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about Me

I’m originally from the beautiful country of South Africa, and I'm now living in Cambridge, in the United Kingdom. I’ve been involved with tech startups my entire working life, having founded  my first startup  while still in college (an eCommerce startup) in 2006, and more recently with a web agency that I founded in 2010, which I then handed over to my co-founder (and good friend) in 2016, after managing the company for 6 years.

I often describe myself as  a “jack of all trades” type of person, as you might expect with my background. I’ve had  experience working with customers in support, sales and business development, as well as product development. I’m also comfortable digging into the technical stuff and even writing up some code where needed, but my primary  strength has always  been with leading and managing people.

I’m an entrepreneur at heart, and I’m always looking to solve problems and find better ways of doing things  in whatever role I find myself. Over the past two years that I've spent working in the Web Support team at GitHub, I've had the opportunity to level up my support knowledge, as well as gain an understanding of  the "GitHub way" of working. 

I have loved every moment of this, and now feel that I would be able to contribute even more to GitHub, and make use of all the management experience I've gained throughout my career, in the role of Technical Support Manager. 

 Relevant Skills

Management 

For most of my working career, managing and leading people has been my primary responsibility. I have close to 10 years of experience managing diverse groups of people and teams, including support, operational and sales teams.

Remote work

I have worked remotely for a number of years and have experience working and collaborating with teams members from across the globe. I'm comfortable working asynchronously and enjoy the unique benefits and challenges that this provides.

Leadership

My professional, respectful and empathetic approach to interacting with team members has proven to be a valuable skill throughout my career  over the years, and remains one of the most important parts of my leadership technique.

Git and github

I've used Git and GitHub for code collaboration and sharing on various projects and am very familiar with the Git command line. I've also worked for almost 2 years supporting GitHub's users on the Technical Support team.

communication

Excellent written and spoken communication with customers and team members has been a hallmark of my career so far. I also have experience communicating a vision and goals to the teams that I've managed.

Software Development

I have a good  grasp of modern web development languages and frameworks. I've had experience with HTML, CSS, PHP and Ruby, as well as newer Javascript frameworks like Node.js. 

conflict Management

My involvement in various startups has honed my ability to successfully manage and pre-empt potential disagreements, however large or small  they might appear to be. This skill has been vital to my success when interacting with customers as well as managing team members.

Technical Support

I have spent years doing various kinds of technical support in the startups I have worked in and more recently at GitHub as a supportocat. I have handled  support requests via a helpdesk tool, telephone, direct emails and live chat. 

Work Story

Technical Support Specialist

Github
SEp 2016Present

As part of the Web Support team at GitHub, I help  our users have an amazing support experience by  solving any of the problems that they encounter on a daily basis.

Main activities performed: 

  • Responding to user requests  on a daily basis
  • Collaborating with team members to create moments of joy for our users 
  • Leading internal projects that might improve our processes or create efficiencies 
  • Mentoring and coaching fellow supportocats  
  • Collaborating  and working with engineering teams to solve user problems

Founder AND MANAGING DIRECTOR

Robot Dwarf - DIGITAL AGENCY
Oct 2010sep 2016

I worked closely with my  team, handling  the day to day operations of the business, driving sales, crafting the strategy and managing a diverse team of 12 people. 

Main activities performed: 

  • Team Management (1:1's, mentorship, performance reviews and more)
  • Hiring (creating job descriptions, assessing head count, interviewing candidates)
  • High Level Strategic planning and execution
  • Budgeting and goal setting across the company  (marketing, income, sales, expenses, etc.)
  • Business plan generation and execution
  • Customer Support and Happiness (managing support staff and directly engaging with customers)
  • Building team culture 
  • Setting the vision of the organization

    Founder and Lead Developer

    ROBOT DWARF - DIGITAL AGENCY
    OCT 2010JUL 2012

    During the initial startup phase I was involved in all aspects of the business, including development work on customer  projects, as well as all technical support and troubleshooting.

    Main activities performed: 

    • Hiring and building the team
    • Idea generation and subsequent implementation 
    • Customer sales  and management through proposals, meetings, demos and training
    • New business generation and contract negotiation
    • Strategic planning and execution
    • Project management with focus on achieving business objectives

    General Manager (Sales and Operations)

    Intdev Internet Technologies
    Jun 2009Oct 2010

    I was responsible for the day to day management of all aspects of the Sales and Operations team as well as forming part of the senior management team, who drove the strategic objectives and direction of the business.  

    My primary role was management of the daily operations of the business (team of 20), with a focus on sales and accounts, as well as recruitment, HR and supplier managemen.

    Main activities performed: 

    • Managing a diverse and multicultural team which I helped grow from 8 people to over 20 individuals
    • Acquiring knowledge of web hosting and related businesses/ products
    • Customer relationship management and support
    • Management and recruitment of an internal sales force
    • Innovation in business processes and procedures within the web hosting space
    • Creation and development of various business policies and documents that guide the operational aspects of the business
    • Formulation of overall business strategy in conjunction with board of directors
    • Setting of departmental targets and objectives
    • High level project management involvement
    • Managing and delegating tasks to heads of departments

    Founder

    Metatech
    Mar 2006Jun 2009

    While still in college, I built and operated an e-commerce store called Metatech, which specialized in retailing of Notebooks and Laptops directly to the public.

    The business eventually grew to over $10 000 in revenue per month before I opted to down-scale it in early 2009, in order to focus on and complete my university degree.

    Main activities performed: 

    • Startup management and growth
    • Online business development
    • Cash flow management and design of internal business processes
    • Supplier and Customer relationship management
    • Innovation in product packaging and marketing
    • Social and viral marketing
    • One to one sales (solution selling)
    • Customer service and support

    Formal Education

    Bachelor of Commerce (Honours)

    University of Pretoria 
    Jan 2009Dec 2009

    Specialisation in Business Management with Honours.

    Bachelor of Commerce

    University of Pretoria
    Jan 2006Dec 2008

    Specialisation in Business Management  and Communication Management.