Aug 23, 2021 — News

Introducing Lead Developer Linda

Veera Juutilainen profile picture
Veera Juutilainen
Marketing & communications

Lead Developer Linda Staffans likes her tea green and her humour dry.

During her youth, Lead Developer Linda had the opportunity to live in different countries. She lived with her family in the United States one year during middle school, and later spent a year as an exchange student in Germany. Living in a new country can be quite overwhelming: Linda was 11 years old when she and her family moved to USA where she dived into a new school, community and culture, with elementary skills in English.

“I remember it as thrilling, as well as difficult. But it was amazing to see how something that initially was – well, impossible – with some trying and time became fun and easy. I also realised how the concerns and joys were similar among people, regardless of cultural background.”

Linda Staffans

Linda didn’t always dream of becoming a developer. Her path there started by studying biology at Helsinki University. However, she was also fascinated by mathematics and handicraft, which led her to a career in IT instead. She chose a new major and studied five years at Aalto University (back then it was called Helsinki University of Technology) and graduated with a degree of Master of Science in Technology. After about two years of research work at Aalto, Linda started working as a full-stack developer for Mtech, creating IT services for the agricultural sector. There she spent more than 10 very fulfilling years before she started to work for Biocode in 2019. Linda had the opportunity to join the technical team as a lead developer. Biocode was quite a match – a real-world practical initiative for enabling sustainable life on Earth, with a thorough scientific base.

Lead Developer Linda’s work consists of building Biocode’s backend and frontend systems together with the rest of the tech team. In short, she “codes”, but Linda says it is a crude simplification: the work includes feature design, systems and database design, implementation, quality assurance, deployment maintenance, operations support et cetera. There is also a lot of collaboration with customers and with the rest of the team.

“Creating technical concepts for system essentials is just great. I love the box drawing, the intense discussions and thinking, and the moments when the pieces simply fall to place. Usually, it is a combination of insights of many participants that together form the “way to go”.”

Linda Staffans

As one of the highlights of her journey at Biocode, Linda names the outcomes of the first project she joined. Agricultural and life cycle assessment experts of different fields, along with technical experts and management crew, had combined their knowledge to create an automatable life cycle assessment model for milk production. The amount of knowledge and details was vast, and still it was possible to boil out the essentials. Seeing it all put together in the final deployed user-oriented calculation service made the project marvellous.

Environmental issues have been in Linda’s life for quite some time now. She remembers borrowing a school book from her cousin in elementary school, where she happened to read a text on oil spill in the Baltic Sea. It was saddening for her to see how some actions, intentional or unintentional, can cause severe long-term damages for entire ecosystems. On the other hand, with the right knowledge, it is possible to live life in a “normal way” that still preserves Earth for generations to come. Every time Linda visits beautiful nature, she knows the future is under stress. 

“I warmly recommend cherishing your relationship with nature – it keeps reminding us why the environment is something that concerns us all, every day. With the COVID lockdowns, I have also realised how much you get out of even a short walk in one of these small nature spots you find in every suburb. If you have the opportunity to go hiking, skiing, canoeing – all the better.”

Linda Staffans

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