The Faces of Mavericks: Pekka Mikkola
Pekka Mikkola is the shop steward at Mavericks and a versatilist who gets his kicks from complex development environments and working on tricky computational problems. What sparked Pekka’s interest in Mavericks were the possibility to take part in the development of the company and the compensation model that allows him to enjoy the fruits of his labor.
What is your professional background like?
I ended up in the IT industry by chance. I was in high school when mathematics students from the university came to our class and told us it would be easy to get in by only having a moderate grade from maths in matriculation examination. I thought that it sounded alright. I applied and got in. I studied maths quite intensively and actually liked it a lot. I picked computer science as my minor and that’s when I had my first experience with programming. I had no idea programming could be that fun, as my perception was that it would be mainly feeding data into a computer. As you might guess, I ended up changing my major to computer science.
I worked as a research assistant besides studies for a couple of years. I kinda jumped straight to the deep end as I worked amidst data compression algorithms. I also taught all sorts of classes for computer science students. After graduation I needed to decide whether to go into the private sector or start PhD studies. As I had been involved in the research for a couple of years already, I knew that it was too narrowly focused for me, and decided to move to the private sector.
When I left university, I went to a company that manufactured premium touch screens and touch walls with futuristic user interfaces that were to wow the users. I took part in SDK development, company’s own software products, client projects and helped with fairs where we showcased the products. After five and a half years I made a transition to a company providing real-time resource management for the health care sector. There I worked amidst a little bit of everything: frontend, backend, DevOps and maintenance. From there I came to Mavericks.
What are your best skills and abilities? Soft and tech.
One could perhaps describe me as a Fullstack Versatilist as I know my way around algorithmics, user interfaces, embedded development as well as server side of things. I like large systems with multidimensional problems and solutions, and can take over both new things and large entireties fast. I’m also the shop steward at Mavericks, which I guess reflects it quite well that I’m interested in developing things comprehensively.
As a person I’m an extrovert and get along with all kinds of people. I’d say I’m quite sensitive to sense other people’s moods and personalities, and can easily adapt to changing situations and encounters. I am a team player at heart and try to always act in the best interests for the team.
What do you like to do outside work?
I spend a lot of time with my three year old son. It’s super fun to explore new things with him. Our latest hobby is soccer. Before Covid I used to play ice hockey and hopefully I’ll get back on ice soon. It’s a good exercise and a great excuse to meet friends. I’m also a wine enthusiast, which provides endless possibilities for exploration and also scratches the collector itch.
What got you interested in Mavericks?
Working for a smallish product company is great as you get to really work with all kinds of things. The downside is that it is very easy to get pulled into things that do not really require the attention of a senior developer. I have found that my work satisfaction is dependent on the fact that I get to work with difficult enough problems where I am able to provide non-trivial insights. Working as a consultant seems to be a very efficient way to achieve this.
I really like Mavericks’ compensation model as it is simple and fair for everyone. Our genuinely flat organization suits me perfectly and provides a real chance to participate in the company development. We have an amazing group of experienced professionals who are also very fun to hang around with in our company events. Our way of working is very autonomous and each individual is trusted upon their own judgement, we are senior professionals after all.
When I heard about Mavericks it sounded like a dream deal. I would be able to work on interesting projects with my compensation directly tied to the current market conditions. I also love the fact that even though Mavericks is not your typical spendy consultancy we never get cheap on things that really matter such as tools or employee wellbeing. At Mavericks I feel that I can focus on what I’m best at and what I enjoy. Here I can really provide value for the customer and play on my strengths.
Mavericks is the go-to software consultancy for the top of their field software professionals who want to get the best of two worlds: The salary level and freedom of a freelancer and the safety net and sales machinery of a consultancy. We are constantly looking for new team members – could you be the next Maverick?