Interview: Jüri Tarkpea, the VP of Platform Engineering at Fleet Complete

Interview: Jüri Tarkpea, the VP of Platform Engineering at Fleet Complete

Just 20 years ago Jüri Tarkpea, now the VP of Platform Engineering at Fleet Complete, had a software company in a small Estonian town called Tartu. Their one-of-a-kind GPS tracker first caught the eye of Skype founder Toivo Annus and just 3 years ago the whole business was acquired by a huge global player Fleet Complete. Talk about a success story! 📈

Fleet Complete is the global leader in providing IoT solutions with the goal to reduce waste around anything that involves vehicles 🚚.. As their product falls on the B2B side, the wider audience might not be aware of all the Fleet Complete devices that surround us. But be well assured, they make our daily life a lot easier. 

According to Jüri, Fleet Complete is like a fox 🦊  agile and adaptive to every situation. Small enough to be flexible and fast. Big enough to serve huge global partners.

Read the interview to find out how the team gets stuff done and how they work with influential clients like Ford, AT&T and many more.

 

Interview

 

No mission statement is better than an insider giving us the overview of the company. Please tell us what does Fleet Complete do? Where could one find your product?

Essentially, we have two core values that we provide to our customers. 

Firstly, reducing waste around everything that involves vehicles and other assets of a company. In addition to that, we also try to maximize the benefits that come out of these assets. Usually, it involves location tracking. 

Location visibility is the cornerstone of our service, because once you get to the location, you can do business calculations, maintenance reminders and all sorts of reporting about anything related to the vehicles and assets. So, what we really do is help fleets thrive. 

 

What exactly do you mean by “fleets”?

In our case they are bicycles, cars, heavy trucks, helicopters, boats and everything in between. If one knew where to look, this is exactly where our products are to be found — attached to all sorts of vehicles. Of course, in reality there are few who know where to search. 

In fact, as we operate on the B2B side of the business world, the knowledge about us in general public is not high at all so that sometimes even the employees of the companies that use our products don’t know about all the systems we are providing them. They might know that some devices are being used but not if they are provided by Fleet Complete or somebody else. 

We look at it as a good thing, after all, one of our ideals is that we take away the problems, not replace them with new ones. In that sense, being unknown is a really good thing — because everybody remembers troublemakers.

 

What is your career story in the company? How did you find Fleet Complete or how did Fleet Complete find you? 

My career started almost 20 years ago as a developer with two friends. At the time we had a little software company in Tartu with a few map applications. There was one specific app that allowed one to see one’s location on an old soviet military map, using GPS trackers. At that time, it was a unique offering. 

What is maybe interesting to mention is that Toivo Annus, the founder of Skype and one of the first business leaders in technology, used to have a hobby for off-road vehicles’ orientation back in 2004-2005. People who drove those vehicles started buying the software to know where the bogs and trenches are and this is how Toivo found out about us. 

One of the companies he had invested in was Oskando which was focusing on GPS trackers´ hardware, so at one point it was only natural that he came to us and made an offer to merge.

Following that, we expanded to Baltics and found the first resellers in Eastern Europe and Nordics. Then we merged with a Danish company and we started growing bigger than just a Baltics’ company. 

Three years ago, this whole thing was acquired by Fleet Complete and today I serve as the Global VP of Engineering. I think that most of the people working in the Estonian office today are on the same trajectory of one day contributing to this company and team at the highest possible level. 

 

Wow, that’s one interesting journey you had! What is the common value that connects different international experts in the team? 

“Getting stuff done”. In the corporate environment it can be really hard to maintain our own face and the personal style of communication. 

Luckily, I believe that we have managed to do that. We are not afraid to express our opinions and we all bring our best to the table for the mutual goal of getting stuff done. So, I guess it is the common mindset that most connects us. 

 

During these unprecedented times, how are things going with Fleet Complete?

When the first wave of COVID hit, very soon after, we started breaking many monthly records in sales. Our products and services proved to be extra valuable during these unprecedented times when life needed to become more digitalized in order to minimize physical contact between people. 

So, the year has turned out quite well. In fact, so well that we have started a new hiring cycle to keep up with the customer demands. 

At the same time internally, we switched to remote work mode from day 1 without any impact on the business. So, we are very flexible and allow everyone to decide what is the best working setup for them. Also, during that time we were offering virtual workout sessions with coaches on wellbeing as well as physical exercise. 

While the company’s headquarter is in Toronto, Fleet Complete has 12 offices all around the world. Picture from Tartu office opening.

 

The company is rapidly expanding and Fleet Complete just opened a new office in Tallinn. Congratulations! Who are you looking for to join the team?

Indeed, thank you! 

As I mentioned earlier, “getting stuff done” mindset plays a big role in our company. Therefore, we are first and foremost looking for people who align with that mindset. 

In addition to that I want to say that we have seen too many success stories over the years of people who on the paper should have not been hired but aligned with the mindset, had grit and have now achieved great things. 

Working in a company that is growing that fast is not always easy. It means that we also look for people who are searching for professional challenges. We do not have the luxury to decide everything for our employees, on the contrary, we are counting on them to make up their own mind and in case of urgency have the confidence to make the decision on their own.

If you are looking for professional challenges, share the “getting stuff done” mindset and are ready to take the lead when needed, we are a perfect match.

Specifically, we are looking at the moment: mobile developers, QA engineers, full-stack developers, UX lead and many more. Feel free to join the team:

 

 

You said that switching to remote work happened rather smoothly. Do you have any secrets on how you did that?

We support productivity. You should work where you are the most productive, be it the office, home or remote office — it doesn’t matter. 

In addition to that I believe we are a supportive bunch that want to achieve great things and to have fun along the way. 

Also, the self-development aspect is worth mentioning. During a short period of time you can see the strengths of each employee and we try to play on their strengths, we try to encourage their personal growth. From a materialistic perspective, our employees can choose their work equipment. We don’t offer golden laptops, but we’ll do as much as possible to help our employees to be more productive.

 

Thanks for taking the time to chat with us! To end the interview, we’ve got 5 rapid-fire questions to you.

 

If Fleet Complete would be an animal, what animal would it be? 

A fox, because of agility and ability to find solutions. Adaptive to every situation. 

 

What is the best thing that happened to the whole team this month? 

Excellent question! We just launched our next generation web platform product for retail customers of AT&T of US.  

 

Who is Fleet Complete’s biggest client in the world, in Estonia?

AT&T globally and Eesti Energia in Estonia.

 

What’s your favourite part of your current job? 

Never had a boring day.

 

What do you believe is the biggest strength of your company right now? 

Small enough to be agile and be able to execute rapidly. We are also big enough that we serve as partners for world’s biggest car manufacturers (Ford, General Motors, Daimler, Mitsubishi) and telecom companies. 

 

Personality vs Tech Skills in Software Development: Interview with Danas Venclovas, Head of IT Recruitment at People Link

Personality vs Tech Skills in Software Development: Interview with Danas Venclovas, Head of IT Recruitment at People Link

Software speciality is a major force in the job market. Unfortunately the field is strongly stereotyped. It is commonly believed that software engineers are introverts that work silently in the corner – somewhat typical nerds 🤓.

#ILookLikeAnEngineer was called into life to stop this appearance-based bias. Now let’s investigate the performance-based tilt.

It is commonly believed that great knowledge of tech skills is all you need to be a successful software developer. However, the HR & recruitment experts from People Link have pointed out an interesting shift 👀 in the IT recruitment field.

Currently, personality is getting more weight in taking a decision whom to hire as an engineer. 

We discussed with Danas Venclovas, head of IT recruitment at People Link, how the software engineers’ personality has become the primary focus during the recruitment process.

 

Danas Venclovas from People Link has strong expertise in the IT sector recruitment.

 

Software engineering speciality has become a very broad field of study. Years ago a solo task is now an interaction between many stakeholders: designers, users, product owners, etc. How has that changed the profile of a software engineer?

That’s right, stakeholders are more and more involved in contributing to tasks meaning more collaboration is needed. If we look back 3-4 years, most of the companies tried to fill roles with people handling very specific skill set (i.e. software engineer with 3 years of .NET 4.x, or ASP.NET and even in some specific business domain experience) and that was complete standart in the market. 

Currently, in recruitment we see a huge shift to what is required to fulfil tasks – companies now appreciate technical eclecticism. Meaning we are not looking for a PHP Symfony specialist or Java engineer, companies are looking for a Software Engineer who would feel comfortable with a combination of programming languages and would be able to choose different tools for different problems (i.e. use Node.JS on one microservice and Python for the other, while working on the same platform). 

Another thing that changed over the past few years is the view on engineer’s personality. Companies used to focus on a specific skill whilst turning a blind eye on what they are as a person. Currently, personality is getting more weight in taking a decision whom to hire as an engineer. 

As every company is using a different technical stack and in almost every case when a person joins the team, they have to adapt to the company’s stack and learn new things, Hiring Managers tend to take in consideration their communication, collaboration skills, ability to learn, flexibility, agility, etc.

 

 

Study suggests that although interests and personality types may play a role in the selection of a career, they may not predict success in that area. Would you agree with this? Do you see any prominent characteristics among software developers that secure a higher rate of success?

I really think that personality influences the selection of the career path – for example, in our recruitment we use a Tripod assessment center that assesses personality based on the Big 5 personality theory. Combined with mental and/or spatial ability tests can give us a very good indication on how a person will perform in a new role, will they adapt quickly and what might hinder their success.

Overall, higher scores in Arithmetical and Spatial abilities is a good predictor of one’s opportunities to have a good career in the IT industry. Hence if one is considering to transition to IT, I would very much advise them to take such a test- it would be a very useful guideline for them.

Developers like any other people share a very wide range of interests and hobbies – sports, hardware, gaming, cooking, you name it. None of these interests can predict developers’ ability to succeed at work. During my career I interviewed a lot of diverse people who in no way support the stereotypes of developers. I’ve seen very communicative, extroverted people enjoying coding all day and complete introverts who successfully manage teams and develop businesses. 

But there is one factor which can definitely describe a person’s success in IT, actually in any field – and it’s a very simple thing – constant learning and finding ways to challenge oneself. Best candidates and leaders of the market always say the same – the more I’ve learned along the way, the more I still don’t know. And as IT is a very fast paced industry with constantly developing technologies, tools, and frameworks, one must keep up with all of it if you want to stay in the game. 

 

People Link consists of experts in HR Recruitment and Sourcing, providing full Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) services to wide range of sectors.

 

As an expert in recruitment, you have probably done numerous successful hirings. What are the biggest stumbling blocks that people make during an interview or in the applying process?

There are numerous ways one can fail in interviews or any other stage of the recruitment process. I could tell you stories for hours about candidates who come to a video interview without wearing a T-shirt, lights up a cigarette while being interviewed, curses, appears late by 30-40 mins or forgets to show up at all. So it’s not easy to surprise me anymore 😀 

The interesting thing is that these stories are much more common in the IT industry than any others. It’s hard to tell why.

I think the biggest mistakes that people make during an interview is coming in without any preparation – not having taken a look at the company or position they’ll be interviewed for. I had cases when a person shows up on a video interview and doesn’t remember what company we will be talking to, and in most cases this strongly indicates that candidates have little motivation to change jobs and are just “window shopping”. In most cases, talking with recruiters means one of the following: either you improve your salary and benefits by going to a better position/company or you increase your salary in the current company by going to your boss and saying – company X is headhunting me. So why not make some effort and show your best qualities. 

At People Link we do a lot of surveys on the Lithuanian labour market  and a few years back we were looking into what personal qualities employers look for in their employees. And the results showed that most desired qualities are responsibility, efficiency, independency, diligence and proactivity. So try to show these qualities during interviews with companies in addition to your technical skills and you will earn much more than you’ll lose: you’ll improve your working conditions, your salary, or at least – your reputation that in the long run might positively  improve your working conditions and/or salary.

 

 

Give some hints to students or those who are considering a career change. Where in the IT sector do you see that companies’ demand is high, but the potential amount of talent is low?

In all the areas in the IT market demand is higher than supply. Choosing almost any field in IT to study has a tremendous potential. Of course, you should consider studying modern technologies like Golang, Node.JS, React.JS, Python, since the demand of these skills in the market are higher than other technologies but if you choose PHP, Java or .NET as your main technology, you will still have plenty of opportunities in the market. One of the “not such a good” choices would be going for Mainframe or other legacy technologies.

But, as I mentioned before, not only your technology stack is important, think of ways how to improve and show your personal qualities. And not only that but also invest some time into data literacy. If you’re thinking about IT, huge chances are that you’ll be working with data, algorithms and databases, unless you go for Front-end and Design. In this case you’ll have less data 🙂 

 

 

If a company is struggling to find talent to join their team, how can People Link help in these situations?

At People Link we provide a number of services to the companies but the main is the full recruitment process. But I always say that companies we work with benefit the most from the partnership we have, since we help not only with finding and assessing candidates but we work with companies to make the best Employer Value proposition, help with recruitment process and strategy, we consult companies on the market trends, salaries and challenges, efficiency and effectiveness of their HR processes, etc. We have experience building teams for start-ups from scratch, helping market leaders to find and hire the right people and we cover many more functions from consulting to organizational research. 

 

Want to know more about recruitment trends? Contact team of People Link for more info.

 

What are your predictions for the future? How will the IT sector recruitment trends change? What struggles/changes we have to be ready for?

The main struggle that recruitment will face is less time for filling the role. Two years ago it was completely normal for recruitment to take 3-4 weeks, year ago it was 2-3 weeks. Now if a candidate doesn’t have an answer whether he or she gets the offer or not in 2 weeks, you can practically forget about them – they’ve forgotten about you and lost their interest in the role. From the candidates point of view it’s completely fair to ask for a faster process since nobody wants to go through 1 month of recruitment and find out that the company chose someone else. It’s even worse when candidates don’t get any feedback at all. 

Another thing that’s not a future trend but todays’ reality – recruiters need to work alongside hiring managers in order to recruit and engage the best people in the market. The age where recruitment agencies were just service providers is over and now every head-hunter needs to be as much as possible included in the recruitment process because only by having all the information we can help companies and candidates and actually be partners in dealing with market’s challenges. 

And for the future in IT predictions, I really feel that Data literacy will become more important as everything is moving towards Big data, Data Science, AI and we all, doesn’t matter if you are a developer, a customer support, or HR Generalist, everyone will have to work with data and its analysis. Another trend – technical eclecticism – problems in the IT field evolve and become harder to solve but by sticking to one or two technologies as your technical stack means that soon you’ll be not competitive in the market. This means that, again, keep learning new things, keep up-to-date with new trends and invest time in learning. 

 

Let’s summarise with 5 main takeaways: 

 

💡 Currently, companies appreciate technical eclecticism – the ability of combining things from many different areas or systems. Constant improvement and finding ways to challenge oneself is the key.

💡 Danas has interviewed a lot of diverse people during his recruitment career and these people, in no way, support the stereotypes of developers.

💡 The recruitment process has become faster and faster. Two years ago it was completely normal for recruitment to take 3-4 weeks, year ago it was 2-3 weeks. Now if a candidate doesn’t have an answer whether he or she gets the offer or not in 2 weeks, you can practically forget about them.

💡 According to People Link survey results, the most desired and valued qualities are responsibility, efficiency, independency, diligence and proactivity.

💡 Not only your technology stack is important, but think of ways how to improve and show your personal qualities.

 

People Link is constantly helping to connect the right talent to relevant companies:

 

 

 

“Scala leads to better code and happier developers” – Interview with Juris Krikis, Scala and JavaScript Department Lead at Evolution

“Scala leads to better code and happier developers” – Interview with Juris Krikis, Scala and JavaScript Department Lead at Evolution

If you’re choosing your career path in software development, the main question is what programming language to specialise in? 💻 Usually Javascript takes the spotlight, but despite the trends, there isn’t a right or wrong programming language choice.

 

When setting up your profile at MeetFrank you will encounter a wide variety of programming languages. Just select your expertise and MeetFrank will connect you directly to companies that are looking for a talent like you! One click, no hassle needed.

 

What’s expected from engineers these days?

 

Investigating the software development job offers on MeetFrank we stumbled across a job position that had rather unique Scala programming language requirement. This rarity caught our eye and we directly contacted the company Evolution and jumped into the sea of Scala with Juris Krikis, their Scala and JavaScript Department Lead.

 

It turned out that Evolution is rather seriously investing into the Scala programming language community by organising Scala bootcamps and making learning resources available for everybody. All you need to have is fundamental programming knowledge and a desire to learn.

 

Did you know that Scala is used by well-known companies such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Netflix and Airbnb? Read further to find out more!

 

 

What does the company Evolution do?

 

Evolution is a world-leading B2B provider of video-streamed Live Dealer gaming with over 400+ engineers located in Riga, Minsk, Tallinn and Amsterdam Engineering Hubs. The company is successfully using Scala as the main programming language for their back-end services.

 

They are actively recruiting Scala Engineers in Minsk, Riga and Tallinn – offering interesting projects and a modern technology stack, not only on the back-end but also on the front-end (using TypeScript, React, Redux, MobX, Babylon.js and WebGL). Check out their current vacancies:

 

Evolution has offices in 15 countries and Engineering Hubs in Latvia, the Netherlands, Estonia and Belarus.

 

 

How does Evolution implement Scala programming language in their daily work?

 


Juris, you went all out there and called Scala an elegant and powerful programming language. What made you fall in love and how did you implement Scala into your everyday work?

We have been successfully using Scala at Evolution since 2013. Initially we started using Scala in unit tests, but over time, we realised that the code we write in Scala has higher quality than our Java code. 

It was also easier to maintain due to a more advanced type system. Besides, we added Akka to our technology stack and Akka can be used more naturally from Scala.

Overall, the developers liked Scala, and we have successfully transitioned our codebase into modern and functional Scala code, which also involved the migration of other technology stack components: from Java and Hazelcast, Hibernate, Spring and JSP frameworks to Scala and Akka, including Akka Persistence. We split the monolithic application into microservices that communicate with each other using Kafka. The integration had to be carried out gradually while the system remained production.

 

 

How did you stumble upon Scala? What exactly charmed you?

I started learning Scala in late 2012. At the time, I was looking for a “better Java”, and while I was programming in Groovy, it seemed both a step forward and back compared to Java. 

At first, the learning curve for Scala seemed steep. I was reading some complicated library code, understanding very little, and thinking that “this really uses operator overloading too much”. But then I finished the Coursera course “Functional Programming in Scala” by “the father of Scala” Martin Odersky and fell in love with the language. 

I like the compile-time type checking features that well written Scala code has. The compiler helps you do various refactoring very efficiently, guiding the developer from working code to working code, without breaking anything. The probability that “if your code compiles, it works” is really high in Scala.

 

What are the main benefits of using Scala? 

Scala leads to better code and happier developers. The absolute majority of our developers who have become proficient in Scala are no longer interested in moving back to their previous languages.

Scala is a general-purpose back-end (server-side) language, and you can do everything in it that you could do in Java. It has good interoperability with existing Java code, as well as excellent frameworks for developing distributed, low-latency systems. 

Scala supports the functional programming (FP) paradigm, which leads to more maintainable code. 

The average proficiency of Scala developers is very high – if a developer decides to move out of the “comfort zone” and migrate to Scala, he or she is probably interested in developing skills and writing good code. 

Using Scala.js you can develop for the front-end – thus Scala can also do most things that Javascript or Typescript can. Scala.js is a Scala transpiler to JavaScript, allowing development in Scala for the browser. This allows the applications to be isomorphic – both the back-end and front-end written in Scala, with code that can be reused between them. 

We at Evolution have one of the most advanced Scala.js projects in production, which manages the work schedules of our 8000 game presenters world-wide. 

 

But surely, there must be some drawbacks?

True, the main drawbacks of Scala are slow compilation times and a rather steep learning curve.

 

Is the language still evolving? What are the future prospects for Scala?

Scala is an evolving language with a vibrant ecosystem, including many open source contributors. The new version of Scala language, “Scala 3” adds many desired features and improves existing ones.

However, not only the language is evolving but also new libraries are being introduced, such as ZIO and Cats Effect 3. Besides that, the community is finding new, useful ways to write Scala code, such as with the Tagless Final approach. The prospects are very good indeed.

If a software engineering enthusiast is reading this, then why should they learn Scala? 

Learning Scala is certainly the right choice! It will make you into a better developer even if you do not stick with it. I wish more universities taught Scala to students. The closest language commonly taught is Haskell.

Haskell is an important functional programming language and functional Scala borrows a lot from it. But there are fewer Haskell vacancies, and it is used less often in production. The language itself is beautiful, but the ecosystem is lagging.

 

 

You say that Scala is pretty rarely taught in universities. Where should one start then?

I believe that the Kernighan & Ritchie quote “The only way to learn a new programming language is by writing programs in it” is very true.

So you must write code. Every day. Start with simple tasks from HackerRank or similar sites. Continue with more and more complicated tasks and systems, especially ones that help you solve problems you yourself care about. Contribute to open source. 

I think Scala is quite easy to pick up if used as a “better Java with some syntactic sugar”. If used in an idiomatic Functional Programming-style, it also becomes a matter of learning Functional Programming and how to apply it using Scala.

 

 

As Evolution is such a powerful hub for Scala, is there any opportunity to come and learn the language from your team?

Participating in Scala bootcamps can help you learn faster from experienced mentors. All you need for participating is fundamental programming knowledge and a desire to learn – previous Scala or Functional programming experience is not required. Our bootcamp showed that people want to learn Scala. We received almost 500 applications this summer for the Scala Bootcamp in Riga! 

Previously there were fewer learning materials and it was easier to just say “start with the ‘red book’ by Chiusano and Bjarnason” but many excellent authors have now published books and tutorials.

Thus we have collected, in our opinion, links to the best Scala learning resources. Find them in the “Learning resources” section. We constantly keep them up to date.

 

 

Looking for new adventures? Try out MeetFrank today

 

MeetFrank was created to make the job market open, stress-free and quite a bit fun really. We do all we can to ensure that companies can find the talent they need without undue pain and that talent can make the best possible decisions with all the necessary information.

To get started on MeetFrank, head on over here to check out our free app and see what the best companies are offering.

And if you’re a recruiter, get in touch with us here to book a demo call so you can see how MeetFrank works. We’ll look out for you.

The Hottest Software Developer Skills in 2020

The Hottest Software Developer Skills in 2020

What are the top software developer skills in 2020 and in high demand in the global job market?

During the past 10 years, the Software Engineering industry has been undergoing significantly rapid changes. 

According to EDC, in 2019, 26.4 million people globally were engaged in programming, and by 2023 it is expected that the number of software developers will exceed 27.7 million people.

In this article, we will cover the latest job market news in Software Development and how it affects trends in hard and soft skills that are requested in this industry.

Essential skills types in Software Development career 

In general, each software developer needs to have 3 main directions of the skillset:

👉 Some fundamental knowledge related to the professional field. For example, to become a machine learning engineer, you must have strong math skills.

👉 Basic skills in related fields. For example, Design, UX, Back-end development, project management for  Front-end Web Developer. This kind of knowledge helps you communicate effectively with colleagues.

👉 Personal qualities (soft skills) in areas such as leadership, emotional intelligence, self-control, mentoring, etc. They are necessary to be able to express your ideas and work results clearly, build trusting relationships with your teammates, managers, and subordinates. Soft skills also help to cope with your own and team failures and build informal relationships.

TOP software engineering jobs that companies are looking for

During the last 3 months, the trends on the job market have changed significantly. But the demand for software engineering job offers remains on a high level.

Among 19 specialties currently available on MeetFrank, Software Engineering roles take 57% of the total.

Besides, some of them lie in the top 10 job offers with the highest number of applicants.

 

Based on the number of job offers and applicants in the MeetFrank app, the most popular software engineering job opening is .NET Software Engineer followed by Full-Stack Developer and Front-End Developer. 🚀

 

Looking for a similar position? Check how your salary ranks on the job market.

Most in-demand Software Engineering hard skills in 2020

By looking at the job market changes’ speed now and beyond, it is obvious that if you want to be in a safe place, you need to maximize your marketability via pursuing a mostly demanded skill-set.

What software developer skills should you focus on now?

We analyzed the job market for programmers and prepared a list of most sought hard skills globally.

 

You can also check per-country data in MeetFrank Job Market Insights


TOP programming languages to know in 2020

If you want to start your career in software development, one of the most common questions you may ask yourself would be “What is the top best programming language to know?”.

Here is the most up to date list 👇

 

Despite current trends, there isn’t a right or wrong programming language choice. You need to pick the one or two that suit the specific field you want to work in today. See the examples below:

 

Soft skills as a secret weapon

Employers and recruiters have long been saying that software development professionals can no longer succeed with technical skills alone.

Today, the classic techie should have “flexible” skills. According to a McKinsey poll, it is high-tech industries that are most in need of them. One-third of the respondents indicated that the most problematic areas in terms of soft skills in 2021 would be data analytics, IT, mobile, web design.

Here are TOP 4 essential soft skills every software professional needs to consider in his career.

📢Communication

It may sound weird to you, but communication is one of the core skills in the software development world.

Image Source

This skill is highly needed for self-presentation on interviews, writing documentation for libraries and frameworks, teamwork, and writing emails, or slack messages to coworkers. You need to be able to hear, convincingly argue, be customer-oriented, and tuned in to the result.

Self-management

This skill involves the management of emotions, stress, and energy, the ability to reflect and give feedback properly. It also includes time management.

💪Effective thinking

For productive work, it is essential to control the processes in the head. You should learn the systemic, creative, structural, logical, and design types of thinking. The ability to collect and analyze information to correctly conclude will not hinder as well.

🙋‍♂️Leadership

Leadership is especially important for team managers and senior roles. This skill includes an ability to plan, set tasks for employees correctly, motivate them, control, and give appropriate feedback on time. Managing people is not about making subordinates do what you want. This skill is about the ability to inspire and help others reach their highest potential. Therefore, the manager’s expertise is super crucial for those planning career growth.

Final words

The most important software developer skill is the willingness to learn continually.

This is relevant for all professions. But for programmers, if they want to be in demand, it is crucial to keep abreast of technological development.

Interested in challenging yourself in one of the most popular Software Engineering positions? Check these ones out and apply via the MeetFrank app!

👉.NET Software Engineer for Adroiti
👉Senior Full-Stack Developer for Bolt
👉Front-end Developer for Vello Solutions
👉Senior Software Engineer – Backend for Bolt
👉JAVA/KOTLIN Developer for Mercans

Ride the Tiger? The State of Estonian Job Market for Tech Roles in 2020

Ride the Tiger? The State of Estonian Job Market for Tech Roles in 2020

Having a reputation for punching above its weight when it comes to things digital and tech, the Estonian tech sector has been experiencing a solid-paced rise during the last five years.

But how does that affect the local job market?

Here are some of the takeaway facts we found out about Estonia’s job market:  

  • The country has risen to the 20th position in Europe in terms of the total investment into startups while having the second smallest population after Luxembourg
  • With its 123 million worth of investments into deep tech in 2014-2019, Estonia ranks 18th in Europe, placing it on the second place among Eastern European countries, right behind Poland that has 29 times bigger population
  • The country is strongly supporting startups, injecting nearly €200 million to boost it
  • Software engineers and IT talent are currently among the most in-demand workers with the lowest level of competition
  • Salaries of Estonia’s tech jobs are behind the European average but way above the national average

Estonia’s tech sector in numbers

Estonian job market in 2020

The tiger reference 🐯 in the title of this article is not a literary gimmick (not totally at least), as it’s referencing to the Tiger Leap project – one of the revolutionary initiatives launched by the Estonian government in 1990’s and 2000’s that paved way digital information technology. These programs played a fundamental role in the buildup of state information infrastructure and education.

It is also most likely one of the factors that have led to the considerable success of Estonia’s tech sector, that is currently growing at a fast pace and attracted a strong € 250 million worth of investments in 2019. The country is proud of its 4 unicorns, having currently more per capita than any other country in the world: Skype, Playtech, Transferwise and Bolt.

All this makes for good country promotion material, but what’s actually happening at the work market?

Top 6 jobs Estonian tech companies are hiring for

tops jobs in Estonian job market

As with the rest of Europe, software engineering job offers are currently at the top in Estonia with 49% of the job offers. The share of applications submitted for software engineering jobs is significantly lower – 37% – meaning that the applicants enjoy a low competition rate. And are in high demand!

IT & System administrators are the second-highest in need and also with a low ratio of applicant numbers. Creative fields like design and marketing & PR are among the last in the top 6, with a negative ratio of the share of applications, indicating high competition.

Competitiveness for the top 6 roles

top jobs in Estonia

Among the six jobs with the highest share of offers in MeetFrank, creative and performance-oriented fields like design, sales & business development, marketing & PR & media see the biggest competition for the job offers in Estonia.

On average 26 people apply for design job offers published in MeetFrank, which is the highest in Estonia but far behind the European average of the same field – 41. Also similarly to the European average, IT fields are lower in terms of competition as, software engineering has 10, Data & Analytics has 9 and IT & Sysadmin has 7 candidates per offer.

What are the salaries for tech jobs in the Estonian job market?

Salaries in Estonian in 2020
Although slightly behind the European average, it can be said that salaries offered in the tech sector in Estonia are relatively higher than those of the rest of the country.

Also, the payment is slightly more egalitarian in Estonia between the average payments in different fields as the tech/IT jobs are not that far ahead of the others than the European average is. IT & System administrators are the most well-paid among the most popular jobs, followed closely by project management, sales & business development and software engineering, while creative fields like design and marketing are earning about a fifth less.

As you scroll up, you will see that high demand creates high salaries: As software engineers are one of the most sought-after experts in Estonia, it also reflects in their salary level.

It’s a fairly common knowledge that Estonian tech companies are also looking towards other European markets when it comes to finding top talent.

How popular is relocation among Estonian tech companies and job-seekers?

Are companies and job-seekers open to relocating?

Estonian job market overview in 2020
It turns out workers currently based in Estonia are, on average slightly less interested in relocation than the European average. This is the case for software engineering and sales & business development job seekers. 

A curious case is IT & system administration, that has the highest % of interest for relocation (25%) while the field has the highest salaries of all top jobs in Estonia and the lowest level of competition. This is over 4 times higher than the European average (6%) for the role.

Sales & business development and data & analytics people are the most content in Estonia, with only 11% and 12%, respectively, interested in relocating.

Top 5 countries with applications to relocate to work in Estonia

relocation jobs in Estonia

We know that around 25% of Estonian job-seekers are open to relocation.

But what about the other way around? Do people from other countries want to relocate to Estonia? The job-seekers in the MeetFrank platform seem to be willing enough.

Although Lithuania has an emerging tech scene of its own and the average payment is close to Estonia, it is surprisingly the country with the highest rate of readiness to relocate to Estonia. That is most likely due to geographic proximity.

Estonia’s northern neighbor Finland follows second and Ukraine, currently the country with the biggest migration to Estonia in general, comes third.

 

Top skills required in tech-related roles

top job skills needed in Estonia

Let’s take a look at which skills make you most likely to get hired in the Estonian job market. At least in the MeetFrank app!

With software engineering being the most in-demand profession at the moment it shouldn’t come as too big a surprise that the top sought-after skills are regarding that field. Full-stack, backend and frontend development and most common development languages HTML & CSS, SQL and Javascript are what’s expected of engineers these days.

Business development, project management, sales management, English and also Estonian are expected from sales & business development managers, while English is also the highest sought-after skill for customer support.

IT & Sysadmin candidates are currently most valued for their system administration and DevOps skills, while content marketing is the top skill expected from marketing & PR candidates. The most in-demand skill for designers is UI & visual design.

Top 10 Estonian companies, voted by job-seekers

TOP Estonian tech companies

In the MeetFrank app, the most applied-to companies are the tech unicorns.

Out of the four unicorns ever be been nurtured in Estonia, two are hiring at MeetFrank being they are the country’s most popular companies. These are the low-cost money transfer service Transferwise and the ride-hailing platform Bolt (formerly known as Taxify).

The third is the mobile banking app Monese and fourth Veriff, offering safer face recognition service – one of the features that are vital for Estonia’s E-Residency project. Starship, founded by Ahti Heinla (one of the founders of the mythical Skype) is now working on packaging robots with Starship that is also currently hiring across people in Estonia and several locations in the US.

MeetFrank is also regularly used by non-startups and /-tech companies, as indicated by the presence of two Swedish companies: the packaging, biomaterials, wooden constructions, and paper production giant Stora Enso and commercial bank SEB.

In a nut-shell

Estonia’s tech labour market, although comparatively small, is experiencing fast growth and offers a bunch of interesting companies to work for.

Several of them have recently grown to become international success stories such as Transferwise and Bolt, with many others boasting the potential to become the country’s next unicorns. 

The average payment in the tech sector is slightly below the European average, but so are the prices in the country’s capital Tallinn, where most of the companies are hiring. The city embraces several tech hubs, a thriving startup community, having made it to the league of Europe’s top cities in terms of tech development and financing.

Want more? Read a similar overview of the European tech job marketing in 2020.

How to Find the Best Software Development Jobs in Finland

How to Find the Best Software Development Jobs in Finland

If you’re wondering what it will be like to work in one of the software development jobs in Finland, you should know it’s likely to be a bit “wild and watery”.

Finland is home to 188,000 lakes. In case you’re wondering if that’s a lot, it’s a global record. That’s the most amount of water in relation to land mass you’ll find anywhere in the world.

The country is also 70% forest, encompassing an area larger than the whole of Italy. A beautiful country to live and work in, there’s plenty allure to the opportunities that the country offers.

With IT industry sub-sectors that employ up to 27% foreigners, you can be certain that there’s a home for you in Finland, no matter where you’re from.

Drawing from our stats sourced from offers on MeetFrank, we’ll share all the data you need to find the best software development jobs in Finland and how they compare with others.

 

Finnish IT and software development industry: A game of jobs

 

Gaming. That’s Finland’s largest IT and software industry sub-sector. The sub-sector is no child’s play though.

Finland is home to world leading mobile gaming companies, Supercell, Rovio and Fingersoft. The market grew by 5.9% in 2016 and set a record high turnover the same year, generating more than $2.9 billion. The sub-sector experienced a compound average growth rate of 45% from 2004 to 2015. Crazy.

The larger IT industry is also very strong. The sector employs 6.8% of the country’s entire workforce, the highest figures in the EU for 2017. Turnover in the sector was $14 billion in the same year, a growth of 8% over 2016.

Our data also shows that offers on MeetFrank for software development jobs in Finland have increased by 49% over 2018.

And all of this is set to improve in the coming years. The government has allocated more than $450 million to the industry, including direct capital funding and regional grants. This funding has been directed to support various digital projects slated to run between 2018 and 2022.

The country is pulling out all the stops in its bid to ensure that Finland becomes the premier digital destination. A four-year $226 million program called “AI Business” has also been developed to fund Finnish businesses. The program, slated to run from 2018 to 2022, aims to provide international networks and support services to Finland’s businesses.

 

Who do employers want to hire?

 

Companies seem to have a clear strategy in their recruitment for software development jobs in Finland. They display a strong preference for experienced employees, particularly those that can fit into senior level roles.

Mid-level and lead roles are also receiving a lot of attention, constituting more than half of the total offers for software development jobs in Finland.

It seems there is less of a need for junior and entry roles at the moment, although that may change in the future.

There was very low activity in the recruitment drive for executives. This indicates greater stability in executive functions and lower turnover. Companies are not expected to build out their teams with 11 captains anyway. So, this is as expected.

 

Average salaries for software development jobs in Finland

 

Data from the MeetFrank platform on average salaries for software development jobs in Finland is structured along three tracks. We considered the data for average salaries per seniority, average overall and average per month.

The average per seniority indicates a continued trend of high wages in Finland. Entry level employees earned an average of €4,359 a month, more than a majority of their peers in other jobs and other countries earn, at lead or senior level.

Employees in junior roles earned pretty much the same amount though at €4360, giving no allowance for the greater experience a junior would have.

Mid-level and senior developers earned €4,861 and €5,090 respectively while lead developers earned €5,206. In an interesting quirk, executives earned less than senior developers, making €4,979 on average.

For overall salaries in offers on MeetFrank, we calculated the total average for 2019. Developers earned a minimum average of €3,113 per month, blowing away their colleagues in other countries, while the maximum average was €5,018.

The highest salary offered for a software development job in Finland was an unreal €10,600. Yeah, you have permission to drool at that one.

The monthly averages for January to July 2019 also indicated the high salaries earned by software developers in Finland. The average for January was €4,286 while February’s was €4,139. Although there was a decrease to €3,655 in March, salaries recovered pretty nicely to €4,137 in April.

Again, we observed that the summer lull that usually affects other job tracks didn’t really show up here. Between May to July 2019, the lowest average recorded was €3,951 in May and the highest, €4,085 in July.

 

Top 5 in-demand skills for software development jobs in Finland

 

Software development relies on pure skill, and employers require candidates to have quite a few of these skills. Working from our data on offers for software development jobs in Finland, we spooled the top 5 in-demand skills for employers.

At 7%, the majority of employers required competencies in full-stack development in candidates. Backend development, JavaScript and frontend development came in joint second at 6% each. While REST API made up the top 5, being required 4% of the time.

What skills do you need to earn really big, maybe cop your own ten-thousand-euro payday? Well, according to our data, you need a combination of competencies in full-stack development, backend development and JavaScript to earn upwards of €5,000.

Skill up to this level, and you can look forward to your own significant payday.

 

Where people want to work and companies that fit the bill

 

MeetFrank users in Finland want to work for startups, fintech and The Next Big Thing – quite a forward-looking approach, we must say.

Companies that are a perfect fit include Visma, Hunomics, Loiston, Neverthink and Appgyver. Take a closer look at these companies on MeetFrank to see if they tick all the boxes for you.

For companies actively hiring software developers in Finland, Bitfactor, Visma, BON Games and Digia Oyj are amongst the top 10.

 

MeetFrank takes the stress out of the job market

 

That’s it. All you need to find the best software development jobs in Finland, right at your fingertips.

At MeetFrank, it’s our dream to help create a job market that is open, transparent and competitive. If there’s anything you want to know about your dream job, simply hop on over to MeetFrank and you’ll find everything you need. Check out the app here to get started. 

And for recruiters, we make the recruitment process easy and stress free. Give us a call today and set up a demo to try it out.