The beat pounds. The rhythms electrify and the guitar riffs roar. Arto Mäkitalo is moshing to the music. Crowds slam each other. It’s a high energy space and Arto’s going in deep.
Unlike most cloud architects, Arto is not a fan of quiet specs and schematics. Even when he’s out of the mosh pit and back at the office, he will slip on his headphones and crank up the volume on some heavy metal or 80s rock, before diving headfirst into a creative coding session. Only then can he fully lose himself in the world of cloud architecture, security and highly-available infrastructure development. Because Arto’s passion for mashing beats with his bytes is more than a hobby, it’s his secret weapon for going deep into customer problem-solving.
Coding before he could read
As a child in the early 80’s, Arto spent a lot of time around the family computer, but unlike other kids, he wasn’t there just to play games. “I was more interested in figuring how the computer worked and what I could build with it,” Arto recalls. His parents didn’t know much about computers so they were amazed when their four-year-old son picked up a book about programming and started trying to code, even before he could read.
Arto blames his older brother for his taste in music, which was introduced to him around that time through the bedroom walls. This included Arto’s all-time favourite band, Iron Maiden.
Professional geek at 14
By aged 14, Arto had already become a professional IT geek. He got a summer job down at the local computer store to clean up and do odd jobs, but the boss soon saw Arto’s potential. Before long, he began making customer deliveries to install new equipment, but was soon being called back to troubleshoot software or hardware issues, or to implement new features or consult and advise on a range of matters. After the summer, Arto continued on as an afterschool worker with clients often requesting him by name. “This meant I got to do what I loved as well as get extra money to buy Iron Maiden records or tickets for live metal gigs.”
Unlike most of the cloud experts at NordHero, Arto’s roots are not in software development. Instead, he has always focused on the infrastructure layer. Backed by a long history in the information security field, security has always been Arto’s priority, while making sure that the availability and accessibility of services meet, or exceed, customer expectations. Over his twenty-year career, Arto has accumulated vast experience in multiple cloud environments, as well as becoming a certified expert in Kubernetes technology, multi-cloud and hybrid-cloud architectures as well as DevOps methodologies.
In 2006, Arto graduated as an Information Technology Engineer from the University of Applied Sciences – Jyväskylän AMK. A qualification that he began in 1999 but took seven years to complete after his work experience gig at Finansium turned quickly into a full-time job. Arto stayed on for 21 years (from 2001 to 2022) at the company, which underwent a number of mergers and management changes along the way.
Motivated by new technologies and changes
“The company around me changed a lot, but I kept my focus clear and bright”, says Arto, who can recall at least seven different company names on his payslips over those years. During one of these transitions, Arto cites a very big project challenge that he took the lead on. The company was renewing all its firewalls, changing its network operator and moving its network operating centre to a new location. All in one night. Arto planned and implemented the whole undertaking and it went well, but there was a lot at stake. “With 1500 people working in the company, if we’d screwed up, they wouldn’t have been doing much the next day.”
It was at this company where Arto met his wife, finding his way to her heart as her in-house IT geek, then eventually in-home as well. Now, they live in a semi-urban house with their three boys, a dog, a chicken and a rooster. Arto plays a bit of weekend golf but he also likes disc golf as it is more familial with even his youngest son able to join.
Since his early coding toddler days, Arto has continued to get excited about each new technology and innovation that comes along. At work, he likes sharing knowledge with his customers and colleagues as well as sparring and discussing problems.
“What keeps me motivated and getting up in the morning is the constant learning and investigating new things,” Arto asserts. “Which is a good thing because in my industry everything is always changing.”
While this change may bring headaches to his clients, Arto is always ready to help, because, for Arto, each transformational shift is like music to his ears – or even the thundering beat of a heavy metal anthem.