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Feb 26, 2020 3:47:00 PM

Pekka Astala joins Columbia Road

Olivia Helle

Marketing Lead, Finland

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Pekka-AstalaHi Pekka, How did you get good at what you do?

Software development became my calling when I was just 10 years old: my father (then a software architect at Nokia) taught me the basics of coding and I was instantly hooked. Since that moment I knew that I’d end up in the industry and planned all my education and career choices around that. Since I was 17 years old I have been coding professionally, and I graduated with a BSc in Software Engineering five years ago.

Where have you earned your spurs?

I have always jumped into the most interesting and relevant areas of the industry wherever and whenever possible. I have changed jobs more than once with the sole aim of: “I want to try something really different.”

Because of this I have worked on SEO and Web Analytics in digital marketing agencies, then mobile application development in a startup business, then a large-scale public sector project for an IT giant, then a small consultancy where I led a variety of projects and teams. The clients at the last place ranged from startups to fully-fledged enterprises, but my role was always consistently focused on ensuring the projects run smoothly, whether that called for agile project management techniques or designing the technical architecture.

Why Columbia Road?

After having spent the last couple of years in a software development consultancy with a strong engineering focus, I wanted an environment with a more diverse set of skills, backgrounds and areas of expertise. I knew some employees from Columbia Road and had an idea of what the company was like, so it was the first place I contacted when I decided I wanted a change of scenery.

Eero, what will make our clients love Pekka?

“Pekka is fantastic at focusing on the big picture, making sure that the goals of every project don’t get buried under the daily distractions but remain at the forefront of his mind. Pekka’s expertise ranges from front-end development to cloud architecture and from agile project management to complex back-end integrations. This allows him to bring something valuable to almost any team, filling in the gaps where needed,” says Eero Martela, General Manager at Columbia Road.

What makes your heart beat a little faster?

During the last couple of years I have been fascinated with the philosophy of art and the use of artificial intelligence to create or interpret art. I’m currently in the process of writing a master’s thesis about using machine learning to analyse the moods of different pieces of music (i.e.: To classify if music is bittersweet, calm, etc.).

How would you fancy working alongside Pekka at Columbia Road? We're constantly looking for new nice and skilful people to join our crew! Take a peek at our open positions 👇


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