My Programming Life in a Nutshell
Started teaching myself QBASIC when I was 11. Having played Warcraft, my future profession was set - I wanted to make games. In school, learnt some Pascal and Delphi, got top in my class. BSc(InfoSys) was my degree of choice when entering Rhodes University. Picked up all sorts of new skills and languages including C#, ASM and Haskell. Had a single semester of web development (basic CSS and HTML) and I was hooked at the speed of thought to visual result. Game design was put on the back burner (for now).
Started my own freelance web design (PHP & MySQL) company while at university, Giffin Studios. Moved to Mombasa a couple years later and worked with MSS (Media and Software Studio) doing more PHP via the Kohana Framework. Spent 5 years in Namibia at Westcosoft building a desktop application using XOJO learning switching to Ruby on Rails. Built (and still maintain) JuggleBee, the first online auction platform in Namibia. Needing a bigger challenge, decided to come to London and join the real rat race. 6 years later, worked my way up through BigSofa Technologies (now Lifestream) from Mid to Lead Backend Engineer.
Position: Senior Backend Engineer
Duration: July 2023 - Present
Lifestream (previously BigSofa Technologies Ltd)
Position: Backend Tech Lead
Duration: May 2017 - July 2023
- Successfully converted a monolithic Ruby on Rails application into a streamlined backend API utilizing microservices, resulting in the removal of over 40,000 lines of legacy code.
- Developed and implemented various microservices, including a language transcription provider that leverages third-party transcription and translation services, a python-built facial recognition and obfuscation service using pre-trained YOLO data model, and a pipeline microservice responsible for batch processing media.
- Implemented a standalone IDP and SSO gateway, as well as Neo4j to capture media data points for better insights, and DynamoDB to improve performance on loading project dashboard data.
- Established and documented pull request, issue creation, design, review, merging, and deployment processes, and maintained a StackOverflow Teams knowledgebase.
- Facilitated a weekly developer meeting to promote knowledge sharing and team building, and designed the processes around the use of GitHub Projects to manage teams and sprints, including creating, scoping, timeboxing, and assigning tasks.
Position: Cofounder and Developer
Duration: Mar 2014 - Present
Cofounder, developer and maintainer of JuggleBee (jugglebee.com), Namibia’s online auction platform of choice.
- Ruby on Rails
- AWS S3 & SQS
Position: Principal Software Developer
Duration: Nov 2012 - Jan 2017 (4 yrs, 2 mos)
- Expanded the legacy XOJO application adding new departments such as the Tire Workshop, Web Portal and HR system.
- Implemented automated SMS integration.
- Rebuilt the legacy XOJO application in Ruby on Rails.
Media & Software Studio (MSS)
Position: Web Developer
Duration: Jan 2011 - Mar 2012 (1 yrs, 2 mos)
Assisted MSS in developing bespoke websites and web software solutions using the PHP based Kohana Framework.
Position: Sole Proprietor
Duration: Feb 2008 - Feb 2011 (3 yrs)
- Started my own Web development studio while at university.
- Built numerous websites for residents and local companies in Grahamstown, primarily using PHP and MySQL.
Eastcape Midlands College
Duration: Apr 2008 - Dec 2010 (2 yrs, 8 mos)
Taught three subjects:
- Computer Hardware and Software
- Data Networking and Communication
Awarded a Certificate for attaining a 100% pass rate in Data Communication and Networking for my class of 2009.