SANDER AASAVÄLI

Sr. Full Stack Developer — I am a member of the Product Team. I program, analyze and develop the solutions necessary to improve our products. Sometimes I need to come up with a full solution to a problem, sometimes the analysis is done already and all I have to do is implement it in code, and sometimes it is something in between. I work closely with our Analysts, QE, BA, and POs. I also assume the role of a mentor to our new joiners, helping them to adjust to their work and answering any questions they may have.

Can you tell us a bit about your background and how you got to where you are today?

The journey to where I am now has been a rather peculiar one. It began with a determination to become a fireman as a child, which came from a misguided conception that there were not a lot of daily fires so I would be able to rest a lot! However, my first real passion was for music; I play six instruments — drums, saxophone, clarinet, piano, bass guitar, and trumpet. I did not consider IT as being a path for me when I was younger until in high school, where I discovered programming. That lit a fire inside me — I just loved it. When I graduated from high school, there were actually two options for me: one was to go to Taltech and study IT, and the other one was to study music in a higher music school. I couldn’t decide between the two, so I chose both! I was delighted to graduate from both courses.

How did you come to work at Modularbank?

Whilst completing my Bachelor’s degree, I did a two-month internship at Icefire, a technology company also founded by Modularbank’s co-founders. After finishing the internship I was immediately offered a full-time position but was also given time to finish my studies first. After graduating, I then joined Icefire and worked there until I transferred to Modularbank.

During my final days at Icefire, I was working on projects for large-scale banks when Ove, Modularbank’s CTO, approached me to discuss joining Modularbank. Since I am always up for some new challenges, I dove in. I was particularly excited about working with Modularbank, as I could see that the goals of the company were challenging but, ultimately, they were architecturally possible. I was also particularly impressed by the capabilities of my colleagues. Trusting the abilities of your co-workers is important for me and this I have at Modularbank.

Any standout moments during your time with Modularbank?

It’s hard to pick a single best day, but I guess I always enjoy the get-together with everyone. We haven’t really had the chance to have as many team events as we have had before because of the current situation, but I’m still hoping it will change soon. I find it heartwarming when I look back and compare the changes from when we first started developing the product to what we have accomplished now. I like the progress we’ve made and that things are getting better and smoother.

What’s the best part of working with a very diverse team?

I love the different lives everyone has lived and the different experiences that come with them; I am always sharing cool and interesting stories with my colleagues. Also, I love sampling new food — traditional foods from my teammates’ home countries. Of course, I also enjoy being able to develop my social and language skills with everyone, a feeling I am sure is mutual! Despite cultural differences, we all work well as a team. Everyone knows what they are expected to do, there’s a really good dynamic in there.

You work in a field that is constantly evolving, how do you see your future career path with Modularbank?

In five years or so most likely transitioning to the software architectural side. Definitely, I still want to develop. This is something I really enjoy and don’t ever want to lose.

You mentioned that you mentor new joiners, what advice do you usually give them?

Do not be afraid to ask questions. A lot of people like to start digging for answers on their own, which can be good because you will learn a lot from the process, but asking questions saves time. Instead of spending almost the whole day researching, just ask and get your answer in a minute or two. Our teammates are really helpful, once you reach out you will get more information than you need. Everyone is happy to help.

Lastly, what is your advice to those who aspire to become a Full Stack Developer like yourself?

Always be eager to learn new things. You don’t have to go in-depth at first, just consume as much information on different topics as you can. Then you can decide what to focus on. It always helps to have an acquaintance or a friend who’s working in the industry, who you can turn to for advice on what to study further and the best technologies to consider.

Interested in working with Sander? Join our team. Check out our careers page for current openings: https://www.modularbank.co/careers

Close-knit group of bright & warm-hearted people from different cultures, working together to bring innovation to financial services & impact millions of people