Young Talent Stories: Leaping from marketing to software development

Alessandro Zanni moved to Finland from Italy in 2014 to pursue his Bachelor’s Degree in International Marketing. During this time, computers and the digital world caught his attention, and he stayed to pursue his second Bachelor’s in Information Technology.

Young Talent Stories: Leaping from marketing to software development

Though he had plans to travel back to Italy after completing his education, Finland’s nature, not-so-warm summers, and culture of trust convinced him to stay longer. Today, as a software developer at KONE, he feels at home, and has embraced the Finnish way of life! He does, however, feel that the country has a few things to pick up when it comes to food.

From international marketing to the world of software development

When I was pursuing my degree at Satakunta University of Applied Sciences, I got an opportunity to work for a SaaS (Software as a Service) startup. Even though I had a two-hour commute, the job got me completely wrapped up in the world of IT and technology. I knew that this is the field I’d like to dive deeper into and carve out a career path for myself.

What followed was another bachelor's degree in information technology from Häme University of Applied Sciences. Finland and its work culture definitely acted as a catalyst in my decision. People are encouraged to pursue new career paths and explore new opportunities, irrespective of age or educational level. This is one of the best things about working in Finland.


A strategic career plan combined with a leap of faith

I joined KONE in early 2020 as an external consultant, while still studying at university. I had already been following KONE for some time and was aware how heavily KONE has invested in research and development and in building their agile digital ecosystem. And now, as part of the organization, I experience how our digital ecosystem is brimming with innovation. As an employee, this means plenty of opportunities to dabble in various aspects of IT, understand different perspectives, and approach problem solving in ways that are invaluable for an IT professional’s development.

Today, I have a clear understanding of the developing digital environment as well as opportunities to work on different technologies. This is possible because I was in the right place at the right time. It obviously helped that KONE is one of the biggest companies in Finland and has a great reputation for employee engagement and work culture.

In today’s agile work environment the role of a software developer does not translate to just coding at a desk all day. All roles are curated to be consulting roles. Hence, regardless of the technology, one needs to competently interact with teams, consultants, and clients. And this is where I put my education in business and marketing to efficient use, especially now when I am the Scrum Master for my team.

KONE as an employer, and our work culture in nutshell

Cutting-edge technology, work culture, and flexibility are the first things that come to my mind when I think about KONE. And, if you work smart, you are equally well compensated and recognized – that’s how I describe my work and workplace to everyone I meet.

API ecosystems and robots for elevators

Currently, I am a part of building our API ecosystem for B2B businesses. Our API portal enables businesses to register and use these APIs. Our team has expanded a lot in the past year, and I have moved from a newbie to one of the oldest member in our team!

For me, the coolest thing we are working on at KONE is “enabling robots for elevators” - essentially we have developed APIs to connect robots to elevators. The demand for robots in the market has jumped considerably in the last couple of years with commercial spaces like hotels and companies using robots for cleaning and sanitization purposes. Now smart robots can monitor their own elevator movements using KONE’s API technology or make their own elevator calls when needed. We've been doing this for a few years now with partner companies. In this podcast episode featuring guests from Robotise and Gaussian we explore the ways robots are making a difference.

It is fascinating and incredible to realize the potential digitalization has on the elevator business and how it can enhance the elevator experience to a whole new level. However, these innovations and the cutting edge technology is just half of this journey. The other half is definitely customer satisfaction and the feedback we get from our clients repeatedly for our work. Our innovations, continuous improvements, and agile ecosystem defines KONE for our customers. Customer satisfaction is one of our key catalysts to continue innovating further and explore new possibilities every day!

Trust is the key to innovation

The core of our work and everyday life at KONE is the circle of trust! Whether it is in our ways of working, interactions with our managers, team members or our clients, it is all about trust. Everyone can share their ideas, and everyone can be open and share moments even in the middle of a busy work day. This means higher accountability at work and life beyond workspaces. In other words, a more meaningful work-life balance.

Agile work environment helps drive our culture forward. This defines our team structure and enables easier movement within projects, which ensures an impactful learning curve for employees. As an organization, KONE is always pushing employees to grab the opportunities for support training in AWS cloud technologies and certifications. There is no dearth of opportunities to improve one’s skills and grow within the organization. This, I feel, is the beauty of working at KONE.

The impact of peer support

When I joined KONE two years ago, I was a university student. I used to work during the day and study at night. I was a new employee with very little professional experience but brimming with enthusiasm. Then my product manager stepped in as my work buddy. Thanks to him, I learnt the machinery of professional life rapidly. The past two years have taught me a lot – setting expectations at work, mid-year and end-year discussions, and the agile method of work.

Currently, I work in the full stack domain and I have had the privilege of working in every aspect of a project – backend, front end, Internet of Things, and so on. Today, with the skills I develop everyday at work and through my certifications, I know I am in the right place and I can envision myself growing in this industry in the future.

Read more KONE Young Talent stories and get to know more about KONE Technology & Innovation. Psst.. we’re opening our technology summer trainee 2022 positions soon. Stay tuned!

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