Novatron: flexible work creates robust software

Earthmoving is not what it used to be. Excavator operators no longer have to measure with sticks and lasers to reach the right elevation. Now, the work is GPS-controlled in real-time and precise to the centimetre. In technical terms, the work is model-based. The excavator’s actions are matched exactly to a 3D plan of the site. 

To achieve this, the excavators are fitted with Machine control systems like Novatron Xsite PRO 3D. The operator controls the system through a touchscreen interface. They see exactly what the bucket’s position is compared to the 3D model of the work site. The system makes earthmoving quick, accurate and reliable.

A leading designer and manufacturer of these systems can be found in Pirkkala, Finland. Novatron is excellent at two things: digitalising earthmoving machines and treating their employees well. They are a Finnish 140-person family-owned company with 30 years of experience and extremely advanced products.

Dig in

Novatron and Buutti have been collaborating since 2022. During this time, Novatron has recruited three people through Buutti’s CodeMatch junior recruiting program. As of February 2024, there are three additional Buutti developers working at Novatron. It is possible that they’ll be hired, too. In this text, we’ll focus on Tauno and Juri, both C++ developers on Novatron’s application team.

Tauno and Juri started Novatron’s project in the spring of 2023. Their team has various responsibilities between the UI/UX team and the real-time software teams. And this really means lots of different things. Among other things, Tauno has worked with the camera controls of the operator’s 3D view. Juri, on the other hand, has improved Novatron’s test automation practices and implemented new features with C++.

Developing a machine control system is a daunting task. It requires understanding site plans, UI/UX, sensors, excavator parts and operator workflow. The devices have to be easy to use and reliable in all conditions. This includes freezing temperatures and underwater. Building a bridge’s foundations crooked would have expensive and possibly fatal consequences.

Luckily, one developer doesn’t have to know everything. The teams specialise to different areas, and there are many skill sets inside the teams too. ”There is always help available. When I expressed being stuck in our daily meeting, I received help within hours,” Juri explains. Tauno has also noticed the strong community: ”I haven’t had to make things happen alone. The team-spirit is strong.” Many of Novatron’s workers have extensive experience in the field, and all are happy to share their knowledge.


Flexibility is clearly visible in everything that Novatron does. First of all, the developers have the freedom to decide where and when they work. For example, Juri likes to vary the length of his work days. The remote work possibilities are also extensive: Juri has been working from his home in Helsinki.

Flexibility isn’t the only good thing, though. ”I can’t think of anything that would actually suck here,” Tauno explains his experience. The work conditions and tools at the Pirkkala office are top-notch. They even have a full-size excavator for testing purposes.

The management is very down-to-earth, and there is no unnecessary bureaucracy. ”It took me weeks to realise that one of the guys at the morning coffee table is actually the CEO,” Tauno notes. The product owners and managers are approachable: ”You can talk to them any time,” Tauno continues. Novatron really feels like a family-owned company.

Now back to the code

Perhaps the main perk for software developers is that they can focus on their core work. Team leads make sure the devs have what they need and the goals are reachable. The product owners and team leads understand code and what creating new features takes. Once the work begins, the developers have had significant freedom with the implementation.

Moreover, the developers are encouraged to voice their opinions. If they notice that something could be done better, they can use workdays to create the solution. One team mate spent an entire sprint simplifying C++ library code such that some tasks that used to take half a day can now be done in 15 minutes. Juri and his teammates have also made several improvements to Novatron’s automation testing workflow.

Overall, Buutti’s developers feel trusted. It is no wonder that three CodeMatch developers have been happy to be hired by Novatron. And it seems like the developers on the project wouldn’t mind a contract, either. The experience is mutual:

We have received talented developers through CodeMatch and would be happy to use the service with our future needs,” states Mikko Kipinoinen, Vice President of Research and Development at Novatron.