Tech Life at RELEX: Backend

Sep 5, 2019 3 min

In this blog series, RELEXians from various tech teams share their daily life. We wanted to know, for example, what their work consists of, what technologies they use, and how they would describe their teams. First up is Jonas from our Backend team!

How did you end up working at RELEX?

I’ve always enjoyed problem-solving and mathematics, which led me to studies at Aalto University. Although my field of studying was surveying, and not computer sciences, I quickly grew fond of programming. Quite fast that put me on a career path of a software developer. For several years I did web development for the public sector in Finland, but at some point, I realized I do not develop as much as I would like to and that I needed to have new challenges. At roughly the same time, a recruiter contacted me and introduced me to RELEX. I liked the laid-back attitude mixed with really hard-core developers and advanced product the company develops. And also the fact that I was allowed to focus on improving my skills in the direction I wanted and focus on doing a good job, not just having some of the work done before the deadline.

How does your typical day at work look like?

I’d say that I spend around 90 % of my time doing development together with my team. Once a day we have a short team stand-up in a scrum-like matter. A typical week also includes weekly planning and maybe some project check-ups. Every Friday afternoon we have a code-and-beer session where all developers hang out in the lounge and maybe have a presentation on something new or otherwise interesting stuff, and of course, have a beer or coffee together. On average, I work remotely one day per week because it makes putting the family schedule together a lot easier.

What kind of technologies do you work with?

During my years at the company, I have been working mostly on the backend side. I started working on the business logic, firstly doing minor improvements and fixes, but quite fast, I got to take responsibility for the more advanced calculation algorithms we have. The usual tech stack is mostly Java, with some additions of Ruby, Kotlin and JavaScript.

At one point, we got together with a few of my colleagues and decided to take a course in Scala and Functional Programming. After finishing the course, I was asked to help out with the development of a plugin for a proxy we needed, that was implemented in Scala (Coincidence? Maybe…). One thing led to another, and now I’m developing a solution for horizontally scaling our software, with a tech stack that also includes Clojure on top of all the other technologies already mentioned.

How would you describe your team and colleagues?

The working culture at RELEX encourages you to be proactive and act on things that you think could be done in a better way. All my colleagues are easy to work with and very professional about what they do. At the same time, we do not take ourselves too seriously, and jokes are flying around all the time. I also love the international atmosphere we have at the office.

What have you learned at RELEX?

I have learned most of the technologies I nowadays work with here at RELEX. I really like the option to do all-round development and to be able to shift focus every now and then. Besides developing, I have also been taking part in recruiting backend developers to the company, which gives a nice balance to the technical work.

To whom would you recommend working at RELEX?

I’d recommend RELEX for everyone who wants to work in an international team, challenge themselves and develop, but still wants to have very well-balanced work and family life.

Written by

Jonas Öhman, Senior Software Developer

Jonas has worked at RELEX for a few years as a Software Developer on the backend side. Like many others, he gets bored by doing the same things over and over again, so he tends to challenge himself when he gets the chance. That is basically how he ended up in the industry in the first place. Besides work and family, he likes spending time with music, either playing or singing.