Academic Awards 2022: Joonas Ryynänen


Joonas Ryynänen received the public favourite award in Agile Finland’s Academic Awards 2022 for his thesis “Creating a framework for planning software delivery pipelines”. 

In your thesis, you’re exploring an important part of the software development flow: the continuous integration and continuous delivery pipeline. How did you originally come across this topic?

This came from my Bachelor’s thesis that I wrote some years ago. When I started planning that thesis, DevOps was popping up as a theme everywhere. I didn’t find much information about it in any course materials so I decided to contribute to the topic. I chose a technical perspective, more specifically the deployment pipeline for a microservices web app. Later, when I started working on my Master’s thesis, it was easy to continue on the same topic.

How did you find time to work on the thesis? What challenges or surprises did you experience?

While I was writing this thesis, I was also working for LUT University. The job was to design an online course about the same topic. This arrangement was very good, as it allowed me to do my work and also write my thesis about it. It took me about one long summer to get it done, from May to August. The only surprise was the writing process: creating a Master’s thesis takes much more time than a Bachelor’s thesis.

Much of the effort was actually technical. I took a private web app called BetterWork that I had been working on previously, and built a reference CI/CD implementation for it using modern cloud technologies. The pieces that required the most brain cells were the research method and the practical perspective. Other than that, it was fairly straightforward..

What was the outcome of your research? Are there some takeaways that you would like to highlight?

In my thesis, I’m presenting a five-phase framework that helps people focus on the right questions when designing a deployment pipeline. There is a one-pager that you can use as a reference. The framework is useful for people who are new to continuous deployment, but those who are already experienced in building CD pipelines may not find that much new information here.

Any tips and tricks to thesis writers?

It’s important to find a topic that interests you, otherwise the work will be very boring. Planning and managing your time is essential. It will also be helpful if you can find a project that involves either the university or a company.

And what are your plans now?

I’m working for a small company here in Joensuu. We’re only around 20 employees, so the work domain is very broad. It includes development, architecture and DevOps technology.

Joonas Ryynänen will give a short presentation at ScanAgile 2023 together with the other two winners of the Agile Finland Academic Awards. His thesis can be found at: