1/2013

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The Boogie Code: Software developers who are right where they want to be

“We love a challenge”, says Jari Silaste. “The more challenging or difficult the client and the development is, the better.” He’s a man with more gray than dark in his hair, sipping his black coffee through a sugar cube. He knows what he’s talking about. “In some cases, the client does not really know the possibilities of mobility. Then we talk, and talk, and come into a conclusion – the conclusion. That’s what we’re good at, and we’re the best at providing that conclusion.” Sounds like a provider of tall orders. “Yes”, he says, without a blink.

Top-notch and they know it

To be fair, Boogie Software is known as the top ranking software company around, where “around” is not “around these parts”. They work in the data security, banking, well-being and game industries, providing software, solution management and platform porting for the mobile space. Silaste has a long background in the industry. “We hire only top programmers. Nothing less, ever. No matter what their background is.”

Boogie Software, or more casually, Boogie, as they like to be called, was founded in 2006, just before the international economic turmoil started to bite. Regardless of the sign of the times, they concentrated on what they knew best: programming. Now they are a profit-making company with 25 employees, all of whom share not only the talent but also a beautiful view of a riverbank near central Oulu.

The passion of the coder

“A view like this gives you perspective, you feel the history and the nature.” However, Silaste the CEO is looking ahead. “Our offering is right at the cutting edge of technology. We complement our offering with cloud services and web interfaces, but it’s our mobile expertise makes the difference. Boogie is the best developer when you go across platforms. Period. And I mean the best in the world.” As he talks, he gives reasons why this is more than just puff.

“Most of our personnel were involved in the first smartphone developments – and the first pieces of software for those phones. These people know their stuff. They’re passionate about the software.” Boogie mostly does software development on call, but sometimes other things just happen on their own. “The thing about coders at this level is they develop stuff outside projects in their own time. ‘What do you think about this?’ Well, let’s see how it runs, we say, and often we make it available”, says Miikka Pakkanen, partner and project manager. “This can provide business opportunities but most importantly it presents our technical skills.”

How to recruit the best?

So: they are a top programming powerhouse with the fastest fingers attached to the best brains in programming – what’s the secret of recruiting? The office has an exquisite view and it is located in the loft space of an historic building, but where’s the soda vending machine, the free candy, whatever it takes to hire the best? “Oh, the best like to work with the rest of the best. Top-notch programmers seek their kind. They know who’s where, and most are here”, says Pakkanen. Silaste nods, and adds: “The city has so much history in the mobile space that it’s easier to set up a high-class developer company here than elsewhere. We’re separated from our competitors by the mobile space itself. It’s part Nokia, true, but there’s so much more to it than just that.”

Against the backdrop of the beautiful scenery, Pakkanen and Silaste both comment on the idea of being in Oulu: “The spirit of the companies in Oulu is spot-on. Even as the development gets more and more intense, there’s still time to think about new stuff, things to break through with.” Pakkanen adds: “Even with our level of quality, it’s easy to recruit. The university is strong, the company ecosystem is unique and there’s so much going on. Why go anywhere else?”