Tomi Nurmi

Visible change and an atmosphere of respect reward Tom as an experienced specialist

“The story presented to me, with all of its challenges, sounded so interesting that I decided to embrace it,” says a good-humoured Tomi Nurmi, summing up the precise reason he decided to accept the role he was offered as a test automation product owner.

The veteran with some twenty years’ experience saw ahead of him a major project requiring a long-term approach where he could use all of his know-how and in-depth understanding. OP offered a bigger and different world and a more extensive range of technologies than his previous job.  

“At the interview I felt that there could be use for me here and accordingly that I could have something to offer OP.  The feeling was correct.”

Tomi has seen with his own eyes how things have progressed during the couple of eventful years he has spent at OP. He appreciates in particular that change is made concrete, people listen and expertise is valued.

His job is to locate areas where there could be use for test automation and to support teams in facilitating conversion work. Responsibility for leading the development of test automation rewards this experienced employee, but before he took up the post Tomi was surprised by the initial situation and his own role.

“Before my new job began, my current colleague showed me at a seminar how test automation is conducted at OP. I wondered then what I would be doing  – everything is ready there,” says Tomi with a laugh.

It soon transpired, however, that there really was need for his expertise. The diversity of the areas and the number of teams made sure of this.


Tomi started work in advancing OP’s test automation as his team’s product owner. It quickly became clear to Tomi where his input was needed most.

“We began to harmonise the line and created a strategy for test automation, which determined the direction in which we wished to go,” he says, describing his first steps.

Together with his team, Tomi got to create tools and models for the teams that helped in carrying out test automation. He views his own role and main responsibility as opening dialogue, enabling development  and acting as a challenger.

“I dig out contacts and seek solutions for them. In other words, I carve new ground. I challenge entrenched ideas. This calls for a certain degree of extroversion, as to a large degree my work consists of talking, sorting issues out and giving presentations.

Along with his interactive work, he also has time to engage in expertise involving technologies. Tomi sees that, in that in the near future, the aim will be to raise the standard of tools and expertise in order to achieve a DevOps model that is as fast and modern as possible.  Although he is familiar with the operating model inside out, Tomi strives to study the subject continuously.

“It is hugely important to study in this job. The world is changing so rapidly that, even if you try to study, you can’t quite keep up with everything. That is why we need people here who spar each other onwards, so that we find solutions together.

After two intensive development years, the path has been prepared for the future.

“The foundation has been created. Now we only need to take things forward, expand to more areas,” says Tomi, summing up the current situation in his work and that of his colleagues.

The rapid development and expansion of test automation, including results, would not have happened without the exemplary work chemistry of the expert environment, a brilliant team of his own and exemplary pioneer teams which worked together to develop a common entity.

In earnest, but not with a serious expression.

“The work atmosphere, a drive to get things done and the attitude towards employees are extremely important to me.”

Tomi appreciates how the opinions of specialists are regarded at OP and the way people treat each other. The culture of cooperation and respect lay in his view a strong foundation for working smoothly.

“We have a good buzz and a spirit of respect for people. It’s nice that we can be comfortable at work. No one needs to stand on ceremony or show off here,” he sums up.

At team level he appreciates a professional environment and network comprised of smart people who work together and are willing to take on responsibility independently. His own team’s passion for concrete action is uncompromising, but their approach to work is not solemn.

“Our team has a sense of humour. You don’t have to do this work with a serious expression. We do work in a serious way, but we also have fun.”

With his extensive experience of management responsibility, Tomi also knows the value of being able to work in peace in a specialist environment. As a product owner he strives in his own conduct and approaches to guarantee an ideal environment for his colleagues.

“I endeavour to guide our team in the right direction, but I see my role as being more of a coach. I have enough experience to know how to get on with different people, in all customer teams too,” says Tomi, describing his view of his role.

Through his strong knowledge of people, Tomi is aware of the ways to achieve the best result. Retros are needed in teamwork reflection, but redundant meetings are avoided.

“When work is enjoyable, progress is made. This is how we get results.”

Effort shows

Tomi’s active approach in test automation ownership and his experience have enabled the operating model to be rolled out in two years to a large number of customer teams already, even though the journey is still in its early stages. In the big picture, his own work is very important to this veteran.

“When we succeed in our job, then OP’s capacity for renewal in development and testing improves and the quality of publications increases. In other words, time and resources are saved without compromising on quality.”

The greatest values in the technical development work led by Tomi lie in that the fact that renewal improves the quality of people’s day-to-day work. Specialist work changes with test automation, as manual routine work is eliminated.

“This work aims to make the life of team members easier.”

“It is the teams themselves that ultimately make the change, but we provide them with the means,” Tomi adds.

Tomi regards having been able to genuinely influence things as the most rewarding aspect of his work. He still has a lot to learn and to give.

“I learn new things all the time and get new perspectives. In practice, there is not a single day that is the same routine. It is this that makes it interesting,” Tomi sums up.

Even an experienced specialist develops when there is the right feeling in the atmosphere and a productive approach to work.