We recently published a story on what makes Finnish IT people as weird and wonderful as they are. As a natural continuation, we’ve been musing on what happens to a foreigner who starts to work in the Finnish IT sector, or to a perfectly normal business or marketing professional who gets too closely involved. Read on and learn to watch out for the symptoms.

1. You find yourself competing over who can provide the most dramatic insider accounts on the fall of Nokia’s mobile phone business.

Nokia 8110 in 'The Matrix'

2. You see the futility in smiling for the photo on your company ID badge.

T-800 trying to smile in Terminator 2

3. You learn to embrace the youthful naiveté of people in their 30s who never had data caps on their smartphones.

Kumamon hugging a child

4. You come to accept that the country that invented the modern chat through IRC isn’t any better at work/social media balance than the rest of the world.

Work / IRC balance

5. You take it in your stride that companies buy high end Genelec studio speakers for conference rooms as design items they rarely use…

Patrick Bateman talking Huey Lewis and the News

6. …while also understanding the vow of absolute silence surrounding pikkujoulu Christmas parties.

Desert headshake from 'Breaking Bad'

7. You find yourself hoping for the day when someone invents more inclusive small talk than army stories.

A hopeful Zach Galifianakis

8. You accept that people who don’t watch dubbed movies still lived with this word instead of Start.

The Windows XP Start menu in Finnish: 'Käynnistä-valikko'

9. You realize you’ll never quite know if people like or dislike your ideas – and become an expert at hiding your true thoughts, too.

What internal screaming looks like
Are you on red alert yet? If so, don’t panic. Finnish IT people are world famous for their genius, so you’re in great company. Have any anecdotes about your Finnish IT colleagues or have we overlooked a characteristic that’s as telling as a career history at Nokia? We look forward to reading your contributions in the comments below.

Title image credit

Thomas Nybergh

Thomas Nybergh

Thomas Nybergh is a writer with a passion for mobile technology and user-centred design. He has spent nearly a decade working at the crossroads of technology and marketing and now spends far too much time on the internet helping to make it tick.
Thomas Nybergh