Helsinki: March 14th and 15th

The CSM training course in Helsinki went exceptionally well. Everyone made me very welcome and there were some great conversations about what happens when you don’t focus on delivering high quality software.

We also had some good conversations over lunch about Finland and Finnish culture. Here are a few things that I never knew:

  • Finnish workers are the most productive in the world
  • Santa Claus comes from Finland
  • There is an order to eating at a smörgåsbord, and
  • It is polite Finnish etiquette to SMS someone before calling them … even if it’s just to say “Can I call you?”

We had a few days to spare at the end of the course and Scylla, a course participant, kindly offered to show us Helsinki. Scylla works at DigitalChocolate, a mobile game company. We had an excellent Italian lunch and afterwards chatted about the challenge of writing games for handsets. He introduced me to some mobile gaming concepts such “One-Key” games and even showed me a pre-release version of their next game. I can’t say anything about it, but I can say that DigitalChocolate is an exciting company and I’ll be keeping my eye on them in the future!

Pig Brothers … the board game!
The different teams produced some interesting products and one team took the board game challenge. What started out as a joke about pigs and chickens, end up a barnyard board game with pigs, cows and horses. They called the game “Pig Brothers”. Here’s the team and their game. Click on any of the thumbnails below to see a larger version.

Finnish Space Travelers
The Finnish Space travelers did a colorful brochure for interplanetary travelers with an interesting cover and a great logo at the back. I especially enjoyed the section titled “Humans as sport”!

Love Rats
There always has to be one team that does the “My City” brochure and the group in Helsinki were no exception. I love the testimonials on the front cover which include quotes from Shikira “Best parties”; and Connan O’Brian “Great Place, Crazy people!”

Dogs unleashed
The final team did the Doggy-daycare exercise. This was particularly interesting because apparently Finland doesn’t have Doggy daycares. For the team, this was a totally new concept. Here they are:

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