8 - 12 - 2020 - Career stories

From product houses to a versatile family business

Software developer Kaisa Taipale's mandatory minor subject developed into a passion and a career. The experiences offered by diverse projects and a self-managing work culture inspire her to continuous development.

Software development

After high school, I went to study mathematics at the University of Joensuu because I liked the subject and got accepted directly with the high school diploma. I took physics as a long minor and as a short one, reluctantly, computer science. When I got to taste the coding, I couldn't stop. First, I studied it as a long minor and finally switched it to a major. I also worked at the Department of Computer Science before graduating.

I moved to Tampere after my student exchange, which I did in Greece. My first job in Tampere was Metso Automation (now Valmet), where our team made a camera system to monitor the paper web. The team was scattered around the world, and in the beginning, the constant travel felt glamorous. When the mobile phone boom was at its hottest, I moved on to Nokia for mobile phone jobs, where I spent many great years.

After this, I went to Tieto, where I worked on Nokia projects for two years, the latter on secondment in India with my family. My husband and I worked at Tieto's Bangalore office, and our children began their daycare careers in an Indian daycare center. The year in India was memorable, and we have since gone to greet old co-workers, neighbors, and kindergarten friends.

I have always been interested in photography and cameras, so I couldn’t resist the opportunity when Intel's newly created office in Tampere provided possibilities to work on camera technology. After seven years, the camera unit was closed, and the news reached the ears of Sami Merilä, one of the founders of Intopalo, which is now Insta Digital. He encouraged me to apply for a job at Digital. The position immediately seemed attractive as the office is right next door to my home. I had also longed for more varied jobs than what the years-long projects of big product houses are.

A good work culture inspires to participate

I think the best thing about Insta Digital is the warm-hearted and self-managing culture that radiated already in the job interview. It felt a bit like I had come home. Here, people take the initiative themselves and don't expect to have a supervisor who takes care of things and tells you what to do.

In addition to customer projects, I have been involved in working groups of our internal operations that we call circles. For example, I have participated in recruitment and Day2Day Circle, organizing events, and facilitating the establishment of hobby clubs. In January, I became elected health and safety representative, and thus I am involved in the Health and Safety Circle, where we promote the well-being of employees.

I started with Insta last fall and immediately got to write code from a clean slate, which was a rare treat after multi-year projects. From January to November, I was on loan at Insta Response as the scrum master of a big team. At Response, I fell in love with how open-mindedly and purposefully project management has been developed towards a transparent and predictable entity. As with Digital, getting to know people at Response was effortless, and I felt part of the team from day one. Right now, I am leading a project where we are implementing a traffic light system for work machines in an industrial plant.

Insta Digital's integration with Insta is still in progress, and in the transition phase, people are naturally concerned about many things, such as possible cultural changes. I have been so closely involved with Response and see things also from that perspective that the integration with Insta doesn't worry me. It doesn't mean that all companies and units will be exactly the same in the future either ─ our diversity is a form of wealth.

The future offers opportunities

I open-mindedly seize the things that are on offer, so I believe the future will bring me many interesting tasks at Insta. I am interested in projects where you can create a whole new thing, but I also enjoy getting to know a complex system. I'm at my best when I get to handle many tasks and help the team reach their goals in a way they can also enjoy what they do.

Exercise belongs closely to my free time, and it provides an excellent counterbalance to knowledge work. Ashtanga yoga has been an important hobby of mine for a long time. In summer, I paddle and swim; in winter, I go ice skating and downhill skiing. I also enjoy pleasures, and I like to prepare and eat good food. I spend a lot of time in my allotment garden cottage in Litukka next to Tampere University Hospital. Especially after a day of teleworking, it's fantastic to dart to yard work right after the workday.

Kaisa Taipale

Kaisa Taipale

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