Oliopäivät – object days

Back in 1992 Finland suffered from economical down-turn and companies did not sent their employees to training or networking events. Professor Ilkka Haikala decided to act and organized a free and volunteer-based seminar named “Nääsvillen oliopäivät”. English translation could be “Object days of Tampere”. (Object-oriented methods were new and hype topic back then.) Since the first occasion, the event has been repeated in 2-3 year intervals and Pitky (http://www.pitky.fi/fi/english) has been our partner in organizing these events. The topic has changed but we have preserved the name. It is a brand.

Last May the organizers Kari Systä and Tommi Mikkonen sat down for a beer and discussed about next incarnation of the event. The brainstorming produced the following findings:

  • On 80’s and 90’s the developers and their communication was steered with strict processes and careful documentation. Separate sales organization was responsible about customer contacts and software developers had their own peace. Reputation, hierarchy and salary were based on technical competence. A guru was a guru.
  • Then came Agile methods. Software developers had to communicate with customers and at the same time processes were largely replaced by team work and shared responsibility. Suddenly software developers had to be good team players and social skills became more important.
  • At the moment a bug share of the jobs are in companies that develop software as subcontractors to other organizations and often their work is sold per hour. Internet start-ups want and use continuous market feedback. In that world software developers have to understand the company business, sell themselves, and maintain their “market-value”.
  • The need for technology skills has not disappeared, and in the current marked developers who want a new job need to show skills in modern technologies. At the moment Web-technologies, Software-as-a-Service paradigm, DevOps-thinking and Big Data are important.

Based on this thinking we established a program for the seminar. It was really nice to note that busy experts in the area responded positively to our request to present in the seminar.  We also easily got large number of participant registration.  There was a huge amount of experience and expertise from local industry listening, discussing and networking. The program (in Finnish) can be found from http://www.cs.tut.fi/~systa/Oliopaivat2015/. In short the program contained talks about

  • A view from a person (Oula Välipakka) who works with companies that plan to start operations in Tampere.
  • Three different views to start-up world by Reetu Kaunulainen, Risto Kivipuro and Jukka Märijärvi.
  • Fundamentals of DevOps and what it means to competence development by Antti Tirilä.
  • Two views to competence development: SaaS (by Aapo Koski) and telecom industry (Timo Vehmaro)
  • The importance of understanding the end-user (Viljakaisa Aaltonen)
  • Historical view to software development and required skills (Veikko Juusola)

Matti Vuori wrote a report to Pitky (in Finnish),  too: http://pitky.fi/fi/oliopaivat2015-juttu

All the talks were excellent and inspiring. Unlike Finnish audience usually, there was also lively discussions. Many thanks to all!

Audience listening with interest.

Audience listening with interest.

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