Book an appointment
Knowledge base

Community at work is an important factor for many people – this year was full of events for Pinja

 A bunch of happy Pinjans

Pinja’s eventful year is coming to an end, but it left us with a lot of fun memories and many new things that we’ve learned about AI, data security, and data warehousing, among other things. Throughout the year, there were plenty of remote and live events, both between teams, offices, and staff, so a large number of Pinjans have been able to participate in the organization of events. Two of them are Carita Tammelin, Digital Marketing Assistant in the marketing team and Sampo Hiironniemi, HR Manager in the Business Intelligence unit. A sense of community in the workplace is an important asset for both of them in their daily lives.

Community in the workplace is shaped by its participants

Digital Marketing Assistant Carita Tammelin works in Pinja’s marketing team. She says that her job description is quite broad. Her tasks include advertising and social media, and much of the time is also spent on employer image marketing.

For Carita, organizing events is an enjoyable and rewarding activity. According to her, the best thing about it is that you get to do and create something that makes others feel good. One such event was Pinja’s summer party, which this year took place in Peurunka, Laukaa with the theme The Amazing Data Lovers Race.

Part of Pinja's marketing team.Part of Pinja's marketing team.

The summer party has become popular among Pinjans and it has almost reached legendary status. For many, they are a welcome way to meet face-to-face with team members from different locations, and enjoy the start of the summer holiday season. As in previous years, there were plenty of activities to choose from this year: different sports, sauna, spending the evening with colleagues, and of course good food.

- It was also fun to watch others solving challenges in The Amazing Data Lovers Race. One of the challenges was to find all the mascots in a hidden picture and count the number of mascots. The approach to counting them varied widely between teams. One team of software developers came up with the idea of counting mascots by putting a stone on each one and then counting the number of stones, Carita recalls.

In September, Carita participated in organizing Pinja’s LAN party in her capacity as project manager. She brought together people from different offices to handle the practical arrangements, ensured clear instructions and progress, and was responsible for the communications of the event. 

- The idea of the event was, in all its simplicity, to play video games together with colleagues. At Pinja, these have usually been separate events at different locations, but now we went online at the same time, both remotely and in the offices. Each LAN manager took care of the spaces, internet connection, and catering in their respective locations, Carita says.

Flamecraft board game on the tableBoard games are also traditionally a part of the LAN party, such as the Flamecraft game in the picture.

The event lasted three days in total, starting on Friday afternoon and ending on Sunday with a light final game and clean-up. Pinja has a long history of LAN parties, and attracting participants was no problem this year either.

- We’ve always had a lot of participants in our LAN parties, and this year it was especially nice to connect with colleagues from other offices, says Carita. 

Retro games
In Tampere, retro games gained popularity.

Chat connections were open via the Discord chat platform throughout the event, and some games also had a scheduled common time. In addition, a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament was held in the LAN party, which was streamed on Twitch, and proved very popular. 

- Overall, the event was really nice, and we got positive feedback. We may well develop the event further for next time. This was really just a prototype; the possibilities are close to limitless, Carita says with a smile.

Training, evenings spent together, and support from colleagues

Sampo Hiironniemi, HR Manager of Pinja’s Business Intelligence unit, which employs almost 100 people, is responsible for the well-being, career development, and career paths of Pinjans, as well as for recruiting new Pinjans. He is also responsible for organizing managerial work in the unit. Sampo’s previous work history as a specialist and project manager in BI and data warehouse projects provides a good background for his work.

We wanted to create a collaborative way to participate in the conference remotely. Participants were able to vote for the tracks to be followed in the different rooms, and in addition to watching the program, there was the opportunity to discuss the topics freely.

Sampo has been involved in organizing Pinja’s events, not only because it is a logical part of his job description, but also because he feels that it is an important and enjoyable task. In the spring of this year, Sampo participated in the organization of a community event where Pinjans participated remotely in the SQLBits conference in the UK. 

The idea was to gather teams from different Pinja offices to follow the conference, and at the same time try to create an atmosphere similar to the one on site. A large community room was booked for the event, during which there were also exercises, a meal together, and a leisure program for the evening for those who wanted to participate.

- We wanted to create a collaborative way to participate in the conference remotely. Participants were able to vote for the tracks to be followed in the different rooms, and in addition to watching the program, there was the opportunity to discuss the topics freely. The advantage of this kind of remote implementation is that it allows more people to participate than if we had participated in person on site, Sampo says.

Auditorium with Pinjan Business Intelligence expertsPinja's Business Intelligence experts participated in the AI Hackdays.

At the end of April, the BI team’s data warehouse and BI experts gathered in Murikanranta in Tampere for a two-day AI Hackdays event, and a joint spring party was celebrated in the same event. The educational part included AI and machine learning teamwork, solving AI problems assigned by clients.

- The Hackdays event was a nice combination of something to do together, something new and interesting about AI, and also a fun way to spend some free time. In the evening program, everyone could participate in activities of their choice, including badminton, sauna, quiz, forest wandering, and karaoke. In addition, there was a surprise program – a 1930s Gang Land story, which was a playful competition for the conquest of America. It was nice to get positive feedback on the event. The participants were happy, and appreciated the relaxed atmosphere, Sampo says.

Through the Christmas party towards the new year

The latest events of the year were Christmas parties at the various Pinja offices. Carita and Sampo both work in Pinja’s Jyväskylä office, where the party was held this year with a cruise ship theme. The program included bingo, good food, and stand-up comedy. One of the most anticipated features of the program has traditionally been karaoke, and it didn’t disappoint this time either.

- It was nice to see people singing and dancing along. Overall, the atmosphere was good, and the feedback was positive, Carita says.

This year, each of Pinja’s offices had its own Christmas program, but there was one thing they all had in common: Awarding of the Pinja Honors. Honors were voted for in three categories: data lover, pacesetter, and the most positive person of the year.

 winners of Pinja Honors
In Pinja's Christmas Parties, the everyday heroes voted by Pinjans were awarded.

- Overall, I think encouraging others and community in the workplace is really important, and I put a lot of emphasis on it. One of the biggest reasons why I enjoy working at Pinja is the large and good working community. I have made many friends at Pinja, with whom we share both work and life matters, says Carita.

Community in the workplace is also important to Sampo, and he stresses its importance, especially in the long term. Sampo says that the sense of community in the workplace is visible to him, for example, in the fact that it is nice to come to work.

- The sense of community in the workplace is reflected, for example, in the fact that we know each other through more than just our job roles. Sometimes we can joke around and, if the occasion arises, ask how the ill cat is doing, for example. When we know each other, it’s easier to be and work together, to talk about things, and ask for help when needed, says Sampo.


In addition to the larger group events, Pinja has also enlivened everyday life this year with breakfasts, board game nights, sports days, sauna nights, and team days. In addition, we participated in the Down a degree electricity saving challenge and the Children at Work Day, and together we celebrated both Valentine’s Day, as well as Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. For new employees, the Pathway of New Data Lovers and the related boot camp events were launched.

Overall, participation in joint events has been encouragingly active at Pinja, and many are already looking forward to what the new year will bring.

Read more

See all our vacancies
Network with us to be among the first to know about our new vacancies 
Check out the career stories of Pinjans'