Meet Tasneem Abu Khamseh, a data science lover, chocoholic, Paulo Coelho fan and one of our bright Senior Software Engineers. Continue reading to find out more about her lifestyle before and during the lockdown.
Why did you choose IT?
Somehow, I have always been involved with IT because I decided to study Management Information Systems. Even though my course ended up being more related to business than IT, right after I graduated I got a job at Aspire as a Quality Analyst. After 4 years, I moved to the Software Engineering Team. It has been a great opportunity to build a good career. Currently, I work on databases and data. The world has become more data-driven, so I feel that my job is really important and adds a lot of value to our clients.
What are you particularly passionate about within your industry?
Data science fascinates me. I work with Oracle and SQL when it comes to databases. I want to grow and get more experience in BigQuery in order to develop myself as a data scientist.
My friend was working at Aspire and she told me about the company, how she enjoyed it and that they were looking for a Quality Analyst. I was fresh out of university, I got interviewed and luckily enough, I got hired.
What does your typical day look like when you work from the office?
In the morning, the first thing I do is to have coffee with my mom. After coffee and breakfast, I drive to work. Once I arrive, I check my emails and work on my daily tasks and tickets, these include: creating reports, sending data and investigation tickets in order to find issues. During my work breaks, I hang out with friends and colleagues. In the afternoon between 16:00-18:00, I have daily meetings with clients. After leaving the office, I hang out with my friends or I just go home, have dinner and watch movies with my family.
Tasneem with her mother.
How has your routine changed during COVID-19 (work and personal life)?
My routine has completely changed since the lockdown, now I wake up at 9:00AM instead of 8:00AM with no need to worry about choosing outfits or morning traffic. Every day, I start my day with a cup of Nescafe, while reading my emails. After that, I have a quick web meeting with my Team Lead in order to prioritize tasks and the tickets. I start on my tickets straight after and usually have client meetings in the afternoon. A good thing that came out of all of this is that I get the chance to have lunch with my family every single day, and before, only on weekends. Now that the lockdown in Jordan is more flexible and we can move around, sometimes after work I hang out with my friends. I have also been watching a lot of series. I completed the new season of ‘The 100’ in 2 days and now I’m waiting for the final season of ‘Attack on Titan’ to start.
What have the pros and cons been since working remotely this whole time?
I’m one of the people who actually likes to work from home, especially during Ramdan as it motivates me and gives me space and flexibility without much pressure. Before the lockdown, my working hours were usually fixed, but now it is more flexible. Sometimes I go out in the morning or afternoon to buy things and then I complete my work in the evenings.I really enjoy this kind of flexibility. The only con that I’m facing is the need for a face-to-face meeting with my Jordan team, we really loved our usual team meetings and web calls aren’t the same. I also really miss my morning breaks with my colleague and friend Doa’a.
What do you value the most about Aspire?
I love the friendly working environment. I had friends here before and I have developed so many real friendships as well. They aren’t just my colleagues, we are a family.
What is your favorite movie or series?
I love Japanese manga and anime series. I am currently watching Attack on Titan. I also really liked watching Friends and Black Mirror. I am such a Friends fan that I even bought a special mug.
Tasneem with her special Friends mug while watching Friends.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I watch a lot of series and I hang out with friends. I like reading a lot as well, especially Paulo Coelho and Agatha Christie books. Paulo Coelho is my favorite author and ‘The Devil and Miss Prym’ is my favorite book. Now during the lockdown, I am currently reading a book called ‘Ma’moun Al Kanouni’ written by Deek Al Jin.
What is the first thing you want to do when the lockdown is completely over?
I have a bit of a phobia of airplanes, but this doesn’t mean that I don’t like to travel! The first thing I want to do when the lockdown is over, is to go on vacation and travel.
Do you think life will go back to normal post COVID-19, or will there be a new normal?
In the end, life will go back to normal but it needs time, maybe a year, maybe two or even more than that. We just need to be patient.
If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
I would be a cat. I love cats, especially the fluffy ones.
You have 10 seconds to impress someone. What do you tell them?
I would just smile. Kindness impresses people.
What’s your favorite song, singer or band?
I love arabic music, especially Amr Diab, however with the pandemic, my music taste has changed quite a bit and now I am really into Mahrajant songs.
What is one thing you want to do before it is too late?
Visit Italy, but not for a while as COVID-19 hit Italy very hard. I will wait until this is all over.
What are your ambitions for Aspire?
Aspire is a strong company in the IT market, our value is huge and we are growing a lot in Jordan. I want to be a part of this growth. I want to learn more about AWS and BigQuery in order to first become a Data Scientist and then an Architect in the future.
What, in your opinion, are the most important issues in the IT industry?
Speed of change and continuous changes. It changes practically every day, so it’s hard to keep up.
If a genie appeared and gave you three wishes, what would they be?
1 – For myself, my family and friends to always be healthy and never get sick
2 – To have a lot of money
3 – To have knowledge in everything, to become a genius
What’s your biggest personal achievement?
I graduated top of my class from University with a GPA average of 3.87 out of 4. I was very proud of myself and so was my family.
Tasneem on her graduation night in 2011.
What’s your biggest professional accomplishment?
Moving from QA to Engineering was a big move, I practically started over after 4 years and changed my career path. It was hard but it was worth it.
What superpower would you like to have?
To be able to read minds.
If you had to eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Chocolate, I am chocoholic. My favorite is Toblerone.
What’s your life philosophy?
My life philosophy comes from ‘The Alchemist (1988)’ – “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it” – Paulo Coelho. I truly believe in the law of attraction.
Most memorable moment at Aspire?
Hard to choose just one! On the 10th year anniversary for the company, I got a Shining Star award. I also won the Aspire Hackathon in 2018. I participated as a Data Scientist in the Smart Hackathon and we won! Another great moment was when I was promoted from QA to Software Engineering Team.
Tasneem with her teammates and Kaushal Shah (Aspire Managing Director) after winning the Hackathon.
Any tips for new graduates?
Keep learning! IT keeps changing so fast that new graduates need to keep updating themselves in order to be ready for the market. I still have a lot to learn too!