Rakettitiede is a Finland-based IT consultancy company. Their core expertise lies in web and mobile services, IoT, and embedded systems. And this year is their 10-year anniversary!
We had a chance to talk to their first employee Jartza Tulilahti, who has seen the company’s journey from the very beginning till today. In contrast, we also talked to Minna Wahlroos, who joined the company at the beginning of this year.
We talked about employees’ independence, their projects, as well as the company’s radical transparency and opportunities for the employees. Of course, we were curious to know what makes Rakettitiede such a company where people want to work for long years. What’s special? And we got the answers!
🔵 Nice to meet you, Jartza and Minna! How are you?
Jartza: Resource number 1 is operative. All systems go. How may I serve you?
Minna: Good! Caffeinated!
🔵 Jartza, you were the first employee of Rakettitiede! What’s the story behind joining the company?
Jartza: My professional IT career started in the ’90s. After around 15 years of experience in the IT business, I started to feel that I’m just a money-making machine to other people in a business that always ends up in co-operation negotiations. Then, after spending up to 160 days a year in hotel rooms working as a traveling instructor via my own company, I felt like enough is enough.
Then I started a plumbing business. 10 years ago, when I understood that being a sole proprietor didn’t always guarantee steady income, I posted my thoughts to Facebook: “Maybe I should get a real job?” An old colleague of mine soon replied that they had started a consulting business and asked if I wanted to join them. I hesitated for an hour or two, but in the end, I was convinced that the company was on the right track and immediately felt I was in the right place. I still do.
🔵 Minna, what is it like to be a newcomer in Rakettitiede? What caught your attention to the company in the first place?
Minna: I became aware of Rakettitiede’s kind of a “hybrid model” between freelancing and fixed salary employment. And I had overheard good things about Rakettitiede’s culture and people. So it was by word of mouth you could say.
🔵 Jartza, you’ve been in Rakettitiede for 9 years now, which is longer than average to be in one job. What is it that makes you do this work every day?
Jartza: It’s the perfect combination of lean bureaucracy, interesting projects, healthcare benefits, highly professional people, and learning new things every day. Rakettitiede has grown steadily, but not too fast – our recruiting methods try to keep the company culture alive while also taking care of the people already in the company. People respect each other and you can also always learn something new from others as everyone has their own area of expertise.
Rakettitiede takes care of people by providing a very extensive healthcare plan, not to forget the mental part. There is always help available for an overloaded mind. The occupational safety committee not only takes care of the statutory things but tries to think of new ways to implement so-called “preventive maintenance”, acting before problems grow too big.
Our projects have provided enough challenges to keep the work interesting. And in the end, salary is, of course, something you can’t dismiss. It’s very competitive and motivating.
🔵 In Rakettitiede, employees are called Rocket Scientists. What does this mean for you personally?
Minna: Personally, it does remind me that I’m in a group of solid professionals and we work on complex problems that sometimes may feel like rocket science.
🔵 The previous interview with Rakettitiede revealed that the company has loads of different projects and could also find the right fit outside the embedded / mobile / web header competencies. Is it expressed in your practical work and how?
Minna: When being often a sole reinforcement, there’s a wider range of responsibilities involved, and sometimes helping clients to maximum extent involves additional skills to “just coding to the spec”. Often there are no clearly laid out specs, and maybe creating those is the primary work.
🔵 What has been the most memorable project for you in Rakettitiede?
Jartza: Most definitely it is Tagsu – an electronic name badge I designed, implemented, sourced the components, mechanics and arranged the production of the device. The device itself is simple, but as a project, it was extremely educational for all the steps required to get something from the idea to the actual physical product. Without the help from Rakettitiede, this kind of learning project wouldn’t have been possible.
Minna: I have been working the whole year on a single project, and it’s great! I have a chance to contribute to something that brings comfort and safety to people’s everyday life, and not just money. Using bleeding-edge technologies, with a great team!
🔵 In Rakettitiede, how is it decided, who gets which client and project?
Minna: There’s very clear visibility on what external needs have reached our sales, so everyone interested can see immediately if something especially appealing comes around. Then you discuss further to be 100% sure if it’ll be appealing to both parties. Contracts are implemented so you can hop out if necessary, however, it isn’t common due to transparent and clear pre-gig discussions.
Jartza: Yes, it’s always the consultant who decides. If for some reason a consultant feels a need to change position, they can always talk to sales to find a new project. Some gigs are short, but others last for years. Some of the longest projects have already lasted over 5 years!
🔵 Rakettitiede is currently looking for experienced full stack, mobile, and embedded software developers. What would you recommend to new candidates?
Minna: I think Rakettitiede is a good company for experienced developers who want the comfort of having a company supporting you, as well as being a part of a like-minded community. I see it as a very worthwhile alternative to freelancing, especially with Finnish taxation.
Jartza: We’re indeed looking for new talented developers, so send us an application! Even if you won’t get selected now, we might be able to provide you with some insights on how to improve your talent and apply again later. There’s nothing to lose.
Check out Rakettitiede’s open positions on MeetFrank:
- Full Stack Developer
- Mobile Developer
- Embedded Developer
- Masters of the Programming Universe (open application)
🔵 And my final question will be direct – how Rakettitiede has helped you in your working life?
Jartza: By providing me with the opportunity to work on interesting projects, providing all the necessary tools I have requested without hesitation, and being supportive in case of any issues. There is always help available if you just ask, be your problem work or personal life related.
Minna: Do you mean after finding me a wonderful gig? 😀 I’m quite independent, but they’ve definitely supported me when I had doubts about something. I love the radical transparency that runs in the company.