The career development of 27-year-old Kristian Laakkonen is probably relatively normal for a university of technology graduate in programming. Kristian had his foot-in-the-Fortum-door through summer jobs and after doing his master thesis there, he got a permanent position with the company.
Laakkonen is working as a programmer at Fortum's Power Solutions IT unit. In his work, he is involved in developing and maintaining management systems for power plants aimed at improving the energy efficiency and management of the plants.
He started working for Fortum part-time and also during summers. During his studies at Aalto University in Finland, Kristian ended up doing his Master’s thesis in the company which lead to a permanent position at Fortum.
“I came here to find interesting programming activities, first over summers and then as a part-timer throughout the semesters. At the time when I was looking for Master thesis topic, we had just started a new project and my thesis was an essential part of it."
Kristian's work includes, in addition to actual developing, tutoring younger colleagues and listening to user's needs and requests and designing the implementation of them in the best possible way.
“In my current project, the goal is to create a system for optimal operations of the power plants. In the past, the main tool for it has been a spreadsheet file, but with our collaborative efforts the software can now handle the data easily with a better visual aid.”
Fortum's utilizes the Scrum framework in developing, which introduces new, ready-to-use features for users after two-week sprints. "After each sprint, the users get a test run and we’ll continue developing the software based on this feedback in the next sprint."
“At Fortum we have countless opportunities to go ahead and work with interesting and important projects.”
Laakkonen feels that Fortum is an interesting and significant workplace. “I feel the whole energy sector is relevant for the future of the whole society and mankind. Energy and electricity are critical factors in today's society. Climate change, for example, is a great topic today, and in my work I have influence on using energy in the best possible way.”
Like for many other programmers, Laakkonen’s basic knowledge of the domain stems from an active spare-time coding hobby in his earlier years. "Sometimes at junior high school, friends coded some games and I got interested in it myself. I used to code small applications in my spare time, nowadays I don't do it as much as I have a career in programming.”
Laakkonen sees Fortum as an excellent and versatile workplace that will provide him with unprecedented opportunities in the future. ”Fortum's various business areas and different energy sources interest me. I see countless opportunities here as we work with interesting and important projects”, he concludes.
Fortum is a leading clean energy company which provides its customers with electricity, heating and cooling as well as smart solutions to improve resource efficiency. We want to engage our customers and society to join the change for a cleaner world. We employ some 9000 professionals in the Nordic and the Baltic countries, Russia, Poland and India. 62% of our electricity generation is CO2 free. In 2016, our sales were EUR 3.6 billion. Fortum's share is listed on Nasdaq Helsinki.