This isn’t how most career stories begin. It was a cold January night in Jyväskylä, Finland, when Jesse Naakka decided to take a chance! A chance of a new job opportunity. Jesse took part in a “speed dating event” where participants were companies and IT students.
The setup was pretty simple: companies sat behind their designated desks and students had chosen the companies they were most interested in. There was only about five minutes of time to make a good first impression, chat about skills and goals. Of course it wasn’t just for the student to impress the company they desired to work in. Companies wanted to share about what they could offer: tools, team spirit and other benefits.
Dating life is hard but perhaps the stars aligned when Jesse sat in the same table with Woolman’s team members. Only a few weeks after the dating event, Jesse started at his first IT job with Woolman in Jyväskylä as a front-end developer.
Learning by doing
Since day one at Woolman Jesse set his goals and aspirations in line. He wanted to learn something new every day, challenge himself with more and more demanding tasks. During the first week at Woolman he took part in his first online store project.
“It’s the customer cases and projects where I learned the most in the beginning. The first tasks I got were pretty simple and small, but it was definitely a better way to learn than just browsing through documentations”, Jesse says.
Woolman builds online stores with Shopify. Shopify itself and the Liquid language it uses was easy to learn for Jesse since he had experience working with WordPress. But there are some definite differences: For Jesse Shopify’s easy-going development environment made learning itself a piece of cake. And of course working with Shopify every day isn’t such a hassle.
“Creating a new development environment is fast, it takes merely a couple of minutes and you have all the necessary files stored locally and you can start working on them. You can’t really break Shopify, that’s a good thing! Of course you can always write bad quality code to a live store, but with back-ups and better coding skills it’s always fixable.”
Faster but not in a hurry
Jesse usually has two or three projects running at the same time. Projects last from a few weeks to up to six months.
“I like the fact that the projects don’t take years to finish. It’s motivating to get to work with new projects and clients, you get to work on something different every week. It’s a big pro for me to be able to learn something new every day and develop my expertise even further.”
Jesse likes to work with merchants and developing online stores has improved his entrepreneurial mindset as well. He says it’s good to have two points of views in mind when working on ecommerce projects.
“You work for the merchant but also for the end user which is the online store’s customer.”
Working with different sized businesses, from merchants just starting out their first ecommerce business to large global brands selling billions a year, is what makes everyday work interesting for Jesse.
“I would've never thought that working at Woolman would give me a chance to work with so many different clients. To mention some of my favourite projects I would have to say Ruohonjuuri and Stemma. It was cool as well to get to work on Woolman’s own new website design.”
Supportive and helpful team
A big part learning and becoming a solid part of the Woolman team was the team itself.
“Woolman team is a supportive and helpful group of people. It’s easy to get help from senior developers and as they help you out with your task you learn as you go as well.”
A year has passed for Jesse at Woolman and the story continues. The goals for Jesse are just as clear they were in the beginning of the story: Learn something new everyday and keep on challenging himself.
“If everything went as planned and every line of code worked miraculously every time this job wouldn’t be so motivating for me. The best part is to solve those really hard tasks and issues and the feeling you get when you get something done is the thing that keeps me going.”