I have been working for three years now as a Software Designer at Solita. During this time I have been involved in six different projects and I’m happy to say that they’ve all been different in regards of nature and my own role. In this post I will tell you how I experience Solita from the Software Designer’s perspective.
Humane resourcing - not just biomass
How does a project find its people for implementation? Before people are chosen to a specific project the designer and the project responsible discuss about a project opening possibility. If the discussion is positive and both parties think the project is suitable then the designer has time to think about the case if all other suitability criteria are met.
For people who have finished a project and are available, ready and set for the next tasks, projects with available seats introduce themselves so that people get a picture of what it is they are implementing. The goal is to find the right person for the right project and make sure that the designer is feeling comfortable with the match and upcoming environment. For me the projects that I’ve been participating in have been really good matches and the role has been just what I’ve wanted at that time. So I have true possibility to make a difference in which direction my professional career is going and what kind of project and role would be most interesting and rewarding. Too good to be true? I’m certain that both the employee and employer benefits from this arrangement.
No bargaining on tools and ergonomics
To be able to efficiently do the thing you love to do one needs the right tools. The employee may choose the computer and operating system of their liking plus accessories. The computer and phone are in use for two years and then replaced by new ones. If you need a new software then it’s easy for you to make an order and the license key arrives shortly. The employees at Solita are trusted and there is a striving not to waste valuable time on paperwork or slow processes.
At the office all working places are provided with electronic desks, so it’s easy to adjust the desk to correct height and e.g. stand a part of the day if that’s what you like to do. Big displays makes it easy to have all programs visible at a glance and keep your carriage in shape. What I really appreciate is that there is an ergonomics specialist available who can help you with correct personal settings for the desk and chair and give instructions on how to set the chair if you sit somewhere else part of the time.
Self-organizing development of skills
Developing your skills is in your own hands. There are many means to do this:
- knowledge communities: a community open for everyone and members share a common interest on a certain skill
- self study: independently become acquainted with a certain area of interest or skill
- flash of information: a short information sharing session that is open to all which is not necessarily tied to a knowledge community
- dev meetup: all Java developers gather once in a month and team members share experiences and best practices from projects (and get a shoulder to cry on)
- dev_* seminar: all developers gather once a year for a seminar day and listen to colleagues brilliant presentations on interesting and actual topics. The discussions continue in the evening in a relaxed position sitting in a hot tub.
Employees are invited to a personal development discussion by the immediate superior at least two times a year. If you like to talk more often then it’s also possible. Most of the time your superior is available, easy to approach and always likes to talk to you. The development discussion is a good opportunity to tell how you feel about the project you are working on, what skills you would like to improve and what you would like to do next. I especially like the walking type of discussion. Walk around Töölö bay on a sunny summer day, have a nice talk with your superior and maybe stop and have an ice cream on the way. How does that sound to you?