What is strategy consulting?

I’ve been highly interested in strategy processes for a long time. My latest strategy-related post was Teal 2.0, where I simplified the relationship between organization function and structure.

While new strategy models are constantly born on top of the old ones, strategy consulting is a never-ending business. New strategies are mostly built on top of old theories. Usually, new business ideas fit into existing strategy frameworks. Therefore, it is useful to study the strategy consulting scene bottom-up. Still, one may tell endless war stories of winning strategies, but history doesn’t repeat itself.

What is strategy

Strategy means a higher-level plan. What is the mission, direction, and means to get there? Most of the bestselling business writers emphasize the meaning of strategy. Having a clear understanding of the purpose motivates and aligns actions. In reverse, people become miserable when operating without a clear meaning, direction, and focus. The strategy gives long-term, higher goals that motivate.

Even a good strategy needs and excellent execution; management and leadership. But if you have a lousy strategy, not even management and leadership help.

Overall, strategies are not about war or winning. Strategies are born to solve topical challenges. Strategy is about improving the situation in the long run. Strategy is about being efficient, smart, and in balance.

History

Even while talking about the history of business strategy one must mention that “strategos” meant a leader of an army in ancient Greek and the oldest strategy book being Art of War from Sun Tsu. Then we can move to the point.

Taylorism was born around 1911 when Taylor released his book The Principles of Scientific Management, which was the beginning of mass production. Reorganization of the production process through the assembly line, standardization, and the mass market is also called Fordism.

The so-called business strategy was born in the 1950s when corporations started growing after WW2. Ideas of customer centricity and strategic planning were driven by Drucker, Selznick, and Chandler. Ansoff started talking about market penetration and created his own Ansoff Matrix. In the 1980s Boston Consulting Group came up with the concept of portfolio theory and business units. Porter presented three generic strategies of cost, differentiation, and focus around the 1980s. Also, Porter’s ideas of five competitive forces made strategy work more analytical. Hamel and Prahalad presented the idea of core competencies in 1996. Kotter came out with his Change Model in 1995. Mintzberg brought different views into strategy consulting also bringing engagement, culture, organization lifecycle, and continuous learning into the discussion. Schwartz introduced scenario planning in 1991, which Risto Siilasmaa talked about highly in his book Transforming Nokia. Blue Ocean Strategy presented 2004 an idea of innovation being the strongest strategy. Viguerie, Smit, and Baghai explored the growth of large companies in their book The Granularity of Growth in 2008 and stated and the best way for them to grow or change direction is through mergers and acquisitions. In the Theory of Strategy from 2010, all the strategies are categorized under four factors.

Strategy Process – 3 Views

Strategy is classically viewed as a waterfall process: decide vision, set mission, choose a strategy, execute and measure. Based on the strategy lenses, we can argue if strategy work even is a process. Or just a collection of misc tasks. Still using a regular strategy process organization will run an annual health diagnostic on itself. And this makes sense. A modern strategy work can be seen to circle around three overlapping areas as presented by Johnson and Scholes in Exploring Corporate Strategy:

  • Analysis can be done from numerous different standpoints, but the aim is to figure out how we are doing. For example, the SWOT tool is a concrete example of analysis.
  • Options creation and choosing to focus on a certain one. What creates the competitive advantage? Here we are talking about the three generic strategies.
  • Implementation of changes by motivating, engaging, and aligning people through communication, training, and follow-ups. Here we can use for example OKR as a tool.

However, again there are many concepts that overlap with all the above-mentioned areas. Lean covers all the three stages being an ideology and Balanced Scorecard overlaps with Options and Implementation. Or our own Gofore Spark framework, which covers all the aspects from strategic analysis and business renewal to maintenance and constant improvement.

Strategy Tools

Combining different strategy frameworks offers different viewpoints on the situation. Basically, strategy may have two targets:

  • Optimize. Aim to be better and more efficient, by optimizing the system.
  • Innovate. Aim to create and invent something different. Seek for a less competed business.

And strategy can be focused on:

  • Internal processes and resources. This view focuses on improving internal resources and external networks.
  • External view of industrial economics, where the external environment is being analyzed and reacted on.

Combining these four aspects gives us the classic four-table, which emphasizes the fact that you cannot serve all the standpoints at once; When you focus on optimization, you loose innovation. When you look inside, you loose outside view. Strategy work is always about making these decisions.


Picture: Four-table, which lists different aspects of strategy work and tools for these areas.

 

Timing is everything

Strategy work is always traveling in the dark. If the business opportunities would be loud and clear, everyone would be reaching for them. In highly competitive markets everyone is pursuing the same goals.

Strategy is also about timing. An opportunity may unfold itself at any moment; Innovation, new market, megatrend, the possibility for acquisition. Therefore, strategic thinking should be a continuous process that empowers everyone in the organization.

While strategy execution is about implementing the chosen options, the organization must also be able to replace its strategy at any moment. The biggest losses are not done while choosing the strategy but by sticking with the same strategy for too long. The COVID-19 was a brutal lesson on a sudden, global change. Dozens of similar megatrends are forecasted to be possible to happen. Still, nobody can predict them.

It is also good to remember that strategy work is more than just facts and rational thinking. Fashion clothes or SUV cars do not make sense and still, they are a huge business.

Strategy work is basically really simple

Consulting firms have their own theories and processes on how to create a strategy. Still, strategy work is basically really simple. Keep asking regularly these three main questions:

  1. Who is the customer? Remember to focus. The answer usually reveals itself when looking into the strengths and weaknesses of your own organization.
  2. What is the customer need you are solving? The better you are able to limit the problem, the better. The more painful the problem, the better.
  3. How you are solving the customer need? Dare to try. Usually, you cannot tell beforehand how your solution will work. Something that works in the USA may not work in the EU.

Check out also short video of corporate strategy and how Gofore can be analyzed from a strategic perspective.

Jari Hietaniemi

Jari Hietaniemi

Jari Hietaniemi is an enthusiastic digitalization consultant. He specialises in complex and vast software projects. His philosophy is based on thinking that a consultant must know technology, architecture, project management, quality assurance, human resources, coaching and sales. His versatile experience and constant quest for improvement help to finish projects successfully and to bring new drive into client organizations.

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Where is Europe in comparison to Norway in electromobility?

Future exists for electric cars. In Norway, fuel cars are already a thing of the past since the most sold cars are already full-electric ones and the charging infrastructure is in good order. I had a call with my friend and colleague Nina Pavón who lives up in Trondheim, Norway, and works as an investor relations lead at Gofore. As said, Norway is currently estimated to be 5–10 years ahead of the rest of Europe in the electric vehicle (“EV”) market. But what does this mean in practice?

According to Nina, a Tesla driver herself says that choosing an electric car was an easy decision in Norway, the benefits are just too good. This means for instance no road tolls, no car tax, and cheap energy. One of the biggest concerns for novices is obviously charging – how long does it take, where to charge, how do the chargers’ work. In Nina’s case, charging has been well integrated into normal, day-to-day living. This means leaving the car to charge while her son is at football practice, or while shopping for groceries. Chargers are everywhere, and there are many of them. For example, there are fields with 15-20 fast charging points or Tesla superchargers where you always can get your car sufficiently charged in 30 minutes. Many people also charge their cars at home, so the charging happens during the night. The question of range anxiety (in Norwegian: “Rekkeviddeangst”) and other doubts have already been eliminated in Norway (and they do have colder winters than we do in Central-Europe), electric cars are the de facto choice. This is also backed by the numbers because more than 80 % of all cars sold are currently either battery electric vehicles (“BEV”) or plug-in hybrid vehicles (“PHEV”). But how about the rest of us here in Europe, where are we on this? Here are five things you should know:

1. The market is still in an immature phase

Regarding the electromobility market in Europe, the hype is stronger than reality. This goes at least for my bubble. The total amount of electric cars (hybrid and full-electric) in circulation at the end of 2020 was around 1,5% of the total fleet. Naturally, with these kinds of numbers, it is still exceedingly difficult for different market players to make much profit. This also is a chicken-and-egg problem where for example a lot more charging infrastructure is needed to convince people to change to EVs. The other problem also lies in the perceived pricing. Most electric cars still feel economically out of reach for the masses even though the total cost of ownership of an electric car is lower than a traditional car.

However, being active in this market phase is crucial. Early movers, especially with a customer experience and brand focus, have better possibilities to capture more market share. From a market life cycle model perspective, it is quite easy to see however that we are still in a development phase, but about to enter the growth phase. Giants in the automotive industry are now awake as for example Volkswagen has announced its plans for electromobility with EUR 50 billion investments.

Image 1. Life cycle – adapted from Whittington, Scholes et al. Image 1. Life cycle - adapted from Whittington, Scholes et al.
Image 1. Life cycle – adapted from Whittington, Scholes, et al.

2. The growth is strong and is getting stronger

Even though the adoption level of EVs is still quite low, more importantly as an indicator, there is extraordinarily robust growth on several fronts. In the field of electromobility, a key thing is of course the amount of EVs sold, which in Europe grew by 137% compared to the previous year but still totaled “merely” EUR 1.4 million. What is however interesting is that for instance in Germany the number of electric vehicles tripled in the month of February compared to last year. Regarding the cars, it is obvious that there are many new models that are hitting various kinds of sweet spots for the consumers. Also, the technologies are evolving, for example, the capacity of the batteries are increasing steadily.

Another piece of the puzzle is the public charging infrastructure which has during the last few years grown around 35% per year in Europe. The growth rate around home chargers can be assumed to follow this same pattern. However, this pace will not be enough, and we can also expect the amount of charging stations to increase rapidly. Another thing to consider is the increase in quality and speed of the charging with companies competing over. At least technically. The truth however is that there are still too many slow 22kW chargers out there.

The three main blockers for EV adoption are purchasing price, driving range, and charging infrastructure. The growth is ensuring that these blockers are now being removed very rapidly.

3. The user experience needs development

Like in many other fields there is a lot of variation in the user experiences around e-mobility. Even though some leading manufacturers like Tesla can provide top-notch user experiences in their own charging networks, the chance of finding a non-functioning charger can still be high, or that the charging speed does not fit the user’s current use case. There is also lots of lack of interoperability in the charging standards and one needs to have a stack of different customer cards for the different operators and e.g., contactless card payment is not possible. In my view, this is because many of the parties in the field are still maturing and few end-to-end solutions designed with the end-users in mind do not yet exist. Tesla might be the expectation here, but they are not perfect either. However, we have seen that many other companies, especially those that have tight customer dialogue, are rapidly improving.

Another interesting aspect about the user experience is definitive that it works also the other way around. With this, I mean that companies need to provide these services to their customers in order to provide a holistic user experience. For example, customers with electric cars will prioritize the supermarket or restaurant with a charging possibility available. For more information, we were featured in an article about the customer journey in charging stations.

4. There are still a lot of misconceptions and biases

A recent survey stated that more than half of respondents in the Lower-Saxony area would not be willing to buy an electric car as their next car. For example, 57% of the respondents doubted the environmental friendliness of electric vehicles which can be considered a quite high number. There is no question that electric cars would not be more environmentally friendly than other drive trains. This has been stated in multiple studies.

The other reason included for example the classical driving range issue. It is of course true that few electric cars can reach the same ranges as internal combustion engine cars, but that is the wrong place to compare. A better comparison is how much one needs to drive. According to European statistics, the average daily drive is less than 40 kilometers (pre-covid numbers) and long-distance driving is unusual. EVs are more than good enough in handling the daily needs since in many cases the charging will take place at home or in the context of some other activity like shopping. Many more misconceptions are existing, for example, that the battery will depreciate like in a cell phone and needs to be replaced every two years. The news climate also tends to be such where negative headlines get more clicks. We need to keep on talking about these topics to relentlessly educate and train the market. Not least ourselves.

5. New business models are being unlocked

For me as a professional living and breathing digital transformation, the most exciting thing is the software side and what that is currently unlocking around e-mobility business models. This extends for example to the billing of electricity where we are seeing some variations in form of time-based-, kWh based-, hybrid- or even honey-pot pricing where the energy can even be free or deducted when bundled with other services like in the monthly fee of the car itself or as a part of another service provider. We do not know which pricing model will win the game or will exist at the same time depending on the use case at hand or even customer preferences and needs. Much business model testing is still needed.

The cars themselves are getting new capabilities to change the business models. For example, function-based pricing is something quite exciting. This means that the customer can pay for certain functions such as speed or autonomous-driving features. For example, Audi is already a front-runner with their “on-demand” capabilities. There is still room for a lot of new innovations, and those will be achieved mostly by better software solutions.

Where are we?

As Nina’s experiences showcase, and as the other presented evidence suggests, Norway is leading the way in the EV market. Many of the things we are struggling with, in especially central Europe, are already solved there. What is good is that we can learn quite much about how the market will evolve and how the behavior of people will evolve. Electric mobility will be the new normal and a way of life. The journey has just started, but we are on our way! What are your thoughts on this? Have you tried an electric car already? 

Image 2. The s-curve of innovation.

Image 2. The s-curve of innovation.  

Are you interested in this topic? Read also our Case Virta: Accelerating the switch to electric cars

Karl Nyman

Karl Nyman

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Our Gofore: Ana Bugmann

I’m Ana Flávia Backes Bugmann, a Brazilian UX/UI Designer at Gofore based in Munich-Germany. I’m inspired by cultural differences, fascinated by new technologies, and motivated by complex challenges. I’m convinced that good design can provide products and services of great benefit and value – by using approved methods, new technologies, new ways of thinking combined with a deep understanding of the needs of the users. If a solution is not easy and intuitive it is not the right one yet.

 

Tell us about your career and study background?

My design path started in Brazil 10 years ago when I started to study Industrial Design at Universidade do Vale do Itajaí, near my home town Brusque. At that time I focused on developing products (hardware) and
had never heard about interface design. During this phase, I worked as a volunteer at the design agency from my University to learn more about the tools and also participate in projects that had a social impact on our local community. Besides that, I used to run my own small t-shirt company, where I created all illustrations and sell to the whole of Brazil on my online shop.

In 2014 I got the chance to participate in an exchange program in Germany to learn the language and also join a university for a year. In my second semester at the university, I did an internship at a company
here in Munich in the area of user interface design. This was my first contact with this area and I fall in love at the first second. During the internship, I decided to continue my studies here in Germany and pursue
my bachelor’s degree at Munich University of Applied Science.

In 2016 I started then college and worked parallel as “Werkstudentin” by the company I was interning. This period was quite stressful, because I was full-time studying and part-time working, to be able to pay my bills
and live here. Was a great experience and during this time I was able to focus my studies on the area of user research & user experience, and also apply it as a designer at the same time at my job. I worked in the area of handhelds and complex measurement systems, like spectrum analyzers and oscilloscopes.

In my last year at college, I worked together with Munich’s fire department for my bachelor thesis. I redesigned and restructured with their help the communication system used to process rescue calls for all medical and fire emergencies. I was able to go to different dispatcher centrals in Germany and know-how this saving life system works. This was the greatest experience ever.

Last year I joined Gofore Germany here in Munich and I am since then working together with the team on different projects in the agriculture area and also actively working in our internal development as a Culture Coach for our Munich office.

What makes Gofore a great company for you?

My goal as a designer was to work for a company that takes care of its employees and also cares about the future. It was also important for me to work on projects with complex themes and not focused on only the “wow-beautiful” effect, but also focused on usability and resolving problems. This is exactly what I found at Gofore.

Also, Gofore gives me enough space to develop my designer and interpersonal skills. I am directly involved in our internal growth and I’m able to be part of the decision-making process. Because of the low hierarchy and flat structure, I can take different roles and shape my career in the way that I believe is the right path for me.

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

For sure how good I feel in my team and how good we get along. And also about the challenges of building a team and how important it is for me to be part of it.

What’s the best Gofore memory?

I’m quite new at Gofore and I had already great moments here. But my first field trip for our user research was a memorable moment. I was at the German’s alps inside a trucker driving along with a farmer while he was working. This was interesting. I got the real idea of how they work and how hard can it be to work in the mountains. It gave me a better understanding of the work we were doing and also gave me a nice story to tell my friends.

What is your favorite internal Slack channel at Gofore?

#hundkarusellen so I can have a good start on my day and of course the #memes for my laugh quote.

What are the technologies and tools you mostly work with?

At the moment I am using a lot of Adobe XD for designing and prototyping. For the final designs, we need to use Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. For my work at the website, I use WordPress and a lot of planning at Microsoft Planner. Workshops and co-creation sessions, I use Miro.

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

There are days full of meetings and days where I can focus on my work and projects. There is no big routine on my days and this is what I like actually. I have always different topics and challenges at my table.

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

I am already actively shaping my future and career at Gofore participating in trainings to develop my skills and consequently taking more responsibility. I hope to be become an expert in my area of work and be a
great consultant for our clients. This way I can help to create a better future.

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

Great usability and accessibility are themes that I constantly talk about. This is what drives me as a designer. Every project that I participate in, and I can bring a positive impact to people’s life is a win for me. I also think that we can recycle so much of already invented digital products and not necessarily always create something out of scratch. Stop creating “digital trash” and rethinking the way we consume these products also – not only in our physical environment.

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/jointhecrew

Gofore Oyj

Gofore Oyj

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A successful DevOps culture requires a genuine and holistic change in behaviour through people.

In the last ten years in my own role, I have supported changes which have basically entailed the removal of various walls, fences, gaps and barriers blocking the view. When you dare to peek across to the other side, that is an achievement in its own right: “Oh, so that’s what they really do there!” In addition, if a conscious effort is made to engage in dialogue with those working on the other side of the fence instead of just looking, even more can be achieved. Prejudices and uninformed beliefs can be broken down into fragments of knowledge that can be put to use in a work community or organisation in many ways.

Knowledge of what others in your organisation do creates an understanding that in turn creates a foundation for interaction, empathy, and a generally humane approach. These things are elements of psychological security, to which we will return a little later.

Although what DevOps is may ultimately be easy to understand on paper, it may be more difficult to determine how to succeed in it. Most often, we start from a situation where fences between communication gaps and corporation culture have developed over long periods. A functional and productive DevOps requires the following, at least:

  1. A strong common will at the organisational level that is embraced by all individuals. For DevOps, however, the state of mind cannot be just anything; it must be related to working for customer value. Everything that is done is related in one way or another to making improvements for the benefit of customers. A common will helps in many ways. It can steer debate onto the right track, provide an opportunity to address situations where the common will may not materialise, and everyone knows that the work done is judged against the common will. Fair for everyone, and also pretty simple, right?
  2. Concrete action at both the individual and organisational level to remove walls, fences, communication gaps and visual barriers. Instead, efforts should be made to create seamless collaboration between software development, administrators and a multi-expert business team, where responsibility for the end result is shared. It’s not just a way of doing things together, of asking others for feedback from time to time. In my experience, leaving things to “asking sometimes, and seeing where it leads”, most of the time leads nowhere. How many fences are there for you to break down, and how high are they?
  3. Cooperation at its most authentic and intensive. In order to be able to say out loud in a work community that people are in disagreement, or on the other hand to reveal the weaknesses of one’s own work processes to a colleague, people need to be able to feel psychologically secure. When a solid psychological security is experienced in the work community, everyone can dare to be themselves. This creates the best possible basis for learning from others and for more productive work by daring to fail, whether faced with a colleague, supervisor of your own team or CEO. Rapid failure is also well known to be a prerequisite for inspiration and the emergence of new ideas. This is what DevOps also strives for. In the DevOps state of mind, everyone can make their voice heard despite differences, and in the end it is precisely because of these differences that the opinions of others are sought. Everyone’s voice is heard, and everyone’s voice counts. What could be a more effective way to create a sense of belonging, and a desire to succeed?

DevOps is described in several contexts as a culture, and points 1 to 3 above are each building blocks of culture. Culture is defined in various ways, for example as a body of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices. And in an organisation, culture is embodied in various practices, for instance in recurring rituals such as meetings and gatherings around specific themes, different milestones, rewards, and organisational discourse. If one tried to describe the DevOps-style culture with adjectives, words like open, honest, permissive, self-nurturing, enterprising, imaginative and enthusiastic come to mind.

The first step toward a successful DevOps culture is to recognise and accept that the change needed in organisational culture and collaboration is potentially large, and that achieving it will require both sufficient time and change and a strong will to see the change through to completion.

In my experience, the best possible result in efforts toward any sort of change is achieved whenever it involves all the people who will be affected by it. When you get to be personally involved in defining your own future ways of working, it’s much easier to commit to them – and commitment brings success, always. Have you begun the transition towards people-oriented and productive DevOps work?

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Kirsi Keränen

Kirsi Keränen works as a Senior Consultant at CCEA Oy. She is a positive, calm and relentless change expert who has executed change in the roles of project manager, internal/external consultant and coach. In her daily work, she is first and foremost driven by helping others.

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With the release of Dart 2.12 & Flutter 2, sound null safety is finally here! What are the benefits, and how do you migrate to null safety? It was all new for Jesper, who decided to read up on the subject and write a few blog posts (start with part 1, part 2) about what he learned.

Migrating your dependencies and code to nul safety is quite easy, and Google has done a good job documenting it here: https://dart.dev/null-safety/migration-guide. I’ll try to do a more straight-to-the-point explanation of the processes, but recommend that you also read the documentation if this is your first time.

The basic steps for migration, as described in Google docs:

  • Wait for the packages that you depend on to migrate to null safety.
  • Migrate your application’s code, preferably using the interactive migration tool.
  • Statically analyze your application’s code.
  • Test to make sure your changes work.

One key thing to remember is that migrating an application is technically the same as migrating a package. So before you start to migrate your application, make sure that all of your dependencies are ready for null safe.

You can migrate to null safety before your dependencies support null safety, but you may have to change your code when your dependencies finally support null safety. Dart and Flutter core libraries are null safe and are still usable by applications that haven’t migrated to null safety.

Migrating dependencies

Step 1: switch to Flutter 2.01 and Dart 2.12

Run command “flutter –version” to output your current versions;

As you can see from the image, I have Flutter SDK version 1.22.6 with Dart SDK version 2.10.5.

To upgrade into Flutter 2 with Dart 2.12, you simply run “flutter upgrade”.

The result after the upgrade with “flutter –version”:

As you can see, my Flutter SDK version is 2.0.3 and Dart SDK version 2.12.2, which means that I’m ready to continue!

Then you need to set your minimum Dart SDK version to 2.12 in your pubspec.yaml file:


Step2: Check the status of your dependencies

To get the null safety migration state of your application’s dependencies, run the following command: “dart pub outdated –mode=null-safety”

From the image above, we can see that both “get” and “percent_indicator” dependencies are not null safe, but have prereleases (green text) that are null safe.

If the output says that all the packages support null safety, then you’re ready to migrate!

Otherwise, upgrade dependencies if possible using the command output.

One important thing to remember about dependencies & null safety:

When all of an app’s direct dependencies support null safety, you can run the app with sound null safety. When all the dev dependencies support null safety, you can run tests with sound null safety.

You might also need null-safe dev dependencies for other reasons, such as code generation.

Step 3: Update dependencies

Before migrating your application’s code, update all the dependencies to the latest versions which supports null safety: “dart pub upgrade –null-safety”

As you can see from the image, “get” and “percent_indicator” dependencies have been upgraded. We can even see from the version names that they support null safety.

Then we need to run “dart pub get” to actually fetch the dependencies.

Now when I run “dart pub outdated –mode=null-safety” I get the following result:

Migrating your code

Most changes will likely revolve around inserting the ? or late keywords, or perhaps missing required keywords for non-nullable named parameters.

You have two options when it comes to migration:

  1. Use the migration tool, which can resolve many of the basic nullable cases.
    1. I’ll refer you to Googles documentation for this, as it’s quite detailed: https://dart.dev/null-safety/migration-guide#migration-tool
  2. Migrate your code by hand.
    1. This is quite straightforward

Migrating by hand

Google recommends that you first migrate leaf libraries, you can find more information about that here: https://dart.dev/null-safety/migration-guide#migrating-by-hand

To migrate a package by hand, follow these steps:

  1. Edit the package’s pubspec.yaml file, setting the minimum SDK constraint to
    1. sdk: ‘>=2.12.0 <3.0.0’
  2. Run “dart pub get” (running “dart pub get” with a lower SDK constraint of 2.12.0 sets the default language version of every library in the package to 2.12, opting them all into null safety)
  3. You’ll probably see a lot of different analysis errors in your application, and that is completely normal.
  4. Migrate the code of each Dart file to null safe using the analyzer to identify all the problems (adding ?, !, .?, required or late keywords, null checks etc.)
  5. Done!

Analyze code

Analyze your code in order to check for possible errors by running “flutter analyze” or “dart analyze”

Test your code

Remember to also fix your test files so that they are null safe, and then running all the tests to ensure that everything works as it should by running e.g “dart test”.

That’s it, hopefully, you’ve found this article helpful! Migrating to null safety is quite easy (depending of course on the complexity of your project) and provides many benefits.

Thank you for reading!

Source: https://dart.dev/null-safety/migration-guide

Jesper Skand

Jesper Skand

Jesper has a great deal of experience in various mobile and full-stack developer roles. He has developed several different Flutter & Android apps and has currently three published apps on Google Play Store. During his spare time, Jesper enjoys time with his kids, coding, and outdoor activities.

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Our Gofore: Juha Siltanen

My name is Juha Siltanen and I work as a Software Architect at our Turku office. I’ve involved myself in various software projects during my 20-year career and my duties have been mostly in the backend components doing the heavy lifting. I’m still loving what I do. I’ve had more than a few employments during my career and I’ve never felt more welcome than when I started working for Gofore.

Tell us about your career and study background?

When I was a young boy, I never had much interest in computers nor in technology for that matter. I was mostly interested in arts and drawing and considered myself a decent would-be artist. That is until I decided to draw a human face. I just couldn’t draw the eyes good enough, so that pretty much thrashed that path. I got decent grades at school and when it was time to pick a profession, I just browsed the selection of educations you could get, and “Bachelors degree in computer science, digital information technology” had a tone that spoke to me for some strange reason. I’ve involved myself in various software projects during my 20-year career and my duties have been mostly in the backend components doing the heavy lifting. I’m still loving what I do.

What makes Gofore a great company for you?

The company has great values which you can remember and that the company follows. There is a strong drive to make Gofore a great workplace for everyone and you can actually see it happening in your day-to-day work. Being a somewhat senior grunt makes me appreciate the provided independence and the responsibility that comes with that. I also enjoy being able to allocate my time to other things than pure billable work. I have been helping with our recruitments and also, together with Eero Rostiala, building up a sponsorship relationship with TPS Salibandy, positive impact with Gofore. I feel these internal activities are very important to me and give me a nice energy boost.

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

Most of my so-called close circle wouldn’t understand what I’m actually doing, so I would probably tell something about the nice people our Turku office has attracted. We have an exceptionally good atmosphere and when we have the opportunity to meet each other, it’s always pure gold.

What’s the best Gofore memory?

I’ve had more than a few employments during my career and I’ve never felt more welcome than when I started working for Gofore. So, I would say the first days at Gofore are the most memorable. I feel very lucky to have found such a nice place to be.

What is your favorite internal Slack channel at Gofore?

I have to say “turku” of course! 😊

What are the technologies and tools you mostly work with?

Currently, I am working on a project of a larger scale than I’ve ever worked on before. We are using SAFe framework for scaling the agile work we do in teams and it has worked very nicely. My technology stack at the moment includes (among others) Java, Git, Spring Boot, Azure, PostgreSQL, ElasticSearch, RabbitMQ, and very soon Kafka -which is an entirely new thing for me. The main point is to keep evolving and the list of used technologies and the way we use them evolves constantly and we are getting better at them. In the end, the technologies are just tools for solving the given problem.

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

My daily work usually consists of having a couple of short meetings and the rest of the day is spent sleeves rolled up and building software. I enjoy software development, and everything it encompasses, and hopefully will be able to do so in the future.

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

Gofore culture and the way we work enables us to pretty much shape the personal responsibilities ourselves. I enjoy that and hope to continue doing that in the future. Hopefully, I will be building even better software for our customers.

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

Hopefully, we will be providing tools that have an actual positive impact on the world we live in. Make someone’s chore easier to complete or a process finish much faster.

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/jointhecrew

Gofore Oyj

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Instead of a tool- and process-oriented approach, we should focus on fostering a shared culture and noticing the needs of the people around us.

DevOps was designed to enable effective collaboration and abolish information silos in software development and digital solutions. In recent years, the method has become increasingly widespread.

Gofore’s DevOps architect Jani Haapala wishes to highlight a common challenge in implementing DevOps.

“With DevOps, people often focus on the tools and process. We feel that DevOps is first and foremost a culture and that we should progress with people in mind. When the culture has been defined and the shared values have been established, we can create the processes and choose the tools that best support them,” he says.

According to Haapala, this creates genuine, sustainable digital evolution and a safe working environment for everyone.

Cultural capital investments as a part of operations

The popularity of DevOps is partially explained by the fact that it’s such an integral part of the biggest success stories in the digital industry, such as Apple or Google.

“In these companies, culture plays a big role, it’s almost like a religion. It allows everyone in the organisation to move in the same direction.”

Haapala believes that once the culture is right and commonly understood, DevOps will deliver the desired benefits.

“Both speed and amount of innovations are increased.”

Haapala wishes that people would be as willing to invest in culture as they are in tools. He finds this to be especially important in our current situation, where our methods of collaboration have been completely recast.

“I have witnessed personally that in companies where there’s a strong cultural model of collaboration, remote work hasn’t really changed a thing. In other companies, however, moving to a home office might have cut off communication completely,” Haapala says.

He also wishes to draw attention to the fundamental principles of DevOps that consist of both freedom and responsibility.

“We shouldn’t attempt to control the method from above, but rather give its users unlimited freedom – but also the responsibility – to fulfil the client’s wishes,” he says.

 


The original article has been published 30.4.2021 as a part of Future of Finland publication.

Gofore organises webinars on Real DevOps this spring. The webinars are hosted by the expert consulted in the article, Jani Haapala.

 

 

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