At the beginning of 2019, my wife was accepted into a master’s program at Aalto university in Helsinki, and we made the decision to move from Madrid, to Finland – despite the stories we had heard about the harsh Finnish winter. It turned out to be a great decision, although at that time it was a difficult choice to make. When I first started searching for jobs, I felt frustrated as I could not find the balance between engineering and innovation I was striving for. But that changed when I came across Rovio's Machine Learning Engineer position. Something clicked inside me as the job description had exactly what I wanted.
As I was working in consultancy, and I had no experience in the mobile gaming industry, the first weeks were both challenging and exciting. In consultancy, there are always new projects popping up, so I was wondering if working at Rovio would feel less dynamic. I soon realised I had no reason to worry. There are new things happening at Rovio every day. New games are created and launched often, and our live games are improved constantly to remain engaging in the ultra competitive mobile games market. So it turned out to be exciting every day!
My first projects allowed me to collaborate with the Angry Birds Dream Blast team, one of the fastest growing free-to-play games in the market. My main goal was to create machine learning models to personalise the game experience of the players. I was amazed at how in a really short time we were able to integrate our models in the games, showing a positive business impact, which is something I believe only very few companies can accomplish.
Being part of the Technology Unit, I am especially proud to be surrounded by very talented professionals. Each team has ownership of their own craft and issues get solved quickly without compromising any quality, something rare to find in tech teams. I am also continuously learning something, thanks to how reviewing each other’s work is a fundamental part of my team’s daily activities.
Remote work is supported at Rovio, but I usually prefer to commute to the office as there are really good vibes in our nest. There are Slack channels where people with the same interests can connect, so I was already playing football with my colleagues during my first weeks. I also learned to play some really cool board games. In our Espoo office we also have some recurring meetings just to mingle and have some candy and drinks. With all these activities, my first winter has already passed without me even noticing!