Homepage of Kari Laitinen

My name is Mr. Kari Laitinen. I live in Oulu, Finland. My current job is to teach computer programming and related subjects to students at the Department of Information Technology in the Oulu University of Applied Sciences.

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.

For more information about my career and publications, please study my Curriculum Vitae (CV) below. Some details of my private life and other interests are given after the actual CV.

The address for paper mail is:

Mr.(Dr.) Kari Laitinen
OUAS / Information Technology
Kotkantie 1, 90250 Oulu, FINLAND


(Everything is listed in reverse chronological order in this CV.) 


November 1995: Doctor of Philosophy from the Department of Information Processing Science at the University of Oulu, Finland. 

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!) 


Since May 1999 I have been 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 at VTT (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 way. 

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 Support). 

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 documentation practices. 

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 so hard.) 

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 cash terminals. 

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. 


Laitinen, K. A Natural Introduction to Computer Programming with Java. Trafford Publishing, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, 2006, 596 pages. ISBN 1-4120-8152-1. Go to Trafford Internet Bookstore 

Laitinen, K. A Natural Introduction to Computer Programming with C#. Trafford Publishing, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, 2004, 602 pages. ISBN 1-4120-4493-6. Go to Trafford Internet Bookstore 

Laitinen, K. A Natural Introduction to Computer Programming with C++. Trafford Publishing, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, 2003, 636 pages. ISBN 1-55395-518-8. Go to Trafford Internet bookstore 

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. 851-857. 

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 pages. 

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, pp. 91-100. 

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. 


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. 

Most of my adult years I have lived in Oulu, first as a student, then as a software engineer, later as a researcher, and now as a teacher and writer. I have, though, spent some time elsewhere in Finland and abroad. During the 80s, I worked one and half years in Holland and a half year in England. Holland is a particularly interesting country as the Dutch have lived and worked centuries in prosperity without engaging themselves in wars. They have even conquered their land from the sea. Living in England was, of course, also a great experience. Half of the world has once belonged to the British Empire, and now the English language is becoming THE language of the world. 

During the 90s, I have been doing scientific work at the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT), which is a nice organization that gives many possibilities to do what you want. While I was doing my research at VTT, I spent one sabbathical year in the U.S.A. at Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. California is a really nice place for a person that is used to the climate of Finland. The weather in Monterey is all year round like the summers in Oulu. 

I have studied many languages during my life. Languages are fascinating. Also my research deals with languages. At the mandatory schools in Finland I have studied Finnish, English, Swedish, and German. Later I have studied French and Spanish at popular evening schools. While I was in Holland, I studied Dutch, which is now my best spoken language after Finnish and English. As Dutch people usually speak foreign languages, they are always overwhelmed that somebody speaks their language. Once I studied some Portuguese as I had a very beautiful reason to do so. Later I tried to learn some Greek and Latin but I have forgotten most of these studies.

During the 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. 

Music? To explain what kind of music I like is a quite difficult task. I like many kinds of music. The list of some concerts that I have visited may explain something about my musical interests.

Drums? During my years as a student at the beginning of 80s, I used to play drums in amateur rock'n'roll bands. We made some public performances but the great success never came. A few years ago 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 drummer. Somebody should have said this to me 30 years ago.

Singing? I have been singing songs such as Paranoid of Black Sabbath while playing the drums.

Guitar? I do some guitar playing, mostly while I practise singing. I have not played and will probably not play guitar in front of a live audience.

Movies? I believe that I have seen at least 1000 movies in my life. It is quite impossible to say which one is the best movie. There are so many excellent films. I like movies by Ingmar Bergman, Akira Kurosawa, Steven Spielberg, Stanley Kubrick, John Ford, Howard Hawks, Clint Eastwood, etc. etc. I have had to watch many times movies like Casablanca, Bridges of Madison County, and Titanic where love stories are short and great. 

Literature? When I was younger I read all books by the Finnish author Mika Waltari (I recommend that you read a novel named "The Egyptian" by Mika Valtari. That has been translated to many languages.) I have read many books by Dostoyevski, but I have not been able to finish the Karamachov Brothers although I have started it at least two times. Anna Karenina and War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy are superb books, and the Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas is one of the most entertaining books. Once I was very enthusiastic about the books of Ernest Hemingway. I even had to travel to Spain to see a bullfight after reading Hemingway's books. I'm proud to say that I have read the Finnish translation of James Joyce's Ulysses, and that book is an absolute literary masterpiece. I have also the English version of Ulysses, but I have not yet seriously started that. I have dreamed about writing an own novel but at this moment I am very satisfied if I can write programming books that people like. I have, though, many ideas for various kinds of books. 

Sports? I try to go to a gym at least once a week to keep the some physical condition in my body. During the summer time I use the bicycle. My colleagues urge me to buy skis but I just wait for the summer to come. Bullfight is still the sport event that I most often go to see live. I have seen 2 live bullfights in my life but only one football match, only one ice-hockey match, only one Formula 1 race, and only one Indycar race. In Oulu we have a great ice hockey team but I cannot go to see the matches because then I would loose my status as a frequent bullfight visitor. 

Bars? I have visited many bars in my life but I'll tell more about this subject in the future. 

Cars? Because we have a nice public transport here in Oulu, I have been able live without a car for many years. Some years ago, however, I decided to become a car owner again, and I happened to find a beautiful secondhand red sport car. But I still use my bicycle. I also like cycling during the winter. I do not have to go skiing as I can see the snowy scenery while I am going to work with my bicycle.

Women? I am still a bachelor, but I'm not proud of it.

I am enthusiastic about calendars and calendar reform.

I like espresso-based coffee drinks. See all my espresso machines.