The First Days as a Junior Developer at Oivan
Introducing our Head of Emerging Tech | Board Member Aki Teliö.
Head of Emerging Tech Aki Teliö has grown so much with Oivan since he joined the company 8 years ago. He always feels that with Oivan you are with the good guys.
On a day-to-day basis, what are your responsibilities at Oivan as a Head of Emerging Tech?
I fear there is no single-sentence answer to this, so bear with me. I have a strong programming background, and I joined Oivan as a developer in 2014. Then I started taking more responsibility for the projects; doing project management and helping with the sales and customer relations. A bit later I was also planning technical architectures and leading my own team. I have invested in Oivan as a minority shareholder, whom all I represent in the Oivan Board of Directors. My current job title is the Head of Emerging Tech, which means I work together with my team members to ensure that Oivan both has and maintains the technical edge an IT company needs in order to provide our customers the state-of-the-art knowledge and service they seek from us. But in practice, I still currently do all of the aforementioned things almost every week, at least for now.
What have been the most positive things about working at Oivan?
When I first joined Oivan, it really struck me as a place where I can belong and grow. Where I wasn’t managed by fear and doubt, but with encouragement and trust. This was the most important thing for me, I would not be able to breathe in an environment where everyone would always first believe the worst of me, and where life and work would be at constant odds. At Oivan, I found a work-life balance that really sparked me. The second thing I want to mention is closely related, and it’s the people at Oivan. I have coworkers from so many countries, continents, and cultures that it really enriches my life and views of the world. Also, I have always felt that with Oivan you are with the “good guys”.
“We have very strong values, and we actually follow them. It makes a big difference when you wake up to your next workday.”
As a Head of Emerging Tech, what is the most exciting project you are currently working on?
We are lucky to have very special expertise at Oivan when it comes to blockchain. With my team members, we have created our own tokenization engine, which we can use as a platform for any solution that benefits from the robustness, immutability, and reliability that blockchain can bring to any solution. The history of events and trustworthiness is important in all business-critical systems, and it’s especially important when creating for example a marketplace that combines various actors and tokenized assets. With our TokenIT engine, we can leverage all the benefits of the blockchain without having to do any of the hard parts, in any solution we build. So we are super excited about the potential and will be publishing a blogpost telling more about it in the coming days.
When you are at work, how can you describe yourself in 3 words?
Responsibility, Fellowship, and Reliability. I really thought about this answer over and over realizing it might sound a bit fabricated, but I really believe our values at Oivan are what I at least strive to represent. These values are not something that came from thin air, but something that many of us has been fostering for a long time while building Oivan to be the company it is today.
“We chose those values ourselves, so it is only natural we also represent them.”
What do you do outside working hours?
I really like nature. On my holidays, I go on week-long hiking trips, and I’m lucky to have easy access to a summer cottage without running water and electricity. I love to forage mushrooms and berries, and a couple of years ago I started hunting. Over the years I have learned so much about the world and our nature and I feel that for me this deeper experience of nature also brings more appreciation of the great things humanity has achieved in the other areas.
When not “in the wild” I try to maintain my physique by skiing, bicycling, and gym, but my second real big love is music. I used to play drums when I was young, but I couldn’t sing or play any melodies. I just didn’t have the “talent”. But I kept listening to all kinds of music possible, ever-expanding my taste. And finally, I got old enough to realize that there are no such things that one cannot do, just many, many things that take a bit more work. So I started playing the piano. Expressing myself this way, musically, really for the first time in my life, has been a very strong experience.
Aki’s tips to inspire other people like him
Always ask. I know it makes most of us feel insecure when we are supposed to be the experts, and we happen to have no idea about the topic other people are talking about. Well, just say so. Ask others to explain it to you. Learn everything you can. More often than not, it’s just a bunch of acronyms they have heard before and you haven’t, and it turns out they don’t actually know that much about the topic either. But if you are lucky, they are indeed real experts in the area and soon you know a lot more about the subject by listening to their wisdom. You will not be humiliated, but empowered, with the very information you felt you lacked in the first place when you get to learn from them.
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