Ihmiskunnan kasvihuonepäästöt jatkavat kasvuaan, satunnaisista ja pandemioihin liittyvistä notkahduksista huolimatta, noin 1,5 prosentin vuosivauhdilla. Tilanne on huolestuttava, vaikka valtiot ovat vuoden 1992 Rion ilmastokokouksesta saakka kokoontuneet sopimaan päästöjen vähennyksistä. Pian meillä on käsillä tilanne, jolloin pelkät vähennykset eivät enää pysäytä katastrofaalista kehitystä.

Rinnalle tarvitaan siis myös muita tehokkaita keinoja, joilla pystytään sitomaan jo vapautunutta hiiltä pois ilmakehästä. Suomi allekirjoitti monen muun maan kanssa vuoden 2015 Pariisin ilmastokokouksessa Ranskan 4/1000-ilmastoaloitteen. Sen tavoitteena on lisätä maaperän hiilivarastoja vuosittain neljä promillea. Luku neljä promillea tulee siitä, että kyseinen määrä riittäisi sitomaan vuosittaiset ihmisen toiminnasta aiheutuvat hiilidioksidipäästöt.

Gofore on juuri tehnyt Baltic Sea Action Group -säätion kanssa Itämeri-sitoumuksen, jossa sitoudumme tukemaan säätiön toimintaa seuraavat kolme vuotta. Samalla liitymme jäseneksi Carbon Action -yritysverkostoon. Tarjoamme digitalisaation asiantuntemuksemme ja työpanoksemme säätiön sekä Carbon Action -hankkeen käyttöön.

BSAG:n käynnistämä Carbon Action -hanke on vuodesta 2017 tehnyt Suomessa edelläkävijätyötä hiilen sidontaa lisäävien maatalouden menetelmien kehittämiseksi. Puhutaan uudistavasta, regeneratiivisesta maataloudesta, joka ei vain pyri vähentämään toiminnan aiheuttamia haittoja, vaan korjaamaan jo tapahtunutta vahinkoa.

Carbon Action on tavattoman kiehtova hanke, koska sen kautta pystytään parhaimmillaan löytämään ratkaisuja niin moneen ihmiskunnan tällä hetkellä kriittisimpään ongelmaan. Hiilen sitomisen hyödyt eivät rajoitu pelkästään ilmastonmuutoksen torjuntaan. Hiilen varastoituminen parantaa peltomaan viljavuutta ja sopeutumiskykyä ääriolosuhteisiin ja näin ollen myös ruokaturvaa. Lisäksi hiilensidontaa lisäämällä pystytään vähentämään vesistöön päätyvien ravinteiden määrää ja siten estämään järvien ja merien rehevöitymistä. Hiilensidontaa edistävät viljelymenetelmät ovat hyväksi myös luonnon monimuotoisuudelle.

Digitalisaatiosta ratkaisuja hiilensidonnan ja hiiliviljelyn haasteisiin

Hiiliviljelyn edistämisessä on vielä kuitenkin monia haasteita. Yksi on se, että tutkittua tietoa maaperän hiilivarastoinnin potentiaalista ja sitä tukevista keinoista on vielä vähän. Tuntuu, että aihe on monella tapaa suuri tuntematon ja maaperän merkitystä hiilivarastona ei ymmärretä lainkaan samassa mittakaavassa kuin vaikkapa metsien. Lisäksi viljelijöillä ei ole kannustimia ottaa hiiliviljelyn menetelmiä käyttöön. Olisikin ehdottoman tärkeää löytää keinoja, joilla hiiliviljelijöitä tuettaisiin myös taloudellisesti. Keinona voisi olla maahan varastoituvan hiilen ympärille rakentuvat päästökauppamekanismit.

Hiilensidonnan ja hiiliviljelyn edistämisessä haasteena on myös se, miten hiilen varastoituminen pystytään luotettavasti todentamaan menetelmillä, jotka ovat myös skaalautuvia ja kustannustehokkaita. Entä miten hiiliviljelyyn liittyvä tieto saadaan luotettavasti kaikkien osapuolten käyttöön? Tällä hetkellä esimerkiksi hiilijalanjälkilaskurit eivät ota huomioon sitä, onko ruokaa tuotettaessa käytetty menetelmiä, jotka sitovat hiiltä maaperään vai päinvastoin vapauttavat sitä. Jos tieto saataisiin näkyväksi ruokaketjuun ja kuluttajille, voisi sitäkin kautta viljelijöille muodostua taloudellinen kannuste siirtyä yhä enemmän hiiliviljelyyn. Samoin mahdolliset päästökaupparatkaisut vaativat toimiakseen oikeanlaiset digitaaliset järjestelmät.

Se, miten maataloudesta saadaan tehokasta ja kestävää, on tulevina vuosina ihmiskunnan kohtalonkysymys. Viljelykelpoinen maa hupenee ja globaali väkiluku kasvaa. Joidenkin YK:n arvioiden mukaan maailman viljelymaata on jäljellä enää 60 vuodeksi. Mikäli maatalouden menetelmät eivät muutu, ihmiskunta saattaa olla pian ilmastonmuutostakin vakavamman katastrofin edessä.

Digitalisaatiolla tulee olemaan maatalouden tehostamisessa merkittävä rooli. Erilaisilla älykkäillä ratkaisuilla voidaan pyrkiä esimerkiksi toimenpiteiden oikea-aikaisuuteen ja resurssien käytön optimointiin.

Gofore on jo ollut jo pitkään mukana kehittämässä tämänkaltaisia ratkaisuja. Esimerkkinä voidaan mainita älykäs ratkaisu kalankasvatukseen, jonka avulla rehua annostellaan kalojen kulloinkin tarvitsema määrä. Ratkaisun avulla hävikkiä saadaan merkittävästi pienennettyä ja samalla vesistöä rehevöittävä vaikutus vähenee. Olemme kehittäneet myös vastaavan järjestelmän lehmien ruokintaan. Järjestelmä kerää ja yhdistelee eri lähteistä tietoa eläinten terveydentilasta ja osaa ehdottaa optimaalista rehun määrää ja koostumusta. Oikeanlaisella ruokinnalla on suuri vaikutus lehmien hyvinvointiin ja tätä kautta maidontuotantoon.

Me goforelaiset haluamme tehdä työtä kestävän tulevaisuuden puolesta. Siksi odotan innolla, että pääsemme antamaan työpanoksemme Carbon Action -verkoston ja maatalouden uudistamisen sekä kestävämmän tulevaisuuden puolesta.

Lue lisää yhteistyöstämme: Gofore ja BSAG aloittavat yhteistyön – digitalisaation avulla lisävauhtia uudistavaan maatalouteen

Kuvat: Baltic Sea Action Group

Kristiina Härkönen

Kristiina Härkönen

Kristiina työskentelee Goforella kestävän kehityksen johtajana – unelmatyössään. Hän on ollut aina intohimoinen paremman tulevaisuuden rakentaja niin ihmisille kuin planeetalle. Hän uskoo, että teknologia ja digitalisaatio voivat olla merkittäviä tekijöitä aikamme isompien haasteiden ratkaisuissa. Samaan aikaan ne ovat usein myös haasteiden aiheuttajia. Teknologia itse on neutraali asia, ihmiset päättävät kuinka sitä käytetään. Meidän täytyy määritellä mihin tarkoitusperiin osaamistamme ja resurssejamme käytämme. Yritysten tulee ymmärtää vastuunsa kestävän tulevaisuuden rakentajina. Kristiina on ollut Goforella vuodesta 2003 ja sinä aikana nähnyt yrityksen kasvun kuudesta työntekijästä 600 henkilön työyhteisöön. Hän on työskennellyt ohjelmistokehittäjänä, arkkitehtuurin ja projektijohtamisen konsulttina sekä myynnissä liiketoimintajohtajana. Vapaa-ajalla Kristiina nauttii luonnossa rentoutumisesta, metsäseikkailuista koiransa kanssa.

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I remember a course in business school where we students, mostly unknown to each other, went for an “offsite” learning event for two days. At the end of day one, we were given the opportunity to have some dinner and (a few) drinks with each other. During the evening we got to know each other more on a personal level and had a fun evening together. Not surprisingly but even though very tired the team assignments we were doing on day two were much more productive and creative. Later the professor revealed that this had been done intentionally for us to realise the power of relationships in business and teamwork. After this experience, I have been very interested in relationship building and team dynamics.

Value of relationship: openness and trust

Obviously, during this special time of COVID-19, it is not as easy to build and maintain better workplace relationships as it is normally in face-to-face communication. While working in isolation, it is very easy to focus on the content of work and distancing ourselves instead (guilty as charged..) rather than on the process of relationship building. After all, these times call out for openness and trust more than ever. Organizations and teams need to see the value of this.

Is it even possible to build these better relationships only virtually? I think yes, it is done all the time over the internet in contexts where people share common interests and goals. A good example of this is some online gaming communities where people develop very close relationships with people around the world without ever meeting each other in person. A multitude of other examples exists as well. While online gaming is somewhat different from a strictly professional setting, similar dynamics of teamwork still apply, like a well functioning team has a very high level of trust

Build and maintain your (business) relationships in a virtual setting

Here are some thoughts and tips which might help you build and maintain your (business) relationships in a virtual setting. I build this experience especially from some of the virtual teams I have worked with lately.

  • In meetings, using the camera is necessary. It goes without saying that much of our communication is non-verbal so we need to get used to putting the camera on. Looking into a person’s eyes will tell you instantly if you are on the same page and a thumb-up reinforces that message. And no, it doesn’t matter if you have a bad hair day because most other people have them too.
  • While everyone is working from home, it opens the possibility to share some personal things with your colleagues, for instance, an easy way of introducing some family members to the people you work with or sharing something interesting about your hobbies. Sharing some favorite photographs is a fantastic icebreaker or you can “accidentally” place something interesting in the space behind you. Being open will usually have the effect of other people opening up as well.
  • Keep the team sizing small rather than big. Most of us people are psychologically more comfortable in “family-sized” groups ranging from 3-7 people. If this is not possible, try to split the group into smaller sub-groups to work on specific problems or questions (at least it’s quite easy to find a room for it now in the digital realm). Then synthesise the findings with the larger group.
  • Make some time for chit-chat by putting it on the agenda of the meeting. At the office, stronger relationships are built by the coffee machine and during the time when people are getting to the meeting room. In a virtual context, put the meeting to start 10-15 minutes before intended to do some catching up with your colleagues. This allows the attendees to arrive on time and share for instance a cup of coffee or a sandwich together while exchanging the latest news and checking in for the meeting. If we are not too busy for this at the office, how can we be while working remotely?
  • One of the most effective ways of building better relationships is learning something new together with your teammates. This can be achieved by setting some learning and improvement goals. One good way of doing is to dedicate a regular meeting only for these type improvements (many times also called a retrospective). Other ways are also working in pairs around problems and by just ”thinking out loud” in the meetings.
  • Add transparency by communicating more on your progress, it only can take a few minutes to update your system, sending a message, or making a short call to your stakeholders. Ask actively feedback so that you can improve on the things you are doing. Ask for help e.g. review something you’ve done as you would at the office, don’t batter your head to the wall alone.
  • Overall, be genuinely curious about the people you are working with and acknowledge how important they are. Try to understand their story and let them understand yours. Increase the number of one-on-one meetings with your co-workers and the casual “how are you doing” instant messages just like you would while passing them in the hallway at the office. Even though being remote, people still have the need to be visible and seen by others.

Investing in better relationships takes time and effort especially now in this special time. Especially if you are a leader, you need to see the value of the process of relationship building. Please take this topic and discuss it with your team on how they want to improve the situation.

Be safe,

Karl

Karl Nyman

Karl Nyman

Karl believes that technology has the potential of making our everyday lives better if humanness and sustainability are always kept as the centering values. Karl is a versatile and customer-oriented professional with a wide-ranging background. He has experience in several different industries including e.g. retail and logistics, energy, construction, telco, professional services, insurance and the public sector. His roles have varied from agile and organizational coaching to digital strategy consulting and leadership. Karl is especially passionate about developing strategies, products, and ways of working in the digitizing world.

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X-Road is a free and open-source data exchange layer solution. We are proud to announce that X-Road version 6.24.0 was published by our customer Nordic Insititute of Interoperability Solutions (NIIS) on the 31st of August and its latest release is more user-friendly than ever.

Combining security and human-centric design together might sound like a mission impossible, but it’s not if there is a will to make it happen. The creation of version 6.24.0 has required good collaboration between the customer and its different vendors – including us. It is always a pleasure to work in the team, that wants to find the best solutions, taking equally into account the functionality, visual design, user experience, and security.

A new user interface for Security Server administrators

The main new feature that is visible for the user is a new user interface for Security Server administrators. The CTO of NIIS, Petteri Kivimäki, wrote about it himself: ”The new UI provides improved user experience (UX) for Security Server administrators. The new UI has a new look and feel, and it makes taking care of administrative tasks easier and supports streamlining the onboarding process of new X-Road members.”

The new version has an administrative REST API that enables automation of Security Server maintenance tasks, several changes to improve the performance of the security server, and last, but not least, a new version has support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 (RHEL8).

A significant improvement in many ways

Security Server’s administrative API is a significant improvement in many ways. Basically all the operations that can be done in the UI, can also be done with the API. After all, the UI has been built on top of the API. Using the API and automation, configuring new Security Servers becomes effortless. Maintaining and monitoring subsystems, services, and access rights can be fully automated. What’s best of all, everything mentioned above works equally well for single servers and large groups of Security Server installations.
Please remember that X-Road version 6.21, which was compliant with Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, is not supported anymore and the underlying host operating system needs to be upgraded! If help is needed in any of those upgrades, then do not hesitate to ask us. Gofore is an X-Road Technology Partner and we are happy to help in all the areas around X-Road implementation, maintenance, or upgrade.

Background

Gofore provides the X-Road Software Core Development Services for the Nordic Institute of Interoperability Solutions (NIIS) since 2018, based on a 3-year agreement. NIIS is an association founded jointly by Estonia and Finland. It is both a network and cooperation platform and executioner of IT developments in members’ common interests. NIIS ensures the quality, sustainability, and cross-border capability of core e-government infrastructure components.

Our service for NIIS includes the design, implementation, and maintenance of X-Road core software. In addition, cloud-based development environments related to X-Road development are maintained and further developed.

Ilkka Seppälä
Technical Project Manager for X-Road core development team
ilkka.seppala@gofore.com

Read more:

Release notes: https://confluence.niis.org/display/XRDKB/X-Road+v6.24.0+Release+Notes

Official documentation: https://github.com/nordic-institute/X-Road/tree/master/doc

List of contributors: https://confluence.niis.org/display/XRDKB/X-Road+v6.24.0+Release+Notes#XRoadv6.24.0ReleaseNotes-Contributors

Package repositories: https://confluence.niis.org/display/XRDKB/X-Road+v6.24.0+Release+Notes#XRoadv6.24.0ReleaseNotes-PackageRepositories

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Ilkka Seppälä

Ilkka on kokenut tekninen tiiminvetäjä, joka on työskennellyt eri rooleissa kehittäjästä teknologiajohtajaksi yli 20 vuoden ajan. Hänen ydinosaamistaan ovat tehokkaiden ohjelmistokehitystiimien luominen ja johtaminen, ohjelmistoarkkitehtuurit ja pilviteknologiat.

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Change management is the most important task of most managers. Lessons and learnings are available in books and courses. In spite of good design and planning, many changes remain half-finished or their desired outcomes are not fully reached. I argue that it is time to review anew the key success indicators in change management.

From a management perspective, planning of change emphasises timetables, budgets and distribution of work. However, from the point of view of human leadership, success is evaluated by leadership criteria. A drift towards the new can be made decisively on spreadsheets, but the stale end result is caused by personnel who resist change. This change of perspective along the process does not support success. Change is managed rationally, in spite of the fact that each of us experiences it emotionally.

Change is an emotional and hesitation is human

The critical questions of employees and their hesitation in the initial steps of change are often interpreted as resistance to change. However, the reason for hesitation is human. In the face of the new, we humans experience an emotional rollercoaster from enthusiasm to discouragement, be it in work or in our personal life. There is no need to wallow in uncertainty at the workplace, but it is worth spending some time and space to express emotions at work.

Change is grounded in confidence

Change is often complex and requires particular confidence. The task of senior management is to create encouragement and confidence even in an uncertain future. However, it does not happen at a single workshop. Trust is created at all levels of the organization and in everyday life when we walk the talk.

Disputes fuel movement

Trust also requires courage. From time to time, people may disagree, but this is allowed. There is no reason to fear different visions because friction also creates a dialogue. When employees engage in discussion and exchange views, there is a feeling of inclusion. Criticism is therefore allowed – and even desirable.

Leadership and hierarchical power diverge Leadership work is currently being reformulated: managerial work is being automated, outsourced, and transferred to bots and service centers. The power of decision-making is shared with the employees themselves. Many organisations wonder whether there is still a need for supervisors and management. We want to get rid of silos and heavy structures and increase self-guidance in the midst of everything we do.

Dialogue also promotes IT projects

Large-scale IT projects need more than agile project methods and project management. A common direction is needed. During digitalisation, interactional leadership aims to build mutual trust. It is about how people work together and define their mutual relationships.

Change leadership can be found in us all, but can we nurture it enough?

Eeva Kiiskinen

Eeva Kiiskinen

Eeva toimii organisaatiomuotoilun ja muutosjohtamisen asiantuntijana. Hän sparraa asiakkaita organisoitumiseen, vuorovaikutukseen ja asiakaskeskeiseen kulttuuriin liittyvissä projekteissa. Eeva toimii johtamisviestinnän kouluttajana Tampereen yliopiston EMBA-koulutuksissa. Eevan tuotantotalouden alan väitöskirja käsitteli johtajuuden rakentumista strategisessa muutostilanteessa.

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Goforella edistetään uusia ajattelu- ja toimintatapoja, joilla on myönteinen vaikutus ympäristöön, ihmisiin ja heidän liiketoimintaansa.

Keväällä iskenyt koronavirus on aiheuttanut runsaasti epävarmuutta lähes kaikilla toimialoilla. Ikävistä seurauksistaan huolimatta koronavirus on tuonut mukanaan myös paljon hyvää.

”On ollut upeaa nähdä, kuinka esimerkiksi digitaalisaation näkökulmasta on otettu isoja harppauksia eteenpäin. Koronan myötä on lähdetty hakemaan erilaisia innovatiivisia ja ketteriä keinoja palveluiden tarjoamiseen niin julkisessa hallinnossa kuin yrityspuolella”, Head of Society Riikka Vilminko-Heikkinen Gofore Oyj:stä kertoo.

Gofore on kansainvälistä kasvua tavoitteleva digitalisaation asiantuntija. Yrityksessä työskentelee yli 700 alan johtavaa asiantuntijaa.

”Olemme tehneet melkein 20 vuoden ajan yhteistyötä julkisella sektorilla ja rakentaneet Suomen digitaalista perustaa yhdessä pitkäaikaisten kumppaneidemme kanssa. Julkinen sektori on tiukasti Goforen DNA:ssa ja olemme ylpeitä siitä, mitä olemme päässeet rakentamaan digitalisaation saralla. Me ymmärrämme asiakkaitamme ja heidän toimialaansa. Se on aina ollut meidän vahvuutemme”, Vilminko-Heikkinen sanoo.

Gofore on ollut mukana muun muassa elo-syyskuun vaihteessa käyttöön otetussa Koronavilkku-applikaatiossa. ”Se on valtavan tärkeä sovellus koronan hallinnan näkökulmasta”, Vilminko-Heikkinen toteaa.

Vaikka koronavirus siivitti digitalisaatiossa isoihin harppauksiin, Riikka Vilminko-Heikkinen näkee, että vielä on paljon myös tehtävää. ”Koronan myötä esimerkiksi terveydenhuoltoon syntyi satojen miljoonien eurojen edestä hoitovelkaa. Digitalisaation avulla hoitovelkaa on mahdollista pienentää esimerkiksi tekoälyä hyödyntämällä”, Vilminko-Heikkinen sanoo.

”Kestävän kehityksen teemat ja vastuullisuus näkyvät yhä enemmän asiakkaidemme projekteissa kuin myös meidän palvelutarjoomassamme. Keväällä olimme mukana hankkeessa, jossa haettiin ratkaisu käytettyjen suojamaskien puhdistamiseen ja uusiokäyttöön. Varsinais-Suomen ELY-keskuksen kanssa toteutimme ratkaisun, jolla pienennetään Saaristomeren fosforikuormaa. Molemmat ovat hienoja projekteja luonnon näkökulmasta. Tavoittelemmekin Goforella merkityksellisiä projekteja, joilla on suuri positiivinen vaikutus yhteiskuntaan ja ympäristöön.”

Artikkeli julkaistiin myös Talouselämän Nouseva Suomi -liitteessä 11.9.2020. Nouseva Suomi -jutuissa käsitellään suomalaista osaamista ja kestävää kasvua tukevia tekoja ja tekijöitä, jotka ovat mukana tekemässä tästä maasta parhaan yrittää, tehdä työtä ja asua.”

Gofore Oyj

Gofore Oyj

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Gofore is pioneering an ethical digital world – on an international scale! Sounds good, doesn’t it? And you know what, it feels even better if you have a chance to do it as your everyday work.

We believe digitalisation can and should be a force for good. We believe that this is the core of our existence and it has to show in everything we do. As a consultancy company, our main impact on the world becomes evident through our customers. One of the best examples of making an impact is our contribution to X-Road®.

Gofore is an X-Road Technology Partner with expertise in core development, deployment of X-Road instances, and service integrations. Our consultations have included consultations for potential X-Road implementation, instance implementations, software developments, training for local experts, and upgrades to the newest versions of X-Road. This means that we can help you all the way if you are considering implementing a free and open-source data exchange layer solution.

X-Road is an open-source data exchange layer solution that enables organizations to exchange information securely over the Internet. X-Road is released under the MIT open source license and is available free of charge.

Some examples, what is the impact and the potential of X-Road in the world:

  • 3 out of the 5 most advanced digital societies use X-Road: Denmark (Faroe Islands), Estonia, and Finland.
  • It’s distributed deployment model is resilient against cyber attacks.
  • X-Road might be the solution that will be used by the World Health Organisation.

Our journey with X-Road goes back in 2015. Finland had decided to implement X-Road. We were one of the companies that supported Finland’s overall National Service Architecture implementation. The whole program consisted of roles and authorizations, service views, digital authentication, and data exchange layer.  In June 2015 we started the work on the Finnish X-Road implementation project and we were responsible for the development of X-Road 6 based on the Finnish requirements. We collaborated closely with the Estonian private and public sector because at that time X-Road version 6 was under development and was not publicly available in GitHub. So many things have changed since then and it is one good example how fast things can be done also in the public sector! The source code of the Security Server was published in GitHub on 18.11.2015 and soon after that, the whole X-Road solution became open source.

What surprised us already 5 years ago, and what keeps us continuously excited about the solution, are the principles upon version 6 and later versions are built.

  • X-Road embraces diversity. It is one of those solutions that accept that organizations are different, their information systems are different, their needs are different. It allows us to standardize secure cross-organisational data exchange with rather small adjustments to the organizations no matter the sector or business domain That. eases its implementations a lot.
  • Born to be international. X-Road version 6 has a built-in capability for the federation of X-Road instances. It is widely known as a feature that enables cross-border data exchange, but it can be used successfully to adjust the solution for circumstances when one country has several implementations.

After the successful implementation of X-Road in Finland, the governments of Estonia and Finland decided that they are interested in the joint development of X-Road and they established the Nordic Institute of Interoperability Solutions (NIIS). NIIS ensures the quality, sustainability, and cross-border capability of core e-government infrastructure components. Gofore provides the X-Road Software Core Development Services for NIIS since 2018, based on a 3-year agreement. We have also made pro bono contributions to the source code to create a positive impact. This is the opportunity for anyone, who is interested!

Our multidisciplinary team around X-Road activities includes employees from our offices in Finland, Spain, and Estonia. We have provided our consultations on all the continents around the world, except Australia and Antarctica! Our strength is to bring the international teams together even in a remote working mode and turn our customer’s dreams into working solutions.

Tuuli Pärenson
International Business Development

Tuuli Pärenson

Tuuli Pärenson

Tuuli is an experienced leader with a demonstrated history of implementing change and digital transformations in both public and private sector. She is skilled in digital government and governance solutions. At Gofore she is responsible for international business development and leadership in Gofore Estonia.

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Uteliaisuus johtaa oivalluksiin

Ensimmäinen mentorointitapaaminen. Pieniä perhosia kipristeli vatsassani. Aihe kiinnostaa, mutta onko minusta tähän?

Uteliaisuus voitti ja avasin suuni.

Vanhoissa ohjelmistokehittäjän saappaissa kulkeminen kävi tutuksi, koodin maisemissa kulkiessani. Tutun polun kulkeminen tuntui turvalliselta. Oppimisen into vei muualle.

Laajensin näkökulmaani asettaessani arkkitehdin lasit silmilleni. Näin asioita, joista pidin ja löysin myös pettymyksiä. Onnekseni sain mentorin mukaani, sopivien lasien sovittamiseen. Uuden tekemisen jännitys lientyi, keskustellessani kokeneemman kanssa.

Kokonaiskuvan näkeminen ja ymmärtäminen nousevat kohdallani haasteiksi. Pitää löytyä halua uuden kokonaisuuden omaksumiseen ja rohkeutta kysyä, kun tietämys ei riitä. Ymmärryksen löydyttyä nousee uusi haaste. Kuinka löytää sopiva kuvaus halutulle kuulijakunnalle? Kertomus upeasta sovelluksesta sanoitetaan hieman eri tavoin kuulijakunnan muuttuessa. Visuaalisena ihmisenä haluan visualisoida tarinan, vaikka sovellusarkkitehtuurin kuvana.

Olen oppinut myös karsimaan turhaa. Kuvani, sanani ja selitykseni rönsyilevät toisinaan. Syvemmälle porautuva selitys sopivassa kohdassa selkeyttää kertomusta, mutta minun pitää välttää liian kauas vieviä sivupolkuja tai ylenpalttisia yksityiskohtia. Mentori, tuo korvaamaton apu auttaa tässä kohtaa. Hänen avullaan löydän sokeat pisteeni ja ymmärrän kurkistaa suuntiin, joita en tiennyt olevan.

Jos pysähdyn, orastava pelko tuo perhoset vatsaani. Paneutuessani tekemiseen unohdan kaiken muun. Teen.

Motivaationi on halu oppia uutta ja ymmärtää paremmin sovelluksen tilaa. Mikä se on nyt, ja millaiseksi sen pitäisi muuttua? Miten muutos vaikuttaa toimintaan? Arkkitehtuurin avulla voi löytää muutoksen hyödyt ja haitat. Niin, arvostan etukäteen suunnittelua enemmän kuin juoksemista pää edellä seinään.

Huomaan näiden viikkojen ja kuukausien aikana jännittäväni vähemmän. Osaamisen karttuessa haasteet siirtyvät kauemmaksi, asioihin joista olin kuullut, mutten ymmärtänyt vielä. Teknistä piirtämistä voi oppia helposti, mutta miten harjoitellaan hankkeen läpi viemistä? Mistä löytyvät sopivat sanat, jotka sujuvoittavat päätöksentekoa ja sytyttävät kaikissa osallisissa innostuksen kipinän?

Uteliaisuus tekemistä ja ihmisiä kohtaan on taikavarpuni, jolla muutan vatsan kipristelevät perhoset onnistumisen kuplivaksi nauruksi.

Joni Kettunen
Senior Software Developer

Joni Kettunen

Joni Kettunen

Joni auttaa asiakasta koodin rakentamisessa ja nauttii selventävien kysymysten esittämisestä. Hän pyöräilee töihin ympäri vuoden ja uppoutuu kirjoihin vapaa-ajalla.

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Goforeans Teemu and Aapeli participated for the first time in our official mentoring program last spring. Together they helped each other in ways that Google could’ve not – for example by offering deeper insights about the topics, sharing personal experience, and opening up the reasons behind some modern tech solutions.  

At this blog post, Teemu and Aapeli share their mentoring path and experience. Get inspired!    

Teemu’s story   

I have been working at Gofore for over 5 years as a software engineer in various projects in both the public and private sectors. I have worked more on the backend side of projects and while I have some frontend experience as well, I wanted to have a better understanding of some modern web development framework. When I read about Gofore’s mentoring program, it felt like a good possibility for refining my learning goals and starting the learning process.   

”I have worked more on the backend side of projects and while I have some frontend experience as well, I wanted to have a better understanding of some modern web development framework.” – Teemu

I got paired with Aapeli, who has a strong experience with React and Node.js. Given their popularity, they felt like a good choice for me as well. We discussed my previous experience, goals, and ways to achieve them. We decided that I would start taking the Fullstack Open course by the University of Helsinki. The course gives a good overview of React and Node.js as well as many of the other tools and frameworks used with them. It is targeted for people who already have programming experience so it wouldn’t go too much into basics.  

I started taking the course on my own and we organized calls to discuss the new topics every 2-3 weeks. Of course, it would be possible to take the course completely independently as well, especially since it provides many links to extra material in case you want to do some further research on some specific topic. Still, I found the discussions with Aapeli helpful, since they gave me a possibility to reflect on the subjects and ask questions.  

”I am sure the new skills will be useful in my next projects!” – Teemu

I’m continuing to take the course, but so far, I’ve found it good. It gives a good overview of full-stack development using React and Node.js and all the topics have been explained well. I am sure the new skills will be useful in my next projects!  

Aapeli’s story:

Most of my developer career – meaning a bit more than 5 years – I’ve been working mostly with different frontend technologies and Node.js. React.js I have used since 2016. I feel like having a relatively wide understanding of them. I also like helping others and sharing my knowledge, so it felt natural to apply as a mentor when I saw an advert of the mentoring program.  

”I also like helping others and sharing my knowledge, so it felt natural to apply as a mentor when I saw an advert of the mentoring program” – Aapeli

I was a bit concerned about having paired up with Teemu, who had more experience in years as a developer than I do. I knew about peer and reverse mentoring but was still afraid that I wouldn’t have anything to offer for him. We had our first discussion and noticed that due to us having so different kinds of programming backgrounds, I could support him in this learning scope. We agreed that Teemu would start doing the course, and then we would have discussions about its topics and exercises.   

Like Teemu said, working with the course independently would’ve been 100 % possible for him as well. But I think that I still managed to help him in ways that Google could’ve not – for example by offering deeper insights about the topics, telling about a personal experience, or opening up the reasons behind some modern solution.  

”But I think that I still managed to help him in ways that Google could’ve not.” – Aapeli

I hope that Teemu now feels like he understands web technologies and Node.js and feels like he would feel like having a much better base for starting to learn them more deeply if he one day would end up working in a project where that would be needed. Who knows, maybe he ends up loving them as much as I do one day! 

Teemu Leivo
Aapeli Haanpuu  

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Becoming a Software Architect

Software architect: a somewhat rare and coveted sub-species of programmer, known as notoriously hard to catch in the current job market. At Gofore, software architects are major players in our largest and most impactful projects. They design and implement principles and infrastructure used by thousands of people on a daily basis. And we would love to have more of them.

But as much as we like clear division of responsibilities and predictable call stack hierarchies in our codebases, we don’t see a place for them in running a modern software consulting company. Gofore has a minimal number of middle management (one, and he’s actually a bot), and our career ladder resembles rock climbing instead of a leisurely sloping path. Titles are not awarded automatically on basis of years in employment or obtaining some certificate. 

We realised that we have a puzzle to crack: how to grow new software architects at Gofore.  

”Gofore can and will offer help, tools and support for people who want to take on new responsibilities.” – Meeri 

Meeri’s story: “My first step towards my goal was to join Gofore’s mentoring program”

After working as a software developer for 10 years, half of which I’d spent at Gofore, I was ready for new challenges. I could see a clear pattern in my previous projects: my engagement was significantly higher when I had taken part in the design phase, met with the shareholders, pitched in my ideas and evaluated technologies, as opposed to projects where I had been just another pair of hands to speed up implementation. I was eager to take on more responsibilities and join larger projects with non-trivial architecture. My first step towards my goal was to join Gofore’s mentoring program in the spring of 2020, where I was paired up with Juhana. 

In the first sessions, we set our targets for the program. As the program was only a few months long, I didn’t expect to emerge as a full-fledged architect. Instead, I wanted to know where I stood and what direction I should take off to. I knew the textbook definition of software architecture, but I also wanted to hear the experiences of people who were actively practicing it. I wanted to learn what was beyond the web service patterns I had been using for the past 15 years. Most importantly, I wanted to learn what I didn’t know, so one of the first thing I asked of Juhana was to help me identify the strengths and weaknesses I had but didn’t see in myself. 

It’s often even more important to remind ourselves and others of our strengths

As important as it is to work on our weaknesses, it’s often even more important to remind ourselves and others of our strengths. I asked Juhana to remind me to share my knowledge. I expected him to maybe send me a message at some point, telling me to give a technical talk or to write a blog post. Instead, sharing my knowledge became a much more regular–and impactful–discussion point in our mentoring sessions. 

With coronavirus shutting down offices, we began our program with bi-weekly remote meetings. 

As for the content of these sessions, my initial thought was that we would draw a roadmappossibly using some formal notion I had not used since my university days–and start crossing off items. Juhana, however, had other ideas, so we set out for exploratory research, starting with the simple question of if software architecture was something I would enjoy 

Software architecture is a mix of technology and people skills

Software architecture is a mix of technology and people skills: In addition to drawing diagrams and setting up services, at Gofore we expect software architects also to be experts at defining requirements and maximizing value to clients and users. While we benefited greatly from discussing blog posts (What Kind of Animal is a Software Architect, The Path to Becoming a Software Architect), software architecture is not something you can learn just from a book. 

To explore this other side of software architecture, we studied an entirely different document: my resume. We identified the roles and responsibilities I had had in my past and current projects. We picked out past architectural work–after all, the line between developer and software architect is blurry, especially in smaller projects – and started looking for ways to verbalize this experience, forging my past experiences to pave a way into the future. 

As a result, we found plenty of opportunities to use my current skills and start building on them in my current projects. To my surprise, what benefitted me most turned out not to be an academic study of existing architectural patterns. Instead, I started bringing new value to my client by utilizing tools of software architecture in the work I was already doing. And because my work had an impact on my team, it made for a shorter feedback cycle as well as some good old-fashioned peer pressure. In the end, I was very happy that I didn’t have to take a huge leap to a new role in a new project at this time. 

”… what benefitted me most turned out not to be academic study of existing architectural patterns. Instead, I started bringing new value to my client by utilising tools of software architecture in the work I was already doing” – Meeri 

My tip: “to reach your goals put them into words”

My key takeaway from the mentoring program was something very simple: The most important thing you can do to reach your goals is to put them into words and discuss them regularly. Having the mentoring sessions set in my calendar forced me to find time to do the thing we had discussed. Of course, sometimes there were urgent project tasks that took priority. 

Admittedly, we did not come up with a universal curriculum to turn developers into architects in four months or less. However, I believe that we have proved that Gofore can and will offer help, tools, and support for people who want to take on new responsibilities. 

 

Juhana’s story: “Software architecture is not something you can learn just from a book”

I’ve been working at Gofore since Dec 2019, and my professional experience in building digital services dates back to early 2006. Here at Gofore I’m working as the Capability Owner of Web Development multitasking as a Technology Consultant in key projects with several hats from Software Architect to Scrum Master and Lead Developer to name a few. I’m renewing and nurturing Gofore’s capabilities in Web Development to match the current and future needs of our clients and to grow new scalable businesses. 

For the past decade, I’ve been involved in SMEs, growth companies, and startups as Head of Digital, VP of Software & Services, CTO, Chief Architect, Lead Developer while simultaneously undertaking all imaginable software professional roles from DevOps to Design, and from Architecture to Development, Integration, and Database administration. I often find myself working towards sharing a common understanding of the digital services at hand, either when ideating, planning, or both in their current status and what future holds. Furthermore, making proactively sure that the client is heard and understood, and those important things get done and finished, effectively tying up loose ends. 

I was asked to scout out potential mentors for different tracks and decided to join in as well as a mentor as I’ve previously experienced mentoring to be an excellent way to learn and widen one’s own perspective and as a software architect, I was a suitable mentor for Meeri. 

What it is to work with software architecture and what it means to work as a software architect are very different things. As the mentoring was more from a coaching approach, I wanted to set the expectations towards having a low barrier dialog between two equals, open sharing of experiences, and therefore learn through widening our lenses by learning how to wear different hats one might say. Commitment to achieving goals set to oneself and having good open communication were some of my additional expectations for the mentoring agreement.

Fundamental structures of a software system, different development activities, paradigms and models, methodologies and frameworks, practices, tools, and standards are something that can be learned from books, but that doesn’t mean that one using them becomes necessarily a software architect and it is the same toolset for developers 

A good software architect: the backbone of an entire development organisation

Software architecture is also about being able to make fundamental choices that can be costly to change once implemented, and also about being able to communicate all of the above to all of the different stakeholders at hand. It is very much about people’s skills. How all of the above should be taken into consideration when applying these into the customer business landscape in order to find a problem-solution fit for the particular digital service or a problem domain.  

Expectations for mentoring the software architecture track weren’t set out of the blue. I strongly believe that being able to identify oneself as a software architect, it comes from understanding the rationale and decisions behind past experiences (both one’s own and others) and having the applied knowledge and knowhow suitable for the task at hand to tackle the future successfully. A compelling track record one could say. Furthermore, accompanied by an ability to be able to have a good and open dialog between different stakeholders on a level that everyone understands the matter at hand, the decisions needed to be made, and being able to reflect, iterate. A good software architect can be the backbone of an entire development organisation even without having sugarcoated title prefixes, such as principal, lead, or chief.  

”… software architect can be the backbone of an entire development organisation even without having sugarcoated title prefixes, such as principal, lead, or chief” – Juhana 

We usually have pre-determined goals for positions or roles we apply to and have thoughts about the possible road ahead of us to grow into. However, even though often these goals are thought of beforehand they tend to change while things unravel. 

Mentoring: Give value to the shared knowledge and discussion 

As a takeaway, remember to have an open mindset in your professional development journey whether it is participating in a mentoring program or through something completely different. Give value to the shared knowledge and discussion, and adjust it to your situation together, and remember that setting strict goals might not be for everyone and that pre-determined goals might not be the ones you are truly after. 

Sharing knowledge is a two-way street. Support one another in your professional growth through openly sharing your knowledge as well as learn how to turn these discussion items into action points that get followed through thus paving your path into your future role.

And one more thing. Remember to ask for feedback. 

Meeri Panula
Juhana Harmanen  

 

Goforeans participated for the first time ever to our own official mentoring program last spring. ’Official’ meaning that mentoring at Gofore has been rather unofficial and it has usually taken its form in project teams or with two colleagues talking casually, yet repeatedly, about their challenges at work.
Even though unofficial mentoring continues to be the most important form of mentoring in our company, we know that we also need structures and support. Participants gathered their thoughts and lessons learned on our blog. Get inspired! 

 

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Goforen Recoding-podcastin uusimmassa jaksossa keskustellaan motivaation ylläpitämisestä pitkän työuran aikana, kun Antti Niemen vieraaksi saapui Turun kaupungin kehittämispäällikkö Jaakko Ståhlberg. Jaakko on työskennellyt nykyisellä työnantajallaan 31 vuotta ja nähnyt työssään monenlaisia julkishallinnon muutoksia ja uudistuksia.

Jaakon 31 vuoden työura samalla työnantajalla ei nykyisessä työelämässä ole itsestäänselvyys. Jaakko kokee olevansa onnekas, sillä hän näkee kaiken työnsä Turun kaupungin palveluksessa olleen siihen hetkeen mielekästä ja merkityksellistä. Pitkässä työurassa on myös se etu, että vaikka asiat tuntuvat muuttuvan hitaasti, pitkällä aikavälillä muutos on havaittavissa. 

Tiedon vapaus on motivaation ytimessä 

Jaakolle tärkeää työyhteisössä on osaamisen ja tiedon jakaminen titteleistä riippumatta. Hän näkee tämän liittyvän myös motivaatioon, sillä hänelle yhdessä tekemisen on olennainen osa työtä. Hän kannustaa senioriteetin ja aseman unohtamiseen sekä laajaan yhteistyöhön organisaation sisällä.

Julkishallinnossa yhteistyön merkitys ja tarve korostuu, sillä eri virastojen hoitaessa perinteiseen tyyliin omia tonttejaan, on Jaakon mukaan unohtunut se, kenelle työtä tehdään. Hän korostaa siilojen purkamista ja asiakkaan, tai kaupungin tapauksessa asukkaan, laittamista keskiöön. Muutos ihmislähtöiseen tekemiseen on kuitenkin suuri ja ajattelumallin muuttaminen vaatii paljon työtä. Jaakko näkeekin, että oman tehtävän ajattelun sijaan tulisi keskittyä kansalaisten edun ajamiseen. Se, että kansalainen joutuu koluamaan virastoja läpi löytääkseen tahon kuhunkin pulmaan on Jaakon mielestä täysin nurinkurinen ajatus:

“Me ollaan maailmassa, jossa asiakas joutuu etsimään organisaatiota ja toivoo, että se voisi auttaa. Se pitäisi kääntää ihan toisinpäin: julkishallinnon pitäisi integroitua ihmisten elämään ja tukea sitä.”

Tämän hyväksyminen on julkishallinnossa kuitenkin Jaakon mukaan hankalaa. Hän näkee yleisesti ongelmana julkishallinnossa reaktiviisuuden, josta hyvä esimerkki on koulutien aloittavat lapset: koulun aloitusta ja siihen liittyviä prosesseja olisi voitu ennakoida jo seitsemän vuotta. Jaakon mukaan tällä hetkellä rakenteet estävät julkishallinnon ketterämpää toimintaa.

Ratkaisuksi tähän Jaakko näkee yhteistyön ja verkostoitumisen eri kaupunkien ja kuntien välillä. Tilanteen vaatima iso muutos pitää tehdä pienin askelin, mutta pitäen ison vision kirkkaana mielessä. Tavoitetila on Jaakon mukaan simppeli: tehdään se mitä asiakas tarvitsee, ei sen enempää. Tähän tavoitteeseen on hyvä peilata sitä tehdäänkö päivittäisessä työssä oikeita asioita.

 

Kuuntele Jaakon ja Antin keskustelu kokonaisuudessaan yltä! Recoding-podcastin löydät myös Spotifysta, SoundCloudista ja Applen podcasteista.

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