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Life at Liana

Coders decoding culture: introducing the Global Projects team

The name of the Global Projects team represents the essence of it, it's made up of international people – talented Russian, Chinese, French, American and Mexican coders. Also their work is international because they focus on executing customer projects for Liana's customers in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

How is it like working in a team when all your customers and colleagues come from around the world?

Multilingual front-end cases

The Global Projects team is responsible for executing customer projects for Liana customers in the global markets. The work mainly consists of building websites and newsletter templates for new customers, and making small changes and fixes for the current clients.

Working with newsletters and websites requires a wide range of front-end skills: "HTML, CSS and, in website projects, JavaScript as well", lists team leader Yini Wang, and immediately points out that team members don't need to have the full skillset right away: "New team members usually start with simple newsletter projects and gradually move towards more challenging website projects. As long as one has interest and motivation for learning, there's a good opportunity to develop your expertise."

Good skills in English are a must since the team works mainly with projects from Liana's international offices in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. However, carrying through global customer cases doesn't require competence in multiple languages, even though international clients often need multilingual sites. "We get translations from the customers. With complete translations anyone can handle the case even without knowing the language", Yini says.

Challenges fuel motivation

Every customer project is unique which makes the work very versatile. The different cultures, with which the team gets in touch through projects, bring an interesting angle to the everyday work. "For example, our German customers are very pedant. We usually get very accurate and detailed descriptions from them, including exact fonts and colors. The Dubai customers, on the other hand, often give us general directions and wishes of the desired outcome, but leave the detailed designing into our hands", describes Yini Wang.

The work is fast-paced as new customer projects come constantly and the projects vary a lot. Despite of this principle, the wishes of the team are taken into consideration and team members are given the kind of projects they prefer whenever possible.

So, what kind of projects do different people especially like? "The more challenging the project, the more fun I'm having with it", laughs Erin Macalligan. "My favorite stage of a project is finishing the first draft. Getting a website done is naturally always a milestone."

"I like website projects the most, especially those where the design is not completely finished. They may not be the easiest, but there's more room for creativity. I can simply try a different implementation or layout, and suggest it to the client", says Jérémy Lejeune.

Teamwork accelerating success

Running customer projects smoothly requires cross-team cooperation. The Global Projects team mostly cooperates with the Design and Production Support teams. The Design team takes care of the visual design of websites and newsletters, so the Global Projects team can fully concentrate on coding and technical execution. The team also helps the Production Support to handle requests for small changes and fixes that come from international clients.

Keeping in touch with the customer on a regular basis is equally important to proceed with the projects. At Liana, coder doesn't need to pick up the phone and call the customers themselves. The communications is done via the Sales contact person. "Our Sales team takes care of the contact with the customer on our behalf, so we can fully concentrate on coding", says Jérémy and lets out a sigh of relief.

In addition to cross-team cooperation, team synergy plays an essential role in everyday work. According to Yini Wang, team spirit in the Global Projects team is excellent and it is actively maintained: "Our team spirit is brilliant! I notice this every day in our internal chat, where people respond fast when someone in our team needs help. We keep our team spirit up by organizing team evenings where we go, for instance, bowling or have a team lunch."

Even members working on the other side of the globe feel part of the team. Erin Macalligan and Jared Ko work at the Hong Kong office and both praise the spirit in the Global Projects team: "I love working at Liana. It's a really cooperative work environment and I feel like a part of a team. Everyone helps everyone out and we all work towards the same goals. I look forward to going to work every day", sums Erin.

From trainee to team leader, from pilot to coder

Many of the members of the Global Projects team have started their careers at Liana through internship. Team Leader Yini Wang started in 2011 as a trainee and after successfully completing the training period, she stayed as a full-time employee in the company. Along with her work, she has completed her studies and even changed field: after her Bachelor's Degree in business administration, Yini continued her studies at the University of Oulu and completed a Master's Degree in information processing sciences. Through the gathered experience from work and studies, Yini has gradually grown to her role as the Team Leader.

Erin Macalligan also has an interesting career story. He studied aviation technology in the United States and was qualified as a pilot. However, he was attracted by web development. With the experience from a few coding courses and self-learned coding skills, he started his career at Liana in 2016.

Jérémy and Jared Ko both joined Liana through internship. Jérémy studied computer science and mathematics in France and came to Oulu, Finland in 2017 to complement his studies with an internship at Liana. After successfully finishing his training period and completing his studies, Jérémy decided to move permanently to Finland and continue as a full-time employee at Liana.

Jared Ko started his internship at the Hong Kong office in March 2018. Besides his teammates, he enjoys the flexibility Liana offers in terms of organizing work and studies and matching it with free time: "Flexible working hours enable me to match work with my daily rhythm, as long as my projects are proceeding on time and I'm handling them carefully from the beginning to the end", says Jared.