Senior Software Engineer, Tapani Mansner, has an interesting merit: he's the longest-working employee at HiQ Finland. He started his career officially in 1989 and has since then worked with software development.
“I actually skipped my first day at work with HiQ. I spent it at the maternity hospital for the birth of my first child," Tapani smiles. As a young man, Tapani was supposed to become an astronomer: he aced the mathematical subjects in school. He quickly became interested in technology when he got in touch with the first computers in schools, and ended up studying electrical engineering at TKK. The studies provided a broad foundation for his later career in software development. While he was still studying, Tapani visited a trade fair and came across Softplan's stand. The company later became part of HiQ.
"At the trade fair, I got my first contact with Softplan, where my long-time friend also happened to work. I left my studies and jumped into working life because supporting my family was my priority from a very young age."
These days it's becoming increasingly common to change careers in every few years or so. "Job hopping" is especially familiar for the younger generations. However, even-tempered and persistent Tapani has never dreamed of changing careers or employers. He wonders if it's because of the knowledge that the grass isn't greener on the other side of the fence. He also feels like software development is in itself fascinating and provides enough variety since every day is different.
"In addition to coding, I do a lot of support work, for example, look for bugs, solve problems and take care of matters related to bureaucracy. I also work as an on-call person on the phone and on the computer."
Tapani has witnessed the change in software development from the first place for several decades. According to the man, the most significant change has been the inclusion of microservices, which has changed software development in a simpler direction: we only think about one thing at a time. Cloud services all require constant learning.
Although Tapani holds the well-deserved senior title, he does not want to advise his juniors. Throughout the years he has thought himself to stay cool.
"I know how not to rush and stress. I'm not afraid of it if I come across something outside my area of expertise. Either I ask for help or learn by myself - no one can know everything."
One of the most memorable moments of his career was the trip to the United States, which he was awarded by his colleagues, who voted him as the MVP or "Most Valuable Player". On the way, he visited Vegas and witnessed a space shuffle launch in Florida.
Tapani hopes to stay with HiQ for the rest of his career too, but if he had ever applied elsewhere, it might have been related to his beloved hobby. Tapani's dream project would be coding the space simulation game Elite, which combines his childhood dream, space travel and astronomy.
All in all, Tapani believes that hobbies have an essential role in finding the right work-life balance.
"Especially in this world situation, where even I feel slightly worried, it's good to keep yourself active: whether it's walking the dogs, cooking, or assembling miniature models. There must be other life outside work.”
Thank you for reading Tapani's story! Hope you enjoyed it. This article is a part of the #HiQPeople series, which showcases hiqers' life stories & personas beyond the job titles.