Niko Kivelä

Niko Kivelä

Head of DevOps, SOK (S Group)

Helsinki, Finland


Niko's mission is to help others; teams, individuals, and businesses succeed better and operate more efficiently. With 20 years of experience in the entire software lifecycle; from coding to building teams and from test automation to the transformation of several iconic companies, where he has been at the heart of digital development. In the business world, no change happens locally, but it must happen holistically from inside out and top to bottom. Niko's technical background and experience in presenting are strongest when forming teams, developing practices, facilitating workshops, coaching teams, and continuous deployment to continuous services.

Area of Expertise

  • Information & Communications Technology


  • DevOps
  • Leadership
  • Cloud Native
  • Software Development
  • Team Building
  • SRE
  • Amazon Web Services
  • Security
  • DevSecOps
  • Serverless
  • Developer Advocacy
  • Developer Relations
  • Developer Experience
  • Engineering
  • Cloud & DevOps
  • Leadership development
  • Agile software development
  • DevOpsCulture

DevOps-Team is a Myth

DevOps was born out of the need to speed up software development by combining functions (dev+ops) and removing silos between them. It is primarily a mindset and culture. We are seeing more and more DevOps roles and teams in places where they didn't exist before. So what happened to the holistic way of working and what made it revert back to separate roles and teams? We are once again in a situation where someone else is taking care of the teams' tools, release pipelines, or infrastructure. There shouldn't be any DevOps teams. The DevOps team is a myth!

- 2023/04 | DevOps tiimi 2.0
- 2023/11 | FooConf #2
- 2023/06 | DevOps Finland

Serverless Food: How An DevOps Feed People?

S-kaupat is the online groceries arm of S-group, the largest retailer in Finland. Learn how they scaled from one to a network of stores in two years.

They will cover how to deploy and operate multimillion eCommerce applications by using serverless architecture and AWS services like Lambda, SQS/SNS, DynamoDB, and Kinesis.

They will also look into how serverless has affected how they do DevOps. DevOps is not just about tooling, but how you build culture, structure teams, and continuously continue to improve your practices.

In this presentation, they will go through the kind of tooling and structure they have needed to build around CI/CD, deployment and version control strategies, some of their challenges, and what obstacles they still have to overcome.

- 2022/03 | The DEVOPS Conference
- 2022/05 | DevOps Finland

SOK Development Guidelines

How SOK has built a community around developer-owned Development Guidelines, Engineering Handbooks and drives transparency through the use of Blameless Post-Mortems.

- 2023/03 | Tech Excellence Finland
- 2023/04 | Sanoma
- 2023/02 | VR
- 2023/02 | Elisa
- 2022/05 | Fortum

Using Metrics as Quality Signals

Quality is a vague term, and it's always subjective to the observer and depends on the uniqueness of the organization's culture, history, context, and values that they pay attention to. But there's one universal truth about quality that's common for all. Quality must be observed, perceived, recognized, identified, and felt. It doesn't exist in a vacuum. Without someone recognizing it, it doesn't exist.

- 2023/11 | Elevating Digital Quality

DevOps & DX In SPACE

DevOps used to be about Development and Operations working together for non-conflicting goals. Now, I'd define it through The Three Ways, Value Streams, The Theory of Constraints, and Systems Thinking.

The concept of Developer Experience and its three core dimensions: Flow State, Feedback Loops, and Cognitive Load, lie in the details of theories upon which I based my definition. These dimensions provide a framework with 25 sociotechnical factors to identify potential measurement areas.

SPACE is a framework for understanding Developer Productivity. There is now a universal single metric for that. And it’s always personal.

- 2024/01 | Teamit
- 2024/02 | DevOps Finland

What You Need to Know About DevOps

Since 2009, DevOps has undergone an enormous transformation. What used to start as devs and ops working together towards non-conflicting goals emerged into an organizational strategy that goes beyond team boundaries.

In this presentation, I will explain what I think about DevOps and what it really means. I tie it into related concepts such as Agile, Lean, SRE, and Platform Engineering through supporting theories, to mention a few: The Three Ways, Value Streams, Theory of Constraints, and Systems Thinking.

- 2024/05 | LUT University

Slides https://speakerdeck.com/nikokivela/what-you-need-to-know-about-devops

DevOps Finland February Meetup

DevOps & DX In SPACE

February 2024 Helsinki, Finland

Elevating Digital Quality

Using Metrics as Quality Signals: Heading for Our Goals @ SOK
Panel Discussion: Key Takeaways for Elevating Digital Quality

November 2023 Helsinki, Finland

FooConf #2 Sessionize Event

November 2023 Helsinki, Finland

DevOps Finland June Meetup: Autoscaling, Myths and Panel

DevOps Team is a Myth
Panel Discussion: Exploring the Changing DevOps Landscape- Perspectives on Platform Engineering in Corporate Organizations

June 2023 Helsinki, Finland

DevOps Finland May Meetup: DevOps in Food, Flights and Low Code

Serverless food – how DevOps feeds people. A showcase of S-kaupat.fi.

May 2023 Helsinki, Finland

DevOps tiimi 2.0

TIIMITYÖSKENTELY: DevOps-tiimi on myytti

April 2023 Helsinki, Finland

The DEVOPS Conference 2022

KEYNOTE: Serverless food - how DevOps feeds people? A showcase of s-kaupat.fi

March 2022

Talented Talks

Finnair: Airliner tech in 2017

November 2017 Helsinki, Finland

Niko Kivelä

Head of DevOps, SOK (S Group)

Helsinki, Finland


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