Coding across borders
Saldo’s twenty-plus software developers are located in Finland and Lithuania. With the virtual commute from Vilnius to Turku only taking seconds, cross-border collaboration between front-end, back-end and full-stack developers is seamless.
There have been some serious shake-ups for the company’s original developers to contend with, as Saldo’s operations expanded to Lithuania. Most significantly, the company’s internal language changed from Finnish to English. A shared affinity for coding has bonded the Finnish coders with their new Lithuanian counterparts.
Front-end developer, Jaakko, weighed in on the organisational upheaval. ”The team of developers has increased in numbers, and this has somehow made us closer. New ways of thinking, working together on solving problems and tapping into new techniques has motivated all of us to learn and keep improving our own skills to better assist the team,” he said.
Front-end, back-end, full-stack
The role of a developer can encompass many different things: design, development, maintenance and testing, to name a few. What comes in front of the ’Developer’ title gives a few clues into the specifics of the individual’s role.
“As a front-end developer at Saldo, I create what is seen on our company’s website as well as what our loan application looks like. It’s incredibly important that these elements are functional from the customer's point of view, and can be navigated logically,” said Jaakko.
Loan matters are a critical element of Saldo’s business model, and front-end developers are instrumental in making sure they’re accessible in the way customers want them. Applications are no longer handled at the bank on site, and even fewer are accessed via desktop or laptop.
“When designing a website and loan application platform, we think mobile first. The design must take into account that up to 75–90% of our customers use our services on mobile devices. It poses new challenges in the design of user interfaces,” Jaakko reflects.
Matti works at Saldo as a back-end developer, focusing on the essential behind-the-scenes functionalities.
“Software development for the financial industry may seem a little intimidating as it’s a heavily regulated sector, however there’s a lot that can be learned on the job that textbooks won’t teach. The most important quality a developer can have is the drive to learn and improve. Basic technical skills are a must, of course, but initiative and a proactive attitude will get you everywhere,” Matti said.
The stereotype of the developer is far from reality
The cliché stereotype of the developer is an introverted mathematical genius who never takes off their headphones. Saldo’s 20-strong team of developers smash this preconceived notion with diverse backgrounds, healthy work-life balances and varying educations.
“Many of us gravitated to the industry via associated interests and hobbies. Our educational backgrounds really vary a lot. Some developers on the team are heavily self-taught, while others were educated at university level,” says Matti.
Coders are a unique breed, combining enthusiasm with an embedded motivation to learn new things, and seek out information independently. It’s not uncommon to find a coder spending a good part of their workday searching for information to solve a particular problem.
No day is the same for a software developer. Tasks range from design, problem solving, testing, writing tests, coding as a team and alone, and reviewing each other’s codes. Tasks are often conducted over two-week periods known as ’sprints’ and collectively reviewed before the next two-week sprint is scheduled.
The developers agree that the most rewarding part of the job is recognising their own contribution to a successful end result. Designing an element of a platform solo or as part of a team effort, and seeing it working efficiently and effectively when used by clients and colleagues, is the definition of success.
The developers have nailed the work-life balance too. Once they’ve logged-out of the workplace, those in close proximity play sports and enjoy downtime together. The team recently purchased a set of new rackets, and are hoping to organise an inter-city tournament when restrictions lift.
Are you interested in career at Saldo? Take a look at our vacant positions.