People @ Billie: Meet Anwuli Chukwurah, Frontend Engineer

In our People @ Billie series, we introduce our teams of bright talents, learn about their field and respective expertise. One of our great talents is Frontend Engineer Anwuli Chukwurah. Read more about how she wants to become the Beyonce of JavaScript and how her career evolved as an Engineer at Billie. Let’s meet her:

Frontend engineer Anwuli Chukwurah
Anwuli Chukwurah

Anwuli, what do you do at Billie?

In my role as a Frontend Engineer in the Checkout team, I ensure that we are creating the best possible user experience for customers that pay with Billie on a merchant's platform. This requires working closely with other teams such as Product Management, Designers, Backend Developers, and people working in Risk. There's a lot of collaboration here as a Frontend Engineer.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? How did your story with engineering begin?

I always wanted to become the Beyonce of JavaScript. (laughs) Beyonce is very important to me as she is someone who knows her craft, works very hard, and is innovative and creative.  As for my story as an engineer, it started when I tried to be like my older sister. She is a very intelligent person, and she was first interested in engineering. That's how I got into engineering as well. I studied information and communication engineering for my first degree. In Nigeria, where I come from, there are a lot of opportunities in the engineering space. So it kind of felt like a smart idea to explore this career opportunity, because you want to be in a field where you can actually get a job. I wanted to make sure that there were opportunities for me. In the end, it became just me learning and growing. That's what engineering is about for me: working in a field where you have to constantly learn and grow to be valuable.

When did you join Billie and how has your career evolved since then?

I joined Billie last year in June, and I've learned and grown a lot. More than ever before, I've had to work with technologies and tools that I hadn't worked with before. At Billie, I work with really smart people who I can constantly learn from and continue to develop my skills. Working here is challenging but good in every way. I get to learn from these people, and I have the opportunity to teach others and share my knowledge. This has been great for me so far.

What career advice would you give to your younger self?

I would give my younger self the advice to know that I'm built for success. And it might sound like a really cocky thing to say, but it's just the truth. Because I think I need to have the confidence to explore any field, even if it's not engineering. 

I have the principles and the discipline to apply myself fully to write a success story. To be prepared to work, to know nothing, to be comfortable asking stupid questions, because that's the only way you really learn. It’s important to read even more after graduation. I remember when I was writing my final exams at university, I told myself that I just need to study hard this one more time. But now, in my day job, I have to keep up with standards and new technologies all the time. So you have to learn a lot and study new things. It's a lot of hard work, but it contributes to my own success story.

And you shouldn’t let anybody tell you that you can’t do something, right? Engineering tends to be a more male-dominated area of work. Have you ever been confronted with people who told you: Hey, you can't do that because you're a woman?

I’ve been super lucky because I have met many strong and successful women in my life. They have encouraged me that it is possible, that I can make it. I've worked with extremely intelligent women who are engineers. So I couldn't imagine anyone telling me I couldn’t do something because I'm a woman. I've seen women accomplish everything, go above and beyond. As I mentioned, I come from a village in Nigeria where Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, an economist, also comes from. She is currently the Director-General of the World Trade Organization. Growing up, I had her as a role model, and she is a role model for the women of the world. I come from a place where Nigerian women are doing the most amazing things. So it's easy for me to say that I can achieve anything I set my mind to. And I think that's something really amazing about Billie, because even here, there are so many women in different fields of work.

What is the coolest thing about your job as a Frontend Engineer?

So for me, the coolest thing about being a Frontend Engineer is that I can always pinch myself and tell myself that I couldn't do this two years ago. Two years ago, I had no idea about it. And so you learn a lot. Then I can actually see the difference in the quality of the code that I'm delivering. That's the coolest thing about being an engineer. You can go and really see the growth. You can see the quality of the things you're delivering improve. I think that also helps you stay valuable on an ongoing basis.  Already curious to see open roles in our Engineering Team? Check out our career page

And what is the biggest challenge?

One of the biggest challenges is knowing you will never stop learning. You have to remember that you can’t know it all. And you have to be prepared to speak up when you don't know something. It's okay to not know it all, as nobody does. You don't ever get to feel like I know it all. So that's a good thing, and at the same time, the biggest challenge.

What surprised you most about working at Billie?

My biggest surprise after starting to work at Billie is that I have never experienced so much kindness before. Everybody is genuinely kind with the way they talk to you, with the way they work with you or the way they make themselves available to support you when you need it. So it's a really amazing place to work. Coming to Germany, I expected people to be a bit cold or distant, to be honest. But this is not the case here. It feels very good to have an army of support behind you.

What are three words to describe Billie?

Innovative, kind, and smart people.

What is your personal advice for people who want to apply for a job at Billie?

We're really innovative and committed to developing products that give our customers the best experience. When you develop a great product, you should be aware that it requires a lot of collaboration, you have to learn a lot, and you have to challenge the norms. I think you should be prepared to do that. Also, be prepared to work with really great and smart people. Don't worry if you don't know something because there is always support. All in all, it's a great place to work. I think you should have applied 6 years ago. Why are you just applying now? Apply and come join us! 

Do you feel Billie is the right working and growth environment for you, too? Check out our current job openings on our career page. We are looking forward to hearing from you.

Rebecca Grzyb

Rebecca Grzyb

Rebecca is a social media and communications specialist at Billie. On our blog she shares stories of the day-to-day work of Billie's employees.

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