wapice was looking for new talents and didn’t think twice. I called right away to the CEO of Wapice and that’s how my career started at Wapice.
After one day of orientation, I started as a Software Designer in my first customer project. There was a lot to learn about the technologies and the customer’s system, but everything became familiar quite quickly. Because of my next project I started to focus on the Microsoft technology stack and after getting some experience I also started getting more responsibility. At this point my job description changed and I was very pleased to take responsibility of my first project as a project manager.
In 2011, I was appointed Senior Software Designer and although the job description continued to be the same, the consulting role was strengthened. I also decided to deepen my knowledge and executed a number of Microsoft certifications related to service-oriented applications, desktop applications and application architectures. I also wondered if the team leader positions would be the next step in my career. However, I came to conclusion that it would take me further away from the actual doing and instead I decided to focus on being a technical specialist and also cut down on project manager duties.
Continuous learning is essential in this field and I have always wanted to develop my knowledge.
This time I wanted to focus on studying architectural styles, industry best practices and large scale systems, and in 2016, I was appointed System Architect. I think there have always been responsibilities available for those who are willing to take it. I have always wanted to be a so-called hands-on architect who doesn’t just handle the papers.
During my Wapice career I have had a pleasure to work with numerous different customers. I have been involved in implementing, designing and steering various projects from individual desktop and web applications to microservice-based solutions and everything in between. While working in industry field, it is not uncommon to control equipment such as a robot or a crane with software solutions.
Even though I have focused strongly on Microsoft's technology stack, there is no need to be limited in a particular technology. We always have to find the best solution to our customer regardless of technology and this is the thing that fascinates me the most. There is never only one way to solve a problem. The challenge is to recognize the best alternative for the customer with the information available at that moment.
At the moment my work in Wapice is very versatile. I’m often helping our HR team with the technical part of the job interviews. Project offers, workload estimates, solution proposals and managing Wapice’s Microsoft partnership are also part of my role. However, I’m still mainly working on customer projects for designing and implementing solutions. The best thing about this job is to see the result of my labor running in the customer’s production environment.
I feel like I’m never ready in this field. Whether the projects are big or small, there is always new things to be found and learnt (in technologies as well as in way of working). This keeps the job description interesting and sometimes the gap between work and hobby is very narrow.