This month we host the third annual SPINJam. We deviate from the regular format with a facilitated panel discussion. This year’s theme explores the similarities and differences in software product development at corporations and startups.
The topics may include the environment, culture, individual and organisational risk appetite, approaches to problem solving, time to market, the technologies employed and the development processes that are followed.
Like any topic worth discussing, there are many individual opinions and preferences. We aim to stimulate healthy discussions around the topics to foster better understanding of the two organisational extremes.
We’ll start with a few minutes from each of the panellists to introduce themselves and their organisations, along with some opening remarks about the topic. This will lead into an open floor discussion lead by the facilitator.
Olaf is a systems analyst at Fundamo where his key focus is mobile financial services and their pragmatic and sustainable implementation in various geographic and operating environments.
He has a decade of practical experience in IT, with his journey taking him through media houses, banks, telecoms and financial services, with a key focus on ICT and its use as business enabler. He is passionate about systems, innovation and their pragmatic use in a business and social environment. You will also frequently hear him use the words, “sustainability”, “scalability”, “business continuity”, “low cost of ownership” and “usability”, while asking “what are you trying to achieve?”.
Olaf specializes in enterprise systems integration and design, particularly in mobile financial services and associated cross-functional domains. His mantra is that you should never stop learning and developing.
Olaf holds a B.Comm in Informations Systems from the University of Cape Town.
Mike Jones works at Western Cape Labs, which he helped form in 2012 where they run eCommerces sites (onelessthing.co.za and ontheway.co.za) and build smart apps for dumb phones on the Praekelt Vumi platform. He calls himself a “jack of all trades, master of some”, which really just means he has to make his own coffee. Born and raised in London, but now resident in Cape Town with his growing family, he appreciates all that the city has to offer as an awesome place to build a socially valuable business.
Nobukhosi currently works for Fundamo as a scrum master. Her focus is on continuous process improvement and coaching on agile practices. Previously she has worked as a project manager in Metropolitan Health and at the Liberty Life startup Frank.net. She’s also worked as a consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers focusing on telecoms, financial services, FMCG and the public sector. Her passion is in working within highly productive teams and introducing processes to make people happy and more efficient at what they do.
Nobukhosi has a BSc Computer Science from UCT and is completing a Masters IT with UP.
I am the founder and CEO of Vulcan Labs, a software startup building web and mobile applications. I have over a decades experience in IT spread across software development and business intelligence. I really enjoy the performance tuning and data visualization side of software and spend most of my time building analytics applications using open source technology. I have no formal tertiary education and jumped straight into a career in software development after school. I enjoy a hands-on and pragmatic approach to life’s challenges and try and not take myself too seriously.
Jaco van der Merwe
Jaco van der Merwe has a Master’s Degree in Electronics Engineering and has been active in the software industry for over 20 years. During this time he has worked as a software developer and technical manager at several startup software companies, including DataVoice, CSense Systems, SunSpace, EMSS and Space Advisory Company. The problem domains that he worked on includes telecommunications, empirical data modeling and prediction, aero-space, satellite systems and computational electromagnetics. Some of these startups grew from 20 people to 200 employees in less than three years, some grew at a slower rate into successful medium-sized companies and some stagnated and closed. During this time Jaco also provided consultation services to numerous software companies in the Western Cape software industry, ranging from startups to more established medium-sized enterprises. He is currently working as a development manager for Amazon Web Services in Cape Town that is responsible for the core infrastructure of EC2.
Enter from Williams St (around the back) which is closer to the lift/stairs. Their offices are in the corner of the building by Williams and Station St. There is parking on Station St and Williams St around the venue. Dial 300 on the intercom if the door isn’t open.
Anyone is free to attend. Please RSVP at ctspin95.eventbrite.com.
18:15 Welcoming and Introduction
18:20 Introduction and Opening Remarks
Facilitator and Panellists
18:40: Moderated Panel Discussion
Facilitator and Panellists
19:25 Closing and Thanks
19:30 Networking & Discussion