Naturalista Mom and Software Engineer - Meet Glory Ori-Jesu

CAWSTEM
CAWSTEM Blog
Published in
6 min readMay 12, 2020

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One of the joys of being a Software Engineer is that feeling, that your work makes life easier for other people. At the core, you write bits of code to bring interesting ideas to reality.

Cue in, Glory Ori-Jesu — our naturalista mom and software engineer. Glory is currently a Software Developer at Amazon.

As of when we interviewed her in 2020, she was a Technical Lead at Paystack, an African Financial Technology Company, and works on interesting applications that bring value to thousands of people.

At the intersection of career, motherhood, and life generally, Glory considers simplicity an important tool to success. Read on how she intimated us about her life as a STEM Woman.

Let’s dive in…

Tell us about yourself

Glory Ori-Jesu

I’m a software engineer and architect with extensive experience building enterprise resource management solutions. I’m currently the Technical Lead for a product delivery team at Paystack.

I love designing and building software with real-world impact. I’m really big on simplicity and ease; for me, software should be a tool for the simplification of all aspects of life and living.

That’s so correct!

Outside of software engineering, I also love showcasing and encouraging good, healthy hair care practices especially among Nigerians, Africans, and people with African heritage. I love to travel and explore experience new places and cultures.

Awesome, tell us about your educational background?

I have a Bachelor's in Technology in Computer Science from the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), and graduated in 2010.

As a software engineer, what was your earliest interaction with a computer?

I’ve always wanted to understand how computers work. My earliest memory of this is being fascinated with the old Office Assistant in Microsoft Office on my dad’s laptop. “How is this possible?” I wondered.

Hmmm…tell us more

As I grew older, I found that I had a knack for solving problems — Math and Physics were my favorite subjects in secondary school. I also learned that there was a strong connection between problem-solving and programming — and it became clear to me that this was what I wanted to do.

As a computer science student at the university, I found that I was pretty good at programming and I knew that was what I was going to do. I haven’t looked back since then.

So far, my experience has been very interesting and rewarding.

Glory’s workspace

What does your typical day at work look like?

A typical day for me as a software engineer starts with a plan. I head over to my workspace, settle in and look over my to-do list from the previous day, carrying over unfinished items (if any) into a new list. Then I compile a new task list and get to work. I’ve worked remotely for about a year now, starting a month or two after I joined Paystack. I only go to the office once a month or once in two months. Because of this, it’s very important for me to be in sync with my team and colleagues. We communicate via Slack and Zoom.

Ouch, You are PRO remote! How do you manage it?

Most days I start with PR (Pull Request) reviews if there are any I have unattended. Then the team has daily stand-ups, after which I settle into other tasks. They could be anything from feature implementations to writing technical specification documents, bug fixes, meetings, or research.

Have you faced any difficulties so far?

There was a time when I was a little sensitive (read: irritable) about people being surprised that I am a software engineer. I’ve always rejected the idea that there are things you cannot do just because you’re a woman. Thankfully, with more advocacy and awareness and as women have become more visible in this space, this has changed.

Have you experienced any situation that you were not treated as equal?

Generally, I speak up when I suspect that I am being treated differently — wittingly or unwittingly. Thankfully, I’ve mostly worked with smart and respectful people who are very receptive to feedback and course-correct where necessary.

What’s the best thing about your career so far?

The best thing about my career is knowing that people are using the applications I’ve built, and in one way or another they are receiving value. Knowing that you are impacting thousands of lives is a very rewarding feeling.

Now, that’s a legit feeling. Are there failures or lessons you have learned so far?

It’s almost impossible to have a long career in software engineering without making some pretty costly mistakes. What I’ve learned over the years can be summarised below:

  • Keep it simple stupid.
  • Document, document, document. Then document some more.
  • Fix bugs fast.
  • Be empathetic. You will look back at the code you wrote a year ago and think, “What is this nonsense?” So remember this when you’re maintaining software built by other engineers, and focus on improvements where possible.

What is your favorite “Life Lesson Quote” and how it’s relevant to you in your life?

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. — Leonardo da Vinci

This is pretty much how I work and live. As much as possible, I try to break problems, scenarios, activities, etc down into smaller, more intuitive bits. Not only does it help with understanding complex scenarios and planning, but it also results in the most elegant solutions in almost every situation. When in doubt, I simplify.

Guys simplify always!!!

What were you doing the last time you looked at the clock and realized you had lost all track of time?

Coding. I was testing a new feature and making modifications to achieve the expected behavior. I ended up working till 2:30 am.

How do you strike a balance with work and life in general?

Scheduling. I use my calendar for everything from meetings to compiling shopping lists. I’m more likely to not do something if it’s not on my calendar.

Hmmm, talk about self-discipline…

As much as possible, I work within working hours. Because I’ve worked from home even before the COVID-19 related lockdowns, I’ve had to be deliberate about not letting work take over my life. I have a block of time every day where I don’t touch anything work-related unless it’s an emergency.

I use my paid time off judiciously.

I will be coming for some lessons, Glory…Lol. How do you cope with stress?

I spend time with my family. Watching movies/series or going out with my husband, playing with my son.

Manicures and pedicures at a nail salon.

What’s your favorite work tool?

My MacBook.

Your Philosophy/Motivation to work?

I’m motivated by my family. Having people that rely on and believe in me is all the motivation I need.

That’s amazing

Now let’s talk about some random woman things, which of these can’t you do without?

  • Hair or heels: Hair
  • Jewelry or make-up: Make-up
  • Books or movies: Both…Lol
  • Club or Cafe: Cafe
  • DIY or Pay someone: DIY

Connect with Glory on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter

CAWSTEM is a community of African women in STEM. We are a female-led crew, on a mission to rewrite the narrative about having few women in STEM and, especially in leadership positions. We share interesting insights, news, and resources to empower women in their STEM careers.You can join the community here

Every Tuesday, we publish stories here about African women’s journey in STEM. We know every STEM woman’s story is unique…so we tell these stories to inspire our community. If you would like to share your story with us, send an email to content@cawstem.org, we can’t wait to read from you!

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