peer talk: leadership in development teams


As good old Vince, we also believe that great leaders are grown, not born. Anyone can become a leader if they just set their heart and mind on it. And train hard. 

Our second Peer Talk event gathers together developers, designers and other tech minded people to talk about leadership. This event focuses on leadership methods from the development team perspective - what is good leadership in small, agile teams and how to become a leader of such team. 

The event is for all of you who want to learn more about leadership in development teams. Instead of theoretical aspects to leadership we want to give you concrete experiences and thoughts about leadership - how the route from being a developer to a leader actually goes, what is the most challenging part and what are the biggest benefits of having a development role as background.  

After the panel discussion, you will have a chance to network and continue discussions with the panelists. Or you may try your Counter-Strike skills and challenge the members of Havu - the winners of Assembly Winter 2018 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.


Time: Tuesday 20.3.2017 klo 17:00-19:30
Place: Semifinal, 
Urho Kekkosen katu 4-6, 00100 Helsinki


16.30 – Doors are open - food and beer available

17.00 - Welcome, Ilkka Lagerström 

17.15 – Fireside-chat: How to become a team lead - best practices and common pitfalls

  • Erkka Pynnönen, Head of Software Engineering at Grano
  • Kirsi Louhelainen, CTO, AI at Barona Technologies
  • Tomi Suomela, Head of Digital Banking Engineering System at Nordea

18.00 - Northstar pitch, Joel Kinnunen

18.15 -  Havu - meeting the players & opportunities for one-on-one games

19.30 - End ot the event 



In this Peer Talk we will hear concrete stories about leadership from professionals who all have their roots in development roles and have grown into leaders. They will share their thoughts and experiences about leadership - how their career path has taken them to leadership positions, what has been most difficult part and what has been most rewarding.


Kirsi Louhelainen, CTO & AI, Barona Technologies
Kirsi is the Head of AI development in Barona Technologies. Her passion is to enhance life with smart technologies. Kirsi has a wide experience in designing and developing different technological environments for startups, insurance companies and finance sector. Throughout her career, Kirsi has worked as a software developer, architect and in different managerial roles. In the panel discussion Kirsi shares how she has grown to be a leader and how leadership styles vary in different industries.

Erkka Pynnönen, Head of Software Engineering, Grano Oy, Digital Services
Erkka is leading the software engineering unit at Grano. His passion is to help professionals reach best possible results by using modern software development methods and technologies. Erkka’s passion for development got started in his early teens and he has gained experience as both an entrepreneur and as a consultant within software development. During his career, Erkka has worked as a software developer and project manager. In this panel discussion, Erkka shares his journey from a software developer to a team lead.

Tomi Suomela, Head of Digital Banking Engineering System
Tomi is leading the digital banking services at Nordea. His passion is using DevOps methods for developing digital services. Tomi has a strong background in Nokia’s digital development and he has worked as a project manager, architect and head of unit. In this panel discussion he shares his story; what is it like to grow into a leader position within your own organisation. 

HAVU - Esports 

Havu Gaming is a Finnish electronic sports management company and the winners of Assembly Winter 2018 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive finals. In this event, you will have the opportunity to learn game strategies from the champions and also test your skills against them in 1-on-1 games. 

"We aim to give the optimal conditions for our teams and players to concentrate on gaming. We at Havu are revolutionazing eSports in Finland."





The Semifinal (little sister of the legendary Tavastia club) is known as a stepping for new talent. This is the place where you may encounter for the most promising artists. Read more about Semifinal here

Address: Urho Kekkosen katu 4-6, 00100 Helsinki

Feel free to invite your colleague with you, if you know this would be an interesting topic. Just remeber to mention the name and email address in the registration form. 


What do you want to know about leadership?

Panel discussion is interactive, so feel free to ask anything during the discussion or send your questions beforehand by email: