Meet Abdelrahman AlShakhshir, a fan of driving around town and testing the latest lunch spots with his friends, avid swimmer, self-therapy researcher and one of Aspire’s very own Senior Software Engineers.
What did you study?
I graduated from the University of Jordan with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Computer Information Systems.
Why did you choose IT?
I’ve had a passion for computers in general ever since I was a kid! I always imagined that in the future, I would be sitting behind a computer all day being able to do fancy things on the internet. I guess I was right.
What are you particularly passionate about within the IT industry?
Mostly everything that involves web and mobile technologies! Funny enough, even though I am a frontend developer, I tend to lean more towards backend development.
I was actually lucky to start working at Aspire only 5 days after having my final exams at university. As soon as I walked into the office, I felt comfortable! Even during the interview process, I knew that I had to work here because it felt like a second home. Back in 2019, I actually ended up leaving Aspire for another work opportunity, but after 2 months I decided to come back. After all, once an Aspirer, always an Aspirer!
What does your typical working day look like?
I usually rush in the mornings and grab a cup of coffee before heading to the office (prior to the pandemic). Once I get to the office, I usually draft up my daily schedule and then start by checking my emails. After that, I start working on my daily tasks and the team has a daily stand-up meeting to see how every team member is progressing. Once the meeting is done, I have a chat with my colleagues before I start focusing on the technical tasks. Prior to the pandemic, we would also try to grab lunch outside of the office about two to three times a week in order to get a break from the routine and try out new places. I enjoy my break and always have another cup of coffee with my friends at Aspire in the afternoon. After break, I start working on my technical tasks, usually short/simple ones first, then some chunks of the more complex tasks. At the end of the day, my team meets again to check up on the progress/results of the day (I really miss having these in-person). I always try to attend these meetings. I also always try to be on call for any emergency technical production situation that needs to be addressed quickly.
How has your day-to-day changed since the pandemic?
I get to sleep more! But honestly, it actually has changed a lot. When the pandemic started, I was working the night shift with a Silicon Valley based client. I was going to swim daily and I would go out with friends during the day instead of after work at night. I also had more time to see family and friends.
What do you value the most about the company?
The continuous investment in infrastructure and resources for us to always be up to date with the latest technologies and software development methodologies. Furthermore, I really value the awesome and friendly work environment and of course the people!
What keeps you busy outside of work?
Mostly, whatever I stumble upon on YouTube. I also love driving around with my friends every day and I like to read a lot about human psychology, self-therapy and medical studies.
Abdelrahman driving around town.
If you had to choose one programming language to use for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
What was the path to your current role at Aspire?
I joined Aspire as a Fresh Graduate Quality Analyst. Within the first two months, I joined the Quality Engineering department and after a year, I moved to Software Engineering. After two years, I was promoted to senior position, where I am today as a Senior Software Engineer.
If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
A Cat, for no specific reason, I just adore lazy cats.
You have 10 seconds to impress someone. What do you tell them?
I would just give them a strong handshake and try to present myself in a creative and friendly way.
What is your favorite movie/series?
My favorite movie of all-time is ‘The Dictator’ by Sacha Baron Cohen and I also love sci-fi movies like ‘Inception’ and thrillers like ‘Shutter Island’. When it comes to series, I still don’t have a favorite, but I really enjoyed watching ‘Black Mirror’ and ‘Westworld’.
What’s your favorite song, singer or genre of music?
My all-time favorite song is ‘November Rain’ by Guns n’ Roses. I am pretty eclectic with my musical taste and I listen to pretty much all genres.
What is one thing you want to do before it is too late?
Travel all around Europe!
What excites you about the Aspire and what are your ambitions for the future?
I love the idea of being 6K miles away from users that use my code on a daily basis! The outsourcing world is a very cool thing. I would love to see Aspire expand even further and reach out to more European clients next. I have already gone to New York with work and would love to travel to Europe with work too.
Abdelrahman in NYC for an onsite client visit back in December, 2017.
If a genie appeared and gave you three wishes, what would they be?
- Go back in time to buy cheaper Bitcoins.
- Own a mansion around the Alps.
- To get taller by a few centimeters.
What’s your biggest personal achievement?
As a kid, I always had a deep-water phobia, but I conquered it with a lot of motivation and with the help of my two professional swimmer friends.
What’s your biggest professional accomplishment?
I passed a senior vacancy interview with one of our biggest US clients while I had only one week of knowledge of the required technology without any prior experience.
I was also able to lead a team in the QA department of 10 resources within the first year and a half of joining.
What superpower would you like to have?
Have a full neurological control of my brain.
If you had to eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Anything that has cream and cheese.
What’s your life philosophy?
Life has its ups and downs, it’s like a heartbeat, so no need to dwell on the past failures or disappointments, try to live in the moment because it’s the only thing that will help build your future.
Any tips for new graduates?
Keep on learning! Always invest some of your spare time to learn, build your self-confidence to give people a good first impression, because the first impression always lasts. Don’t try to be a perfectionist, it will only add an unnecessary stress to your life, it is due to our mistakes that we learn. Lastly, always try to expand your professional circle, step away from “energy vampires”, try and surround yourself with people who give you energy and of course always enjoy the ride of life!