A storytelling pixel fan who loves programming

Björn Granvik is a man with many titles. Some of them are Consultant Manager, Technical Evangelist, and Speaker. He is based in Malmö, working as a Consultant Unit Manager and conducts competence development for Malmö and within SA Applied AI and SA Open Source. 

Björn has always been interested in programming and is happy to share his development journey within the area.

– I was “born” as a programmer in Pascal in the late 80s; my favorite tool was Macintosh. Its interface was so lovely! I am a “pixel fan” and have an emotional relationship to nice interfaces that work with real support for development, says Björn.

He then “grew up” in the 90s with C / C ++ and the PowerPlant framework in the development environment CodeWarrior, which emerged as a new favorite.

– Such wonderful names! But computers of that era were simple, and you immediately noticed if you made a mistake or managed to overwrite the operating system. I had quite a few late nights tearing my hair over this; Björn chuckles and points to his bald head.

He continues:

– Its combination of raw power with a modular structure made it possible to plug it into situations where it should not work. I managed to get the entire framework on a surface of only 32 kB. Far too small! I called functions that were physically halfway in the code in order to “jump forward.” That development tool saved my career when I bet it would take us from 68K assembler to PowerPC.

Björn matured in Java in the 00s. His tool crème de la crème became IntelliJ, which he believes works very well in everything from plugins to, above all, wonderful refactoring.

– The first time Neo4j [a graph database] was presented publicly, I proved from the stage that it was “so simple that even a CTO can program it.” I live-coded 75 lines in 7 minutes – with refactoring and zero errors, Björn says proudly.

A helpful team is a given

Björn began his career as a nerdy programmer, and by chance, he entered the field of skills development that followed him throughout his career. He has had many exciting roles and a new assignment almost every year as a consultant. In 2015 he found his way to Softhouse and began his journey as a senior consultant. A few years later, he got the chance to take on the role of a Consultant Unit Manager, Team Lead, and Main Competence Manager, and to this very day, he tries to the best of his ability to combine all these roles.

– To be honest, I don’t do a lot of programming these days. But when I do, I see it as quality time with a glass of Barolo, says Björn.

Björn thinks that one of the best qualities of Softhouse is the privilege of working close to his colleagues and being able to create new ways of working, goals worth achieving, and opportunities that no one has thought of yet. A common thread in Björn’s career and way of thinking is working together.

– I love when we are working towards a common goal. Getting people with different strengths to really “play code” together is beautiful! We help each other here at Softhouse. Ask any of my colleagues, and I think they’ll agree, says Björn.

A good example of a team and being helped is that Björn is responsible for our student activities in Malmö, where he leads a team of more than a dozen students who develops a system for the judges in the sport of baton twirling in the World Cup final in Turin.

– In August, we will know if we made it or not! Sharp goals are an essential part of creating a team; at least on that part, we have already succeeded, says Björn with a smile on his face.

But for Björn, it’s not just all milk and honey, and there are many challenges.

– I think the following question is excellent: “What is the difference between a problem and an opportunity?” Most people like to answer that “problems are an opportunity in disguise.” It’s a good attitude but not a definition of the difference between the two. My answer is: “Problems scream loudly and stand in your way, and opportunities are quiet. That’s why we have to think differently and look for them. “I try to remember it sometimes when the problems pile up, Björn concludes.

From the office to the cottage

When Björn is not working on any of his many assignments, he prefers to replace the keyboard with the hammer. But the projects are still many. He builds everything from summer cottages to a bicycle workshop with his sons. He has also joined his wife’s hobby – cooking!

Furthermore, Björn shares one of his hidden talents. An ability that also comes in handy in his profession.

– I don’t know if it is that secret, but I’m pretty good at inventing fairy tales. When my three boys were little, they each had to choose a word that I would weave into my bedtime story. Ideally, these should be as far apart as possible to make it more challenging, such as “strawberry” and “massacre”. Funny enough, I use this ability at work with analyses, project plans, and due diligence. But don’t tell anyone, Björn concludes and laughs.

 

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