Eero Rantala is a software designer in the Systems Business Unit, Patria's ‘nerd department’. He values working in a team, on behalf of the Finnish Defence Forces.

What does your work involve?Eero Rantala

I am a software designer for a customer project in the Systems Business Unit. My job involves development: I code, design and test. I joined Patria last October and work in a team of eight employees.

Before then, I worked at Aalto University, on client projects for the Finnish Air Force. Although my present and previous work are unrelated, continuing with Defence Forces projects was a natural step.

What kinds of skills are important in your work?

Mastery of the programming language is needed. Many people can code at basic level, but they need to take a more holistic view if they really want to develop in the field. You need enthusiasm and passion. The tools are constantly evolving.

In addition to software design, I studied applied mathematics at Aalto University. I also need that side of my education in the current project. It does no harm to understand the formula for calculating flightpaths. If a maths problem comes up, I’m sure to be able to solve it.

Many of our team members are very patient. Programming is both concrete and abstract. Sometimes, a fraction of the finished product on screen is all that remains of my working hours for the week.

What things inspire you in your work?

National defence is one of my core values ​​and I value doing meaningful work.

Software development involves challenges on an everyday basis, due to complex systems. A good two months went by before I began to understand the product we are making. I’ve enthusiastically embraced all the new things I’ve learned.

Teamwork is rewarding and every member of our team has their own strengths. The overall project must not grind to a halt if you run into a hitch. You are accountable for this to your team as well as the customer.

What constitutes a good working atmosphere?

If the company’s business is on a healthy footing, it can afford to take care of its employees. You can’t buy a good working atmosphere with a couple of beanbags. A good working atmosphere is ultimately based on being able to feel proud of the company you represent and the work it does.

Equality is important. Patria employees have the same titles regardless of their experience. I have big shoes to fill, so it’s great to have plenty of experience around.

We eat lunch together in the downstairs restaurant at 11 o’clock each day. This strengthens the work community and offers a chance to get to know colleagues who are not involved in the same project. We do not talk about our work, because all projects are classified.

My daily exercise comes from commuter cycling. There is no such thing as non-cycling weather. I’ve not used the workplace gym, but I’ve used the sauna on several mornings. That’s when I wake up for the working day, if not before then!

 

Text and photo: Marjo Linnasalmi