People Behind Huuva: Tiina

What excites Tiina in Huuva is the possibility to be a part of building a startup and a new vision for restaurants from the very beginning.

Since the very beginning of Huuva, Tiina has led Huuva’s Software Team. Her days are a combination of many different elements—recruiting, writing code, introducing the right people to each other—but at the core of it is finding the best ways of working that suit the team and help them reach great results.  

This also means that Tiina juggles multiple problems at the same time. Her morning could start with production issues needing attention. Later during the day, she has some time to develop new features to the software and team members might ask for reviews for their pull requests.

“The main joy and the main challenge of my job is deciding how to divide my time with different responsibilities and prioritize. Prioritizing is especially important in a high-growth startup like us, where you can always do everything but you really need to focus on the things that truly have the most impact in the bigger picture”, she summarizes.

The journey from a teacher-to-be to a consultant and coder

Tiina has an interesting background that, when you think of it, should give perfect capabilities for multitasking. Tiina was educated to be a mathematics teacher, meaning her studies were a combination of educational sciences and mathematics. When she was about to graduate, she realized working in schools was not actually what she wanted to do. 

Then a series of chances and choices happened. Because of her interest in educational sciences, Tiina was looking into the Programming MOOC courses organized by the University of Helsinki’s Department of Computer Science. She claims the interest was purely pedagogical at first, but she ended up working her way through all the available courses. This made her think: maybe programming could be the right career path for her. 

Her background in mathematics was a great asset, but mostly Tiina kept teaching herself to code. To keep up the good progress, she started to look for available jobs in the industry. She applied for various different positions, and finally, she found a company willing to give her a chance. Starting off with more consulting roles, Tiina found that technical consulting and teaching had some elements in common: guiding clients through how to solve their problems with code and figuring out solutions together with them.  

“Basically, it included the great elements of teaching and almost none of the irritating ones.”

After some years, Tiina started to feel that as a consultant, one can’t avoid always being more or less an outsider in projects. She was eager to get more into in-house product development.

Enter Huuva and a really cool new opportunity to build something from scratch.

Want to build something from scratch yourself? Check out our open positions here.

Building something new from the ground-up

What excites Tiina in Huuva is the possibility to be a part of building a startup and a new vision for restaurants from the very beginning. 

“As a consultant, it was all about forming an overall image of the situation and suggestions of what should be done based on it. Now when I’m actually building the product, I’m constantly face-to-face with the decisions that need to be made and directions to take. In a startup that moves fast, it’s even more exciting.” 

When building a startup, the pace is fast and almost every decision has concrete results. There’s no time to waste, so the focus needs to be clear. And since a lot of the work is tangible, mistakes are noticed and fixed fast. This accelerates learning for the whole team.

“It’s part of our company values that mistakes can be made. But they are always an opportunity to learn.”

Tiina has enjoyed working in a team with versatile backgrounds, as Huuva’s team consists of technical people, kitchen talent and business-savvy folks. Huuva’s straightforward culture and Tiina’s experience and background have made it easier to grasp the whole new world of business and operations.

Tiina has an uncomfortable confession to make for a person working in a startup working closely with food and kitchen operations. 

“I’m not actually a big foodie or a gourmet home chef. I’m the type that orders food home.”

In her work, Tiina has turned this to her advantage. The fact that she didn’t know much about kitchen work has made it possible to question even self-evident habits, as she puts it, ask dumb questions. This has been helpful when building features for people who work in kitchens: they themselves don’t often question why things are operated as they have always been operated. As Huuva’s food courts work very differently from a traditional kitchen and your average restaurant, an outsider's look helps to build the software and operations in a way that fits these new virtual food courts.
“By combining best practices from software and restaurant world we can create something amazing. This journey has been such a rollercoaster so far that I'm only excited to see where our amazing people will bring us next.”

Want to join the ride? See all of your open positions here

Anna Brchisky
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