First published 2020-03-23 in the Metosin Blog.
Kari and Miska.
I started to work at Metosin at the beginning of this year. It’s been a delightful few weeks and the Metosin guys asked me to write a few words in a blog format regarding my feelings about starting as a new employee at Metosin. So here we go!
The Moment of Truth: What Do You Want to Do with Your Life?
My now adult kids moved out a few years ago, I have paid off my mortgage and I have a lot of free time to study all kinds of wonderful things. So a few months ago I asked myself: “What do you want to do the rest of your career? You don’t have to work for money anymore. What do you really want to do?”
The moment of truth. I realized that I enjoy building things - not just orchestrating other specialists’ work. I enjoy learning, especially those delightful moments when I realize how to do something in a new and better way. In particular, I enjoy building cloud infra and applications that run on top of that infra. And especially implementing the applications with the wonderful language - Clojure - which I desperately wanted to learn more about, but didn’t have that much opportunity to use in my previous company.
So I wrote down a list of the most prominent Clojure companies in Finland. I contacted a few of them and finally there were just two companies - Metosin, a small but very well-known Clojure shop, and another bigger and more established company which also had a strong Clojure culture within the company. I spent one weekend pondering which one to choose and finally I chose Metosin.
Metosin is a small company, there are just about 20 employees, half in Tampere and half in Helsinki. There is something extraordinary about Metosin. First of all - all Metosin employees are enthusiastic Clojurists. And even better: Metosin has some of the best Clojurists on the planet (just look at the extremely popular Metosin Clojure libraries like reitit). What would be a better place to be if you wanted to deep-dive into Clojure than one of the best Clojure shops on the planet? The Clojure culture and the general atmosphere at Metosin is just great - extremely talented programmers who are also very nice (and different!) personalities willing to help each other. Starting to work at Metosin was like the end of the programmer’s Quest for the Holy Grail - I finally found the perfect place for a programmer.
Metosin is still relatively young and small - like a startup, but with a good balance sheet - every year in Metosin’s history has been a positive one. The company has a strategy of shared ownership. After a period of time, new employees are offered a small percentage of the company stocks - practically every Metosin employee is also an owner in Metosin. I think this makes the Metosin culture special - everyone is not only interested in the technology but also the company itself - since you are an owner, and so is the guy sitting next to you. We all have the responsibility to make this a great company to work with and also a great company to grow in.
You might be interested in the practicalities of starting working in a new company. At Metosin it couldn’t have been easier.
Once we had signed the contract I was contacted by a Metosin employee asking what kind of computer, chair, table and so on I’d like to have when I started working. I ordered a powerful Lenovo laptop which I got just a couple of weeks later - I had plenty of time to install Linux and configure the laptop so that it would be ready for action when I started working at Metosin.
I had been added to all Metosin systems well before my first day at Metosin. If I had any questions I just checked the Metosin Internal Documentation and in 95% cases I found the answers there and I didn’t need to ask anyone how to get this or that.
The First Day
The Metosin CEO had asked me well before what kind of projects I would like to work with - “anything with cloud and Clojure” I replied. So I had instructions to travel to Tampere on my first day at Metosin. After spending a couple of hours at the Metosin headquarters I and a couple of other Metosin employees walked to our partner’s facilities on the other side of the town and we had a kick-off meeting with a new project. It was really nice to start working at Metosin even on day one I had an interesting project to work with.
Metosin Social Club
There are many small nice little things about the Metosin culture. One of the things is the Friday Gathering - most of us are working at customer premises but on Fridays we gather in our own Metosin office (in Helsinki or Tampere), work together and go for a lunch together. It’s pretty hilarious since for some reason Metosin has managed to attract a diverse group of great personalities who are really intelligent and create a really nice working atmosphere.
Another example of the dynamism of this group is the Metosin Slack. This example is pretty personal to me since I tried to start a chat culture in my previous company. In Metosin the Slack is a place where people write all kinds of hints regarding the greatest and latest technologies, ideas on how to improve our libraries and just a general place for hilarious chit-chat regarding whatever topics someone feels it’s important to share (that’s the #random channel).
The Metosin Way
Employees at Metosin have a great amount of independence. If you have a great idea there is a Metosin Way to push it forward. You explain your idea in the Metosin slack - a very informal peer review. After the peer review, you can decide yourself either to cancel or go forward. There is very little administrative overhead in the company - the company mostly operates as autonomous cells that communicate directly with each other and make decisions independently.
Are You the Next Metosinian?
If you know Clojure and cloud technologies and if you have been wondering the same question as I did - what do you really want to do with your career - consider Metosin. You will find a vibrant place with great programmers who all want to learn and do great projects together with high Metosin quality.
The writer is working at Metosin using Clojure in cloud projects. If you are interested to start a Clojure project in Finland or you are interested to get Clojure training in Finland you can contact me by sending email to my Metosin email address or contact me via LinkedIn.
- Kari Marttila’s Home Page in LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/karimarttila/