Who is LähiTapiola?
The LähiTapiola Group is a customer-owned mutual finance group that serves private, agricultural, business, corporate and community customers. LähiTapiola’s products and services include non-life, life and pension insurance as well as investment and savings services. They also offer risk management and staff occupational health services.
LähiTapiola was developing a new mobile app for their 1.5+ million customers to safely purchase and manage insurance policies. Given LähiTapiola’s nature as an agglomerate of several companies, there were plenty of services to connect and complex business rules to handle. Safety and security both play a big role in Finnish culture and as a consequence, there is a big demand for insurances. By its very nature, clients mostly interact with providers when something went wrong in their life: our systems can’t fail.
From the onset we were entrusted with leading the development of critical backend systems. We immediately engaged with key stakeholders on requirements and system interconnectivity to provide a clear and reliable timeline for development. As with any audit, challenging the status quo is always a bumpy road but our evidence-based approach to development brought even the harsher critics together.
After an in-depth SWOT analysis of LähiTapiola’s position and needs, we decided to implement a micro-service based approach for all development teams. This meant introducing code standards, CI/CD processes, coaching developers and optimizing deliveries according to changing business needs. By the time we joined, the project had been ongoing for just over 1 year with on-shore and off-shore teams, totaling 80+ people involved.
Given LähiTapiola’s workforce’s skill-set, we opted to use NodeJs as the main backend language. Enforcing TypeScript best practices across project teams increased developer productivity, cooperation and greatly increase code reliability. REST Microservices were developed in a Lerna mono-repo, allowing us to easily and consistently enforce coding standards. The industry’s best practices of Docker & Kubernetes safely handled our infrastructure and scaling needs. Stack: REST microservice architecture, NodeJs, Typescript, Lerna mono-repo, docker, kubernetes, Kibana, Jenkins, CI/CD