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Teemu Tähtinen - Expect the unexpected

By Mari-Liis Kariste, Summer University Project Manager, March 4, 2019

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Software specialist Teemu Tähtinen describes having more than his fair share of new skills to learn when he jumped into his first Nortal project. By “new,” he actually means “old” — and that’s what has made it interesting.

Tähtinen joined Summer University in 2017 immediately after finishing studies at the University of Turku. He had no prior work experience. Even if he had, it’s unlikely it would have helped.

“I joined as a junior .NET developer, but I was coding with C++ and Delfi,” he explains. These classic computer languages aren’t often used these days, but the project involved a legacy software system being utilized by Neste for oil refining and distribution. Tähtinen found himself working on the project as part of a small team based mainly in the Uusikaupunki office.

“It was interesting because C++ is still a pretty viable language, and you don’t get to work with it anywhere else,” he says.

“At first it was pretty difficult, but I had a lot of help from people on the project. They gave me good advice, and all the tasks were well documented, so I didn’t actually have to ask too many questions about what was supposed to be done. Also, I had the freedom to proceed the way I saw best,” he adds.

Changing times

After eight months, Tähtinen’s work drastically shifted gears. He’s still working on a project for Neste, but the new goal is to develop a system replacing the one he previously worked on.

“It’s an advancement, because now I’ll actually be creating things from scratch as I see fit,” he says.

Tähtinen admits he found the old project an intriguing challenge because he had to figure out what the code did and work from there, but he prefers the prospect of creating something entirely new.

There are other changes as well, he notes. For one, the team is bigger — around 15 people. It also includes four members from the Vilnius office, so the group will now communicate in English rather than Finnish.

Even though he’s still relatively fresh at Nortal, Tähtinen feels confident he can get the job done, especially given the atmosphere of support among his colleagues. “Here at Nortal Finland, you can approach anyone in the office, or send a message on Skype to someone who might know more than you, and they’ll answer. It’s easy to talk to everyone.”

Moving forward

Tähtinen has a positive view of the added responsibilities provided by the new project.

“Additional accountability is a way to get ahead in work and also gain new experiences. Having to adapt to new situations, you learn a lot about yourself, so that’s something I’m actually looking forward to.”

He also notes that his technical communication skills, in both Finnish and English, have improved considerably in recent months because he’s had to frequently use them.

As for what else the project might personally hold for him, Tähtinen maintains it’s too early to answer. “This is going to be a long project, so I really can’t predict the future.

“There’s always a lot of new stuff coming, whether you expect it or not.”

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