Meet Doa’a Alkhateib, Game of Thrones fan, avid bookworm, Pinterest addict and one of Aspire’s most talented Team Leads and Technical Architects.
What is your current position?
I am currently a Team Lead, leading the Broadleaf Commerce Team, where we implement back-end services and I am also a Technical Architect. I have been leading this team for about 7 years now. Initially, this was the first service oriented architecture team, however, as we move to newer technologies, I now lead the back-end team for supporting the commerce and checkout of one of our biggest US clients in the health and wellness sector.
Why did you choose IT?
I actually graduated as an Electrical Engineer. When I graduated, all my elective courses were in communication and back then, I wanted to work in a telecom company but I ended up being hired in the IT field. After a while, once I got more experience with software engineering, I noticed that I really loved this area and I started developing myself by learning specific technologies and topics that I felt were missing in my CV to get to where I wanted.
What are you particularly passionate about within your industry?
I like how the IT industry is making our lives easier by having everything automated and accessible with simple commands through applications and websites. Everything in the world now is moving towards automation and business process automation, we have a lot of things in our lives that can be improved by using IT. Everything nowadays depends on IT. At Aspire, I like the fact that you can be assigned to multiple projects. This way I keep learning continuously, I have so much space to grow in the future. Lastly, I love how IT isn’t specific when it comes to industry, you can be in any type of business and meanwhile, the technology will still be the same.
Right after I graduated, I worked for another company for 6 years as a Software Engineer. The company’s products were mainly related to the hospitality sector. I wanted to increase my skills and to become a part of a bigger company. Aspire is one of the biggest IT companies in Jordan, especially when it comes to the number of employees and dealing with global enterprise-level clients with the highest level of standards and processes. I wanted to move to a company with these standards, with the latest technologies, with efficient and global projects, so I applied to Aspire and I have been here ever since.
What does your typical day look like?
Every morning, I do my face and skincare routine and after that I have my coffee. Before quarantine, I would get dressed straight after my morning routine and come to work. I would open my laptop and ping my friends/colleagues so that we could have a morning coffee break together. After quarantine, I spend time with my mom and my sister having my morning coffee with them and 30 mins later I start working. In the morning I start by checking my emails, tasks and notifications. Straight after, we have a standard daily meeting with the whole team to go through all the details, tasks and complications, how we can improve and make enhancements. After that, everyone has tasks to complete. In the afternoon, we usually have back-to-back meetings with the client and in between the meetings, we complete our tasks. After work it depends on my mood, sometimes I like to relax and rest after a long day, other days I like to hang out with family and friends, sometimes I watch movies, and I usually catch up on social media at night.
Doa’a hanging out with her friends
Has your work routine changed since the beginning of the pandemic?
We are still working remotely. I actually prefer working from the office, I feel that dealing with people directly is easier when it’s done face-to-face. I had some problems in the beginning and I had to learn how to take some time off for myself. I would just work all of the time and this wasn’t helping with my anxiety, so I changed a couple things and included some breaks. I also really miss dressing up for work. My lunch break time has also changed to match my family’s lunch break time.
What do you value the most about the company?
Aspire is a great company where I learned about many different technologies. We have access to the latest technologies and we adopt the latest methodologies for our enterprise customers. I have learned so much when it comes to technical and strategic thinking. We are always up-to-date with the market and many times we are even ahead. The company culture/environment is also amazing, I have made friendships for life.
Doa’a and Aspire colleagues during one of the team outings
What keeps you busy outside of work?
I like reading a lot. When I have time, I download books that have good ratings and read them. I spend a lot of time with my family and friends. I also love decor and design, and due to this hobby, I end up spending a lot of time on Pinterest searching for interesting new designs, outfits and getting inspiration, keeping collections of all of the things I like.
I also enjoy being outdoors.
Doa’a and friends spending time outdoors
If you had to choose one programming language to use for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
I prefer Java, I have only been using it for 2 years now but it’s one of the most robust and trending technologies in the market, it’s useful and also compatible with back-end services.
What was the path to your current role at Aspire?
I have been at Aspire for 9 years now. I joined as a Senior Software Engineer. After 2 years, I became a Team Lead. 3 years ago, I got promoted to an Architect position, however I also continue leading my team.
If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
It’s hard to choose just one, so I will choose 2 which are completely opposite, just like me: first one is a deer because they are feminine, cute, gracious and most people like deers and the second one is a lioness, because they are anxious, very protective and always ready to attack.
What is your favorite movie/series?
I am a big Game of Thrones fan. Lately, I have been watching How to Get Away with Murder and Prision Break. My favorite movie of all time is Inception.
What’s your favorite song, singer or type of music?
I love arabic music! My favorite singer is Amr Diab.
What is one thing you want to do before it is too late?
I would like to open my own business one day.
What are your ambitions for Aspire?
I want to move to the next level and I want to become the first female Director at Aspire one day.
How do you believe Aspire can make an impact on our industry?
Aspire is doing a great job in outsourcing and as we move into the consulting space, this will be a great addition to our services.
If a genie appeared and gave you three wishes, what would they be?
- To keep myself, my family and friends in good health and safe
- To open my own business
- To get rich
What’s your biggest personal achievement?
Being self-independent, buying my own house and helping my mom.
What’s your biggest professional accomplishment?
Getting promoted to an Architect, being successful at my job and always looking to improve myself
What superpower would you like to have?
I would like to read people’s minds
If you had to eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Do you have any goals you want to achieve in 2021?
In 2021, I hope to change some habits, improve my anxiety, and focus on my mental health more. Plan properly for my future dreams. I hope that the pandemic will end soon so that I am able to have a girls trip to Europe with my friends.
How do you think the work environment will change after the end of the pandemic?
Personally, I prefer to work from the office, but I believe that a hybrid approach will be implemented in the future for all companies. Full-time remote work can be done, but you still need to meet people in-person for mental health purposes and to develop social skills, team outings, developing relationships, among other things. A hybrid approach will be flexible for both employees and employers.
Any tips for new graduates?
I always tell new graduates to build their skills. What they have learned in university is important, but real-life experiences are very different compared to the educational theory they learned. They also need to understand and accept advice from someone who is senior and to be able to receive feedback as something positive. We always need to keep learning. Everyone that works in IT needs to keep learning continuously, even if you are a Team Lead, a Director, a CEO, etc. I feel that new graduates don’t know how to take direction well, so come with an open mind, be open to hearing, learning and receiving feedback.