Laura Rokkanen

Technical Manager, Cloud Operations

12.3.2020

At Rovio, we don’t tell people what to do. Instead, we focus on building teams of talented and motivated people, give them everything they need to succeed, and then don't get in the way.

As a systems architect/ops person I’ve always loved the building, care and feeding of complex infrastructure systems. At my previous employer, I had taken on the role of service lead to fill in an interim period and began building a “system” for our team to thrive. I realized I just loved it. What is needed to architect a great (dev)ops team? What kind of structure, care and feeding allows everybody to thrive individually but also work better as a whole? My role transformed into something along the lines of product owner, scrum master and systems architect, and I was looking for a place I could continue to stay close to the technical side of things while developing my team leading skills.

Rovio gave me the opportunity to try my hand at leading a team with a clear supervisor role. From the first interview, I just had a really good feeling, as I was told that ultimately the team interview would decide things, since they would not hire someone everybody in the team didn’t feel good about. I know personally how important it is to have a supervisor/lead who really gets you and the work you do, and it felt great to know I would only be chosen if it felt right for those I would be leading.

I have honestly never experienced a workplace where I have felt more supported to thrive as I am here. Everywhere you look across the company, there are people to admire and who inspire you. There is a real generosity in giving others trust, help, credit and recognition. Rovians generally are quite driven and hard-working, yet the atmosphere is relaxed, casual, friendly and fun.

One thing that struck me when I joined was a comment someone made in a meeting that “we don’t TELL people what to do”. This has really been the case from what I have seen. There is plenty of healthy discussion and kind-but-direct challenging, which facilitates good decisions and ensures we are all working together and rowing the same boat. However, ultimately nobody is going to tell you what to do. I love this because I don’t believe telling people what to do works, especially if they are highly motivated, experienced and talented.

This doesn’t mean we don’t have a context and parameters (goals, targets) to work within. In Games Technology everything we do is filtered through the lens of how we support our games and games teams best, but we have great freedom in influencing how and what we do to achieve that. As a service oriented leader this means I can really focus on supporting what we as a team feel serves us (as Rovio) the best. Even though my role can be intense, in a way my job is easy because I have such an incredibly talented team of amazing individuals. We complement each other in knowledge and thinking, and by working together we are always able to cut through complexity to arrive at the best solutions.

When you are new to management, there are a thousand unexpected things that can happen. There is just no runbook to consult. Still, I am always able to consult and get feedback from HR, my supervisor and my peers in the management team. In a sense I am part of two teams - my own team and the technology management team, where we make sure we are in alignment on tech and people matters affecting tech across the company.

At Rovio I get to work on interesting things in a really nice office environment with a great culture and wonderful people, where we are given a lot of freedom, trust and responsibility. This allows us to influence our work in ways we can really shine. Couldn’t really ask for more!