Marko Meinander is a veteran in software development
As a consultant, what does Marko like about his job, and what projects have landed on his desk over the years? Learn more about our long-term developer, who is currently working on software designed for radiotherapy, and his career story.
With a long career in the software industry behind him, Senior Software Engineer Marko Meinander enjoys coding high-quality and well-designed software, particularly likes the C# programming language, and is an exercise enthusiast in his free time.
From in-house developer to consultant
Before moving to Softability to work as a consultant, Marko had worked on various projects as an in-house developer. Marko considers himself an expert who really likes to sink his teeth into a project and work with it for a long time.
“Luckily my work as a consultant also allows me to do that, and for the last couple of years I’ve worked with Varian, contributing to the development of a planning system for radiotherapy treatment for cancer.”
Marko works with software called Ethos, which is Varian’s next-generation product for planning and managing radiotherapy treatments.
Project scales have changed over the years. The current project is the biggest project and software entity that Marko has worked with.
“This is a big enough project; there’s no need for anything larger.”
A varied career
How did Marko originally end up in programming? During upper secondary school, Marko’s physics and chemistry teacher recommended that he apply to the then-Helsinki University of Technology, now Aalto University, and he did.
“I studied electrical engineering. I soon became interested in all kinds of coding, however, and included as much information technology and coding as I could in my studies. I always tried to get summer jobs in coding, and that’s where it all began. When I applied to university, I was heading for another industry, but I was soon swayed by programming.”
For the first 13 years of his career, Marko worked in industrial equipment manufacturer with a variety of meteorological devices.
“Calculations, radiosonde data processing, everything to do with measuring the weather,” he says, remembering the start of his career. A radiosonde is a device that is sent to the upper atmosphere to measure atmospheric parameters.”
His next job was at sport technology company. During his ten years at the company, Marko worked with Amazon Web Services’ cloud services for the first time.
“At there, I worked on the new Movescount project, which made a cloud service system. The system dealt with all of the data from the company’s heart rate meters. The project was large, as the service had 2 million users.”
After that, Marko’s journey continued into the industrial environment.
“I worked in that company´s unit that made a real-time database for internal use and for customers. The database could handle a huge amount of incoming data and do all kinds of little calculations and processing very quickly.”
Settling in at a new job takes time
Marko’s job at the industrial company didn’t quite meet his expectations, so he began to look for something else. Contact with Softability’s CEO Janne Repo led to Marko joining Softability as a consultant.
Marko has enjoyed working on the same projects over a long time period as a consultant.
“It’s often quite difficult to learn new processes and methods. Although, if the work is easy to pick up, even rapid changes of job are possible.”
It took time to get used to the current project – the software is enormous and it is made by multiple teams in several different countries.
“It takes years to get up to speed on a project like this because there’s so much to learn. That’s why we want the people who join the project to stay with it for a long time.”
An array of different programming languages
Marko has used many different programming languages during his career. He particularly likes C#, which he also has the most experience with.
“I’ve mostly used C# for the last 15 years. It’s the most important languages of the ones I know, and almost everything is made with C# nowadays. It works well everywhere, with Windows and with Linux.”
Marko has also previously coded in C++ and C.
In addition to the languages he uses at work, Marko has also studied Python in his free time, which he says is a versatile and interesting language.
A skilled team creates the framework for high-quality software development
The team plays an important role in software development. According to Marko, a skilled team takes work in the right direction and affects how enjoyable work is.
“When the framework for coding is there, projects are enjoyable and fun to work on. You also need a good vision, perspective or strategy for what you’re doing and how. If all of these things are in place, software is a joy to create.”
Of course, interesting tasks also increase job satisfaction. Marko says that he has always liked mathematics and has actively sought out tasks that involve mathematics or calculations in some way.
“It’s fun to write code where I’ve been able to take advantage of those skills.”
Exercise as a counterbalance to work
Marko describes himself as a tenacious worker who doesn’t throw in the towel when he comes up against a challenge. He is ready to work hard to ensure that progress is made and problems are solved.
“Things don’t always go to plan when you’re writing software. Sometimes you have to think analytically about where the problem could be and how to solve it. I’m usually quite good in such situations.”
His free time also helps him to overcome challenges at work. Marko believes it is important to have other hobbies besides coding to act as a counterbalance to work.
Sometimes he even finds the solution to coding problems in his free time.
“When you can detach from the problems at work enough, they seem to solve themselves the next day. For me, detaching from work usually means exercise or something fitness-related.”
Important work at Softability
Marko feels that he is doing valuable and important work in his current job, which affects people’s health.
“This directly affects people’s wellbeing, and even their lives.”
That’s what we’re aiming for: working here allows us to make a difference to people’s health, wellbeing, and safety. We also feel it’s important for our employees to work on projects that genuinely interest them.
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