News / Interview with Marita Ekblom –...

Interview with Marita Ekblom – our new DevOps and Site Manager

What is your background? I grew up in Haparanda and have always had a knack for math and problem solving. My journey

What is your background?
I grew up in Haparanda and have always had a knack for math and problem solving. My journey in IT started with the Systems Science education at Umeå University, which I completed in 1993. IT was new to me at the start of my education, but I quickly felt at home. It was extremely fun to learn about human interaction and IT, the possibilities for the future with IT as well as the craft itself in the form of programming. After completing my studies, I moved to Luleå, which I think is the gem of Norrbotten. There is water around the city and an active cultural and outdoor life, which I appreciate. Luleå has the history of being a strong industrial city but now has several new industries where IT is at the forefront. The city’s IT industry is constantly growing and is characterized by a good cooperation between IT companies.

What has built your expertise in the industry?
I’ve worked throughout the chain of IT during my years in the industry. I’ve been a programmer, system architect, project manager, program manager, IT strategist and manager at various levels in product development and support of IT systems. I’ve built successful agile teams where my understanding of different professional roles has given me crucial experience in acting on the board in all types of IT-related issues. My experience from roles in large IT companies has given me the right perspective in the processes and structure required to conduct sustainable IT development.

I have worked both on the supplier and customer side in the public and private sectors and can see and understand both perspectives. As a supplier you can sometimes forget about customers’ everyday lives, but it is important to see IT from a customer perspective, never to forget the focus on building the right solution for the customer.

What does the scope of your experience look like?
One of my longer experiences comes from a variety of roles at different levels in telecom, as a consultant at Ericsson. In the 90s, Ericsson was a leader in telecom, and then there was not the same price pressure as today. Great focus was placed on structure, quality and processes and deadlines were sacred. I have had these principles with me ever since, and I have been able to pick the golden grains from this first part of my professional life to my subsequent years.

In 2007, I joined IT development for healthcare. Then this part of IT was another immature part of IT compared to telecom, for example, you could make code changes directly in code that was out in the production environment, quite shocking for a person with a telecom background! Here I got great benefit from my telecom skills, where I was able to pick the best parts of my experience to make rapid and important improvements in healthcare IT, with the mindset to set up sufficient structure and processes for the world I now found myself in.

I also benefit from working in high roles in very large projects, both in telecom and healthcare, in both development, deliveries and support, as well as working with cross functional teams with members in several countries. Most recently, before I joined Skyresponse, I was head of support and deliveries of Tieto’s large flora of products in the healthcare sector, which has customers primarily in the Nordic countries, but in some cases also in the rest of Europe.

Today I also act as IT industry chair in Luleå Enterprise. The industry council consists of companies in the private sector, such as the public sector (municipality, region, Swedish Social Insurance Agency, etc.) and Luleå University of Technology. The Council is working to develop the IT industry in the region, secure future competences and joint competence enhancement through lectures and / or joint training. The IT industry council works with a common vision to build prosperous ecosystems, where we complement each other’s areas of expertise in IT and work for collaboration.

What do you expect to contribute to the team?
With my broad and long experience in IT, from a variety of roles, I have the right background to help Skyresponse in his growth journey. I am used to building well-composed cross functional agile teams, where the teams are given great freedom under responsibility, with a self-learning mentality. I have worked in many types of IT operations and during different eras of IT development and know what works and what does not work.

I will help the company scale up the business by helping to put the right focus through the right priorities. To convey customer perspective and enthusiasm for the important parts of the community that Skyresponse helps to build. On the one hand, the healthcare sector, which I have been passionate about for many years, and on the IoT area that will grow, where there is a great need for handling various events and deviations.

I will impart knowledge on agile principles of development, as well as refine and raise awareness of the right methods and processes for development, support and delivery. My goal is to make people grow, that everyone reaches their full potential. The role of DevOps is to build both teams and people.

Who are you otherwise and how do you spend your free time?
In my spare time, I like to stroll around the waters of Luleå. It gives me the opportunity to relax, recharge batteries and land in my mind. I am sporadic with the workouts, sometimes work out, like skiing, and especially on the spring ice during our wonderful spring winter up here! I also enjoy watching tv series and reading books. Now it is soon Christmas and I hope we can keep the snow we received in Luleå – then the long walks will be extra cozy!