Besides coders, computer science needs professionals interested in humans

Master student of Software and Service Engineering, Emmi Kranz wants to approach technology from a human perspective.
Master's student Emmi Krantz standing outside / Aalto University School of Science, Department of Computer Science
Emmi Kranz found her place in the Software and Service Engineering major. Photo: Matti Ahlgren / Aalto University

Emmi Kranz, who studies Software and Service Engineering as her major subject, was faced with a small crisis as a bachelor student of computer science. The field of computer science – a natural choice for someone who grew up amid technology and games – was no longer something she embraced. 'I was originally interested in computer science, because I thought cyber security was my thing. Then I noticed that it was too wide and technical,' Kranz says.

She even tried to switch her major subject from computer science to information networks. When this failed, she picked up her courage and decided to find her place among students of computer science. 'I noticed that there aren’t that many people like myself in computer science, which I assumed meant that I was needed and that there must also be jobs available for me.'

Now Kranz is a second-year master student and warmly recommends her master’s programme. The major programme of Software and Service Engineering provides the opportunity to choose and find a focus area that matches one’s interests. The goal of the major subject is to teach students skills that are required in modern organisations. They teach design as well as developing and managing digital products and services. Master’s studies also improve the ability to solve complex problems impacted by human, social and organisational factors alike.

Kranz considers the major subject to be suitable for those who consider other areas of computer science too technical. The field of computer science does not need coders alone. 'In computer science, the human aspect often only comes as an afterthought: a fancy user interface is developed, and then you realise: no one knows how to use this.'

Kranz wants to approach technology and other things from a human perspective. She is also interested in, for example, how group spirit between humans is created and how people form groups. This has resulted in her becoming a tutor for exchange students and to head the Martha club of Tietokilta, the guild for computer science students.

Martha club is intended for students who seek communal activities but not necessarily wild parties. 'The idea is for us to be together, talk and do things with our hands, such as crochet or bake buns.'

Dreaming of a job that combines technology and working with people

According to Kranz, she used to be a quiet young geek girl, who loved to play, read fantasy books and dance. At home, computer science was strongly present, as Kranz’s father also played a lot of computer games and knew much about computers.

I noticed that there aren’t that many people like myself in computer science, which I assumed meant that I was needed

Emmi Kranz

As an art enthusiast, Kranz considered studying humanities – such as history, mother tongue or English – after high school. Eventually, she decided against turning her writing and history hobbies into a job. It turned out to be the right decision. 'Now they are my ways out: if math or coding starts to get on my nerves, I’ll escape them into history, fantasy or whichever area.'

Kranz has managed to carry out several kinds of jobs alongside her studies. She has worked as the community manager of a small gaming company, a flight attendant and now as a freelancer in quality testing. 'I like to experiment with all kinds of things new and different. I get bored easily by doing just one thing.'

Kranz does not yet have exact career plans, but she hopes that after graduation she can work with project management, among other things. A certain master-level course dealt with technology company Ericsson’s transition into agile methodologies. This refers to a method that focuses on people and end result in a way that considers the changing world. 'Studying it interests me, and Ericsson as a company also seems interesting.'

What matters is that she can combine her technical know-how and working with people. Kranz is very happy with her decision to continue her studies in computer science, even if it did not always seem like her thing. She also encourages other students to keep going, even through the hard times. 'Now in master-level studies, it feels like I’m doing really well and it was worth pushing through.'

Emmi Kranzin potrettikuva
Photo: Matti Ahlgren / Aalto University

Emmi Kranz

Education: Bachelor of Science (Technology) in computer science

Lives in Espoo

Is from Helsinki

Greatest study-related achievement: 'I was the scrum master of bachelor-level students of a Software Project course last semester. My team earned a quality award, which I am very proud of.'

Has also

A great enthusiasm for history. 'I write historical fiction for fun and study history for this. I like to read about people and events and consider what historical figures would be like if they lived now.'

Worked as a flight attendant for a year. 'A year ago I did not get a summer job and I noticed that Finnair was hiring. Working as a flight attendant interested me already after high school. Back then, I was too short to apply, but the height limit had been lowered since then. As a flight attendant, I could fly around the world. I was most eager to fly to China, where I meant to go study in spring 2021. I am drawn to the culture and country of China. I plan to do courses related to architecture and the history of architecture.'

Developed a green thumb since corona spring. 'I got excited about plants, and it got slightly out of hand. Now our place is filled with house plants. They also die continuously, but I’ve learnt from mistakes. My tips for taking care of house plants is to be persistent. Recently there were aphids in my plants, and I’ve removed them with a powder brush. Now they’re fine again.'

English translation: Annika Rautakoura

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SSE aalto

Software and Service Engineering - Computer, Communication and Information Sciences, Master of Science (Technology)

Software and Service Engineering is the backbone of modern society and economy. The Master’s programme in Computer, Communication and Information Sciences – Software and Service Engineering equips students with some of the most sought after skills in today’s job market, across a wide range of industries.

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Department of Computer Science
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