From time to time, we hold Q&A sessions for the members of the Talented Developer Community Slack, where techies can ask questions from different software companies’ developers. This time the session was held with Siili, an IT consultancy that has recently gone through visual and strategic transformation.
The questions were answered by Anna Grajek, Head of SAlabs, Aleksi Skantz, Fullstack Developer & Tribe Lead, Valtteri Kukkola, Software Automation Engineer, Joonas Raatikainen, Talent Researcher, Tommi Vertanen, Tech Recruitment Consultant and Ferrix Hovi, Head of DevOps.
How big is Siili currently?
700 people. The Supercharge acquisition makes it over 800.
What kind of benefits you offer?
Wide! There’s the usual of course; phone, lunch, occupational health care etc. In addition to those we have e.g.
- medical care covering specialist doctors visit without referral
- discounted dentist services
- bike benefit
- inhouse coaching service
- child care in case of sickness
- Siili Forest – 41 trees planted per year per employee
- depending on your role, car benefit
- share savings program
- custom beer
- clubs of all kinds
- movie nights (when corona is over)
- all sorts of tribe activities
- beer, wine and whiskey tastings
- recreational benefit
What kind of affects has the current Covid-19 situation had on working at Siili, e.g. remote work?
We have a new location free recruiting program which is for 100% remote.
If you hire a person and they decide to move to another country, is it still possible to continue at Siili and are you able to provide projects for them?
This has happened. However, it depends on things such as the customer so case-by-case. Also, some of us have moved to another place to work with a customer. Siili itself does not have a strict stance on where the work should be done. We have enough customers that support remote work to offer permanent 100% remote opportunities.
About open source software, does Siili contribute back to the community?
We’ve actually published Epimetheus recently which is original Siili Open Source. Feel free to try it out!
In our automation side we are big believers in Open Source software! We like to give back to the community so the quite neat tools that we create are open for everyone to use! We have also created plenty of libraries for Robot Framework and actively participate in supporting the development of it!
Do people change from role to another within the organization? What kind of career paths developers have at Siili? How are these different career progressions supported?
Valtteri: Yes people do change roles inside our organisation! Some people have changed from development roles to sales, some from sales or marketing to scrum master roles, and some from traditional development roles to coaching others. We also have Siili Academy which provides our employees all kinds of trainings that support their interests to grow professionally.
My own path went from our IT department to consulting, and I have had the opportunity to plan and hold trainings and participate in marketing. Currently I’m working as Competence Lead in our tribe, so on top of customer work I research new things that might be interesting in the future, I organize an AWS study group once a week and a lot more! So there are plenty of opportunities for everyone!
In general we really try to listen to siilis’ wishes and hopes regarding new roles, technical challenges and career paths. Developers have multiple paths – they can widen their technical skills, shift from dev to data or RPA and vice versa or take part in things that will eventually shift their role to business and leadership.
Aleksi: I went from an apprentice to a fullstack developer to a tribe leader. I also know that e.g. some frontend developers are leaning towards UI-design and have made the switch from development to full design! Our “basic growth path” includes steps on becoming a better consultant in every way but also focusing on growing the core knowledge (e.g. more seniority and deeper knowledge in some particular technology).
Ferrix: I was hired as a Scrum Master and now I am Head of DevOps. So, I think it was somewhat a career path from pure hand-waving to a more technical role.
What kind of developers you are mostly recruiting?
Generally we are really agnostic about e.g. developing languages but of course we have some preferences or most common technologies. Siili also has data and Cloud & DevOps unit where the requirements vary a lot.
Data & Analytics side we are recruiting data engineer, BI developers and Azure Data Leads. We have good track record with Azure data platform projects.
On automation side we do a lot with Python and are especially interested in all different cloud competence. We have partnerships with AWS and Azure, and GCP is also used in a few projects!
How is the recruitment process? Does it involve exercises outside interview time?
We try to be as lean as possible, and normally we have two rounds. There might be a third interview but only in really rare occasions. Each round we have different technical people or tribe leads telling more about their own journeys at Siili as well as the possibilities that Siili can offer. We are also proud to say that we do not have coding tests if not absolutely necessary.
Do you recruit junior developers or have some programs for them?
We have the Mestari ja Kisälli (Master and Apprentice) program where we have been hiring juniors through an intensive training program.
Is there any interest in external consultants? Or any reason why you wouldn’t consider them?
Siili One is for “soft freelancing” where one basically gets a share of billing and Siili also acts as a broker for freelancers with their own companies.
How do you value wide generalist vs. deep specialist skills and knowledge at Siili?
Both are needed for sure. We do need deep specialists in projects but having a wider knowledge of all kinds of tech stacks and areas also fits very well in to a consulting role! A perfect Siili team would be made up of generalists and deep specialists!
What are the sites in Finland that require more recruiting currently?
Helsinki, Oulu and Tampere. There’s also the new location free recruiting program which is for 100% remote.
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