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New Computer Science Department professor Kari Smolander studies software development practices

Kari Smolander makes conclusions based on observations and interviews.
- My research is even focused on the social aspect of the software development work, states professor Kari Smolander.

Kari Smolander started as professor at the Computer Science Department in January 2016. His research focus is software development and its change. Digitalization has a strong effect on this paradigm shift, as almost everything will be automated.

- Software will be the most crucial component in the business. Previously IT, software and information systems have mainly been regarded as mandatory costs. Now they are becoming an essential component bringing added value to the core business. Companies selling intangible goods - for instance insurance companies and banks – have been at the forefront. Yet at the moment the same shift is taking place elsewhere, too, for example in the manufacturing industry. This will even affect on the software work and how it will be organized, states professor Kari Smolander at his new office in the Computer Science Building.

Automation in the essence of the digitalization will lead to formalized processes, which can easily be copied anywhere like all digital information. Still neither customer connections nor value chains can be copied. Digitalization is a systemic shift including, among others, reorganization of customer relations, as well as the value chains of goods and services. It will change the game – and the success Finland is dependent on how we react, says Smolander.

- My research is even focused on the social aspect of the software development work. The research is mostly empirical field study. Instead of big data sets, I make conclusions based on observations and interviews, states Smolander at the end.

Kari Smolander obtained his Computer Science Master’s Degree at the University of Jyväskylä in 1988. In 1992, Smolander completed his Licenciate Thesis concerning metamodelling, while at the same time creating a software development tool MetaEdit. The tool is still used in the MetaCase company. Kari Smolander was one of the founding members of this company.

After the Licenciate work Smolander worked around five years at Tieto developing maintenance and material management systems for forest industry. Before and after his doctoral studies Smolander worked as principal lecturer at the South Carelia Polytechnic (now Saimaa University of Applied Sciences). Smolander completed his PhD work in only two years, 2001-2003.

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