Codento Goes FooConf 2023 – Highlights and Learnings

Codento Goes FooConf 2023 – Highlights and Learnings


Author: Andy Valjakka, Full Stack Developer and an Aspiring Architect, Codento


While spending most of our time consulting for our clients every now and then a perfect opportunity arises to get inspiration from high quality conferences. This time a group of codentians decide to spend an exciting day at fooConf 2023 with a bunch of fellow colleagues from other organizations.


FooConf 2023: Adventures in the Conference for Developers, by Developers

The first-ever fooConf has wrapped up, and it has given its attendees a wealth of information about tools, technologies, and methods, as well as inspiring keynote speeches. We got to experience a range of presentations that approached the listeners in differing ways, ranging from thought-provoking presentations where the attendees were offered novel perspectives all the way down to very practical case studies that illustrated how the learning is done by actually doing.

So what exactly is fooConf? As their website states, it is a conference that is “by Developers for Developers”. In other words, all the presentations have been tailored to those working in the software industry: functional, practical information that can be applied right now.

Very broadly speaking, the presentations fell into two categories: 

  1. Demonstrating the uses and benefits of different tools, and
  2. Exploratory studies on actual cases or on how to think about problems.

Additionally, the keynote speeches formed their own third category about personal growth and self-reflection in the ever-changing turbulence of the industry. 

Let’s dive deeper into each of the categories and see what we can find!


Tools of the Trade

In our profession, there is definitely no shortage of tools that range from relatively simple IDE plugins to intelligent assistants such as GitHub Copilot. In my experience, you tend to pick some and grow familiar with them, which can make it difficult to expand your horizons on the matter. Perhaps some of the tools presented are just the thing you need for your current project.

For example, given that containers and going serverless are current trends, there is a lot to learn on how to operate those kinds of environments properly. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to container security on Kubernetes, a presentation by Abdellfetah Sghiouar, had plenty to offer on how to ensure your clusters are not compromised by threats such as non-secure images and users with too many privileges. In particular, using gVisor to create small, isolated kernels for containers was an idea we could immediately see real-life use for.

Other notable highlights are as follows:

  • For Java developers, in particular, there is OpenLiberty – a cloud-native microservice framework that is a runtime for MicroProfile. (Cloud-Native Dev Tools: Bringing the cloud back to earth by Grace Jansen.)
  • GitHub Actions – a way to do DevOps correctly right away with an exciting matrix strategy feature to easily configure similar jobs with small variations. (A Call to (GitHub) Actions! by Justin Lee.)
  • Retrofitting serverless architecture to a legacy system can be done by cleverly converting the system data into events using Debezium. (A Legacy App enters a Serverless Bar by Sébastien Blanc.)


Problems Aplenty

At its core, working with software requires problem-solving skills which in turn require ideas, new perspectives, and occasionally a pinch of madness as well. Learning from the experiences of others is invaluable as it is the best way to approach subjects without having to dive deep into them, with the added bonus of getting to hear what people like you really think about them. Luckily, fooConf had more than enough to offer in this regard.

For instance, the Security by design presentation by Daniel Deogun gave everyone a friendly reminder that security issues are always present and you should build “Defense in Depth” by implementing secure patterns to every facet of your software – especially if you are building public APIs. A notable insight from this presentation relates to the relatively recent Log4Shell vulnerability: logging frameworks should be seen as a separate system and treated as such. Among other things, the presentation invited everyone to think about what parts of your software are – in actuality – separate and potentially vulnerable systems.

Other highlights:

  • In the future of JavaScript, there will be an aim to close the gap between server and client-side rendering by leaving the minimum possible amount of JavaScript to be executed by the end-user. (JavaScript frameworks of tomorrow by Juho Vepsäläinen.)
  • Everyone has the responsibility to test software, even if there are designated testers; testers can uncover unique perspectives via research, but 77% of production failures could be caught by unit testing. (Let’s do a Thing and Call it Foo by Maaret Pyhäjärvi.)
  • Having a shot at solutions used in other domains might just have a chance to work out, as was learned by Supermetrics, who borrowed the notion of a central authentication server from MMORPG video games. (Journeying towards hybridization across clouds and regions by Duleepa Wijayawardhana.)

Just like learning from the experiences of others is important for you, it is just as valuable for others to hear your experiences as well. Don’t be afraid to share your knowledge, and make an effort to free up some time from your team’s calendar to simply share thoughts on any subject. Setting the bar low is vital; an idea that seems like a random thought to you might just be a revelation for someone else.


Timeless Inspiration

The opening keynote speech, Learning Through Tinkering by Tom Cools, was a journey through the process of learning by doing, and it invited everyone to be mindful of what they learn and how. In many circumstances, it is valuable to be aware of the “zone of proximal development”: the area of knowledge that is reachable by the learner with guidance. This is a valuable notion to keep in mind not only for yourself but also for your team, especially if you happen to be leading one: understanding the limits in your team can help you aid each other forward better. Additionally, it is too easy to trip over every possibility that crosses your path. That’s why it is important to pick one achievable target at a time and be mindful of the goals of your learning.

Undoubtedly, each of us in the profession has had the experience of being overwhelmed by the sheer amount of things to learn. Even the conference itself offered too much for any one person to grasp fully. The closing keynote speech – Thinking Architecturally by Nate Schutta – served as a gentle reminder that it is okay not to be on the bleeding edge of technology. Technologies come and go in waves that tend to have patterns in the long run, so no knowledge is ever truly obsolete. Rather, you should be strategic in where you place your attention since none of us can study every bit of even a limited scope. The most important thing is to be open-minded and achieve a wide range of knowledge by being familiar with a lot of things and deeper knowledge on a more narrowly defined area – also known as “being a T-shaped generalist”.

(Additionally, the opening keynote introduced my personal favorite highlight of the entire conference, the Teachable Machine. It makes the use of machine learning so easy that it is almost silly not to jump right in and build something. Really inspiring stuff!)


Challenge Yourself Today

Overall, the conference was definitely a success, and it delivered upon its promise of being for developers. Every presentation had a lot to offer, and it can be quite daunting to try to choose what to bring along with you from the wealth of ideas on display. On that note, you can definitely take the advice presented in the first keynote speech to heart: don’t overdo it, it is completely valid to pick just one subject you want to learn more about and start there. Keep the zone of proximal development in mind as well: you don’t know what you don’t know, so taking one step back might help you to take two steps forward.

For me personally, machine learning tends to be a difficult subject to grasp. As a musician, I had a project idea where I could program a drum machine to understand hand gestures, such as showing an open hand to stop playing. I gave up on the project after realizing that my machine learning knowledge was not up to par. Now that I know of Teachable Machine, the project idea has resurfaced since I am now able to tinker with the idea since the difficult part has been sorted out.

If you attended, we are interested to hear your topics of choice. Even if you didn’t attend or didn’t find any of the presented subjects to be the right fit for you, I’m sure you have stumbled upon something interesting you want to learn more about but have been putting off. We implore you to make the conscious choice to start now!

The half-life of knowledge might be short, but the wisdom and experience learning fosters will stay with you for a lifetime.

Happy learning, and see you at fooConf 2024!

About the author: Andy Valjakka is a full stack developer and an aspiring architect who joined Codento in 2022. Andy began his career in 2018 by tackling complicated challenges in a systematic way which led to his Master’s Thesis on re-engineering front-end frameworks in 2019. Nowadays, he is a Certified Professional Google Cloud Architect whose specialty is discovering the puzzle pieces that make anything fit together.

Six Fascinating Wishes for Choosing Employers Part 7 – Community and empathy

#GOOGLECLOUDJOURNEY: Six Fascinating Wishes for Choosing Employers

Part 7 – Community and empathy

NOTE: If you wandered into this blog series for the first time, I recommend first reading my first post that elaborates on the whole series here


The themes of community and empathy come up the most in my analysis material. This came as a slight surprise to me, but it’s not a miracle after all. We are social animals, and working life is not separate from “real” life itself, so why would working together at the workplace and bonding with other people not be important?


Corona time

The last couple of years we have been more or less isolated from friends, strangers, coworkers, and even family members. Thus, the longing to be together with others can rise to the top of the motivation list even for a slightly more introverted person.

Can we assume that the triumph of communalism in my analysis is due to this very unusual global situation of recent years? Perhaps. At the very least, it sounds likely that it played a role. However, I wouldn’t count on the fact that the importance of human-to-human communication would decrease without the impact of the pandemic.



Although work can be seen completely as a means of making money, in general, we still need some kind of connection with other people. The workplace, on the other hand, tends to be the environment where we spend a large part of our day, so it is understandable to want it to be pleasant.

Pleasantness probably consists of a safe atmosphere, a sense of belonging, shared interests, and similar things. Belonging and common goals also create meaning, which is very important to a person. The sense of meaning is also useful for the company in the longer term when more effort is likely to be put towards the common goal and this effort causes less mental load.


Empathy and business

Our recently held Nextgencloud Webinar covered the topic of competitive advantage of a business in this digital world. A culture of psychological safety emerged in the discussion as an important factor for achieving a competitive advantage, which leads to the fact that problems can be raised and thus also solved with the right tools.

If people are supposed to act coldly and rationally, you probably won’t get to this kind of culture. The right means for a culture that benefits the bottom line of such a company and the employee can be found, among other things, in the skills of listening and being present.



As I wrote above, the category of empathy and community, which emerged as the most important factor as a slight surprise, is actually not that surprising. In my own bubble, I have begun to perceive the world of thought of genuine humanization of working life to an ever-increasing degree, which warms my heart. Maybe there is hope in working life!


About the author:

Perttu Pakkanen is the Talent Acquisition Lead at Codento. Perttu is eager in making sure that people joining Codento will fit with the values of Codento and enjoy the ride with us. Perttu’s passion is to understand what drives people in their career decisions.


Contact us regarding our open positions:

Six Fascinating Wishes for Choosing Employers Part 6 – Professional skills in the organization

#GOOGLECLOUDJOURNEY: Six Fascinating Wishes for Choosing Employers

Part 6 – Professional skills in the organization

NOTE: If you wandered into this blog series for the first time, I recommend first reading my first post that elaborates on the whole series here


In addition to maintaining and growing your own professional skills, which I wrote in the previous post, it is great to be surrounded by competent people. In this way, competence and professionalism develop together which benefits all parties involved. It is said that a group is more than the sum of its members. This saying can also be applied in the IT sector.

In my analysis of the characteristics important of an employer, professionalism in the organization turned out to be a separate category which was the fourth most important of the six categories. It includes the skills of the team, the skills of the supervisor, and the skill of listening to the personnel.


Teamwork and social skills

Team competence can be understood in at least two different ways. Someone might make a difference between soft and hard skills, I make a difference between different skills because “soft” skills are skills just like any other. Taking others into consideration and interaction skills is sometimes hard work, and when successful, the team members create the psychological safety I mentioned earlier, which again plays a key role in the success of an expert organization. Mindfulness of others is thus an important success factor in an organization.


Technical know-how all around

Technical professionals are also interested in the know-how of others. The environment for working is enjoyable when those around you know something that you don’t know yourself. This does not require a machine from which gurus of the same topic one after another rush into the yard, but people from different backgrounds. A junior coder can just as well have new and interesting tricks to teach a senior since they look at the field with completely fresh eyes. Here too, to the point of the reader getting bored, I bring up the importance of a safe atmosphere and a sense of security, so that thoughts and things can really be shared.


Foreperson and the skill of listening

Listening – or at least pretending to – is easy. Listening and truly internalizing the thought turns out to be difficult time after time. It is thus in itself a demonstration of skill to know how to listen to people and take actions based on that. An important skill, especially for a supervisor. One theme in the organization’s professional skills category is the competence of the supervisor, while another was the consultation of the personnel.

Even at a more abstract organizational level, consulting the personnel for important topics is a skill. This is the point when I stumble into my own words because my categories listed in the opening post regarding competence, empathy and community, and processes get mixed up when thinking about the topic. As a criticism of my own “research” work, I could already say at this stage that the categorization I have formed should not be taken as the final truth. Fortunately, finding the final truth is secondary in these writings after awakening thoughts!



There are many kinds of professional skills, and a unique cluster of them creates the skills for success. Others type out beautiful code at lightning speed, while others know how to tell the customer and other important parties how beautiful that code really is and how useful it is for you. Others, on the other hand, know how to understand different points of view, are skilled at the ways of respectful interaction and thus keep the whole group together. We should continue to take into account how important different backgrounds and skills are for the organization.



About the author:

Perttu Pakkanen is the Talent Acquisition Lead at Codento. Perttu is eager in making sure that people joining Codento will fit with the values of Codento and enjoy the ride with us. Perttu’s passion is to understand what drives people in their career decisions.


Contact us regarding our open positions:

Six Fascinating Wishes for Choosing Employers Part 5 – Know-how and work tasks

#GOOGLECLOUDJOURNEY: Six Fascinating Wishes for Choosing Employers

Part 5 – Know-how and work tasks

NOTE: If you wandered into this blog series for the first time, I recommend first reading my first post that elaborates on the whole series here


The importance of meaningful work cannot be forgotten. In my analysis of an employer’s important characteristics, the answers in the Know-how and work tasks category summarize the technical professional’s desire to be useful and develop their skills when working on sufficiently challenging puzzles.

In fact, the challengingness and interestingness of the work tasks emerge as the most essential aspect of the employer’s offer as a single factor of a category, even though the category of skills and work tasks as a whole remains the second largest of the six larger categories. It is therefore clear that it is not at all secondary to think about what work tasks are done for pay, but rather that getting access to the strangest things and gimmicks can very well be a critical question when choosing a job.


Searching for meaning

Meaning in working life can come from simply being able to use the skills you know to solve various difficult problems. The concept of meaning does not necessarily have to be viewed as a plan of a higher power or through finding the purpose of life, but it may well emerge in a short moment as a result of a single success. However, I am not saying that meaningfulness in (working)life cannot also be found at a higher level.

In many cases, interesting and meaningful tasks mean being concretely helpful. For many experts, it is important that the solution made serves some person or group of people in a concrete problem. Preferably in one that is as revolutionary as possible. So, although coding is, in general, a very fun job, we hope that it also has real benefits for real humans.


Development in professional skills

In addition to solving real problems, the development of professional skills is important. Based on the data of my analysis, for a technical professional, trudging in place is often unpleasant, while learning new things is extremely meaningful.

Skills can be developed in many ways. The ways include courses online, courses in your own studies, certificates, internal company projects, sparring with colleagues, and of course, learning through your work. The organization should be able to offer a balanced package, for example, built from these pieces, sufficiently pre-chewed.

Of course, the aspect of psychological safety must be remembered in this package. Although learning something new requires (and is often desired on behalf of the expert) a suitable challenge, a hard challenge does not always lead to an optimal learning result. The best outcome in learning comes from supporting emotionally and providing enough information and support while the level of challenges is optimal. Not always an easy equation, but if prioritized it’s certainly doable by everyone!



The meaningfulness of work tasks can even be thought of as self-evident, especially when the issue has now been juggled a bit between my synapses. However, sometimes it may be forgotten or overlooked, even though it is a very simple matter. And as seen in the data, experts do not take it for granted. If it was already in mind beforehand, there would be no need to mention it separately in the conversation.

Where technology and customer choices are important in terms of strategy and business, current and potential employees must also not be forgotten. What I mean with this is that the maximum possible involvement of experts in these processes will certainly not go to waste but will be an asset to the company.



About the author:

Perttu Pakkanen is the Talent Acquisition Lead at Codento. Perttu is eager in making sure that people joining Codento will fit with the values of Codento and enjoy the ride with us. Perttu’s passion is to understand what drives people in their career decisions.


Contact us regarding our open positions:

Six Fascinating Wishes for Choosing Employers Part 4 – Processes and organization

#GOOGLECLOUDJOURNEY: Six Fascinating Wishes for Choosing Employers

Part 4 – Processes and organization

NOTE: If you wandered into this blog series for the first time, I recommend first reading my first post that elaborates on the whole series here


For a knowledge worker, the brain is the single most important organ in the human body, so in a well-functioning organization, its optimal ability must be maintained. One way to achieve this competitive advantage is to make processes, ways of working, and work tools as functional as possible. Even though the process and organization category was the second least prominent of the six categories in the minds of experts in the IT field in my analysis, it is still an important topic to discuss.


What processes?

I know I risked losing most of my readers when I mentioned the word process. I’ll make the situation even worse with a definition. Wikipedia defines the word as follows: “A process is a series of actions to be performed that produces a defined end result”. The first thing that comes to mind is that aren’t algorithms to some extent part of the definition of a process, in which case processes should be a matter of the heart for a software developer.

However, it has been proven that this is not always the case, so the topic requires clarification. The important difference here is probably between software and relationships between people. Processes and algorithms are therefore needed in well-functioning software, but interaction cannot always be reduced to the sum of its parts. Of course, machine learning algorithms are also working in this field (too), which have come quite far in the subject, but the HR department cannot be replaced with a software robot at least yet.


Processes in the right place

Processes must therefore be found in the right place in the organization. In general, employees appreciate when things work, so easy forms and timely surveys are working processes. When you pour your morning coffee not only on your lap but also on the computer and you need to quickly get a new one, it’s lucky if this happens with a pleasant form found in an intuitive place. Also, if you didn’t have to wait four days for your supervisor’s approval via e-mail to fill out the form, this sounds like an effective process!


Processes in the wrong place

What about the wrong kind of processes we talked about? They can likely be found where the matter would be more easily handled with normal interaction skills and the ability to take others’ emotional states into account. From where the process has been forced into place for the joy of creating the process instead of interaction.

For example, if an employee’s motivation and emotional state are measured with a multi-phase survey, we may have gone a little too far, if the same thing could be done in a more nuanced way by means of a short conversation. There is of course a place for a personnel survey, but not everything has to be in a numerically measurable form, but qualitative and informal discussions often lead to a better result. In organizing these, some kind of process is again good, so that the discussions will definitely be held!


Processes and ways of working as a hygiene factor?

In one of my previous posts, I wrote that, in my view, salary is in several cases a so-called hygiene factor, where lack of it evokes a negative emotional state/image, but at an appropriate level it does not evoke particularly positive emotions. The functioning of processes in the organization falls into this same pattern of thought, which certainly explains why it also came up relatively little as a category.

If something is not working in the organization, it is often noticed by the employees very quickly. If, on the other hand, things go smoothly and as promised or assumed, the days go on normally without any praise for the organization.



Processes can make an organization’s operations efficient and enjoyable at best. When they are found in the wrong place, they are irritating when, for example, the much-needed human dimension of working life is not realized in places where it could be realized. In management work, it is therefore good to understand this relationship, and no matter how much one would like to make everything efficient, as if computer-like automated, one should not forget the beauty of wandering and aimlessness.



About the author:

Perttu Pakkanen is the Talent Acquisition Lead at Codento. Perttu is eager in making sure that people joining Codento will fit with the values of Codento and enjoy the ride with us. Perttu’s passion is to understand what drives people in their career decisions.


Contact us regarding our open positions:

Six Fascinating Wishes for Choosing Employers Part 3 – Autonomy and flexibility

#GOOGLECLOUDJOURNEY: Six Fascinating Wishes for Choosing Employers

Part 3 – Autonomy and flexibility

NOTE: If you wandered into this blog series for the first time, I recommend first reading my first post that elaborates on the whole series here


We who do knowledge work are often in such a fortunate position in working life that we can influence our working hours and habits ourselves. For example, I may go mountain biking in the central park of Helsinki in the middle of a sunny working day, if only there is nothing agreed on the schedule and the work can be completed in the evening. This is just one example of a privileged position where I can define my working habits.


Forced to the office?

In various social media, in the “post-corona” era, there has been talk of a regression back to previous ways, when employees have been very strongly asked to go to the office just because that’s how it’s always been done. As if nothing had been learned from the corona era and all the lessons about hybrid and remote work had been forgotten. This is a negative example of the realization of autonomy and flexibility, although of course it must be understood, especially in relation to larger organizations, that some kind of policies must be made and also considered so that some employees do not end up in a non-equal position due to the nature of the work.



One important aspect of visiting the office is of course community spirit, which actually also touches on my second category, community and empathy. Can a clear policy of visiting the office be justified by the promotion of team spirit? Do you have fun together when you are told to have fun together? Could be, but probably not.

Community spirit is built on voluntary togetherness and enabling. When a framework is created for a convenient trip to the office and being there, people will start to be seen there too. Of course, things are not that simple in reality, but please allow a little verbal jab at the old worlds of thought.



Fundamentally, enabling autonomy and flexibility starts from the image of human. For example, is it assumed that the employee will basically do what has been agreed upon and in the timeframe that has been talked about? Is it assumed that a person is fundamentally reliable and efficient even without supervision? Through trust, it can be assumed that internal motivation increases when the responsibility for doing things lies with oneself, and no one dictates the way things are done.



As a counterweight to trust, responsibility remains in the employee’s account, compared to a strong culture of supervision. This can also be seen as difficult in some situations when in addition to the more precisely defined work tasks, the employee’s day includes so-called meta work, i.e. preparatory work so that the work itself can be done well. No one tells you where to be, how to be, what to do, and what to look like anymore. You have to think about it yourself. Among other things, prioritization is ultimately a very difficult and time-consuming task at worst.

As I mentioned above, trust and responsibility increase internal motivation through the experience of autonomy, but tasks traditionally more aimed at managers spill over a little more into the everyday life of a knowledge worker. Knowledge work is thus always a balancing act with regard to optimal responsibility.


Foreperson work

The subject also touches my second category at least a little. In the category “Professional skills in the organization”, one subcategory is the competence of supervisors. For supervisors to make autonomy and flexibility possible they need to adopt a position where they know how to talk more deeply with those they manage and act more as an enabler than a director of work. This is not easy.



Autonomy and flexibility was, by the way, the third most prominent category when considering important factors in the workplace for software professionals. It fights in fairly similar ranks with other top-ranked categories of my analysis and is thus a very important part of the workplace culture in knowledge work. At least in software development and related tasks, enabling autonomy and flexibility has come to stay in those workplaces that want to compete for the best workers.



About the author:

Perttu Pakkanen is the Talent Acquisition Lead at Codento. Perttu is eager in making sure that people joining Codento will fit with the values of Codento and enjoy the ride with us. Perttu’s passion is to understand what drives people in their career decisions.


Contact us regarding our open positions:

Six Fascinating Wishes for Choosing Employers Part 2 – Salary

#GOOGLECLOUDJOURNEY:  Six fascinating wishes for choosing employers

Part 2 – Salary


NOTE: If you wandered into this blog series for the first time, I recommend first reading my first post that elaborates on the whole series here


More or less surprisingly, salary was the category that came up the least in the answers. The same phenomenon can also be noticed, for example, in an informal conversation with a group of friends or on social media platforms. Led by the thinking and influencing work of millennials, meaningful work tasks has become one of the most important areas, leaving purely material aspects behind.


Is salary an insignificant factor in today’s working life?

From the above, can it be assumed that salary is a completely irrelevant factor in choosing an employer? Absolutely not. From my non-scientific research, it must naturally be taken into account that even though the answers related to salary were the fewest in number, in my classification it fights against entire categories compiled from several answers. As a single, precisely defined theme, compared to, for example, self-directedness or the functionality of teamwork, it came up in reasonably big amounts.

Similarly, the design of questions must be taken into account. They ask about the most important aspects of what the employer offers, which does not bring up all the assumptions at a level deeper. In many cases, it can therefore be assumed to be self-evident.

In view of these circumstances and considering the emphasis on importance in the meaning-speech of current working life, salary was mentioned surprisingly often.


Salary as an enabler of meaning

In my opinion, salary is often seen as a kind of hygiene factor. It is supposed to be high enough to focus on pursuing more important things in (working)life, but it does not add much value to most people unless the number to the assumed median/average is particularly high. Thus, when the salary is too low, it is seen as a negative thing, but when it is just high enough, there is no added value in the employer’s brand.


Work just for pay?

One point worth noting is also the view that arose as a kind of antithesis to the speech of meaning, that one goes to work only for the salary and that employment is seen as a completely instrumental means of accumulating financial capital. In this case, meaning in life is often found somewhere else, such as family, free time, and hobbies.

However, human nature is such a complicated thing that in the ideal scenario of meaningfulness of work, a person often also finds meaning elsewhere, just as in the scenario of completely instrumental work, there might also be moments of meaningfulness.

One can also consider whether doing work just for the sake of pay is really a swing of the pendulum to the other side or a fact that has always existed, which in our socially constructed reality has been forgotten in daily thinking.



Although salary does not appear as often as other things in the priority list of important things in the workplace, it must be at least at a reasonable level – even in those jobs that offer a strong sense of meaning. And for some, it’s still one of the most important things in the workplace, and there’s nothing wrong with that either!



About the author:

Perttu Pakkanen is the Talent Acquisition Lead at Codento. Perttu is eager in making sure that people joining Codento will fit with the values of Codento and enjoy the ride with us. Perttu’s passion is to understand what drives people in their career decisions.


Contact us regarding our open positions:

Six Fascinating Wishes for Choosing Employers Part 1 – Where it all started

#GOOGLECLOUDJOURNEY:  Six fascinating wishes for choosing employers

Part 1 – Where it all started


Hello! Perttu here.

I work at Codento, a consulting company specializing in cloud technology, software development, and data/AI topics, and my job description includes, among other things, finding the right talent for our clients. Everyone who works in the field knows that the experts are sometimes a bit hard to reach, and thus I also need to be able to justify what is so special about us so that it is worth joining our growth journey. 


How can I better understand what interests experts in the workplace?

The easiest way to start this reasoning would be if I could get a larger sample of information that I could analyze and find some kind of categories and indicators of what the people who talk to us are looking for from an employer. Of course, many parties have already done this and I have read through reports like this, but it is always more fun with your own material.


My own research starts to form

I started collecting thoughts about important issues in the workplace from all the conversations I had with experts – of course completely anonymously already at the level of raw data. Not surprisingly, the thoughts start to form categories, and by classifying the answers, an overall picture of what technical professionals want from an employer begins to emerge. To freshen up my sunny June days, I spent some time wrestling with spreadsheet software and breaking down smaller areas or themes into larger bundles.


Six fascinating wishes when choosing employers

I created six categories, which are ranked in order of importance based on the number of answers. According to my unscientific interpretation, these categories are the following in random order:

  • Salary
  • Autonomy and flexibility
  • Processes and organization
  • Knowhow and work tasks
  • Professional skills in the organization
  • Community and empathy


Come along for my series of blog posts!

In the following blog posts, I will discuss these categories, present my thoughts related to them and reveal which categories emerged as the most important in the discussions and thus at the highest ranks in the analysis. The purpose of these posts is above all to stimulate thoughts and discussion. So I am very happy to receive criticism, thoughts, experiences, praise, and objections! 

Can you guess what emerged as the most important category among experts? 



About the author:

Perttu Pakkanen is the Talent Acquisition Lead at Codento. Perttu is eager in making sure that people joining Codento will fit with the values of Codento and enjoy the ride with us. Perttu’s passion is to understand what drives people in their career decisions.


Contact us regarding our open positions:

Cloud Digital Leader Certification – Why’s and How’s?

#GOOGLECLOUDJOURNEY: Cloud Digital Leader Certification – Why’s and How’s?

Author: Anthony Gyursanszky, CEO, Codento



As our technical consultants here at Codento have been busy in completing their professional Google certifications, me and my colleagues in business roles have tried to keep up with the pace by obtaining Google’s sales credentials (which were required for company-level partner status) and studying the basics with Coursera’s Google Cloud Fundamental Courses. While the technical labs in latter courses were interesting and concrete, they were not really needed in our roles, and a small source for frustration.

Then the question arose: what is the the proper way to obtain adequate knowledge of cloud technology and digital transformation from the business perspective as well as to learn latest with Google Cloud products and roadmap?

I have recently learned many of my  colleagues in other ecosystem companies have earned their Google’s Cloud Digital Leader certifications. My curiosity arose: would this be one for me as well?


Why to bother in the first place?

In Google’s words “a Cloud Digital Leader is an entry level certification exam and a certified leader can articulate the capabilities of Google Cloud core products and services and how they benefit organizations. The Cloud Digital Leader can also describe common business use cases and how cloud solutions support an enterprise.”

I earlier assumed that this certification covers both Google Cloud and Google Workspace, and especially how the cultural transformation is lead in Workspace area, but this assumption turned out to be completely wrong. There is nothing at all covering Workspace here, it is all about Google Cloud.  This was good news to me as even though we are satisfied Workspace users internally our consultancy business is solely with Google Cloud.

So what does the certificate cover? I would describe the content as follows:

  • Fundamentals of cloud technology impact and opportunities for organizations
  • Different data challenges and opportunities and how cloud and Google Cloud could be of help including ML and AI
  • Various paths how organizations should move to the cloud and how Google Cloud can utilized in modernizing their applications
  • How to design, run and optimize cloud mainly from business and compliance perspective

If these topics are relevant to you and you want to take the certification challenge  Cloud Digital Leader is for you.


How to prepare for the exam?

As I moved on with my goal to obtain the actual certification I learned that Google offers free training modules for partners. The full partner technical training catalog is available for partners on Google Cloud Skills Boost for Partners. If you are not a Google Cloud partner the same training is also available free of charge here.

Training modules are of high quality, super clear and easy to follow. There is a student slide deck for each of the four modules with about 70 slides in each. The amount of text and information per slide is limited and it does not take many minutes to go them through.

The actual videos can be run through in a double-speed mode and one requires passing rate of 80% in quizes after each section. Contrary to the actual certification test the quizes turn out to be slightly more difficult as multi-choice answers were also presented.

In my experience, it will take about 4-6 hours to go through the training and to ensure good chances of obtaining the actual certification. So this is far from the extent required to passing  a professional technical certification where we are talking about weeks of effort and plenty of prerequisite knowledge.


How to register to a test?

The easiest way is to book online proctored test through Webasessor. The cost is 99 USD plus VAT which you need to pay in advance. There are plenty of  available time slots for remote tests with 15 min intervals basically any weekday. And yes, if you are wondering, the time slots are presented in your local time even though not mentioned anywhere.

How to complete the online test? There are few prerequisites before the test:

  • Room where you can work in privacy 
  • Your table needs to clean
  • IDs to be available
  • You need to install secure browser and upload your photo in advance (minimum 24h as I learned)
  • Other instructions as in registration process

The exam link will appear at Webassessor site few minutes before the scheduled slot. Then you will be first waiting 5-15 minutes in a lobby and then guided through few steps like showing your ID and showing your room and table with your web camera. This part will take some 5-10 minutes.

After you enroll the test, the timer will be shown throughout the exam. While the maximum time is 90 minutes it will likely take only some 30 minutes to answer all 50-60 questions. The questions are pretty short and simple. Four alternatives are proposed and only one is correct. If you hesitate between two possible correct answers (as it happened to me few times) you can come back to them in the end. Some sources on web indicate that 70% of questions need to be answered correctly.

Once you submit your answers you will be immediately notified whether you pass or not. No information of grades or right/wrong answers will be provided though. Google will come back to you with an actual certification letter in a few business days. A possible new test  can be scheduled earliest in 14 days.


Was it worthwhile – my few cents

A Cloud Digital Leader certification is not counted as a professional certification and included to any of the company level partner statuses or specializations. This  might, however,  change in the future.

I would assume that Google has the following objectives for this certification:

  • To provide role-independant enrty certifications, also for general management,  as in other ecoystems (Azure / AWS Fundamentals) 
  • To bring Google Cloud ecosystem better together with proper common language and vision including partners, developers, Google employees and customer decision makers
  • To align business and technical people to work better together to speak the same language and understand high level concepts in the same way
  • To provide basic sales training to wider audience so that sales people can feel ”certified” like technical people

The certification is valid for thee years, but while the basic principle will apply in the future, the Google Cloud product knowledge will become obsolete pretty quickly. 

Was it worth it? For me definitely yes. I practiclally went through the material in one afternoon and booked a cert test for the next morning so not too much time spent in vain. But as I am already sort-of a cloud veteran and Google Cloud advocate I would assume that this would be more a valuable eye-opener for AWS/Azure lovers who have not yet understood the broad potential of Google Cloud. Thumbs up also for all of us business people in Google ecosystem – this is a must entry point to work in our ecosystem.



About the author:

Anthony Gyursanszky, CEO, joined Codento in late 2019 with more than 30 years of experience in the IT and software industry. Anthony has previously held management positions at F-Secure, SSH, Knowit / Endero, Microsoft Finland, Tellabs, Innofactor and Elisa. Gyursanszky has also served on the boards of software companies, including Arc Technology and Creanord. Anthony also works as a senior consultant for Value Mapping Services. Anthony’s experience covers business management, product management, product development, software business, SaaS business, process management and software development outsourcing. And now Anthony is also a certified Cloud Digital Leader.



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Certificates Create Purpose

#GCPJOURNEY, Certificates Create Purpose

Author: Jari Timonen, Codento Oy

What are IT certifications?

Personal certifications provide an opportunity for IT service companies to describe the level and scope of expertise of their own consultants. For an IT service provider, certifications, at least in theory, guarantee that a person knows their stuff.

The certificate test is performed under controlled conditions and usually includes multiple-choice questions. In addition, there are also task-based exams on the market, in which case the required assignment is done freely at home or at work.

There are many levels of certifications for different target groups. Usually they are hierarchical, so you can start with a completely foreign topic from the easiest way. At the highest level are the most difficult and most respected certificates.

At Codento, personal certifications are an integral part of self-development. They are one measure of competence. We support the completion of certificates by enabling you to spend your working time studying and by paying for the courses and the exam itself. Google’s selection has the right level and subject matter certification for everyone to complete.

An up-to-date list of certifications can be found on the Google Cloud website.

Purposefulness at the center

Executing certificates for the sake of “posters” alone is not a very sensible approach. Achieving certifications should be seen as a goal to be read structurally when studying. This means that there is some red thread in self-development to follow.

The goal may be to complete only one certificate or, for example, a planned path through three different levels. This way, self-development is much easier than reading an article here and there without a goal.

Schedule as a basis for commitment

After setting the goal, a schedule for the exam should be chosen. This really varies a lot depending on the entry level and the certification to be performed. If you already have existing knowledge, reading may be a mere recap. Generally speaking, a few months should be set aside for reading. In the longer term, studying will be more memorable and thus more useful.

Test exams should be taken from time to time. They help to determine which part of the experiment should be read more and which areas are already in possession. Test exams should be done in the early stages of reading, even if the result is poor. This is how you gain experience for the actual exam and the questions in the exam don’t come as a complete surprise.

The exam should be booked approximately 3-4 weeks before the scheduled completion date. During this time, you have time to take enough test exams and strengthen your skills.

Reading both at work and in your free time

It is a good idea to start reading by understanding the test area. This means finding out the different emphases of the experiment and listing things. It is a good idea to make a rough plan for reading, scheduled according to different areas

After the plan, you can start studying one topic at a time. Topics can be approached from top to bottom, that is, first try to understand the whole, then go into the details. One of the most important tools for cloud service certifications in learning is doing. Things should be done by yourself, and not just read from books. The memory footprint is much stronger when you get to experiment with how the services work yourself.

Reading and doing should be done both at work and in your free time. It is usually a good idea to set aside time in your calendar to study. The same should be scheduled for leisure, if possible. In this case, the study must be done with a higher probability.

Studying regularly is worth it

Over the years, I have completed several different certifications in various subject areas: Sun Microsystems, Oracle, AWS, and GCP. In all of these, your own passion and desire to learn is decisive. The previous certifications always provide a basis for the next one, so reading becomes easier over time. For example, if you have completed AWS Architect certifications, you can use them to work on the corresponding Google Cloud certifications. The technologies are different, but there is little difference in architecture because cloud-native architecture is not cloud-dependent.

The most important thing I’ve learned: Study regularly and one thing at a time.

Concluding remarks: Certificates and hands-on experience together guarantee success

Certificates are useful tools for self-development. They do not yet guarantee full competence, but provide a good basis for striving to become a professional. Certification combined with everyday life is one of the strongest ways to learn about modern cloud services that benefit everyone – employee, employer and customer – regardless of skill level.

The author of the blog, Jari Timonen, is an experienced software professional with more than 20 years of experience in the IT field. Jari’s passion is to build bridges between the business and the technical teams, where he has worked in his previous position at Cargotec, for example. At Codento, he is at his element in piloting customers towards future-compatible cloud and hybrid cloud environments.