July 29, 2015

How do I see open source culture?

Rosa Virtanen

SAP Sales Trainee, Tieto,

I have to admit that before I came to Tieto, my understanding of the organisation’s open source culture was rather limited. But during our orientation days, after almost every speaker mentioned open source culture, I quickly realised that it is the foundation of how Tieto does business.

I left the orientation thinking about open source culture and started my first official day at the office. Like most people on their first day, I was nervous when I stepped into the building and was introduced to everyone. What made it easier, though, was the welcoming atmosphere. My colleagues were eager to meet me and encouraged me to come forward if I had any questions related to work or anything else.

And did I have questions? Loads of them. Sometimes it feels like asking a lot of questions bothers people, and in a hectic work environment you do not want to bother your colleagues. This kind of thinking is quite common, but on the other hand, our culture becomes evident through the type of response I get when I show up at a meeting and ask a “stupid” question. The response has always been positive and since there are many tasks and questions that need to be solved it is important to feel that your questions, no matter how simple, are welcomed at any meeting.

This is where the beauty of open source culture shines through - you do not have to know everything. Your colleagues within your team or from different departments are just a phone call away. This culture of collaboration builds a stronger knowledge base for any project and enables the contribution of fresh ideas. In order for a big corporation such as Tieto to work towards common goals, it is vital to grasp the idea that we are actually doing the same thing here – let’s learn from each other.

One issue that I did not expect when I started working at Tieto was the confidence my team placed in me. I knew the trainee programme highlighted the chance to work on meaningful cases, but still, the level of trust my team had for me came as a surprise. I was taken into sales cases the moment I started, and my team listened and valued my opinions. Still, you are not expected to handle everything on your own. For example, although technically I faced my first sales bid on my own, in reality I had the support of the whole team behind me encouraging me to grow and to succeed.

What I have noticed is that open source culture is not about fancy titles or egos walking down the hallway, it is about people and what they do. It is about how we encourage everyone to learn, to have an open dialogue and to be inspired by each other and our customers. Because in the end, we do all of this in order to be a better partner for our customers and support them every step of the way.

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