Software Team Leader leads his crew to succeed
From a kid who loves big machines to a professional who likes to work with people, Team Leader Petri Vuorenpää outlines his career path.
Q: What were your passions as a child for your future work?
– Machines have always been part of my life. As a young boy I loved to drive a tractor at my grandparents’ place, so naturally, my dream job then was to be a tractor or excavator operator.
– I started my studies with a hands-on approach that still pays off: a dual qualification that combined general upper secondary school and a vocational degree in automation technician. Military service provided me with another set of skills as an assistant aircraft mechanic, as well as an interesting career option. But, Tampere University of Technology was even more inviting, and eventually led me to my current job.
Q: What is your role now as a Director of Software Engineering?
– I'm responsible for SW engineering resources in Kalmar’s Automation and Projects division. Most of my team is here in Tampere, but we also have teams in Sydney, Australia, San Jose, California, and Chennai in India. My role is to make sure all these people are satisfied with their working environment, tools and tasks, and can just concentrate on their jobs.
– I see myself as an enabler: I enable my team to solve our customers’ challenges and issues, and expand their own expertise at the same time. It’s an ideal job for me at this point in my life since I really enjoy working with people.
Q: What is expected from today’s supervisor?
– I want to be approachable and make it easy for my team to just come and talk about any problems or ambitions they have, or just have a casual chat, because I think it is important to know people beyond just a name and job description.
– A wide understanding of the industry is also invaluable. I have been building my vision by working in various roles at Kalmar; and before that with international mining industry automation projects.
"What makes me happy every day is Kalmar’s culture of experimentation in software development."
Q: What are the challenges of supervisory work?
– Reacting to changing needs and conditions, which in my line of work means making sure we have the right number of SW developers and test engineers with the appropriate skills at all times. We need to let people develop their skills and provide them with the exact tools they need.
– Scheduling is always challenging. In a large organisation, there is a lot of time-consuming routine, and I must be careful not to let that distract me from keeping in touch with my team and taking care of their needs.
Q: What made you happy at work today?
– I was especially glad to see that we found excellent candidates for some open positions through our employees’ networks. It always puts a smile on my face when skilled people are interested in joining our team.
– What makes me happy every day is Kalmar’s culture of experimentation in software development, the willingness to do things in new and different ways. I’m trying to support that as best I can.
Education: Master’s degree, Automation, Tampere University of Technology.
Primary working experience: Leader of the global Professional Services team, automation project manager team and automation HW team at Kalmar, product management of automated stacking cranes at Kalmar.
Family: wife and three children.
Hobbies: coaching a junior soccer team, sports, music.