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Bio and Backstory

not really interesting, quit now.

The Beginning

My name is Marlon van der Linde, I am an afrikaans (but also english) speaking South African, passionately working as a software engineer in Cape Town. I consider myself an introvert, though 16Personalities proved it to be less than I initially thought. I am an INFJ (Advocate), 63% introvert, 65% intuitive, 71% judging and 67% assertive.

These traits have helped me establish myself, my goals and dreams over the past two decades, coming from low-tech Afrikaans schools in small towns, with nothing but an IBM PS/2 (which I won from Keloggs in 1992, at the age of 10) and working my way up the ladder to figure out what it is that I wanted in life. Starting with some DOS batch scripts, playing my first game ever (Stunts), and armed with the only GWBasic book in Bethlehem's public library, I started 'writing code'. After school, I studied electrical/electronics courses at College, something that have been interesting to me since childhood(I fixed radios at a repair shop), but it became clearer everyday that software development was my final goal. I got into some Perl in 1999, dabbled in Pascal and Haskell, but this was not enough… I wanted more.

My parents managed to help me with more studies, and I enrolled at CTI, doing my first formal course in software, with C++ as my chosen first language. Although I did various sub-modules for this course, including operating system specific stuff (Linux) and PLC (processing and logic concepts), I plowed my way through C and C++ to an eventual 9x% pass.


Just before finishing up at CTI, with funds running low, I got recruited by a company specialising in FreeBSD and Linux based server management, as a junior sys-admin. It was scary, exciting and new. Because I only started dabbling with Linux in 2001, this company gave me the oppertunity to break through, do new things.

A year later, I got an email from an awesome dude, he was recruited by Google, and was leaving his company, and I got to jump in and fill gaps, large gaps, but as a junior dev. Magical times. Deep-end, complex things and wild deadlines battle hardened me into becoming a self-sustaining programmer, and eventually dev-lead for the tech side of that company. From there on, it was pretty much a downhill ride, moving into a fast-pace travel engine company with more awesome dudes, learning more, until I hit the motherload of personal growth at a company called Rightshift. They had me finding bugs and writing code in PHP4, PHP5, ActionScript and Java, learning about high-availability, agile, proxies, load-balancing, more java, spring, mobile games, patterns, anti-patterns and serious code-review. I worked with an elite crew, some as awesome as their egos, other as gentle as their creativity and architectural prowess. It was awesome, but a few years of this, was exhausting.

I moved into the city, proverbially, the betting and gaming domain, a crowd of devs that was probably the nicest guys you could pile up in one office. I enjoyed it a lot, but I wrote a tonne of code I didn't believe was my best. The inner-city made me unhappy, too many people, noise, car crashes, I don't know, but after a year, I chugged back to the suburbs. I joined my first e-commerce outfit, again booming with learning, sharing dev-space with an old Rightshift buddy, I was plowing through architectural lore and performance driven microservices in NodeJS, ES6 to be exact. It was awesome, it was great, and I am thankful for the oppertunities there, definitely unique, and team-mates that got each others back. I learn about team-work there.

Moving on to 2017, I find myself in a new space, banking; fintech. I wish I could elaborate on what we are doing, but the team is dynamic, fun and the work is piled up and ready. We are hammering through it, everyday, bit by bit, almost like building a new fighter jet, with the best materials, and tools, but just not enough people. I love it. Docker, kubernetes everywhere, software engineering for five hours a day minimum, a generally unseen level of focus and then some. I now have the fantastic advantage of free-reign on a lot of greenfield stuff, but also tackling new features on existing code-bases, implementing and deploying at quite some velocity. I feel like a software engineer again, I can invent, create and assert, and need to speed-solve problems at the bat of an eyelid. I have plans here, and ideas for this one.


I really enjoy life as a whole, but have sensitive feelings about humanity's general disrespect (of law, possessions, people, animals). For this reason, I enjoy doing my own thing at home or in nature. Spending time with my fiance', whether it is gardening, walking the labradors, jogging or playing World of Warcraft, we love doing stuff together. As a nature lover, and a creative, a lot of my outlet comes from digital photography. I owned many amazing lenses and DSLR bodies (Pentax and Nikon) over the last decade, and have always greatly enjoyed it (my gallery links will be on this page). If we're not in the Cederberg in tents sheltering from the pouring rain, or exploring the Karoo in sweltering heat, I am at home, probably at my desktop computer, writing code for personal projects, to learn the many things on my Bucket List, compression, machine-learning, algorithms, etc. I don't have space or time to hack around at my electronics workbench anymore, my Magnum iron sitting cold, and arduino's unresponsive. There are too many things to do, too much code to write, processes to refine and create, rain to be harvested, thinking to be done. Learning to write code as a craft, forever. The world is full of issues, solving them is as easy, and as hard, as picking one, and making forward strides.

bio.txt · Last modified: 2017/05/07 09:40 by mbvdlza