Valtteri Seraste // June 06 2017

After the first months at Digitalist Group

I was asked to write a blog about my journey at Digitalist group, how I ended up here and what have I learned so far. To be precise, I started in the company called Ixonos, but my time there was quite short. However, my time at Digitalist Group is just getting started. But I’ll get to that later.

To be honest, I don’t remember having heard about this company before November 2016. At the time, I was just finishing up my thesis on “Evaluation of Accuracy and Usability of Optical Heart Rate Sensor in Daily Life and Sports”. My field of studies were health informatics at the Metropolia University of Applied Sciences.

I studied health informatics because I am interested in healthy lifestyle and technology. I am happy that I went that road, although the studies were not quite what I had expected. Our studies included many different themes, from programming to physical fitness testing, but since our studies didn’t go by any specific trend and we didn’t specialize on any subject, we got a basic knowledge from various themes without a major.

Last Autumn I was reading about the event called Smash, a Slush side-event focused on sport, technology and start-ups. I was also searching for companies that I would like to apply to, and that was the moment I faced Digitalist Group, at that time still Ixonos. I opened their website and instantly got the feeling that this was the company I would like to work at. I found out that the company works with companies operating in the field of health informatics. I opened the careers site and spotted a job announcement for a test automation engineer. I figured that I might actually have a chance for this job, because of the fact that I did perform product and usage testing within my thesis. The only downside was that the job required programming skills, and although I had studied some of it, I didn’t feel too confident about programming. But despite of that, I decided to give it a go!

I sent my application on 22nd of November 2016, and got a reply the very next day from Niklas Penttinen as he invited me to the Ixonos’ office to discuss more. I got hyped and couldn’t believe that I got invited to talk about my possible career at the company. When we met with Niklas and Mats Ginman, my feeling about this being the place I would really enjoy working at got even more secure. We spoke that I could participate in projects that are in the field of health and technology.

A couple of days went by and I waited for information while working at my dad’s company. When my phone rang and I saw the caller, my heart rate rose and those legendary butterflies conquered my stomach. On the phone Niklas told me that I felt like a guy who could fit well for the job, and if I wanted I could come over and write down my signature for the job. As you can reason, I did, and here I am writing a blog. Between and alongside the testing projects, of course.

I met with Mats and we planned my upcoming career. Although I didn’t have too much experience in programming, we agreed that I could start by manual testing, and learn my way to the world of test automation. A few weeks later my graduation day arrived and the next day was my first day at Digitlaist Group. As we had agreed, I went pretty much right away to work for a customer, to get to know my very first project. I had my challenges with it, but luckily, I got help and advice from my colleagues. The projects that I have been involved in so far have been educational, implementing new software and testing it. I think that I have had a great start.

I like to think I have adapted quite well in here. I have learned much about working with command line, testing and test automation, and also participated a course about it. Although programming is still a very new field for me, writing test automation with some of the available tools is quite simple, as the code is written in very natural language. There is a lot to learn about testing and test automation, but I am getting there.

I have worked with a couple of projects as a tester, and it has been interesting. Riina Alhonen has advised me greatly with testing alongside the usage of Jira and Confluence while we have worked together, but also at the times we haven’t. Everyone I have worked or talked with seems to be very nice and helpful people. People here are awesome!

In the future I hope to get to participate also in the planning and designing of the projects as much as possible, especially in the projects that are focused on health informatics. This is something that goes with my interests very well, and I am certain that it would be educational and fun.

I must say that I am a bit surprised how well the cross-working functions within the company.  People help each other, whether they are in the same team or not. There is no information coverage, and knowledge is shared. The company arranges knowledge sharing events, alongside with other happenings, like social meetings outside the office. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to participate in these hangouts yet, but I will when possible.

Pretty big things happened at the time when my trial period was at its end. The company I originally joined, Ixonos, bought InterQuest, and about a month later joined forces with Digitalist Network, which leads us back to the first sentences of this blog. We re-branded, and are now Digitalist Group. For at least some of us, this came as a surprise. This re-branding will cause changes, I am sure about that, but I am positive that these changes will bring a lot of good. We are changing gears.

I have enjoyed my time at the company so far, and I am quite certain that this isn’t going to change. I am excited to see what happens next. Please, feel free to come and chat with me, I enjoy talking and getting to know people around me.

If you are interested to check out my thesis, it can be found here.

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