Career story: Matias Käkelä

“I would describe RELEX as both professional and informal. You can ask anything from anyone. If you really want to develop professionally and personally, you couldn’t hope for better.”

Matias Käkelä, Senior Software Developer at RELEX

My background

Matias Käkelä, 32, joined RELEX in late 2010 and is a Senior Software Developer with our product development team. Growing up in Helsinki, Matias took a Master’s Degree in computer science with a statistics and management minor from University of Helsinki.

He got his first proper software job while still an undergraduate with a company that did software jobs for small clients; website development, online stores and some internal product development.

After a spell with DoDreams, a Helsinki-based game developer, Matias heard about RELEX. He actually heard about RELEX while riding in an elevator in Las Vegas! He was on a road trip around the United States with Iikka Niinivaara who had already joined us from DoDreams. Matias applied for a vacancy at RELEX, and after a first interview in November 2010 took a programming test and was offered a job.

“Everything I heard about RELEX was good,” says Matias. “RELEX clearly had well thought workflows and defined processes. Compared to places where Iikka and I had worked previously this was a novelty. There were company sponsored sporting events, “choose your own tools” and flexible hours. And in contrast to so many tech startups RELEX is a stable, profitable business. It’s great to have that sort of job-security.”

No boundaries

Matias spent his first year working on customer projects, integrating RELEX systems and clients’ existing ERP, before being recruited internally to the product development team. Like his colleagues he’s involved in coding and debugging but he’s also taken on a ‘teaching’ role bringing new recruits to the team up to speed.

“I’d describe RELEX as professional but informal,” says Matias. “By that I mean that people are really focused on helping the customer and they take their work very seriously. There’s a high degree of trust. At the same time there is no rigid hierarchy. Of course we have a CEO, a CFO and so on, but they are colleagues rather than scary and distant executives. It’s easy enough to go and ask anything from anyone in the company. There are no boundaries.”

Matias likes the flexibility that allows him to decide when and where to work. “People just care that the job is done as well as humanly possible and on time,” he says. He enjoys the sociable environment; colleagues come from a wide variety of backgrounds. He likes feeling that his work makes a difference by making companies more efficient and less wasteful and he also likes the fact he never stops learning.

“Working for RELEX is a constant learning process. So I guess I’ve started to accept that even though you think you know something, you don’t. And you’re surrounded by really smart and friendly colleagues. It’s a very stimulating environment.”

So Matias’s advice to anyone thinking about a job with RELEX? “It’s great to get new blood into the company,” he says. “If you really want to develop professionally and personally you couldn’t hope for better. Go for it. And as a bonus we even have a brewing club!”

About RELEX

RELEX Solutions is Europe’s fastest growing provider of integrated retail and supply chain planning solutions.

Founded in 2005 to solve the toughest challenges in demand forecasting, inventory optimization, and replenishment automation through technology, RELEX’s proprietary In-Memory database delivers results over 100 times faster than traditional alternatives.

Following its 2016 acquisition of Galleria RTS, RELEX also offers consumer-focused automated category optimization, space and assortment planning solutions. Leading retailers and suppliers around the world use RELEX systems to cut inventory and wastage costs, boost availability, and increase sales and margins.

RELEX Solutions employs around 230 people globally.

Interested in brewing with Matias?