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Career story: A developer’s job is social problem solving

According to Juho Juutinen, who works as a software developer at Fluent, you shouldn’t care about what you don’t know, but about what you will learn next. “Working in a small company is a big advantage in terms of changeability,” says Juho.

Juho Juutinen, 36, started at Fluent Progress as a software development intern in the spring of 2016. At that time, he had a degree in game programming and a background with a variety of odd jobs, from log cutting to snow shoveling – and a hobby in the field.

“I had a lot of different game projects and others that I presented in the interview. Apparently they were suitable enough”, says Juho.

Juho was employed directly from the internship to become a permanent software developer at Fluent. Very soon, the work of the team lead on the construction side, i.e. in the team making Fluent Planner, started to take shape.

“After all, in just under eight years, many kinds of hats have accumulated. Back then, the structure on the Fluent’s developers’ side was quite different, and my entire team varied quite wildly as well,” Juho recalls.

Tools and methods are constantly changing

Juho Juutinen feels that his own skills have largely been shaped by working at Fluent and solving practical problems. Many things have changed since 2016. Today, Fluent has one software development team where everyone does practically everything.

“Knowledge has accumulated by learning by doing. With the team, we always stumble over something, and then we stop together to think about how to get around it,” says Juho.

“It’s been fun – facing those practical problems and always getting a new lesson through it.”

Changes can be made nimbly, and the most effective way of working for everyone is constantly sought. Changes come as people, times and tools also change.

However, this has not always been the case; According to Juho, before, the working style at Fluent was not so collaborative, but the working methods and tools have taken shape over the years – and are still taking shape, of course.

“Working in a small company is a big advantage in terms of changeability. Changes can be made nimbly, and the most effective way of working for everyone is constantly sought. Changes come as people, times and tools also change,” says Juho.

Contrary to what may still be the prevailing image of many, according to Juho, the job of a software developer is social and also requires communication skills.

“As a super introverted person, the social batteries can sometimes be quite low, but working in a group has big advantages in terms of work: the whole team is better on the map of what is happening and why, and information breaks do not occur in the same way. Communication must play well.”

Learning something new never ends

Basically, software development is problem solving. According to Juho Juutinen, what is required of a developer is, above all, planning, the ability to be flexible and constantly learn new things – as cliché as it is.

“Learning new things never ends. And you shouldn’t worry about what you don’t know yet, but focus on what you’ll learn next.”

According to Juho, the everyday life of a software developer consists largely of planning, sharing information and communicating among the team. Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, the work involves less actual coding.

“As a general rule, at work you have to understand what you want, what you should do, and figure out how to realize the end result in the most sensible way. The most common challenges are reconciling customers’ wishes, schedules and technical realities,” says Juho.

The customer interface is closer than before

According to Juho, nowadays software developers also come into contact with customers to an increasing extent, which he sees as a big leap forward in the field: Whereas in the past it might have been agreed to do something in cooperation with the customer and review the final result in a couple of years, nowadays there is an active discussion with the customer about what to do.

“In between, quite a lot of information gets lost, and the customer’s point of view may also change if the conversation connection is not actively maintained,” says Juho.

In between, quite a lot of information gets lost, and the customer’s point of view may also change if the conversation connection is not actively maintained.

When something is shown to the customer in a quick time frame, they can give feedback right away, which makes it possible to change the course quickly if necessary.

“Such an approach is agile. As a developer, you may not be able to understand what kind of problems the end user will encounter, but when the problems become apparent, they are often quite easy to fix,” Juho thinks.

According to Juho, the most rewarding thing in software development, in all its simplicity, is when things work.

“It’s when we get something concrete done and in such a way that it benefits the customer and serves a purpose. It’s an uplifting thought”, Juho sums up.

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