Meet Hussein Tirawi, an avid volunteer in the fight against cancer, runner, cyclist, optimist and our very own Software Engineer. Continue reading to find out more about his lifestyle pre and post-lockdown.
Why did you choose IT?
I studied Computer Science. It was a passion of mine since the 10th grade, so I knew exactly what I was going to study. Funny enough, all of my family members also studied CS.
What are you particularly passionate about within your industry?
I am a problem-solver and a doer. I like to see what I can actually create as a software engineer and after creating, I like to see how I can improve. In addition to that, and under the current circumstances with the lockdown, the IT industry is booming more than ever. The whole world knows how IT is the future, how remote work is actually working and how service providers like Aspire and developers can help businesses to survive.
I joined Aspire as a fresh graduate in 2015 for about 8 months and then I got a job offer to join another company. I actually rejoined Aspire in July, 2019. I rejoined the company because of the culture, the latest technologies and how much it enriches the employees’ knowledge regarding the market needs. It was the best choice I have ever made and it’s definitely one of the best companies to work for in Jordan.
What does your typical day look like?
Before the lockdown, my day consisted of: waking up between 6-7 AM, having breakfast, drinking warm water with honey, eating eggs with olives for breakfast (I quit smoking 5 years ago, and ever since then I have been motivated to keep up a healthy lifestyle). Showering after breakfast, praying and coming straight to the office. When arriving at the office, checking emails, slack and JIRA for tickets, having lunch and meetings with clients in the afternoon. Usually after work, I would just go home, spend time and have dinner with my family, watch series and try to sleep early, usually before midnight. During the lockdown, I try to maintain my daily routine, so I wake up in the morning and do what I was used to doing. However, now I use the time I used to spend getting to the office, to work out and exercise before starting to work. I take a break and go for a walk before my meetings in the afternoon, this helps keep me sane. The lockdown has also been a chance to focus even more on self-development and online education as well.
What is a negative point from the lockdown?
Even though I am a techie, I am an extrovert. I really miss the chaos of everyday life; doing hikes and gathering with my friends. Ironically, I also miss things that I would have never imagined, such as the noise from the neighborhood children while they are playing outside, and also, for the first time, I miss eating junk food.
Hussein pre-lockdown going on hikes in Wadi Mujib
What is a positive that came from the lockdown?
Since I am working remotely and not commuting, I get to spend more time undistracted. This makes me more productive and organized. Another bright side of the lockdown is being relieved from road traffic, this ensures that I start my day with full energy, instead of coming to the office stressed.
Hussein’s office at home
What do you value the most about the company?
I really value the knowledge sharing between team members. I also feel that at Aspire, we can communicate freely with our Directors and C-level staff. This is great because it makes us feel comfortable, we feel that we are a part of a team and we are treated with a lot of respect. Lastly, if you need help, you will always get it, my colleagues are very helpful.
What is your favorite movie/series?
My favorite movies of all time are: ‘Interstellar’, ‘The Hunger Games’, ‘UP’ and ‘The Avengers’. With regards to TV series, I really enjoyed watching: ‘You’, ‘Arrow’, ‘Vikings’ and ‘La Casa de Papel’.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Currently during lockdown, I spend my time working out at home, cycling solo, taking walks and cleaning the house. Pre-lockdown, I used to spend my free time going hiking and cycling for at least one hour. I also always try to volunteer at The King Hussein Cancer Foundation and Center. I volunteer by helping and playing with children, along with also doing some office/admin tasks. During my last volunteering activity, I had to wrap and distribute apples on World Cancer day. Every year we also have a Summer Camp, where I dress up as a clown and make them smile. I have been a volunteer for the past 7 years and it’s a huge passion of mine.
Hussein volunteering at the KHCF Summer Camp
If you had to choose one programming language to use for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
A horse, horses are motivational. When you are around a horse, there’s just something that makes you want to be a better person. They make you want to try harder. Being around a horse can also put you at ease. Once you’ve experienced the power of being in the presence of these amazing creatures, it’s hard to imagine your life without them.
You have 10 seconds to impress someone. What do you tell them?
I like your eyes and you have a great smile.
What’s your favorite song/singer/band?
Currently, I love ‘Dance Monkey’ by Tones and I, it’s always in my head. I also enjoy listening to Rodrigo y Gabriela, they are a Mexican acoustic guitar duo.
What is one thing you want to do before it is too late?
I want to get a Masters Degree and I want to visit Cordoba in Spain (I really love Spanish architecture, music and their history).
What are your ambitions for Aspire?
Aspire is continuously growing. Every year we get bigger clients, great logos and companies that work with the latest technologies. I just want to do my best, I want to keep learning and growing with the company by getting more and more certifications.
If a genie appeared and gave you three wishes, what would they be?
1- To end all diseases and viruses in the world, especially cancer.
2- To have the power to make each child smile.
3- For all of my loved ones to have good health always.
What’s your biggest personal achievement?
I won a prize for being the most loyal volunteer at the King Hussein Cancer Foundation (KHCF). The foundation has over 4000 volunteers, so I was very happy and honored.
Hussein with the KHCF Most Loyal Volunteer Prize.
What’s your biggest professional accomplishment?
That’s a good question. I find that small things make a big difference. I love completing tasks. I create challenges for myself so that I can feel accomplished professionally every single day and every time that I finish a task or complete a project.
What superpower would you like to have?
The power of healing.
If you had to eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Potatoes! I love all forms of potatoes, baked, grilled and fried.
What’s your life philosophy?
We live by what we give. The secret of living is giving.
What was your most memorable moment at Aspire?
Back in 2015, in July during Ramadan, I was finishing a task, so I stayed late at work. My director at the time (Feras) saw that I was fasting and he offered to drive me home. He arrived late for his own Iftar to make sure that I ate on time. That really meant a lot and I felt really appreciated.
What is the first thing you want to do post lockdown?
Coughing in public without worrying about anybody judging me (I think this will take a while though). Oh, and going on hikes with my friends.
Hussein’s love for hiking and nature.
Any tips for new graduates?
LEARN! Learn as much as you can. You need to benefit from the things you learn at university. Try to graduate and master at least one programming language and focus on your training. Now with COVID-19, there are a lot of free online courses that you can benefit from, this time is very precious. Take the chance to develop your skills as much as you can, and if you can start working on an ecommerce project go for it. If you join Aspire, come prepared to learn, because you will learn something new every day.