Interview with a Software Engineer

Matti Ukkola is 20 years old and is studying electrical engineering in the 4th semester at Technical University Munich. He joined the DOSIS team shortly after it was founded.

How did you even hear of MOVE?

-I was searching for student projects during the semester break and found the WARR web page, which is also advertises the move project. Then I visited the general meeting on Wednesday and was amazed by all the different people and the possibilities within the project.

But why space in the first place?

-That is a good question, I think it is just something really special and I also started playing Kerbal Space Program, which made me even more curious. My favorite space mission is the Rosetta mission, which landed a satellite on an asteroid. It is like some kind of black magic, you need these insanely powerful and big rockets and if there is one slight miscalculation or fault, the mission fails. But despite that, mankind is still able to send rockets into the unknown and is exploring the universe.

What are you doing in your free time?

-I play the trumpet in a big band or meet friends.

Has the project changed a lot since you joined?

-Yes absolutely, it was way more chaotic. We didn't have our time tracking tools and the overall structure of the project was totally different. I would say we became way more professional over the years. A project like MOVE needs passion, we are not doing it for credits but because we love it. It is a ton of work, and thanks to the great team, we master everything. And don't be afraid to join, even if you don't know anything about space or physics. We are also learning something new everyday and there is no greater chance at experiencing space.

What was a memorable moment for you in the project?

-Oh, one time in fall we had 70 people at a general meeting, that was very fun.

Tell me about DOSIS, what are you doing?

-Our software enables the different subsystems to communicate with each other. Often different subsystems were using the same software but didn't know about it, because they were working in silos. Now with DOSIS, we handle these tasks and help with software development and implementation. The more complex a system gets, the more important become guidelines. That goes for software development as well. Our goal is, to always have sustainable, reusable or adaptable code, it's not easy but worth it in the end. That is one of our lessons learned from our previous satellite MOVE-II.