Niko Heikkilä

The Story

...or how I learned to stop worrying and love the code.

Niko Heikkilä / 26.02.2022 / ☕️ 2 minutes read

Hello! 🖖

Thanks for visiting my site. Let me tell you a bit about myself.

I’m a software craftsperson with a strong passion for making work and life better for software developers. The true spirit of craftspersonship is to know when to write code and, more importantly, when not to write. Not all problems need to be solved by code as more code leads to more errors.

To solve problems without code, one must look further. One can find solutions to significant issues without opening the editor by coaching, mentoring, and continuously improving the process.

When I write code, I like to do it in Extreme Programming (XP) style—that is, I take the best of practices and tune the knobs up to 11. I’m always ready to participate in pair and ensemble programming. I continuously integrate, deliver, and even deploy software in tiny batches. Isolation is the nemesis of great developers. XP and DevOps are the only worthy manifestations of agile software development. Scrum is less agile than the two, and SAFe is the least agile.

I’m a strong proponent of Lean methodologies and Theory of Constraints as described in the books The Goal, The Phoenix Project, and The Unicorn Project. Most organisations and teams work on too many things simultaneously with too few resources, which I consider harmful. Fully utilising the team’s capacity only creates more busyness than business, eventually killing teams’ productivity, innovation, and empathy. The most agile way of working is to focus on the single most crucial task of the day, start it together, and finish it together. You don’t need paid certificates to understand the power of one-piece flow in teams.

Currently, I’m working as a full-stack software engineer in the digital consultancy business. I’m a generalist with a broad skillset who can handle the end-to-end value streams from analysis, design, development, and delivery of digital products. Obviously, all this happens concurrently in short iterations. Therefore, having a stable automated testing and deployment pipeline from the first day of the project is its greatest future asset. It radically shortens the time-to-market and increases customer value.

Follow my rants in Mastodon and LinkedIn.

Yet I’m more than the letters you see, so don’t hesitate to connect with me for any questions. Closing this chapter with my favourite quote from a revered mystic G.I. Gurdjieff.

A man is never the same for long. He is continually changing. He seldom remains the same, even for half an hour.

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