Durban’s software talents make an international mark

2014-06-28 00:00

MORE and more of Durban’s software engineering talent is beginning to surface and not only do some of them have very little formal training, but they are becoming recognised in the field internationally.

Following in the footsteps of technological pioneers such as Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, 21-year-old Taylor Gibb said he “attended Grade 8 and two weeks of Grade 9 at Glenwood High School” before he decided that was it.

The Bluff resident, now a successful software engineer at the Durban branch of one of the world’s largest software and gaming development companies, Derivco, said that he received no formal training in his field but eventually managed to find his feet in the industry.

“I have been writing software code ever since I can remember. After leaving school, I managed to get a job at a small IT company,” he said.

After spending less than a year at the company, Gibb was approached by a recruitment officer at Derivco.

Derivco is responsible for the development of some of the Internet’s best online games and services, as well as software across all platforms, including mobile such as iOS and Android.

Recalling his successes, Gibb said that it was no easy feat achieving such a great deal in his career at such an early age, while acknowledging that it took determination and hard work.

“I decided that I wanted to teach myself code by getting as much information as I could and reading books,” he said.

Aside from his success in his current capacity, Gibb speaks publicly at local tech events and has also been recognised as the youngest Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) in South Africa, an award that is given to those who share their technical expertise of Microsoft products with others.

Being an MVP makes Gibb one of 3 000 in the world, fewer than 10 in the country and one of only two in Durban, alongside Matt Cavanaugh, who was previously profiled in The Witness.

Gibb and Cavanaugh are expected to soon start a user group where they will host a large group of local software developers through presentations, to share ideas and to encourage networking.

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