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FITech course offers IT professionals the opportunity to develop their in-depth knowledge

Jari Huoppila

Education: MSc. in electrical engineering
Occupation: Senior Developer
Applied to: Microservice architectures and serverless computing

When the Microservice architectures and serverless computing course on software architecture started at Aalto University, the first question the teacher asked the students was: “Why did you come to this course when this information is openly available online?”

One might imagine that such a statement would be demotivating, but quite the opposite. Jari Huoppila, who works at Ericsson, was so inspired by the course that he eagerly awaited the start of the lectures.

“The teacher had an excellent way of presenting things in an interesting manner,” he says.

The initial question related to the fact that even though you can find a lot of information related to software architectures on the internet, you need to know what to look for. This knowledge can be acquired in various ways. Huoppila graduated from TKK, nowadays known as Aalto University, 30 years ago with a Master’s degree in engineering and has not studied formally since then, but has learned on the job.

“In the IT world, education from 30 years ago doesn’t have much value today. You can learn by doing, but it can be slow and expensive,” he notes.

“I wanted to prove to myself that I can still study.”

Despite a long break from studying, Jari Huoppila found the course rewarding and managed to make it part of his everyday life. He was allowed to use work time for studying, but most of the learning took place in his free time and outside the lectures.

“When the topic is interesting, you’re happy to do it,” he says.

For others interested in skill development, he suggests reading the course description carefully to ensure it aligns with your expectations. Additionally, allocate plenty of time for learning.

“I didn’t fully grasp how much time studying would take when I enrolled. Learning doesn’t happen on its own; it requires effort and time.”

“A Great Place to Exchange Ideas”

Jari Huoppila has worked his entire career at Ericsson. Currently, his work is related to Ericsson Security Manager, which is a microservice-based application.

A microservice is a software architecture that builds an application from separate small services. It is a modern way of designing software architecture that leverages cloud services.

According to Huoppila, the structure of the Microservice architectures and serverless computing course helped to understand what aspects are worth considering when planning architectures because making wrong decisions at the architectural level can be expensive to rectify later.

The course primarily used online materials. According to Huoppila, the advantage of the course was that the teacher guided students to sources they probably wouldn’t stumble upon themselves but which contained interesting perspectives.

The course had both degree students and adult learners, many of whom worked in different companies. Huoppila felt that the diversity of the student group was beneficial.

“Students have new, innovative ideas. Industry veterans, on the other hand, brought up what should be done and what not to do. It was a great place to exchange ideas with a diverse group.”

Read more and apply for the course here!