Resume ~ CV

Personal website: Vernon Swanepoel


Personal Statement

Programming has been a long time passion for me. I'm entirely self-taught, but I've done the learning with passion. The language I have the most millage in is Python. I've used Python to create websites for myself, my tour company, for a guide team that I worked with.

Because of this background, my ideal job right now would be a junior developer job where the main focus is Python. I love learning - science, math, and simply the way that the world works, and I'll bring that love of learning to any job I enter - so I'm happy to tackle any tech stack provided I have some time to learn what I need to. That said, my knowledge of Python and especially Django is where I'm the strongest right now, and would be able to step into a job fairly easily.

I've worked in environments where hard work and long hours were the norm, and so I'm not shy of working hard at all. I've often worked on my own, and so that has taught me a great deal of self-dicipline that I bring to any job I tackle.

Core Skills

I've enjoyed learning a rather broad range of things, but certain technologies have especially taken my interest. These are the areas where I feel the strongest:

  • Python generally - I moved over to Python 3 almost from the moment I learned about it.
  • Django, the Python web framework.
  • Linux and the command line - especially Ubuntu, Debian (which this site runs on), and Arch.
  • Git - I've used git for my own personal work tracking, so even when I'm not programming, I've kept building my skills in git.
  • General web technologies like HTML, CSS, JavaScript.
  • Building up a full web stack from setting up a remote server (usually on Linode), installing Apache and a SQL server (usually Postgresql), managing the site with ssh, setting up https, uploading and getting a full django site to work, as I've done for sandcurves.com.

Links to projects

Pynam, the Python Namibia society. I'm a founding member, and although I haven't been as involved as I'd have liked to due to work commitments, I've given conference talks and built the website for the group (currently we're rebuilding it). I've enjoyed teaching beginners from time to time.

TCMA Tour Company Management App, the code, which I'm building at the moment is a demo project I'm building at the moment to manage tour companies, from sales to planning guides on the road. I'm building this with Django rest framework and React.js

Management and People Skills

I have extensive experience in managing small teams. In my work this has been both guiding teams, running my own team at the tour company I ran, and running a small office for a tour company.

In my capacity as a manager, I've done hiring, disciplinary hearings, training, personal development, career guidance (I've been involved with the careers of many of my former subordinates years after they last worked for me) and generally the day to day management

Although a quiet, reserved person, I've worked extensively with people, both my coworkers as well as working directly with clients for many years as a guide and lodge manager.

Employment history

I've worked in tourism since 1998. Here is a brief summary:

  • 1998 to late 2000 at Afro Ventures Namibia, where I worked as a tour guide and, in the later stages, as an operations assistant. I spent a great deal of time touring through Namibia.
  • Late 2000 to mid 2008 at AndBeyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge (with a brief period for the same company in Windhoek over the time my eldest son was born) working as a guide and managing the guiding team, as well as management and operations. Afro Ventures had merged with AndBeyond, so I didn't change companies at this point.
  • 2008 to 2011 - Freelance guiding around Namibia. I had lots of freetime during this time and spent a great deal of time programming.
  • 2011 to 2013 - Managing the office for AndBeyond in Windhoek which involved managing a small team of transfer drivers and doing things like lodge precurement.
  • 2013 to 2015 - starting and running Frantic Naturalist Tours and Safaris, my own tour company. The quiet season towards the end of 2015 was tough to get through, which slowly killed my company. Eventually I made some income through freelance guiding again and tried to start doing websites on the side for a few companies.
  • Late 2016 to late 2019 - Ultimate Safaris, where I worked in sales, operations, guide training and guiding.
  • October 2019 to present - at AndBeyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge where I manage the guiding team and form part of the management team.

Education

1993 Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa (BA HMS, first year). I dropped out of university after completing my first year. I had a growing interest in nature and nature conservation and wanted to study in that direction.

1994 - I worked odd jobs for the year and after trying various things, started studing nature conservation through a correspondence course.

1995-1997 Port Elizabeth Technikon, Saasveld Campus, George, South Africa (National Deploma in Nature Conservation). I'm still two subjects short of my diploma.

Personal Details

  • Date of Birth: 5 July 1972
  • Country Of Birth: South African
  • Nationality of Primary Passport: British
  • Languages: English (with passable Afrikaans and a little Swahili)
  • Country of residence: Namibia (though planning to move to the UK soon)
  • Marital status: Married (with two children)