Software developer Mikael Mäkelä “People benefit from what I do”

Nora Nirhamo | 2023/03/29

Get to know Mikael’s career path – how did he go from daydreaming about being a hacker as a child to working at Softability?

Senior Software Engineer Mikael Mäkelä has worked as a software developer for five years. Mikael currently works as a consultant with one of our customers in the pharmaceutical industry.

Get to know Mikael’s career path – how did he go from daydreaming about being a hacker as a child to working at Softability?

Studies helped him on his career path to be a software developer

When it was time to decide on further education, Mikael was encouraged by a friend to study programming at the Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences.

“I gave up on my childhood dream of being a hacker, and my enthusiasm for programming grew in leaps and bounds as my studies progressed.

His studies also taught him to work with a wide range of technology and various programming languages. Some of his skills came from working life, too.

“At the university, we focused mainly on developing websites using Microsoft stack, so C#, Microsoft SQL, HTML, CSS, and to some extent, JavaScript. There was also some Java and Python. Outside of the UAS, I studied some Android development using Java. During my career, I’ve also learnt VB.NET and building UIs with XML and XAML.”

In his work, Mikael currently uses a handful of languages.

“I’ve mostly used C# and XAML in my time at Softability.”

Starting a career with membership registers and mobile software

Mikael’s career path as a software developer began with developing membership registers and mobile applications, among other things.

“In my previous job, I initially worked with membership registers. Then I moved to mobile software and developed a mobile membership card using Xamarin.Forms.”

As part of the mobile team, Mikael’s day-to-day work consisted of customising the mobile membership card to meet customers’ needs.

“At first, I worked as part of a small team. A consultant worked with the team whenever we encountered larger challenges. Later on, I became the sole person working full-time on the project, and for almost a year, it was managed by one-and-a-half people.”

Mikael’s responsibility increased after he was left alone, but he also found time for training.

“I was later assigned a colleague to work on the project as my subordinate. As the senior developer I was responsible for what we worked on at any given time.

“While I was coding, I would go with the production manager to customer sites to discuss their needs, which also led to documentation and design work. In practice, I participated in all aspects of project management.”

Onwards and upwards with XReach

When he came to us, Mikael initially worked with XReach.

“It was a good place to start, as I was largely familiar with the work from my previous job. We used Xamarin.Forms at my last job, too.”

“With XReach, things went up a notch. The code was better designed and we had newer technology available.

New practices meant that Mikael was assigned a team. In the new team, there is always something to do outside of coding, too.

“With XReach, I worked as part of a team, even though mobile software was mostly done together with a partner.

“The new project required us to arrange a new CI/CD pipeline, for example.

A user interface for laboratory equipment: meaningful work

After XReach, Mikael moved to Thermo to work as a consultant. Mikael already had some experience with the pharmaceutical industry after a student exchange to the Netherlands.

“On the exchange, we made a mobile application for insulin pumps. I like the idea that what I do benefits society or people.”

At Thermo, Mikael is tasked with developing software for a user interface for laboratory equipment. The equipment is sold by Thermo.

“My team and I are responsible for the user interface software, which is used by means of a small touchscreen on the device.

Mikael works in a team of three, which is part of a larger in-house R&D team.

“The work is interesting and very similar to what I’ve done previously. Xamarin.Forms, which I used before, works according to the same principle as UWP, which is used at Thermo.”

This part of the project will soon come to an end.

“Then I’ll continue on other work for this same product.

High-quality work from start to finish – What motivates Mikael in his work?

As a software developer, Mikko is a meticulous worker.

“When I do things, I like to do them so that they work immediately. I don’t like to leave things that have to be figured out later. Sometimes being so meticulous can lead to overthinking,” laughs Mikael.

Mikael names teamwork as one of his strengths.

“I think I’m a good team player, and I like to work with other people. It’s fun to bounce around ideas about how we should approach our work.”

Mikael is motivated by how meaningful his work is, such as how he is involved in building a product that benefits people or society overall.

“It’s nice to work with medical technology, as I know that people will genuinely benefit from what I do here.”

Where else does Mikael find motivation to develop his skills as a software developer?

“When I’m working on my own projects, motivation comes from doing something that I enjoy and that benefits me.”

Join us and do meaningful work

Are you interested in meaningful work in industry or the pharmaceutical industry?

Take a look at our job vacancies and learn more about our employees.


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