My name is Toni Mauno and I work as a Cloud Specialist. Typically I’m in the thick of it, designing, enabling, and implementing new features and infra, and helping developers take full advantage of it all. I get most excited when I get to work with some new interesting technologies, tools, and libraries.

Tell us about your career and study background?

From a young age, I’ve always been interested in computers and technology, and all that kind of stuff. I remember when we got our first computer and my little brother didn’t quite understand what mom was talking about and he got very worried about what the mouse would eat & where it would sleep. Years later all that led me to study software engineering at Lahti University of Applied Sciences. I started working as a web developer but ended up quickly getting more interested in the cloud & DevOps methodologies. Eventually ended up here at Gofore as a Cloud Specialist.

What makes Gofore a great company for you?

I guess culture is the first thing that really comes to mind, I’ve had a very good work-balance at Gofore for one. I’ve also had good fortune with some interesting and challenging projects.

What are the things you most likely tell your close circle about Gofore?

Honestly probably some funny stories about software development, of some weird unexpected bugs and stuff like that.

What’s the best Gofore memory?

Hard to pinpoint any single memory, probably all the nice casual after works, etc. with colleagues and interesting technical talks in guilds and such.

What is your favorite internal Slack channel at Gofore?

#moneybags for stock market & mortgages etc. discussions, #hundkarusellen for a daily dose of cute dog pictures and some less public channels for random chats with colleagues.

What are the technologies and tools you mostly work with?

Currently AWS, Kubernetes, Datadog, MongoDB & GitLab CI to mention a few. When I need to do some coding my go-to languages tend to be Node.js or Python. Would enjoy doing something with Golang as well.

How does your typical day look like? What excites you most in your daily work?

Typically I’m in the thick of it, designing, enabling & implementing new features & cloud infra and helping developers take full advantage of it all. I think I get most excited when I get to work with some new interesting technologies, tools, libraries, etc. For instance, right now I’d love to work with infra-as-code tools like AWS CDK or Pulumi, both of which utilize more general-purpose languages like TypeScript, instead of relying on template languages that can often be a bit restrictive.

What would you like to do in the future at Gofore?

I’ve been working a lot with AWS for the past couple of years but I’d like to do more GCP projects in the future as well. I’ve been mostly working on private sector projects and would like to continue doing so.

What kind of digital world do you want to build with others?

Tackling sustainability issues for instance could be very motivating from a technical person’s perspective.

 

It’s often said that digitalisation has changed every part of human life – how we live, how we work and how we interact with the world around us. But when you think about it, digitalisation alone can’t change anything. Without people, it’s all just hardware and code. That is why we want you to get to know our people, Goforeans. Read Our Gofore stories! 🧡

Are you interested in job opportunities at Gofore, read more about us, and check out the open positions gofore.com/en/join-the-crew/

Gofore Oyj

Gofore Oyj

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Our Gofore: Berit Alasmäki

I’m Berit Alasmäki and I work as a UX Designer. I didn’t have any particular dream job when I was growing up, but my parents often commented that I would probably work in the IT industry because I was constantly doing all sorts of experiments on the computer. It has not always been easy to find a community that would make me feel like home but Gofore really has been such.

Tell us about your career and study background?

I come from a family where computers and arts have been strongly present. I remember my parents having this old MS-DOS microcomputer which they used for accounting and I always wanted to play around with it. Also, instead of sports, my mom used to take me to art classes with her and teach me how to draw and paint with different techniques.

Around 1997 we purchased our first Windows computer which was probably the first time I started to get into the world of computing. In the beginning / mid-2000’s I was already using a computer every day for visiting websites like Jippii.fi, Habbo Hotel, Newsgrounds and Runescape. I was also playing around with editing videos (Windows Movie Maker) and creating websites for The Sims game fan material purposes. Those experiences made it possible for me to learn more advanced programs later as I grew older (Adobe programs).

At the beginning of the 2010s, when I had just turned 18, I started to work in a start-up company where I was pushed to learn a lot of things and I always got work assignments of things I didn’t have much experience of (front-end development, designing, creating marketing materials and business plans, pitch presentations, etc). I must say it was probably the most valuable experience I was able to ever gain in my career. After my experience there and graduating from secondary school I decided to apply for an Informational Technology degree at Vaasa University of Applied Sciences. From there I found an internship place in Helsinki which led my way to Gofore. Officially I became part of Gofore in January 2018 because I was working for Leadin at the time it was merged with Gofore. And here I am today.

My dream job was never clear to me but my parents always said I’m probably going to do something in IT because I was always on the computer. For a long time, I was thinking about becoming a police officer or physiotherapist but in the end, I never had the focus to do those things. Also, even though I was studying Web and Mobile Application Development in the UAS I didn’t ever feel like it was something I wanted to seriously do. Thanks to my internship I learned better about UX & UI designing and decided to move my focus from web development to designing.

What makes Gofore a great company for you?

It has not always been easy to find a community that would make me feel like home but Gofore really has been such.

The community is a mixture of people from different backgrounds, different generations, and cultures which makes your mind expand and you will learn a lot of new things you probably wouldn’t have learned otherwise. I have also been fortunate to be part of a company that supports personal growth.

I was 24 when I got pregnant and had my first child and around that time, I had just joined Gofore. I didn’t have so much previous work experience in the field, and I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the development. Fortunately enough, my co-workers have been supportive and patient with me and there has been so much I have learned just in the past 3 years working here. Talking about “Positive Impact” I really feel like that’s what they have given to me and it has motivated me to share the same experience with the rest of the world too.


Day at the home office.

What are the things you most likely tell your close circle about Gofore?

I don’t talk so much about my work to my close circle but people close to me see from my presence how the work is impacting me. I enjoy it a lot and I feel like the work time flexibility has created more space for me to balance between family and work.

The work time flexibility has also made it more possible to focus on creativity and self-development which are really important factors to keep the motivation and focus on the work.

I feel happy that I get to work in a company like Gofore. I have similar values that the company also represents. I appreciate that the employer supports the employee’s well-being and values my work.

What’s the best Gofore memory?

The family game day! I took my stepdaughter and my young cousins with me to the office to play Minecraft. I didn’t have any idea how to play that game but simply to just share that moment with my family and colleagues – it was awesome.

What is your favorite internal Slack channel at Gofore?

Probably our General channel because that’s how you can keep up with the whole company. People send sometimes really funny stuff there.

What are the technologies and methods you mostly work with?

I love sketching and writing down ideas on paper. Probably the most used tools I have are a pen and a notebook. If talking about digital tools I’m currently working with Figma tool and I have found it to be the best in terms of usability and flexibility.

I used to use Adobe Illustrator to make design layouts, but I realized that the program was way too heavy for simple design sketches. I also like how easy it is to build whole design systems in Figma. I still use Adobe Illustrators for drawing illustrations and other vector graphics like icons. For organizing my work and mind I use Miro and Trello quite a lot. Spotify is also in large usage because I like to listen to design and work-life-related podcasts there. It’s nice to listen to those while creating UI designs.

I like to play some sort of background noise with the sounds of “cafés” or nature while I’m drawing. Pure silence doesn’t always work for me and sometimes my mind needs little background noise to stay creative.

How does your typical day look like? What excites you most in your daily work?

My workday is usually a mixture of meetings and designing. I do nowadays fewer user interviews and workshops but I used to do those more as well. Sometimes I might also do some internal work e.g. creating material for the onboarding. I also try to do some workout or stretching in the middle of the workday or simply just clean around the house to get out of the chair once in a while. My day usually ends around 4 PM because that’s when the rest of the family comes home but I like to work an hour or two later in the evening after having a longer break.

What would you like to do in the future at Gofore?

I would love to be more involved with the onboarding and culture development crew because I enjoy organizing events and socializing with new people. I would love to also develop further our design community and make it more active overall.

What kind of digital world do you want to build with others?

Accessibility and overall great usability are close to my heart. I wish I could be part of developing something that could leave a positive impact on the whole world. A world where everyone could have an equal opportunity to learn, grow and build a life despite where they come from, where they are living in, or what kind of family background they might have. A world where digitalisation could build and unify people – not separate.

It’s often said that digitalisation has changed every part of human life – how we live, how we work and how we interact with the world around us. But when you think about it, digitalisation alone can’t change anything. Without people, it’s all just hardware and code. That is why we want you to get to know our people, Goforeans. Read Our Gofore stories! 🧡

Are you interested in job opportunities at Gofore, read more about us, and check out the open positions gofore.com/en/join-the-crew/

Gofore Oyj

Gofore Oyj

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DevOps – What is your X?

Premise 

Recently an increasing number of new variants are emerging around DevOps. This is of course a testament to the gravity of DevOps as movement. Each variant claims to be something new and shiny. DevQaOps, DevBizOps, DevApiOps and DevSecOps, to mention a few. It almost seems like there is a new variant coming each week which claims to solve all of your problems. Have you ever wondered why that is or what is all of this fuzz about?

 

DevOps infinity loop

Chronology 

When DevOps was first coined, the Tech world was not the same as it is now. The Tech domain is a rapidly evolving landscape filled with disruption and fads. The required skills & competences of ten years ago often no longer apply today. The advancements in e.g., cloud computing and microservices have created a demand for new skills and expertise. The team that applied DevOps ten years ago, shouldn’t look the same today from the capabilities standpoint. That is why one of the core pillars of DevOps is continuous learning, you’re never finished learning. As DevOps gained popularity, more and more organizations tried to jump on board the hype train. This meant that organizations with different levels of maturity started applying DevOps and make it fit to their reality. Like many other paradigm shifts before, applying a tried and tested framework and making it “fit-for-purpose” can lead to all sorts of conundrums.  

Key issues 

Applying a best practice and making it “fit-for-purpose” without a deep understanding of it, is a recipe for disaster. Especially if your take of “fit-for-purpose” is to twist and turn tried and tested practices to fit your paradigm. An excellent satire piece was written about this by Ron Jeffries – We tried baseball and it didn’t work. It is often referenced in books and pieces of Agile and DevOps. DevOps includes all the required capabilities for software production. The DevOps cycle is simplified visual illustration for introductory purposes. It does not contain all the necessary information for adopting DevOps. Just because the cycle traditionally does not display aspects such as UX Design, InfoSec or Quality Assurance, it doesn’t mean that they are excluded from it. 

 

One major factor leading up to the DevOps variants can be attributed to the ever-increasing shortage of tech experts. The digital disruption has created a reinforcing loop of higher demand than the supply. More and more often DevOps teams consist of junior level programmers and/or system admins. They have not had the opportunity to perfect their craft and are oblivious to the holism that is software production. One cannot address things they are not aware of. Unintentionally excluding critical practices from software production has led to the need to retroactively address them. There are no shortcuts to mastery.  

Conclusion 

The emerging variants are partly due to ‘Fear of Missing Out’ aka FOMO, and partly due to a real need to address arisen issues with incomplete or unbalanced adoptions of DevOps. The most recent variants of <X>Ops are a whole another story, but the Dev<X>Ops variants address specific needs in a given environment. Basically, the question is  which X is suboptimal in your team or organization and needs reinforcements? Dev<X>Ops isn’t the new DevOps, it’s DevOps with a single emphasis based on a dire need. If you are now considering starting DevOps, don’t start with Dev<X>Ops – the original is still the key.  

Key takeaways 

  • The X in Dev<X>Ops is okay, but do not try to come up with a new DevOps – the original one still applies. 
  • DevOps requires highly skilled experts, so be prepared to have both Seniors and Juniors in the team. 
  • DevOps is a highly capable and refined tool, but you need to know your way around it. 
Tommi Ferm

Tommi Ferm

At Gofore, Tommi works as the Head of Offering, Software Testing & Software Quality Assurance. His colorful journey took him from Software Testing, Management Consulting to Offering Development. Tommi is passionate about Value Creation, System Thinking and Continuous Improvement. He is also avid supporter of the Lean-Agile practices and DevOps.

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Jani Haapala

Jani Haapala

Jani works as a DevOps architect at Gofore. He is passionate about measurement, feedback, and continuous automated quality feedback loops. Jani’s journey started from manual testing and has evolved to full-scale software development automation. Jani thinks that automation can help everybody and increase value in anything.

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Resetting the role of design

“If we don’t consciously acknowledge the power we have as designers to influence the future, and accept our responsibility, then we should not be in the job.”

From where I’m sitting, it feels that the world (or more specifically, society) is going through a phase of tremendous disruption, anxiety and change. I was born in 1968, making me 52 years old and I can honestly say that I can’t remember a time when I was so engaged/enraged by the daily news reports and events from around the world. Of course, COVID currently has a huge part to play, but for me, it’s a much bigger phenomenon. Do you feel it too?

These are the kind of hot topics on my mind in a typical day. Climate change, political polarisation, right wing uprising, left wing wokeness, Black Lives Matter, #MeToo, gender equality, diversity, identity politics, erosion of democracy, influencers, haters, big tech monopolies, celebrity culture, mass extinction etc, etc. I know, it’s heavy shit and overwhelming. It leaves us feeling hopeless, useless and disengaged.

However…

As a designer these are also the things that make our job so interesting and relevant right? I’m optimistic at least that we can make a difference. After all, our responsibility as designers is to create a future we can believe in, and to directly solve the problems at hand for people, their communities and society as a whole. Our job is to help companies and organisations remain relevant in serving society throughout this disruption and additionally playing our part in keeping the whole network economically healthy at the same time. Big job for sure, with many unknowns, and a lot of responsibility. I need a pay rise.

I’d argue that as a designer of digital services, we actually have no choice about our responsibility toward these challenges. If we don’t consciously acknowledge the power we have as designers to influence the future, and accept our responsibility, then we should not be in the job.

Some important questions that I hear from designers in conversation and in the industry.

  • Where do we stand as a design community?
  • Where do I stand as a designer?
  • What do I care about?
  • Where should I focus?
  • How do I get started?
  • How do I stop designing stuff I don’t believe in?
  • How do I do this on top of my day job?

Hard questions to answer I’m sure, but questions that are easier to answer if posed together as part of an organisation or company. If you work as a designer for a company, then the company has a responsibility to provide a platform for your values and mission as a designer. The best companies are the ones that align the community around a shared set of values and desired world view. A position that represents the overall impact they want to achieve in the work they do together with their customers. Maybe this is a luxury, but I think not. More and more companies are recognising the needs of a new generation of employees who value meaningful work and positive impact as the main drivers for their careers and search for employment.

I’m personally inspired and activated by the brave and bold moves the Gofore brand has taken recently, with a new brand strategy and promise. Our promise being “Pioneering an Ethical Digital World” with its strong focus on holistic sustainability. In all this chaos, this position takes a clear stand and represents the kind of future we at Gofore believe in and want to build. The kind of future we come together as designers to create, in collaboration with our like-minded customers in both the public and private sector.

To do this in practice, we are rapidly developing our methods and tools and hence the birth of Good Growth as a framework for this approach.

Within Good Growth we have multiple tools to help us address the challenges from three angles, People, Nature and Business and to specifically answer to the ever-changing needs of our society, we have developed the specific methodology “Design For Everyone”. This toolkit helps us and our customers to engage with society in a deeper more meaningful way and to understand better what makes people tick now and in the future.

That’s good news for companies and public sector organisations. They’ll need to keep a keen eye on their relevance in a market where social media can literally kill a brand overnight and new generations of opinionated activists are progressively developing society at a pace that far outstrips the clock rate of your average institution or corporate entity.

So, with all that said, I think it’s a great time to be a designer. The design opportunities that are presented to us are as exciting as they are challenging. Stay tuned for more news on our Good Growth model and in particular the Good Growth tools that will help us get there.

Check out my earlier blog introducing Good Growth

Anton Schubert

Anton Schubert

Anton Schubert has been working for more than 25 years with global customers in numerous design consultancies in Europe and the US. Anton’s experience covers multiple industry domains with leading brands such as VW, Samsung, Prada, Lufthansa, Ford, Vodafone, Allianz, Nestle, Arla and P&G. He has built and led successful design teams in Helsinki, Stockholm, and London with numerous brand strategy, design and digitalisation companies. Anton is leading Gofore’s Good Growth offering. The aim going forward is to support our customers both in the public and private sector with their sustainability transformation.

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