FROM A LAW FIRM TO A SOFTWARE HOUSE

16 December 2020

During spring 2020, the restrictions brought about by the coronavirus epidemic hit the daily lives of Finns, radically changing it. The fluctuating epidemic has forced us all to learn a new “normal”. For myself, in addition to corona I have experienced change in working life, as my journey in the CSI support team began in March 2020. Starting a new job is always exciting in itself, but the exceptional situation added quite a bit of spice to it.

Confused and alone

The transition from having been fully up to date suddenly turned into a great confusion. The lack of an immediate support network did not make it any easier. The majority of my new colleagues were already working remotely, and I followed shortly after starting. I was still lucky in the sense that I had time to spend my first weeks in the office before moving to the home office, even though I didn’t get to meet all my co-workers live. Since then, work has also been done at the office, so I luckily am now much more comfortable and familiar with my co-workers.

In this situation, I gained a great advantage from my previous work. Prior to CSI, I worked for a law firm for several years. Because CSI develops its software primarily for use by law firms, I already had a good idea of ​​what our clients want and need. My background has made it easier for me to learn my new job, and at the same time has brought good perspectives to the supplier side.

Multitalent in the making

In my previous job, I played a key role in improving software skills as well as implementing and testing new systems. When I started at CSI, testing the new software version was in full swing, so I already had a little idea of ​​what was to come. I also had the opportunity to improve my Swedish language skills, for example during secondments in Stockholm. This has provided a good foundation for my career at CSI, which also operates increasingly in Sweden.

The legal industry used to surprise me with its diversity, and I feel having gotten used to this is an advantage for me. The pace of the legal world is fast and understanding that has been helpful in handling support requests and prioritizing work. My previous job also prepared me for the constantly changing work environment in the software industry. I switched industries because I wanted to understand how different systems are made. I often wanted to improve the functionality of the systems I used, but the process was unknown to me.

A new world opens before me

The change of perspective has been interesting. As a regular user, I hadn't realized how much it takes to change even a small thing in the functionality of a software – for example how many lines of code are needed to carry out a client's assignment. After attending product development meetings, one will understand why software development is not done in a blink of an eye. I have also noticed how customer and supplier perspectives differ in relation to using the software. While we work closely with our customers and spend months testing each upcoming version, it’s impossible to predict in advance how customers will use our flexible software in different ways. When we publish updates and changes that are intended to make the user’s job easier, it may become apparent that some customers have used the software in a way that is more difficult after the update.

It has also become clear that the product is never finished, but its development is continuous. While there are many well-established practices in the legal industry, we receive a lot of wishes and ideas from our clients to develop the software to better support their day-to-day work. Actively collecting and communicating these needs to our product development is a part of my daily work.

A bright future ahead

After six months, my own role has already become quite clear to me - as well as what added value I can bring to the company through my experience. I have already had the pleasure to share my knowledge with newer colleagues as well as participate different projects in an expert role. In my work, I am motivated by the opportunity to combine my own industry expertise with software development. There is still a lot to learn, as the competence level requirement for using the system on the producer side is at a completely different level than in my previous work. However, my skills improve day by day, and with that I expect to be able to further develop my programming skills, communication towards customers and also customers' technical skills in using our software.

Jaana Miettinen

CSI Helsinki, Account Manager

A multi-talent who utilizes her legal field expertise to support CSI clients in issues related to the use of the software. Meanwhile, she also develops her own programming skills and is easily enthusiastic about new projects and challenges. Kicks up a party at the office with her breaktime dancing!