Antti has been working as a software architect at UpCloud for over a year. After starting with cloud APIs and backend services, he now works for the operations team that runs our cloud platform, dealing with new hardware, datacenter operations and overseeing that the platform is healthy. What does Antti like about being a software architect? And how hard it is to become one?
What brought you to UpCloud?
I was previously working for Sigmatic – another company of our founder Joel Pihlajamaa. We were cooperating with UpCloud for many years. After I left Sigmatic, I worked as a consultant for different clients for a few years. At some point, I thought it would be cool to work for UpCloud. So I decided to apply, and now I’m here.
When did you know you wanted to become a software architect?
I’ve been working with computers since I was twelve, so it came quite naturally. Originally, I wanted to be a systems administrator as it seemed cool. So I became one in Sigmatic, and I started to work with all sorts of automation. When you work with automation, usually, software development comes naturally. So after a while, I was doing full-time development.
I like to be at the intersection of systems and code. You can’t really separate the two for what I do.
What does it take to be a good developer?
I don’t think there are specific criteria for being a software developer. If you want to be one, then be one!
What is important is that you have to realize that everyone makes mistakes, including you. So you start working in a way that those mistakes, bugs in code or problems in configuration, are detected automatically. It’s all about the mindset of constantly testing of what you do, instead of assuming that something will work.
What do you like about working at UpCloud?
I really like the challenge it gives me. At Upcloud, you get to work with things that you normally wouldn’t be able to. There are thousands of clients, so much data, so much traffic. You don’t get those things in many other companies.
There are people at UpCloud that are really at the top of their class in many things. People who have been doing those things for many, many years and they happily share their knowledge. That’s amazing!
What makes them so unique?
I think it has much to do with our company culture which allows you to do things your way. You have the freedom but also the responsibility to get things done. That kind of culture attracts a certain type of people who know what they do and don’t want to be under too much control.
It will be interesting to see how we will retain our culture as we grow. We will need to work on it actively but I hope the culture will survive. Luckily, in Finland, there are examples of companies that did this transition successfully.
Can you name your favourite of the projects you worked on?
There are quite a few. Currently, it’s our Metadata service that came to production recently. I was given the freedom to design it from the ground up and build it together with our network architects. I was also able to implement it.
The best thing about the Metadata is that it’s never entirely done. There are so many new things we can add and keep evolving it constantly!
Where would I find you outside working hours?
With COVID-19 limiting travel and meeting friends, I’ve been spending a lot of time with our dogs. I also really like cycling. Using the Helsinki city bikes system, I can quite easily ride to the office and back whenever I want. The distance is about 16 kilometres, so it takes me between 45 minutes and one hour which is not much slower than using the underground.
Do you have a special place you like to work in?
It might sound strange, but I like my workplace at the office the best. I have my own electric desk and big displays. I can work without interruption, unlike at home. And our office lounge has a fantastic view of the sea!
I appreciate that besides choosing what you work on, at UpCloud, I have the freedom to choose where I work from. With my colleagues Eetu and Mikko, we decided to work from our Singapore office last November. We just booked flights and spent two weeks with our local colleagues. It was great!
Would you like to work with Antti? Check out our open positions.