Hackathon events throughout Finland are becoming more common, but why should you attend one? There are many benefits to attending such events if you’re interested in following a career in an engineering sector or even business.
The most common reason for people to attend is the prize for the first three places. It is often money or some digital device(VR headset, tablet are ones I’ve seen). Luckily there are a lot more good things about a hackathon beyond just the prize. Hackathons are very limited in time, usually 1-3 days so working in a team is crucial(unless you think you can get everything done by yourself). This is a chance for you to improve your teamwork and/or team management skills.
You will also be introduced with the production process and problems of the industry that needs to be improved with your ideas. Being close to industrial pipe bending machines, welding robots and similar is not only fun but you can also learn a thing or two.
Prototyping is an important skill in the Software Development field as employees often want some small demo that is done quickly before giving a project green light, and hackathons are all about prototyping. If you’re having a trouble presenting in front of many people, well, simply put only experience can help you. Even if your idea and implementation are not the greatest your presentation can still convince the judges and earn you that first place prize. Exposure to employers is also a huge benefit if you’re in an active search for a job. On those events there are often IT companies present, so you can show what you’re capable of and perhaps find a workplace. If you’re a student you also often get 1-3 credits(depends on the duration), which is pretty easy credits for 1-3 days.
Another great benefit is the self-development and self-learning. If you’ve decided on a software decision you will most likely end up using technologies that you haven’t used before and in result learn quite a bit in a short amount of time. The result project and the fact you’ve attended a hackathon is something you can put in a CV. It shows your future employee that you have an interest in the field and you will most likely self-develop your skills. And if all the great things about a hackathon haven’t sold you on the idea of visiting one yet, well there’s one more thing that surely will – free food and drinks!
Author Aleksandar Ivanov at work.
Author has participated several Hackathons and won with his team one Industrial Hackathon event. While studying, Aleksandar is working for Observis Oy and is now organising Industrial Hackathons, as well.
Read more about Industrial Hackathons here. Next Industrial Hackathon will be held in at Lipa-Betoni Oy in Pieksämäki in November 18-19th 2016. Send your application here.
Torstaina 13.10.2016 Observis Oy:n operatiivinen johtaja Heikki Isotalus ja TET-harjoittelija Juuso Joensuu auttoivat Mikkelin Kalevankankaan koulun Outi Kunnamon 6. luokkalaisia oppilaita muodostamaan omat pelinsä pelissä X-routes. Tavoitteena oli muodostaa toimivia oppilaiden tekemiä pelejä peliin X-routes ja testata ne. Observis Oy oli muodostanut pelille alustan, jonka päälle oppilaat muodostivat peliensä sisällön. Heikki ja Juuso avustivat heitä pelin suunnittelussa ja tuottamisessa muutaman tunnin ajan. Kun oppilaat olivat syöttäneet suunnittelemansa tiedot peliin, oli aika testata ne, jolloin he rekisteröityivät omien älylaitteidensa kautta X-routes-pelin ja valitsivat pelattavan pelin omien luomuksiensa joukosta. Oppilaat saivat kokeilla omaa peliään ja muiden luokkalaisten rakentamia pelejä. Pelin muodostamat kartat yhdistävät suunnistamisen ja hauskan oppimisen jokaisella rastilla olevien tehtävien avulla. Oppilaiden siis täytyi päätellä kartan avulla, missä mikäkin rasti oli ja vastata rasteilla oleviin oppilaiden keksimiin monivalintakysymyksiin. Oppilaiden mielestä tällainen oppiminen oli erittäin hauskaa ja omalaatuista. Myös opettaja, Juuso ja Heikki olivat tyytyväisiä työn tulokseen. Opettajalta ja oppilailta saadun palautteen avulla Observis Oy jatkaa X-routes-pelin kehittämistä.
Jutun kirjoitti ja kuvat otti TET-harjoittelija Juuso Joensuu.
The average age of Observis employees has declined thanks to two summer employees. 14-year old Toivo Kunnamo and 15-year-old Lotta Tuominen will be working at the office for two weeks based on a summer job program for middle school and high school students.
– I prefer working with a computer indoors to gardening in the rain or picking strawberries under the burning sun, Tuominen admits.
The summer employees have been working on a game that teaches the player to play the piano. Kunnamo has done the programming while Tuominen has concentrated on the visual aspects.
– I can imagine myself having a job like this as an adult as well, Kunnamo says. He already has some knowledge about the career after having a work experience at Observis in the spring.
Observis Oy continues to grow its business. Last year the turnover was increased by 34% making the company profitable. Year 2015 was then the most successful so far. “We have extremely challenging year behind us, however, we managed to grow our project related business and found new customers and markets for our in-house products”, says CEO Tommi Kainulainen. Current year is going in very promising direction as well. Company has also hired some new staff during last weeks.
Digital City Adventure by Observis Oy has won ”Living harbor of Lahti” –innovation contest, organized by City of Lahti, Lahti Energy and regional development company LADEC in cooperation with TEKES-funded SenCity-project.
The purpose of the innovation contest was to find new services and products to vivify public spaces. The successful solutions can be applied and tested during, for example Lahti2017 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships and other public events. The new innovations can be digital applications which can be utilized in public guidance or sharing of event details and attractions or design solutions to improve attractiveness of public spaces. In total of 17 proposals participated in the contest.
The evaluation team selected two winners; Digital City Adventure by Observis Oy and Lightcabin Mokša by team Sito. Digital City Adventure was seen as an interesting and applicable solution providing plenty of possibilities for marketing the services, attractions and events of Lahti region to citizens and tourists.
“The Digital City Adventure offers abundance of events and gameplay. The players will go to new places, learn to know new people and activities. We introduce the city to the players in a completely new and exiting way. Digital City Adventure will convert the Lahti Nordic World Ski Championships 2017 into an unique adventure experience,” says Timo Paakki, Chief Commercial Director of Observis Oy.
N.C.D. Production Oy and Observis Oy have entered into a three year contract where Observis Oy delivers mobile applications to pop and rock festivals produced by N.C.D. Production Oy. The applications will be produced to Android, iOS and Windows Phone platforms and will contain all relevant information of the respective event.
”The mobile platforms allow us to communicate with the festival guests in completely new ways”, says Sinikka Långström, Marketing Manager of N.C.D. Production Oy. “We are able to provide the visitors with comprehensive and exciting event information before and during the festival. Since smartphones are the platforms of choice for media and entertainment for consumers we found it to be only natural to communicate with our customers in mobile.”
“Entering into partnership with the largest festival producer in Finland made us the market leader overnight,” says Timo Paakki, Chief Commercial Officer of Observis Oy. “During our long cooperation with Jurassic Rock we learned a lot about producing mobile applications to events. This contract lets us to show our expertise in large scale.”
During the summer of 2016 mobile applications will be delivered to at least 12 festivals, the first to South Park Tampere rock festival.
N.C.D. Production Oy is a company specialized in event production. They produce events, festivals and concerts all over Finland. Some of their productions are, for example Himos Juhannus, Suomipop-festival, Jysäri, Sataman Yö – festival and Kuopio RockCock –festival.
Mikkelin Betoni will host next Industrial Hackathon in it’s factory in Pursiala, Mikkeli! Developers, designers, coders, students and professionals meet in Mikkeli and compete against each others for the best solution for real industrial challenges. This time, in addition to pure technical challenges, there are also challenges that does not need coding skills but fresh ideas, production design and understanding of circulation economy or recycling. What to do with the surplus concrete?
You may participate as a company, group of friends or alone – you’ll find a team to join. Winners get prizes of 500€, 250€ and 150€!
Observis Oy is the co-organizer of the Industrial Hackathon together with Miksei Mikkeli Oy, MAMK University of Applied Sciences ja Hacklab Mikkeli ry.
You’ll find more info at http://www.industrialhackathon.fi/.
Industrial Hackathon will be in Kuortti, Southern-Savo! Developers, designers, coders, students and professionals meet in Kuortti and compete against each others for the best solution for real industrial challenges. You may participate as a company, group of friends or alone – you’ll find a team to join. Sign up now here. Winners get 500€ prizes!
Observis Oy is the co-organizer of the first Industrial Hackathon for SMEs. 24h Hackathon will be held in Kuortti, Pertunmaa starting 15th of January 2016 at 4 pm. Target companies are expert of plastic production Plastep Oy and steel plate handling company Pelaser Oy. Other organizers of the event are Miksei Mikkeli Oy, MAMK University of Applied Sciences ja Hacklab Mikkeli ry.
You’ll find more info at http://www.industrialhackathon.fi/.
There will be transportation from Mikkeli to the event.
Observis Oy has got new premises in Jääkärinkatu 29, 50100 Mikkeli. Spacious, bright and comfortable office makes working fun and efficient. Welcome to visit!
Häiriö.info-palvelun avulla kansalaiset voivat lähettää havaintojaan häiriötilanteista suoraan pelastuslaitoksille. Pelastuslaitokset saavat ajantasaisempaa ja parempaa kuvaa häiriötilanteista palvelun avulla. Observis Oy kehittää ja tuottaa palvelun ja antaa sen ilmaiseksi kaikkien Suomen pelastuslaitoksien käyttöön osana yrityksen yhteiskuntavastuuohjelmaa. Kansalaisille on sovelluskaupoista ladattavissa ilmaiseksi sovellukset, joilla havainnot voi tehdä. Pelastuslaitosten rekisteröinti ja lisätiedot: firstname.lastname@example.org
X-routes is a new product from Observis Oy for education gamification. Instead of playing games sitting in the classroom, X-routes takes pupils to outdoors adventures where they can learn new things and apply what they have learned.
The game concept was piloted with the primary and secondary schools of Mikkeli region during August-September 2014. The successful execution of the pilot and exited feedback from teacher and pupils encouraged us to develop the concept further and to create a completely new educational gaming platform; X-routes.
X-routes introduces teachers and pupils a platform where they can design and create educational games. The finished games are easy to share with others within X-routes community. This way pupils all around the world are able to compete playing same games and carrying out same tasks.
We have opened an equity based crowdfunding program at a web-service provided by Invesdor Oy. Crowdfunding offers an opportunity to anyone to join us in taking Finnish know-how in education and game development into global markets by investing in X-routes.
More about X-routes and Invesdor:
Uusi osoitteemme on Mikonkatu 16, 50100 Mikkeli. Sisäänkäynnin löydät rakennuksen takaa, Vuorikadun puolelta kiertäen. Tervetuloa!
Digital City Adventure transforms Mikkeli town center into a game board for youth starting September 5th 2014. Observis is one of the key players behind the game.
Digital City Adventure is organized as a part of national Youth guarantee project. The objective of Youth guarantee is to help people under the age of 29 to gain access to employment, and prevent them from getting socially excluded. Digital City Adventure game supports these targets by activating and encouraging the youth to find out about the opportunities Mikkeli has to offer, says Olli Marjalaakso from Miktech Oy.
Digital City Adventure is also a part of the event Perfect Sports Month, which kicks off 22th of August and is organized by Valo, South Savo Sports Federation and the city of Mikkeli. Last year the City Adventure got people to move altogether 5000 k between checkpoints.
The City Adventure is organized for the second time now. Mikke ry is the producer of the event and Observis and OiOi Collective Oy developed the game concept. –The concept has proven to be successful, as it seamlessly combines city environment with intriguing game pedagogy, says Sami Kämppi from OiOi. –The adventure has gotten extremely positive feedback and the concept has attracted interest among other cities in Finland and abroad, continues Tommi Kainulainen from Observis.
The winner of the game will be rewared with a 3000€ travel gift card and the second will receive a 1000€ travel gift card. Besides the staggering prizes, Digital City Adventure offers young people an excellent opportunity to network with companies. Last year Observis employed Kari Kontunen, the winner of Digital City Adventure after the competition.
Olli Marjalaakso, Miktech Oy, 050 439 8148, email@example.com
Tommi Kainulainen, Observis Oy, 040 556 2580, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kari Kontunen, Test Engineer
Kari who tends to scare his co-workers ended up working at Observis when he joined Digital City Adventure last September. Along with the competition, a recruitment event was arranged with Observis as one of the exhibitors Kari left his resume at the Observis stand, and soon after that he received an invitation to a job interview. The entrepreneurs of Observis were impressed by Kari’s success in the competition, which affected the hiring decision positively. Kari has been working at Observis since last October.
Kari’s main responsibilities and duties are problem solving and software testing. If a system doesn’t work Kari’s job is to fix it. He has also produced some content to Seutuhaku -service and provides technical support. In addition, Kari has been the mascot for the application hairio.info as an “Everyday Super Hero”.
– Above all, I have learnt about geographic information-based systems. I’m also better at table hockey than a half a year ago.
Kari says that working at Observis is fun and challenging. Working doesn’t get dull as he gets to develop his skills through versatile tasks every day. The most fulfilling about his job is when his tasks done and systems working.
– Waking up and going to work in the morning feels good, because the atmosphere at Observis is better than at any other workplace I have been before.
Interesting facts about Kari:
Describe yourself in three words? The first thing that comes to my mind is when my primary school teacher said “a castaway, pointless dude”, but I don’t necessarily agree with that. I would humbly describe myself as “the best” leaving one word in storage 😉
Future plans? One day at a time. It would be nice to become a top expert.
What has been the best day at Observis? My goal is to make every day the best day but one of the most memorable days was when I decided to take horsehead mask with me to work. I succeeded to scare my co-workers.
Blog about how existing technologies enable situation awareness services to be provided to authorities with reasonable costs.
Situational Awareness 2.0; Technology Made Affordable
Paris has its baguettes, New York has take away coffees, and now Helsinki has Makula – the city’s most popular snack and adventure game! The game is organized by OiOi Collective Oy and HOK-Elanto, and implemented by Observis.
Makula combines everyday life and games in a unique way. Makula is a snack brand, which is promoted through a game available on web and mobile devices. Makula adventure turns the whole city center into a game board. Players solve riddles and find secret codes. The game starts 23th of April and ends 14th of May. The players have a chance to win gift cards of up to altogether 1300€ value.
The collaboration between OiOi Collective and Observis continues the footsteps of Digital City Adventure, which was held last fall. Makula was published today and is by far the most significant digital adventure game in Finland by its scale.
The game is available at makula.fi.
Observis Oy’s iGator service won the prize of Technical Solution of the Year in Retail Awards 2014. Kaupan Maailma magazine and fair organizer easyFairs have awarded Retail Awards for successful actors in the retail industry since 2010.
On Wednesday 19th of March at the Myymälä event in Helsingin Messukeskus, prizes were awarded in four categories. Besides the Technical Solution of the Year won by Observis, Association of Finnish Pharmacies’ Apteekkari concept was awarded as the Shop of the Year, Kalastamo.com as the Webstore of the Year and Jolie wellbeing concept as the Comet of the Year. In addition, Urakkamaailma.fi received a honourable mention at the Webstore of the Year category.
In previous years, Retail Awards have been granted for e.g. Rovio’s Angry Birds game and webstore concept Kiosked.
Observis is happy for receiving credit for the iGator service. “The award indicates that the significance of numeric data has increased as the basis for decision-making. This is a clear indication of the usefulness of our services in the retail industry”, says CEO Tommi Kainulainen.
iGator is a service which measures pedestrian traffic and visualizes results on a clear timeline. This way, the service produces numeric data about an area’s vividness and indicates, where and when services are needed. The Retail Awards jury recognized iGator as a useful and versatile pedestrian traffic measurement service. The jury evaluated that iGator’s precise numeric data can be utilized by several actors including city planners, constructors, event organizers, vendors, as well as travel and trade promoters.
The award was claimed by the entrepreneurs Tommi Kainulainen, Ville Kanerva and Heikki Isotalus and CCO Timo Paakki. Observis was acknowledged especially for the company’s IT expertise.
Through the partnership, Observis and MPY aim at providing extraordinary service for the growing market of digital solutions. The partnership focuses on building IoT solutions (Internet of Things) by combining MPY’s network infrastructure expertise and Observis’ application service know-how.
MPY’s website: www.mpy.fi/in-english