Cool summer breeze flows by the picturesque Jyväskylä harbour. A young man sits by the pier and smiles as seagulls scavenge and try to steal ice cream from innocent passers by.
Niklas Granqvist seems like your average joe next door, but little do people know that he is actually a hero maker. He is a man on a journey towards being the no.1 advisor for cloud, DevOps and Serverless principles. This is an introduction of a hero maker in the making, this is an introduction of Niklas Granqvist.
From football to hard drive
NordHero’s Junior Cloud Engineer describes himself as a hardworking young man who studies information technology and has a background in sports. The 23-year-old says he is an easygoing personality with a positive and flexible attitude towards life.
The IT spark that ultimately led him where he is now, hit him during secondary school, where he was being taught by “the best teacher of the entire secondary school”.
Computers were replaced by footballs for several years when Niklas was playing in the FC Lahti junior teams during high school. After a few injuries Niklas came to the conclusion that sports was not something he wished to pursue for a career.
After hearing his friends talk about the wonders of studying IT, he decided to apply for the Faculty of Information Technology at the University of Jyväskylä. Niklas says he has not regretted the decision:
The studies and the work that I do now, could not be any closer to what I truly want to do at the moment. I like to follow up on how I develop and learn new things. Programming suits me because you get instant feedback on your work and you can quickly see how you progress.
How to become a hero maker at NordHero?
As a test exercise in the recruiting process, Niklas was asked to build a programme that would run entirely on AWS. He spent five days programming and figured out how to crack the assignment. The hard work paid off and in June 2021 he became NordHero’s first ever Junior Cloud Engineer and the youngest member of the NordHero team.
Since the current university curriculum taught in Jyväskylä does not cover cloud computing to a great extent, NordHero is Niklas’ first touch to the vast world of cloud. Niklas says that he has not yet encountered anything that would not interest him.
I’m interested in the continuous development and constant change that is involved in IT. The amount of different technologies, tools, platforms etc. of cloud computing is monumental! There are practically no limits to what you can learn.
Senior hero makers Janne and Pekka have laid out a good study plan for Niklas and are committed to help the young talent to grow into a bonafide hero maker.
The main focus is for Niklas to gather as much knowledge as possible from both theoretical and practical cloud computing. His first task is to deep dive into the world of AWS by studying and completing certificates. He also follows closely on what his fellow hero makers do and assists in wherever he can.
How does it feel like to be in the NordHero team?
Niklas admits that he did not know a lot about NordHero before applying. His friend had spotted the job advertisement and recommended Niklas to go for it. As soon as he got in touch and in talks with Pekka and Janne, he understood what NordHero was all about.
The first interview with Pekka and Janne left me with a really good impression of both the company and the team as well as the scope of the work that NordHero does. Although the team is small, I feel that NordHero is an insanely great place to be in and learn.
The initial idea of Niklas was to apply for a summer internship but once NordHero presented their career plan for Niklas, he did not hesitate to jump in. After summer he will continue working part-time and advance his studies at the same time.
Your advice to other Junior Cloud Engineers out there?
Niklas appreciates NordHero for giving him an opportunity to learn real life skills that could not be learned at university. Like many other students, Niklas has also seen the mismatch between the expectations of companies and the skills and competences of students.
As a hardworking person, Niklas says that there is a lot students can do for themselves to improve the probability of getting a job without prior job experience.
It helps a lot if you have concrete examples of the stuff you can do. Also the internet is full of free tutorials where you can learn the basics and get to know the working environment of pretty much everything.
He also calls on companies and universities to do their part in solving the problem with scarcity of IT engineers all over the country.
Universities should update their curricula to better suit the needs of the labour market and companies need the courage and resources to offer opportunities and support for students to learn and grow into valuable assets of the future.