My name is Mr. Kari Laitinen. I am the owner of this site.
I live in Oulu, Finland.
Nowadays I am a semi-retired person. For many years, I used to teach computer programming
and related subjects to
students at the Department of Information Technology in the Oulu University of Applied
Keywords to describe my professional
interests are: software development, computer programming, software documentation,
programming languages, natural languages, linguistics, natural naming,
psychology of programming, and human factors in software development.
The sections below provide information about my workings and other
interests. Please note that many things are listed in reverse
I have written some books to learn computer programming.
Although these books are not very recently published books,
they are still valid books for studying the basics of computer programming.
The books are available in Trafford Bookstore through the links below.
Alternatively these books can be obtained from
Laitinen, K. A Natural Introduction to Computer Programming with Java.
Trafford Publishing, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, 2006, 596 pages.
Go to Trafford
Laitinen, K. A Natural Introduction to Computer Programming with C#.
Trafford Publishing, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, 2004, 602 pages.
Go to Trafford
Laitinen, K. A Natural Introduction to Computer Programming with C++.
Trafford Publishing, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, 2003, 636 pages.
Go to Trafford
Laitinen, K., Taramaa, J., Heikkilä, M., and Rowe, N. C.. Enhancing
Maintainability of Source Programs through Disabbreviation. The Journal
of Systems and Software, Vol. 37, No. 2, 1997, pp. 117 - 128.
Laitinen, K. Estimating Understandability of Software Documents. ACM
SIGSOFT Software Engineering Notes, Vol. 21, No. 4, 1996, pp. 81 - 92.
Laitinen, K. Natural Naming in Software Development and Maintenance.
VTT Publications no. 243. Technical Research Centre of Finland, Espoo,
1995, 170 pages. (Published Doctoral Thesis)
Laitinen, K. Natural Naming in Software Development: Feedback from Practitioners.
In: Proceedings of 7th International Conference on Advanced Information
Systems Engineering (CAiSE*95). Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Vol.
932. Springer Verlag, Berlin, 1995, pp. 375-388.
Rowe, N.C. and Laitinen, K. Semiautomatic Disabbreviation of Technical
Text. Information Processing & Management, Vol. 31, No. 6, 1995, pp.
Laitinen, K. and Taramaa, J. A Theory to Support the Use of Natural
Naming in Software Documentation. Working papers series B33, Department
of Information Processing Science, University of Oulu, Finland, 1994, 27
Laitinen, K. Pacific: A Programming Language Based on the Idea of Natural
Naming. In: Baeza-Yates, R. (editor) Computer Science 2: Research and Applications,
Plenum Press, New York, 1994, 529-540. (This paper was first presented
in a conference in Chile in October 1993.)
Laitinen, K. The Principle of Natural Naming in Software Documentation.
VTT Research Notes no. 1498. Technical Research Centre of Finland, Espoo,
1993, 90 pages. (Also published as a thesis for the degree of the Licentiate
of Philosophy at the Department of Information Processing Science of the
University of Oulu, Finland.)
Laitinen, K. Using Natural Naming in Programming: Feedback from Practitioners.
In: Detienne, F. (editor) Proceedings of the 5th Workshop of the Psychology
of Programming Interest Group, INRIA Roquencourt, P.B.105, 78153 Le Chesnay
Cedex, France, December 1992, pp. 108-119.
Laitinen, K. 1992. Document Classification for Software Quality Systems.
ACM SIGSOFT Software Engineering Notes, Vol 17, No 4, Oct. 1992, pp. 32-39.
Laitinen, K. and Mukari, T. DNN-Disciplined Natural Naming, A Method
for Systematic Name Creation in Software Development. In: Proceedings of
25th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, Vol. II: Software
Technology, IEEE Computer Society Press, Los Alamitos, California, 1992,
Laitinen, K. and Seppänen, V. Principles for Naming Program Elements,
A Practical Approach to Raise Informativity of Programming. In: Part I
of Proceedings of InfoJapan'90 International Conference, Information Processing
Society of Japan, 1990, pp. 79-86.
Laitinen, Kari. Suoria rahalaitosyhteyksiä tukevan osajärjestelmän
suunnittelu kassalaitteeseen. [A Subsystem for Supporting On-line Bank
Communications in a Cash Terminal System.] A thesis for the Master of Science
degree at the Department of Electrical Engineering in the University of
Oulu, Finland. 1986, 64 pages. In Finnish.
Since November 2021 I have been semi-retired.
From May 1999 to October 2021 I was a Principal Lecturer of computer programming
and software development in the
Oulu University of Applied Sciences.
From November 1998 to April 1999 I was a Research Scientist
(the Technical Research Centre of Finland) in Oulu,
Finland. The work consisted of research and consulting work related to
software process improvement and software documentation.
From August '98 to October '98 I was free from any paid jobs, writing
a textbook of C++ that teaches computer programming in an easy and natural
From August '95 to July '98 I was a lecturer at Oulu Institute of Technology.
Subjects of teaching were programming languages (C and C++), software development
methods, digital logic, and operating systems.
From January '94 to July '95 I was a Research Scientist in the area
of embedded software at VTT Electronics (part of the Technical Research
Centre of Finland), Oulu, Finland, working in a software-maintenance-related
ESPRIT III project called AMES (Application Management Environments and
From January '93 to December '93 I was a Visiting Research Scientist
at the Department of Computer Science of the Naval
Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, U.S.A., working in co-operation
with Prof. Neil Rowe in a project which studies computer aided natural
language understanding techniques.
From June '89 to December '92 I was a research scientist in the Computer
Technology Laboratory at the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT)
in Oulu, Finland, working in several research projects dealing with improvement
of software documentation, software reuse, and software quality assurance.
The Computer Technology Laboratory of VTT became later part of VTT Electronics.
From November '88 to May '89 I was a software developer at Edacom Data
Systems, Stansted, Essex, United Kingdom, working in software development
for cash terminal systems. The work involved also some development of software
From April '87 to October '88 I was a software developer
at Computercentrum C. van de Velden B.V .,
Arnhem, the Netherlands, working in software
development for cash terminal systems. An on-line bank-communication system
was the major development project of this time.
From October '86 to March '87 I worked as a software developer at Oy
Edacom Ab, Oulu, Finland, writing software for cash terminal systems.
From February '86 to September '86 I did my military service in the
Finnish armed forces. A military service is mandatory for every healthy
man in Finland. (I must say that during this time I did not much like the
military service. But nowadays I respect the Finnish war veterans very
much. During the World War II Mr. Stalin tried to occupy Finland with large
armies, but he did not manage to do it because Finnish soldiers were fighting
From October '84 to January '86 I worked as a software developer at
Oy Edacom Ab, Oulu, Finland, writing many kinds of software for Edacom
From March 84 to September '84 I started my career as a junior software
developer at Oy Edacom Ab, Kajaani, Finland. During this time I worked
with a CP/M-based cash terminal which could be programmed with COBOL.
From September '78 to February '84 I was a student at the Department
of Electrical Engineering in the University of Oulu, Finland. In my studies
I specialized in computers and software engineering. During my student
years I had summer jobs in several Finnish companies and spent one summer
working in Sweden.
November 1995: Doctor of Philosophy from the Department of Information
Processing Science at the University of Oulu, Finland. Professor Pentti Kerola
was the supervisor of my thesis work.
June 1993: Licentiate of Philosophy from the Department of Information
Processing Science of the University of Oulu, Finland. (The Licentiate
of Philosophy is a degree in the middle of Masters and Doctoral degrees
and it is part of the academic systems in North-European countries.)
October 1986: Master of Science from the Department of Electrical Engineering
of the University of Oulu, Finland.
May 1978: A Finnish diploma that permits one to study in a university
from Vaalan lukio, Finland. (In my opinion, Vaalan lukio is the best educational
institution in the world!)
Some personal data
I was born in a place called Vaala in the Finnish
countryside, 100 kilometers to the east of Oulu. My birth took place a
couple of years before the Beatles published their first record.
I do not remember the days of Beatlemania, but I remember that older
people spoke, years later, about Beatles and the 'madness' that they
caused among their listeners.
I lived the first
18 years of my life in a wooden house in Vaala. Those parts of Finland are quite
rarely populated. When I entered school, I was the only pupil in the first
grade. There was this benefit that I could easily win the skiing competition
of the first grade. Later, though, the school was merged to another school
where there were more pupils. That meant the end for my skiing career.
Here is the school where I was the last pupil and a skiing champion.
I have studied many languages during my life although I speak fluently
only Finnish and English. Languages are fascinating.
Also my research was related to languages. Here is a list of languages
I have studied.
First my mother taught me Finnish.
In the second grade we started studying English at school. The English
teacher came once a week to our small countryside school to give us
When I was eleven, the mandatory education in the Swedish language
began. Swedish is the other official language in Finland. Many people
dislike the language, but I adore the sound of the language that
they speak in Sweden.
I studied German for three years when I was in the school that
corresponds to the American high shools.
During the years 1984 and 1985, when I had almost finished the
studies at the university, I studied some French in an evening school.
During the first months of 1987, I studied some Spanish.
Then I moved to Holland and I started studying Dutch on my own.
At the beginning
of the year 1988 I was brave enough to start speaking Dutch to
people. My landlord said that it was like his dog had suddenly
started to speak. Dutch is still my best spoken language after Finnish and
English. As Dutch people usually speak foreign languages, they are always
overwhelmed when somebody speaks their language.
During the year 1989 I had a very beautiful reason to read many
chapters of a book named Teach Yourself Portuguese.
During some travels I have tried to learn
Greek and Latin but I have forgotten most of these studies.
90s I tried to improve my English because I wrote a lot in English. I thought
that studying other foreign languages might prevent me from improving my
English. Later I have found out that this is not true. I have done
some re-studies of Spanish, and it seems that my output in English improves
when I exercise my brains with another foreign language.
Italian is a beautiful language, but I have not studied it seriously.
I have, however, changed the language of the user interface of my mobile
phone to Italian. It is interesting to see if I can learn something this way.
During my years as a student, I used
to play drums in amateur rock'n'roll bands. Unfortunately I did not
continue with the drums.
In 2006 I started to play drums again
when some colleagues wanted to put up a kind of show group which needed
also music players. Now I know that it is very important to practice,
practice, and practice to become a decent player. Somebody should have
said this to me 30 years ago.
Later I have ended up singing songs such as Paranoid of Black Sabbath while
playing the drums. In this video, I cannot reach the highest note, but
that does not seem to matter for the audience.
In many newspaper articles they say that listening to music, or singing, or
playing some instrument, is a healthy activity for your brains.
This is very interesting, and a good reason to continue the
A book that I would recommend also for non-Finnish readers is
The Egyptian by a Finnish author named
Mika Waltari. This book is always 'modern' as its story takes place
in ancient Egypt, more than 3000 years ago. The book is translated
to many languages.
The Russian author Leo Tolstoy is great. When I started reading the novel War and Peace
of Tolstoy, the first 50 or so pages felt like very dull. Later
the book took me fully to the 19th century Russia. After I finished the novel,
I thought that this happens only once in a lifetime: never again can I read
War and Peace for the first time.